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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

Lesson 6 of 31

Finding C and Middle C

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

6. Finding C and Middle C

Lesson Info

Finding C and Middle C

Okay, I have a new vocabulary word for you, and that is middle C. So what is middle seat? Middle C is actually kind of an important concept to us, and it's a little tricky. It's trickier than it is. This is one of the rare ones that's harder for us than it is for a music theory that's being taught on a piano because middle C just means the sea that's right in the middle of a piano. So if you're sitting at a full size piano, you find a C that's right in the middle, and that's middle C. But things in the electronic world are not so cut and dry because we can go really high and a little bit low. You know, we could go down to see negative to up to see eight or so and um, middle c on a keyboard that's not full size, right? So you might be working with a MIDI controller that has, you know, four actives. You might be working with one that it's five actives. You might be working with one of those, you know, smaller, like M audio or Novation keyboards that only have like an active and 1/2 right...

? They only have, like, 15 keys or something like that. Um, in which case you have an octave button, right, That'll shift everything up or down by an active. Um, if you have any of those things than Middle C is not going to be in the middle of your keyboard, it's gonna be depending on what that active is. So when I say middle C, what I'm talking about is c four. This is of some debate by manufacturers. Some manufacturers call middle C ah c three and some call C four. But in the music world, the standard is C four. Um, so if you need to just ground yourself, that's what the word middle C is for is just to say, Where am I? Um, I've got all these notes, right. Ah, and my high Am I low or whatever? If you're looking at this and you're saying see one is that higher low, you can always think Well, see middle CSC, for that's kind of like middle of the road above sea for is high below C four is low. If you want to make a baseline, you want to be below C four by kind of a bit. Why Don't make like a lead. You want to be above sea for ah or right around C four. Um, so that is middle C C four if you're just kind of like still trying to find it. Um, another clue you can use is ah, it's always midi notes 60. Um, so a lot of the time your keyboard might have a read out of the midi note that you're playing. Um, if it does, then you want note Number 60 is gonna be middle C in able 10. The easiest way to see it, I think, is ah TEM map it. If I was to map a note this note Ah, then you would see here. Ah, the note name as our eyes note number 60. So that's how you can kind of see what note it is. That's not a great way to do it. But, um, I think it's the fastest way Just to see are the note the midi note number right in Ah, able to So and you're whatever sequence where you're using my I have a better way just to show you the raw MIDI data if you want to, it does. It's really not that big a deal. So don't stress out about it too much. Um, so that is middle C. Now let's say you're looking at your keyboard, your piano keyboard, right? You're MIDI controller and you're trying to find C in the first place, much less middle's right. Let's go over real quick how to find the note, see if it's not labeled. So when you're looking at a keyboard and you want to find C, here's what we're gonna look for. Remember, our pattern of black notes, See, is not a black note, but we have a pattern of two black notes and then a pattern of three black notes on a pattern, a two and then a pattern of three. Right. There's always this pattern of two black notes and pattern. Three. Find the pattern of two black notes and then go down. One. It's right underneath the pattern of two black notes. That's always seat, And why do we care about C in the first place? Why am I talking about see so much? Why not? A isn't at the beginning of the alphabet, right? See, tends to be the kind of grounding point that we use for everything. It's the easiest to explain, um, music theory, concepts using C for reasons that I'll explain more in detail later once we start talking about keys. But on Lee, if we use see, as our grounding points see, is just the easiest key to use to explain a lot of different music theory concepts. So we use it as just kind of a grounding spot for a lot of different stuff. So it's important to know where it is. Um, on the keyboard. I'm not gonna ask you to memorize all the notes going up the keyboard and learn how to play piano right? That's not part of this class. But knowing where C is and somewhat knowing where middle C is can be a real benefit to you as you're working on tracks or writing music. So, um, please take the time to learn just that. Find the pattern of two black notes, and then you just go down one. And that's where C is always. Um, middle C, on the other hand, will change depending on your active setting, but we'll see

Class Description

This is a class designed for the electronic musician who wants to bring new energy and compositional strength to their tracks. In this class, we'll focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic, interesting melodies and harmonies. Experience with music therory, the ability to play an instrument, or read music is not necessary! We will focus on how to use your DAW as your instrument of creation.

Topics include:

  • Using the Piano Roll Editor
  • Octaves
  • Finding C and Middle C
  • The Perfect 5th
  • What it means to be "in key"
  • Moveable Patterns
  • Major and Minor Intervals
  • Building Triads
  • Chord Progressions
  • 7th Chords
... And much more!

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this is great and very helpfull class, i make and wirte music for more than 2 decades and never gave much about theory, i trusted my feelings to what sound good and what not. Bu t recently i became interested but it all seemed very difficult to me and i didnt got the points behind music theory and how everyhing works together. This class was a game changer for me.. music theory is so simple if you have somebody to explain it in words so that you finally can understand it, and thats Anthony, he is a brilliant guy and he explains it in a simple way that you can easily understand whats going on. This is perfectly the case with this course, the sections are short and to the point, not much talking around and leaving the path, you can make fast progress end learn how music theory works, this is a 5 Star ***** course and hopefully there is more to come

Emane Filali

Fabulous course. As a person with dyslexia, trying to remember the notes and chords as letters only is impossible. I love the visual way the chords are demonstrated and explained. I was originally put off by the "electronic" aspect, thinking it was only for learning how to use piano edit roller. However, as a beginner in playing the piano, this course is applicable to all who want to learn and understand music theory in an interesting visual way. Looking forward to next lesson. Will definately be purchasing the course after. Fantastic tutor and course.

Giulio Lazaretti

Very good class!! Makes it much easier to understand and apply the rules of theory. Anthony is also very wise to suggest to trust your ears, even if what you've written doesn't fit into those same rules. I am so very grateful for you putting this together, Anthony, and for making it available for the general public, Creative Live. I am also very glad I was given the opportunity to learn english in my home country (Brazil), in which many barely know how to read and write in our own native language (portuguese) due to our public education being so bad (which, by its turn, has to do with the myriad of vile creatures that inhabit our representative chambers). Tks XoXo!