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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

Lesson 5 of 31

The Black Keys (not the band)

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

5. The Black Keys (not the band)

Lesson Info

The Black Keys (not the band)

So I've been talking a lot about the white notes. Let's talk about the difference between the white notes and the black notes and what the black notes are. So let me just get rid of all the go down to just one note. Ah, that's a C three. You let me turn that delay off because that was fun earlier, but less fun now. Okay, so here I have. See? Right. Ah, the next white note above It gets a new letter Name D right. The next white note above that gets a new letter Name E. Now, what do we call this thing in between c and D, right? It has two answers and this convey be, ah, little tricky to understand. So I'm going to spend a few minutes on it. So the note above middle C r. Sorry. The note above. See, this one is called C sharp. We can think of that symbol sharp, which looks like a hash tag. We can think of that as meaning. Ah, little bit higher. Right. So see a little bit higher. C sharp Right now. Here's what's tricky about this. What do we call the note under D the note underneath D we ca...

lled the flat, which and the word flat could mean D a little bit lower. That's kind of what flat means. So, in essence, this note has two different names. We can call that C Sharp or we can call it D Flat, which is confusing. What is it really called? Well, the what it's really called depends on the context of what you're doing. So, um, for example, as a very simple example, let's do this. Here's a D. Here's the other thing. And here's a seat. In this case, I would call this note a D flat because we're going down. We're going t d flat C If it was the other way around, I would call us to see Sharp because the melody is going C c. Sharp deep. Now that's like really splitting hairs, and it's probably nothing that you'll really ever encounter and electronic music. So don't stress out about what we call those all that much. Um, it does matter once we start talking about, um, being in key. It matters because some keys, um, are written using sharps and some keys are written using flats and that will be important later because, um, the most sequencers and able 10 is included in that. Always will write the note when I put my mouse over it and you see it giving me the name of the note. It's calling it here. See, Sharp three. No matter what direction I'm coming from, it calls all these notes by their sharp name, and it never uses flat. Um, I think I have a theory as to why that's true. Um, I think sequences do that because the symbol for a sharp is just like the number symbol. Ah, and the symbol for a flat is actually like a new symbol that they would have to like create, and that would be tricky. So, um, the sharp is easier to print. Sometimes when we're writing a flat symbol, we use a lower case be, um but that's not quite right. Um, so your sequence there is always going to show you sharps, even if it should be showing you flats. Um, so that could be a little confusing once we get into weird keys. But again, let's cross that bridge when we come to it. So don't stress out about that, too. much. For now. Just know that the Black Keys are named by their position next to another key. So, for example, let's look at D. This is D What's the note? What's the black note right above d gonna be called? It's gonna be called D Sharp, right? It could also be called E flat, but our sequences gonna call a D sharp. What's the note? Right above E called? Well, it's a white note, right? So it's gonna be called F. There's no such thing as E sharp or F flat. No slight caveat to that. Um, if you get into like super super Advanced music theory way down the road, you might encounter in E Sharper and F flat. But it's it's really for the purposes of electronic music. It's really never gonna come up, so don't worry about that. There's no such thing is in the shop or an F flat. Let's keep going. The note above AF is called in F sharp. After a little bit higher, write the note above G is called G sharp. The note above a is called a sharp, and then we get another spot where there's no black, don't in between. So there is no such thing as be sharp right, because the next note above B is a C. And there's no such thing as C flat. Um, because the note right underneath see, is a B. Now you might wonder, why is that true? That we have this pattern where there are two spots within the space of an active so between see and see, there are two spots that don't get a black note in between. Why is this set up that way? Well, there's a very good answer, and I promise I will answer that for you shortly. Um, that is what makes something in key is what that pattern is. So hold on for a couple more videos, and then I promised to explain that. But for now, note that the lingo here is ah, the sharp means we're talking about than above them. The next note. So when I say f sharp, that means we find this f and it's one above it. If I say g flat, that means the G and one below it f Sharp and G flatter the same note. Now it might be the case that later on in this class. Um, I I get distracted and I start saying words or I start naming notes. Ah, like I start saying b flat on your sequence, there is a sharp right. I'm going to try really are not to do that. But sometimes I do that on accident. Um, because according to, like the rules of music theory, uhm you should call things flat when you're doing certain other things. We'll talk more about that later, but I'm gonna try to talk talking sharps, Um so when I refer to this particular note, I will try to say a sharp, But on occasion, I might say b flat. So just remember that Ah, those were the same notes.

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!

Ratings and Reviews

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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!