Thank you for making this web site. I found it very informative.
Penn Alumni web messages periodically come my way and evoke memories. One this week made me curious about faculty I had known, and for reasons you will remember, your name stood out. Googling, I stumbled across this website. The response word that came to mind was "utterly fascinating." I guess that's two words. I've only perused it briefly, but as soon as time allows, I plan to read in depth, listen in detail, and ponder in wonder. My background is basically Music 101 and Saturday mornings escaping the Texaco Opera that captivated my father. But having created a strongly musicalized family (wife a superb violin teacher, 2 professional violinist daughters with perfect pitch and a cellist son), and a dabbler in the foundations of music (Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy--Jourdain; Musicophilia--Sachs; Great Courses lectures--Greenberg), I'm ready for what appears to be a tonal feast. Thanks so much for preparing it. One concern. Last entry is November 2011. Is there more? Are you still there? I surely hope so.
Dear Dr. Coren,
I found your website today, by accident, as I was trying to discover why poetry analysis doesn't use music notation to explain meter. As a music scholar & teacher I found your writings and examples tremendously interesting and thought provoking. You have provided a very great resource to share with music students.
The multi-media nature of a website blog provides the perfect platform for this style of illustrated essay. I know you wrote that you've lost interest in the site, but I look forward to reading more if you ever write another essay for it.
BTW I too have always heard the unsounded 3rd note on the doorbell in the same manner as you described - the missing root note of a major triad.
Hi, Tracey -
Thanks you so much for your interest in my writing. It's not exactly that I lost interest in the site; it's that I quite suddenly lost the urge to explain my views about music to other people or to tell them how I think they should experience music.
I find it much more satisfying these days to expend my energies on making actual music, playing the piano and singing in the U. of Pa. choir.
Thanks again for your interest.
I had a had a question for you. 2011 was your last entry.
In any event, let me say I appreciate the work you put into your website and saved it to refer back to. I hope all is well.
Hi, Chris -
I'm happy to report that I'm alive and well. What's your question?
I'll make a few comments. Music theory seems simple and clear to me, but if this little bit doesn't seem clear to others---that's o.k.
The white piano keys are called naturals; the blacks accidentals.
A440, A220, A110 are all named A, but are different pitches. 3 pitches, 1 name. The pitch 330 is called a perfect fifth of A; it just naturally falls down to A220 from which it sprang. This is why chords progress from the perfect fifth to the tonic.
The pitch 550 is the major third of A. The 3 pitches 330, 440, and 550 form a major triad.
The A major triad naturally falls down to D triad, and E triad falls to A. This is the 'A' family, formed by nature.
In the key of C, C falls to F, and G falls to C. This is the most famous family---all of the white keys.
This has all been known for centuries.
Thank you for this website trying to make it clear again.
Hi Dr. Coren,
I found this website just by accident and it's no doubt one of the most informative and neatly written music sites I have ever seen. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I saw you stopped writing since 2011 and as you can see until today people are still reading and learning from it. The section on chromaticism was particularly useful as not many other sources explain it quite as well. it would be wonderful if you could keep on sharing more of your views and ideas, especially on the interaction between diatonic scale and notes outside the scale, as there really isn't much resources available out there.
I would so appreciate if you wrote more! Your mission is exactly what any musician needs. A way to apply music theory to have and create an emotional impact. I am fed up with most of the stuffy explanations in textbooks. This is quite refreshing, and useful!
Hi CJ - Every once in a great while - much to my amazement - somebody comes across my writing and leaves a comment. Yours is a particularly gratifying one.
However, I must confess that about 5 years ago, I simply got tired of writing about music, of hearing my own voice. I don't think that's going to change. But thank you so much for your positive feedback.