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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 07-11-2018, 11:54 AM   #11
DamhCabrachPiping
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Default Re: Music Theory: What makes what?

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Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
Bingo!





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Nothing to do with rhythm



Capitalized Roman numerals represent major chords.

I= the Tonic chord- A [A C# E}in A Major( or A mixolydian mode); D [D F# A ] in D major;
IV = the Subdominant chord: D in A major or A mix, G [GBD] in D major;
V= the Dominant chord: E [E G#B] in A Major ( Em [E G B], a minor chord in Amix), A in D major.


Minor chords are represented by lower case Roman numerals in that system


Ahhh see and this is the kind of stuff I need to learn!

Where’s a good place to start that doesn’t involve learning piano or guitar?

I feel from a composing standpoint it would be good to know.


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Old 07-11-2018, 04:12 PM   #12
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Music Theory: What makes what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamhCabrachPiping View Post
Ahhh see and this is the kind of stuff I need to learn!

Where’s a good place to start that doesn’t involve learning piano or guitar?

I feel from a composing standpoint it would be good to know.


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Learning any other chordal instrument- Piano, Guitar, Banjo… would be a good way, as you'd have visual and tonal reinforcement of the concepts as you go. See if your library has a basic Music Theory book.

From a composing standpoint, yes, it helps to know the grammar and syntax of sound.

Scales and Chords are the key ( No pun intended), even if you are only dealing in melody, as on bagpipes. Melodies either move by scale steps, (e.g. a, b, c) or by chord tones (e.g. D F# A, B D F#) .


FWIW, a guitar (or banjo) player in some styles of music can get through hours and hours of sessions playing only I, IV, V patterns.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:45 AM   #13
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Music Theory: What makes what?

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Originally Posted by DamhCabrachPiping View Post
Where’s a good place to start (music theory) that doesn’t involve learning piano or guitar?
Personally I don't think you can get a feel for chord structures, how to build chords, how changing the chords under the melody changes a piece of music, and so forth without at least dabbling with piano or perhaps guitar.

When I took music theory at university we all had to acquire some basic piano competence, for that reason.

When I'm working out the best chords for a pipe tune I prefer to do it on guitar, both for the reason that guitar is easier for me and that in my group a guitarist will be playing the chords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamhCabrachPiping View Post
I feel from a composing standpoint it would be good to know.
Even though pipes tunes will suggest chords and chord progressions, I think the tradition is a melodic one and pipers have composed great tunes for hundreds of years having no training in music theory per se.

Now one could make the argument that pipers, when composing, are following the rules of music theory whether they're aware of it or not, just as when we speak we're following complex linguistic rules we're completely unaware of.

I think being steeped in the various idioms of Highland pipe music, which comes through playing and listening to hundreds (or thousands) of tunes is the main necessity for being able to write new idiomatic pipe tunes.

About chord structures of traditional Highland pipe tunes, there are hundreds (thousands?) of old tunes and new tunes built on the very simple but effective

I > VII > I

structure, which on Highland pipes is A>G>A and is a byproduct of the Mixolydian scale.

Gap-scale tunes in A that lack the third (C#) have a minor feel to most accompanists and they will usually go

i > VII > i

that is Am>G>Am for gap-scale tunes in A, and Bm>A>Bm for tunes in B minor.


Highland pipe tunes in the key of D tend to follow a more ordinary chord structure involving I, IV, and V chords.
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 07-12-2018 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:19 AM   #14
CalumII
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Default Re: Music Theory: What makes what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamhCabrachPiping View Post
Where’s a good place to start that doesn’t involve learning piano or guitar?

A little cheap toy keyboard is a handy little tool; you don't really need to be able to play it as such to use it for working on theory.



The music theory grades are a good starting point; I think most pipers would benefit from doing up to grade 3, and anyone seriously interested in harmony could profitably study up to grade 5 at least.
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