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Basic Music Theory

Recognizing Key Signatures


-Flats-
Rule #1- count down 4 steps from the flat on the right

3 α α α α α α α α α α µµµα
% α 3 ϖ α ϖ α α ϖ α α ϖ α α α ϖ α α αα ϖ α α ααα
Key of F Bb Eb Ab
Gb CbDb
µµµ
ϖ
Rule #2- Name second flat from right


αα ϖ ααα αααα ϖ αααα αααααα ϖ ααααααα µµµµµµµ
8 Key of F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb

%α ϖ ϖ α ϖ
ϖ
-Sharps-
Rule #3- Up one half step from sharp on right

∀ ∀∀ ϖD ∀∀∀ ∀∀∀∀ ∀∀∀∀ ∀∀∀∀ ∀ F# ∀∀∀∀ ∀ ϖ µµµµ µ


∀ ϖ ∀∀ µµ
Key of G A E B C#
ϖ ∀ ϖ
15

% ϖ ϖ
-Major Keys/minor Keys-
Rule #4- Relative Major and minor keys have the same key signature

œœ œœ ϖϖ α
C Major/ a minor
œœ
22

%œ œœ œœ œœ œœ
œ

œœ œœ œœ œœ ϖϖ ∀
% α œœ œœ µ
F Major/ d minor
œœ
25

œœ

∀ œœ œœ œœ œœ ϖϖ µ β
œœ
G Major/ e minor
œœ œœ
28

% œœ
2 Basic Music Theory
Recognizing Time Signatures
Rule #5- top number gives the number of beats in each measure
and the bottom number gives the name of the note value for each beat
4/4= four beats in each measure and a quarter note gets one beat

Rule #6- Common time or 4/4 time has four beats in every measure and a quarter note gets a beat

2

31

3
1234 12 34 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

ϖ ˙ ˙ œ œ œ œ œœœœœœœœ œœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœ
Rule #7- 3/4 time has three beats in every measure and a quarter note gets a beat

2 13
36
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
%3 −
˙ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
Rule #8- 2/4 time has two beats in every measure and a quarter note gets a beat

1 1
40 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
%3 ˙ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 1
Rule #9- 2/2 time has two beats in every measure and a half note gets a beat

% 11 12
44 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

˙ ˙ œ œ œ œ œœœœœœœœ œœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœ
Rule #10- 3/2 time has three beats in every measure and a half note gets a beat

2 4
48 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

%1 3
˙ ˙ ˙ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœœœœœœœœœœœ œœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœœ
Rule #11- 5/4 time has five beats in every measure and a quarter note gets a beat

% 34 01
52 1 2 3 4 5 12 345 1 2 345 1234 5 12 34 5
7
œ œ œ œ œ ˙ ˙− œ œ ˙− ϖ œ ˙ ˙ œ
Rule #12- 12/8 time has twelve beats in every measure and an eigth note get a beat

01
57
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112 123 456 789 101112 123456 78910112 12345678 9101112
% 7
œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ− œ− œ− œ− ˙− ˙− ϖ ˙
Basic Music Theory 3

Common Notation

1
Repeat previous Repeat previous two measures Pepeat these three measures

−− −−
measure
∑ ∑ ∑
61

% ‘ ♠
D.C. al Fine D.C. al Coda D.S. al Fine D.S. al Coda
repeat to beginning repeat to beginning repeat to sign then to fine repeat to sign then to Coda
∑ ∑ ∑ ∑
67
end at fine
%
then to Coda

To Coda
71 jump to Coda
Fine
end or ending
 ∃
∑ ∑ ∑ ∑
take cut go to this sign
%
Go To Measure 1

−− −− −− 33
make jump to that measure Repeat 1st ending 2nd ending
∑ ∑ ∑ ∑
2.

%
75

3
79 G flat G# G double flat (F) G double sharp (A)

% 3 αϖ ∀ϖ ∫ϖ ‹ϖ

Major / minor Chords


Rule #13- Lowering the third note of any Major chord changes it to a minor chord
B αMajor B αminor

∀ µα
C Major C minor F Major F minor G Major G minor

α ϖϖϖ α ϖϖϖ µ ϖϖϖ α ϖϖϖ α ϖ µµ


83

% ϖϖ α ϖϖϖ ϖϖ α ϖϖϖ
ϖ

Intervals between notes


unison a second a third a fourth a fifth a sixth a seventh an octave

˙ ˙ ˙
91

% ˙
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