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Scales, Intervals, Common Chords, Dominant Seventh Chord and Melody Making.

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In the preceding chapter we spoke of Tones and of the twelve Tones used in the making of Music. In playing these touts we find that they differ in certain respects: some are high, some are low. In explanation of this fact we employ the term Pitch. Pitch is the relative intensity of vibration, the acuteness or gravity, the highness or iowness, of a musical sound. The more numerous the vibrations in any given time, the higher the sound; the fewer the vibrations the deeper the sound.
An ear-training exercise in Pitch may be made very interesting. In addition to the Pianoforte, as many other instruments as possible should be introduced. All pitches from the lowest to highest should be sounded and an effort be made to detect the vibrations.
A Half-Step, or Semi-Tone, is the smallest difference in Pitch which can be found upon the Keyboard of the Pianoforte. It is the least difference in Pitch in genera? use.
A Whole Step, or Whole Tone is the equivalent of two Half-Steps.
On the Keyboard of the Pianoforte or Organ, from any Key to the next adjacent Key, white or black, is a Half-Step or Semi-Tone; from any Key to the next Key but one, white or black, is a Whole Step or Whole Tone. For instance, from C to Db E to F, F# to G are Half-Steps; From C to D, E to F#, Ab to Bb, Bb to C are Whole Steps.
The foregoing proposition cannot be too well learned and understood. In this case both the mind and the ear are to be trained. The student should go no further until the difference between Half and Whole Steps be clear to the mind and readily appreciated by the ear. Think and listen.
Just another definition: A Degree is a step: The step may be either a Half-Step or a Whole Step, but it is always from one letter to the next letter. For instance, A to B is a Whole Step, B to C is a Half-Step; both are Degrees.
As a matter of mutual understanding, we will not, in this work, employ the term Note, when we mean Tone. One may sound a Tone but not a Note. A Note is a written or printed character used to indicate the Pitch and Duration of a Tone.
It is presupposed that the student is familiar with the elements of Musical Notation, before taking up the study of this book.
1.   What is Pitch?
2.   What is a Half-Step?
3.   What is a Whole Step?
4.   Give examples.
5.   What is a Degree ?
6.   Give examples.
7.   What is a Note?

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III