ColorMusic
Art • Music • Education
227 | Why Use Colors AND Shapes
a better look at music theory
July 27, 2023
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Music theory is NOT confusing ... but the SYMBOLS people typically use to understand it are.

In this video, we look at how to quickly understand the patterns of music using COLORS and SHAPES.

https://youtube.com/live/mSWUhD0wDiQ

In other posts here, I explain the benefit of color to see music theory. But people often ask, “… but what’s up with the shapes? Why also use these alternating squares and circles?”

So here’s a synopsis of why the shapes are so helpful, which summarizes key points in the video.

Traditionally, musicians try to picture the invisible patterns of sound using uniform black dots … along with letter and number symbols:

The result is a visually complex system of blotches and squiggles that’s confusing and even counterintuitive.

But when you get down to it, the two most fundamental labels used to communicate musical ideas is those letters and numbers.

  • LETTERS that represent the 12 individual notes in music, and
  • NUMBERS that indicate the different intervals between the notes

And together, these two symbol sets — letters and numbers — are meant to illustrate the musical relationships or patterns, which is what music is all about.

 

 

But while the letters do at least a decent job of distinguishing each note from the next — like C versus C# versus D, etc. — the colors visually clarify which notes are which more vividly and immediately.

And the color-note assignments here are based on applying the color wheel to the circle of fifths — where both patterns follow the exact same structure and sequence.

For example, in the center image below, the major scales of each key overlap in music to form the circle of fifths. And just as all the keys in music form this daisy-chain pattern, all the colors in the color wheel also bleed seamlessly into one another....

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269 | Lesson 19 - Quick Update

Hey there. I worked on Lesson 19 (Circle of Fifths) all day yesterday. Here's a short update that we filmed last night. Enjoy!

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hi all, where do i go to get started on learning the colour music

278 - Easy Trick to Play Piano Chords

How do musicians move around the piano keyboard so quickly? And how do they know which notes to play in a progression?

Let's look at the underlying patterns that guide your eyes, mind, and hands to play chords on the piano with ease -- in any shape (or "inversion" ).

Join the live stream -- Monday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern:
https://youtube.com/live/UQvloeRZGKU

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Lesson 19 update & Supporters stream peek

Hey there, everyone! Lesson #19 is coming along, and I want to give you a quick update-- The text is written. I've spent the weekend creating illustrations. 100 of 126-ish are done. We just wrapped one of our weekly supporters streams here. (Weekly? Yes, with things wrapping on the course soon-ish, we are kicking those up to weekly. That starts now. THANK YOU for being here, supporters.) If you'd like a peek at what the supporters streams like, the link to today's stream is here: https://youtube.com/live/4HnquM6Qriw

Hope your week gets off to a good start. Talk soon!

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Open Hour Q&A - Saturday, April 20

Hey -- I'm answering your questions and hanging out via live stream Saturday, April 20 at 9:00 a.m. Mountain. (Ask any questions Live or post them on Locals in advance.) This Open Hour is for supporters. THANK YOU!

Here's the link to join:

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281 | The Beatles - Glass Onion (music theory)

The Beatles' song, "Glass Onion" from the White Album is one of their best tracks. It has a distinctively tense sound that gets stuck in your head. So let's look at this tune through the lens of music theory to see how John Lennon wrote this chord progression.

https://youtube.com/live/N4cFE4sbC3w

To play along with (and pick apart) this song, here are the chord diagrams for each section:

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Open Hour Q&A - Saturday, April 13

Join me for this week's Open Hour Q&A live stream Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

No planned presentation -- just answering questions and talking music theory.

If you can’t join this week’s Q&A, post your questions here in advance.

Here's the link to join:

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