How to Read Music

Brent Phillips

Reading Music goes back almost to the beginning of time; just like reading a book, Music learns the notation with letters and sentences. However, reading Music is more complex because you have to understand the rhythmic structures to note values, measure counting, and practicing scales and arpeggios for your principal instrument.

Fundamental Principles.

Furthermore, each tool is different for reading Music; fundamental principles to know first are:

Composition & Form - Structural construct for creating and processing an composition. Reading music for anyone getting to know how the musical piece is organized, should know basic forms, such as; A, B, A = melody and theme, variety, back to the theme.

Notation - This is recognizing symbols such as; the staff, ledger line positioning, keys, and loud and soft markings.

Note Consideration - After recognizing what makes up musical phrases, and what timbre sounds are included; value in notes, omitted notes by rests, one can determine the sounds of Music.

Structural Principles.

Two basic principles make up the structure of Music; the rhythmic function, and chordal and scale procedures.

                                             How to Read Music

Rhythmic functions - The chart above denotes note values in sequence, but by putting them in a musical sentence makes little sense without harmonic chord structure,

Scale procedures to chords - Practicing scales and modal scales can be recognized in reading music as a valuable aid for sight-reading. Furthermore, by knowing scales you can recognize notes in chord structures which dominate the musical sentence. An example would be I-IV7-V-I, an ending in most compositions.

Reading music in orchestras, choirs, and bands; a string player, singer, and instrumentalist must have a understanding and knowledge of all the above principles. This takes experience with teachers who teach voice methods and conductors who takes singers to read music for performance. All string, brass, and percussion players have to be acquainted with their own particular notations in reading music in a group situation. However, to read music is a skill demanded from a person to perform music.

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Piano Note Chart

Brent Phillips

These charts are made for beginner piano students to prepare them better to memorize piano compositions from significant composers. They have realized that there are 7 octaves for two hands and ten fingers to cover in notes and note values to make a musical sound for a complex composition; 56 white keys and 36 black keys. The chart above gives only 29 white and 20 black keys because it did not include a low bass and high treble. However, the above chart is the middle section of any piano or keyboard instrument.

Essential Skills Using a Piano Note Chart.

Scales and Arpeggio Studies. - Using these studies with a piano note chart and numbering systems for the fingers; can have an attachment on these charts. For example, children can see the relationship between the 1,3,5 fingering positions when tucking their index thumb around in octave studies.

Braille Piano Note Chart for the Blind. - Make sure you teach children at early age braille, not only to read letter symbols but also to number their fingerings for the piano; and using scale and arpeggio studies for the piano. Beginning piano pieces using the numbering system and a piano note chart is helpful in teaching beginner to advanced piano music


Life Skills by Practicing Using a Piano Note Chart. - Improved concentration, discipline by practicing, time-management skills, and emotional stability in everyday life.

You might say that a piano note chart can do all this; the answer is with the right direction from an experienced teacher; this is all possible. Piano note charts are as old as piano history, from the C major scale to essential digital structuring. Without this helpful tool, the teacher and student would miss out an easier way to playing piano.


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What is a French Horn?

Brent Phillips

Most non-musicians have no idea what a French horn is. Most people think it is hollow pipes going in circles to produce a sound or tone. What kind of tone: mellow, loud, or muted? We will explore what the French horn is.

Requirements of the French Horn Player.

The demands on a French horn player takes certain physical stamina, and a musical knowledge of composers who have written specifically for any French horn score.

The two most important requirements are:

 The Embouchure. Most important is having the right lips in forming vibrations to produce a tonal quality. A degree between the smiling and whistling is most important for the lips, but most important is placement between lower and upper lips. 

Correct breathing. The speed of the air column through the lip opening while vibrating, controls volume, on the other hand your embouchure controls the pitch. Without correct breathing techniques, horn playing becomes an exercise, not a discipline.

What is a French Horn?

      Components of a French Horn Player.

      The mouthpiece.  The wider the inside of the diameter, the low notes flow. A more rounded bottom end of the mouthpiece makes for high notes, but chokes tone and volume. A straight-sided cup for the French horn player has more style so stick to only one because; a embouchure and constant practice makes the player. 

      Kind of instrument. Their are two types of French horns, the F horn and B flat. When combined, the player favors the double horn, where fingering and tuning is switched between them.

      Playing position. Always sit when practicing, certainly breathing is easier when standing, but most concert performances require sitting in place the horn to the right side. Holding the horn produces a bright tone, while leaning it on the thigh, a more dark, covered tone.

      Use of right hand. The most dominant feature of the right hand is the veiled muted sound usage. Closing the bell flattens the pitch, and opening it sharpens it also. The traditional player can make a test to use correctly, by playing a hand scale with the hand position.

       The French horn is the reflection of the person playing it. Anybody can play and read sheet music, but can they transpose and hear each note when played or mute the horn with their right hand and get the right notes. 

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