Image via WikipediaNotes move on the staff in three ways: Step
Notes on or above the middle line have down stems.
Notes below the middle line have up stems.
The distance between two notes is called an interval. Another way to say it; the distance from the pitch of one note to the pitch of another.
On the keys a 2nd is like a step: from one key to the next key.
On the staff a 2nd is like a step: from line to space or space to line.
On the keys a 3rd is like a skip: from line to line or space to space. One skipped key is a 3rd.
Two skipped keys is a 4th. On the staff a 4th is either line to space or space to line. On the keys a 4th is a larger skip.
Three skipped keys is a 5th. On the staff a 5th is either line to line or space to space.
Melodic and Harmonic Intervals:
A melodic interval has single notes, like notes in a melody that are played one at a time. If you sing a note and then another then this is a melodic interval.
A harmonic interval has two notes played together to make harmony in music. If two people each sing a different note at the same time then this is called a harmonic interval.
Now that you know what intervals are why do you suppose we need to learn them?
Learning to recognize intervals, whether by sound, on paper, or an instrument, is extremely helpful for many reasons. Among them are chord building, improvisation, sight singing, composition, understanding and remembering keys and their related accidentals, and figure out music by ear. If you’re trying to play a melody that is in your head or on the radio, knowing your intervals eliminates most of the time spent searching for the right notes.
One of the coolest ways to add feeling and expression while playing those piano notes is to observe road map signs or what musician’s call Dynamics or dynamic markings.
Basically there are symbols that indicate varying degrees of volume. So we have degrees of loudness or softness.
Music has loud and soft signs called dynamics.
mf means medium loud.
Its Italian name is Mezzo Forte.
f means loud.
Its Italian name is forte.
ff means very loud
Its Italian name is Fortissimo.
fff means very, very loud.
Its Italian name is Fortississimo.
ppp means very, very soft.
Its Italian name is Pianississimo.
pp means very soft.
Its Italian name is Pianissimo.
P means soft.
Its Italian name is Piano.
With this understanding of how notes move while playing quietly or loudly, you’ll enjoy hearing yourself play with more feeling in addition to technically playing the notes correctly. Have fun!
All the best,
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