Are you tired of improvising on the organ using simple T, S, D chords and creating the same predictable sounds? Of course, you know that you could use more advanced chords and more advanced polyphonic tools, such as imitations. However, learning all of this takes lots of time.
But what if I told you that there is another way of adding incredible spice into your playing without the advanced knowledge of music theory, harmony, polyphony, and counterpoint?
This is polytonality. You will be literally shocked at how different, strange and colorful your playing will sound because of this. In this video I will explain what polytonality is and also talk about special exercises you can do with it in your practice.
Here I will be referring to the exercises with scales, but imagine what could you do with hymns or any other kind of melodies, if you applied the same concept of polytonality?
About major seconds in major keys
Today I'm going to teach you about the interval of the major second in major key. The interval of the major second is simply the distance from C to D. It's like a whole tone. It can be measured it two ways - in scale degrees and in steps.
In scale degrees - from C to D there are two scale degrees.
In steps - it's a whole tone.
Let's first figure out how many major seconds there are in C major scale.
From the 1st scale degree (C-D) - it's a major second.
From the 2nd scale degree (D-E) - it's a major second.
From the 3rd scale degree (E-F) - it's a minor second.
From the 4th scale degree (F-G) - it's a major second.
From the 5th scale degree (G-A) - it's a major second.
From the 6th scale degree (A-B) - it's a major second.
From the 7th scale degree (B-C) - it's a minor second.
So you see that there are 5 different major seconds in every major key (from the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th scale degrees). Since I showed you how to construct them, now we can talk about how you can resolve these dissonant intervals.
Today I'm going to teach you how to build major seconds in major keys. As an example we will look into C major which doesn't have any accidentals. Watch this video to find out how it's done.
I hope this lesson will empower you to look into your organ pieces to search for real-life examples of major seconds. They are hidden in most dissonant chords.
If you know what the half-step is, you can easily master an interval of the minor second (m2). It's a very harsh interval because the two notes are put very closely together. Today I'm going to teach you how you can build them in any major key. As an example we will work with the key of C major because it has no accidentals. Watch this video and everything will become quite clear.
Intervals: about perfect unisons
Today I would like to share a video lesson I made about perfect unisons. In the video below you will find out all the theory behind this simple but important interval - how to construct it in major and minor keys, how to resolve it and how to master it.
Can you guess what are these notes?
Even though you can see 10 different clefs in the above picture, in reality there are only 3 kinds of clefs: G, F and C.
G clef (as in Nos. 1 - Treble clef and 10 - Descant clef) indicates where is treble G (or g').
F clef (as in Nos. 2 - Bass clef, 8 - Baritone clef and 9 - Basso Profondo clef where is tenor F (or f).
C clef (as in Nos. 3 - Alto clef, 4 - Tenor clef, 5 - Soprano clef, 6 - Baritone clef and 7 - Mezzo soprano clef) indicates where is treble C (or c').
Experiment with the whole tone mode
Today, during the music theory class, I taught the whole tone mode for my 9th grade students. This is the mode which doesn't have any half steps, for example C-D-E-F#-G#-A#-C.
One of the assignments was to write a single voice melody in this mode. The form of the composition had to be ternary:
Everybody in class completed their assignment (my example was the melodic solo line you can see in the above illustration) but after the class during intermission I thought I would expand it a little and arrange it for the organ.
The above picture represents the end result. The composition could have become longer (with the present piece as just Part I of the longer work - Part II could be written in some other mode) but I had to stop writing for today.
Here is the MIDI file if you want to listen to it and the PDF file for printing. Feel free to further experiment with it, expand it, practice, and play it if you find it useful.
Label each of the 10 items as a half step (H) or a whole step (W). Here is the answer key.
A half step is the smallest distance between the notes. A whole step consists of 2 half steps.
Post the number of correct answers to comments.
Rewrite this exercise in 3/4 meter so that the rhythmical grouping would work for this meter. There should be 6 measures total.
Hint: grouping is done in beats of the measure. The first measure is completed. Here is the PDF file for printing.
After you have completed the exercise, post your time to comments.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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