Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Announcement for Further Lessons !

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For ease of handling, further Lessons are published in the blog



Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Lesson-30 : Summary of Major Understandings!

Before proceeding further to"Minor Scales",

Its time for summarizing the understandings of various findings on Major scales of Sharps & Flats as well as other learnings on the accidentals, modulation etc.

US-1 : In a keyboard,or piano, Black notes are placed in a particular fashion in between White notes. They are called either Sharp (#) of previous white note or Flat (b) of succeeding note…

US-2 : Symbols like Sharp and Flat (and one more symbol called Natural….meaning returning to normalcy by canceling the sharp or flat effect..) are called Accidentals

US-3 : The simple rule to form a Scale using the seven notes (alphabets).. “Use each letter certainly once…but ONLY once…”

US-4 : Major Scales of Sharps can be formed by proceeding Perfect 5th upward each time from the tonic of previous scale.

Each time the leading note gets sharpened in addition to the previous sharps.

US-5 : The sequence of notes getting sharpened each time is F, C, G, D, A, E, B respectively for the Major scales of G, D, A, E, B, F#, C# .

Remember the sentence for Sharp Majors:
Father - Charles - Goes - Down - And - Ends – Battle

US-6 : Similarly Major Scales of Flats can be formed by proceeding Perfect 5th downward (or Perfect 4th upward..) each time from the tonic of previous scale.

Each time the Sub-dominant is getting flattened in addition to the previous flats.

US-7 : The sequence of notes getting flattened each time is B, E, A, D, G, C, F respectively for the Major Scales of F, B-flat, E-Flat, A-flat, D-Flat, G-Flat, C-Flat and F-Flat.

This is exactly the reverse of the sharp sequence.

Remember the sentence for Flat Majors:
Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father !

US-8 :WCM strongly advises to change the induced monotony in a song in the same scale, by shifting to other scale which is very nearby…. Meaning try to change only one note at a time and shift to another scale..!

Such process of changing is called Modulation…!

(A technique strongly supported by WCM…but strongly opposed by Carnatic scheme ! )

Monday, June 12, 2006


Lesson-29: Why So Many Majors ?

So far we have seen all the Major scales possible with Sharps and Flats.

C-Major and 7 other majors with sharps and 7 other Majors with Flats. Total 15 Major scales, have been summarised below:

As we know, there are 7 white notes and 5 black notes in an octave, out of these 15 Majors, some 3 Major scales are repetitive also.

I could certainly feel a query that is in the back of all of your mind all these time…., and wanted to pose it to me anytime now…! …

The question may be something like this …:

“You told about the Major scale that started in C and conveniently I can get it with all adjacent white notes…!

Then why at all you bother me with G-Major, D-Major etc etc.. and getting into those black notes ….trouble to learn both theoretically as well as practically…

If I could play a song in major scale in C-Major, why at all I shall bother to play the same song in some other Major scale….

after all everything is Major scale … and the same… same….. saaaaaame……… major scale…."

Well, frankly speaking I was also puzzled, during my learning time with the same query.

And to some extent, still remain puzzled with the limitations WCM exponents have posed for themselves with One Major scale ( represented in different starting keys…)

[and One Harmonic Minor scale and One Melodic Minor scale (again represented in different starting keys each time)…! (Minor scales… we will learn soon…)]

Certain guessing answers I can make… in order to clarify the above query…May be right .. May not be right also…! But let me try...!

We have seen that the range of voice of each human being is different…!

So different starting point to suit the each individual is necessary…!

All music rules normally take care of such human factor utmost…!

That way different starting point for the same Scale might have been envisaged…! That forms one answer !

Another answer is the concept of Modulation !

WCM strongly advises to change the induced monotony in a song in the same scale, by shifting to other scale which is very nearby….

Meaning try to change only one note at a time and shift to another scale..!

Such process of changing is called Modulation…!

(A technique strongly supported by WCM…but strongly opposed by Carnatic scheme ! )

For example….if you are playing C major for quite some time… show some change by shifting to nearby G-Major…which is just effected by change of F to F# as far as key is concerned…

But now you shall categorically know… that by doing so, we have shifted the Tonic from C to G…..

and thus old Tonic (C) has become the new Sub-Dominant……
old Supertonic (D) has become the new Dominant etc….etc. etc…

Even though you are still playing some form of Major scale only, still you can feel some difference due to the Tonic shift…

One good example of "simple" modulation in old song of MSV which is a Minor scale song..…is Raajavin Paarvai Raaniyin pakkam…!

There will be some shifting of tonic effected by a Chorus and instruments in one of the interludes….!

Another "simple" example is ARR's "Oooh Lalal Laa!" of Minsaarak Kanavu. At the end of song, we can hear this modulation with chorus voices!

So you can travel from C-Major to G-Major with ease and come back to C-Major again with ease….Do you agree that…?

Instead of coming back…… if you want to go further upward side from GMajor….. where you can go…?

You can easily guess that D-major is the next easier to reach with ONE note modification of C to C# now….!

Again tonic shift etc etc happens…. but that's smooth transition…!

Similarly,one can chaneg from Major scale to Minor Scale and back !

IR always uses such complex type of modulations in almost all of his songs! That will be mind blowing to watch and listen!

So WCM breaks the monotony in their own way….! The pattern of Major or Minor scale is still same! But some tonal color changes…makes it afresh…!

We will see in detail about Modulation later….!

What I just wanted to show you…is...that …some approach of WCM needs these different type of Major Scales….!

Soon We will start with Minor Scales !

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Lesson-28 : Key Signatures - Key to Simplification!

Hi All,

Some of you (!?) might have tried to write the Major scales explained so far in the form of notes on a Stave..!

Ok…… even if you haven’t tried so far, imagine you are going to do that .. or somebody wants to write notes for a song in one of these major scales….!

Other than C-Major, in all other major scales you are either having sharps or flats..!

The way of writing these “accidentals” is to put down the concerned symbols before each of the note..!

In case of G-Major, wherever F is coming, you are bound to put the sharp before that…!

Imagine the case of B- Major or D-flat Major….the number of notes sharpened or flattened are too many……which complicates writing of notes as well as reading them…!

You realize that…? How to tackle that….?

The answer given by WCM convention is to use “Key Signature”

For example, in the case of G-Major, you write the sharp symbol in the 5th line of Treble Clef (Every Green Bus Drives Fast….) and 4th line in case of Bass Clef (Good Boys Deserve Fine Apple) to notify that “ hereafter Any note written for F shall be read as F-Sharp”…….!

In case of E-flat Major, we know that the notes B,E, A are flattened….So write the flat symbols in the concerned space or lines of treble or bass clef for the letters B, E and A once in the beginning and notify that…

hereafter Any note written for B, E and A shall be read as B-Flat, E-Flat and A-Flat respectively….!

Such Cluster of symbols of flats or sharps written in the beginning (after Clef symbol) is called the “Key Signatures”

Conversely, Just by seeing the key signature location and noting the number of flats or sharps, one can easily say What the Scale of the song is….!

So players of instruments or singers, just see the key signature at start and guess the type of Major Scale.. and everything else automatically falls in line…!

For the novice, it will be a problem and may make some mistakes of omitting the sharps or flats…but those who have perfected the Major Scales, its part of routine…!

Thus the complication of writing as well as reading of notes simplified by using “Key Signature”

Some examples of major scale passages with key signature are given below:

There are some conventions while using the key signatures :

The order of writing the sharps or flats is the same as the sequence of the notes getting sharpened or flattened in each of the Major Scales….

We know the sentences
- Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
- Battle Ends And Down Goes Father Charles

Key Signatures are written at the beginning of each line

Even though same letter may be coming in space or line also, the place of sharps or flats in a stave is pre-determined and only that should be used.. !

By chance, if any other notes, other than the normal notes, to be sharpened or flattened, these shall be written in front of the concerned notes (in the song) only and NOT in the key signatures !

(these are rare cases…. when modulation or something occurs…then some additional notes are sharpened or flattened …)

So, we have understood the term and purpose and usage of Key signatures.
Such key signatures are used in the case of Minor Scales also, which we are going to know about soon.

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