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Music Student 101

We are musicians, composers, engineers, teachers and students alike. The path through academia, as a musician, can be challenging and uncertain but it can also be enriching and great fun! This is the path we chose and we are here as your resource. Explore theory, history, ear training, technique, special topics and overall musicianship.
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Music Student 101
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Now displaying: Category: ear training
Apr 27, 2021

Continuing where episode 73 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of III (viiº/III) and seven of VI (viiº/VI) chords. Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher these chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Nov 25, 2019

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is an important skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will focus on the Mixolydian mode. It has one small difference from the major scale, or Ionian mode. Let's listen!

Sep 16, 2019

Melodic dictation, the act of transcribing and notating a melody by ear, is an important skill for a musician to cultivate. In this episode, we will share some tips and get right in to some examples. Ready your ears and get ready to explore the major scale!

Jul 21, 2019

Solfege has been used for centuries to help vocalists and music students acquaint vowel sounds with certain notes. In this episode, we will discuss solfege in major, minor and chromatic terms. We will also cover the two different kinds of solfege ("fixed do" and "movable do") and the advantages of these systems. Finally, we will address the Curwen Hand Signs and try some exercises that you might find useful.

Jul 7, 2019

Continuing where episode 63 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of V and seven of ii (iiº) chords. Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher these chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Jul 7, 2019

Continuing where episode 63 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary functions. We will now add the secondary seven of V and seven of ii (iiº) chords. Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher these chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Feb 4, 2019

Continuing where episode 56 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary dominants. We will now add the secondary dominants of the mediant and submediant (V/III, V/VI). Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Oct 21, 2018

Continuing where episode 43 left off, this episode will review the previously discussed chords: I, II7, III, IV, V, VI and VII (in major and minor) and their inversions. We will now add some secondary dominants: (V/V, V/II). Listen for the chord qualities (major, minor, dominant 7th, minor 7th and diminished) and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Apr 8, 2018

Continuing where episode 39 left off, this episode will review the previously discussed chords: I, II7, IV, V7 and VII (in major and minor) and their inversions. We will now add the III (the mediant) and VI (the submediant). Listen for the chord qualities (major, minor, dominant 7th, minor 7th and diminished) and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Feb 15, 2018

Continuing where episode 31 left off, this episode will cover the previously discussed chords: I, II7, IV and V7 (in major and minor) and their inversions. We now add the VII and it's inversions. Listen for the chord qualities (major, minor, dominant 7th, minor 7th and diminished) and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

Oct 1, 2017

Continuing where Episode 18 left off, this episode will feature the diatonic chords I, II7, IV and V7 (in major and minor). Listen for those chord qualities (major, minor, dominant 7th and minor 7th) and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

May 21, 2017

A melodic dictation exam is something you may or may not have to reckon with in your musical journey. Passing this course is essential for a music student working towards a degree. But for anyone, academia aside, these tips and tricks will help you know melody better. We will discuss how to establish your tonal "home base" and how to recognize what parts of the scale are being used in the melodic line. We will also spend a little time talking about solfége (fixed "DO" and movable "DO") and how it compares to the number system that we tend to use in theory and analysis. Get ready to sharpen your sense of melody!

Mar 6, 2017

Harmonic dictation is an essential part of the music students curriculum. It can be a powerful tool for any musician because it will help to solidify an understanding of harmony and harmonic progression. In this episode, we will give tips and strategies to on how to hear those harmonies and pass that listening exam! This episode will feature the diatonic chords (in major) I, ii, IV and V.

Dec 26, 2016

We've already given a good listen to the interval in episode 10. Let's add one more note to it and hear what the triad sounds like. We will discuss the sonic characteristics of the four basic triads: major, minor, augmented and diminished and their inversions. We will also stack on one more note and briefly talk about the standard basic 7th chords: major major seventh (M7), major minor seventh (Mm7 or the dominant 7th), minor seventh (m7) and even the elusive minor major seventh chord (mM7).

Nov 13, 2016

Perk up your ears and get ready for more ear training. Being able to hear and identify simple intervals is the gateway to ear training excellence! If you've been through our theory episode on intervals (Ep. 09), now you can just sit back, listen and experience the intervals and their characteristics. 

Aug 21, 2016

Ear training is an essential part of musical growth. In this episode we will discuss its process and some of our own ideas on how to develop it. We will also cover some great apps, websites and other resources you can use to sharpen your ears and your theory skills.

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