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Keysignatures
Amazing Grace and the keysignature.
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deBachin
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August 13, 2019 - 2:52 pm
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First of all, I love your site and I love the way you play. Its exciting and your enthusiasm rubs off on us quickly. Thank you Fiddlerman and the Fiddlerman's friend. A great team. I am a beginner and your site is really great for me.  

I am concerned about the score for Amazing Grace. I think it is in G major but your score is written in C Major but using the G major notes. That will present a problem when you write the D major fifth chord and need an F#.  I see it's the same for all three versions, but in the chord version, you have had to insert the "#" for the F. So for a beginner, you are sending the wrong theory message.      

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GregW
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August 13, 2019 - 3:05 pm
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What notes are in a GMaj7 chord? 

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BillyG
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August 14, 2019 - 12:31 am
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Firstly, welcome to the forum @deBachin !   Enjoy your fiddle journey !

In response to your question - I believe that Amazing Grace is a tune and song which has its roots in "American spiritual music".   Many such tunes are often not written using the full 7 note ( 8 if you include the octave ) western diatonic scale - rather, they are written using a subset of only 5 notes from that scale, and is called a pentatonic scale.

You are correct, the key signature (i.e. none shown) assumes the key of C, but you are also correct in that yes, it is a tune in the key of G (pentatonic, that is)

However, the only notes that the tune uses from the key of C ( C being C, D, E, F, G, A, B / C of course ) are five notes - those being G, A, B, D and E - which just happens to be G Maj pentatonic - so - although possibly not immediately obvious - the reason it was scored like that in it's simple way was to remove yet another possible difficulty for beginners (having to think about where any sharp and flattened notes would be - which - in the basic (non-chord) version of this tune - is un-necessary anyway).  The score could quite happily have been explicitly scored showing the key of G Major with the single # on the F stave line.   But - the tune doen't use it ( F# - nor does it use C - ) - so I guess it was an attempt just to keep it simple....

Agreed, the chord version requires the F to be sharpened, and it is shown as such as accidentals where required.  Don't forget, awkward although it may be, even in a score with a key signature (or assumed) of C - using as many accidentals, sharps, flats and naturals as required - the piece could be in ANY key.... (yes, somewhat extreme I agree, but nevertheless, is the case)

It's always difficult to target the level of information at every beginner's level - some arrive (as yourself) with clearly some background musical knowledge, some may arrive with absolutely none - so why burden them with the presence of this # on the F staff line, giving them yet another thing to worry about, when, for this piece, well, it's not necessary

Hope that helps clarify things, and best wishes on your playing journey thumbs-up

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Gordon Shumway
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August 14, 2019 - 3:16 am
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BillyG said

the only notes that the tune uses from the key of C...are...G, A, B, D and E - which just happens to be G Maj pentatonic - so - although possibly not immediately obvious - the reason it was scored like that in it's simple way was to remove yet another possible difficulty for beginners  

Quite. However, I noticed in some transcribed Chinese tunes that the key sig was G, but the piece was in C pentatonic. Is there more to pentatonic that I thought? (sorry if this is the wrong place to ask that question).

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 14, 2019 - 4:19 am
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ROFL @Gordon Shumway  ( not laughing AT you of course, just a kind of face-palm thing facepalm like - oh, no.... something else to investigate!!!  D'Oh !!! )

hahaha, too busy right now to delve into that, stuff to do....  I'll investigate what you wrote later. 

Just out of an enduring sense of interest and general curiosity of course !!!

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HP
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August 14, 2019 - 5:27 am
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Gordon Shumway said
Quite. However, I noticed in some transcribed Chinese tunes that the key sig was G, but the piece was in C pentatonic. Is there more to pentatonic that I thought? (sorry if this is the wrong place to ask that question).

  

Chinese music uses different notation system, either Guqin (often referred as Wenzi Pu or Jianzi Pu), Gongche and/or Jianpu. These notation have different rules and this unfortunately lead to some funky transcriptions when converting this over to the western system. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 14, 2019 - 6:04 am
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🙂 Just back from cutting some timber - thanks for that @HP

I'll have to go find out more about non-western scales - always been in the back of my mind to research this, but never got around to it....

Of course, there is another minor (no pun intended) possibility - in that in the key of C, its relative minor is Emin.   And of course, Emin pentatonic must be E, G, A, B, D | E

That might just tie it down if I got that correct ?????

Just a thought.....

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 14, 2019 - 6:11 am
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What did I say above...  darn it - that's not right...  I *think* I know what I meant to say...

Feel free to correct me....  I'll be back later...

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BillyG
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August 14, 2019 - 7:21 am
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More timber cut - right - I wrote before I properly thought about it...  I think I was trying to say something like this....

Gordon - you say the key sig was G but the piece was C pentatonic.

I believe what I was trying to say was this (and excuse the stupid slip of the pen two posts above, the relative minor of C Maj is of course A minor, the "key of G thing" was in my mind - the relative minor of which is E min - that's where it came from )

Anyways - how about this - ( LOL - I had to write it down before I confused myself again !!!! )

Key G Maj - G A B C D E F# | G

Key C Maj - C D E F G A B | C

Key A min - A B C D E F G | A

A min pentatonic - A C D E G | A

So, A minor (pentatonic) would "look like" something in the key of C (in the sense it has notes from the scale/key of C) - and of course for Amin the key sig is just C...

Hmmmm LOL

Who needs key sigs anyway, just use accidentals everywhere roflroflrofl

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GregW
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August 14, 2019 - 8:23 am
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.. I thought it was just a chord extension (7th) to facilitate a double stop for a G chord.  Since not flattened implied a Gmaj7 not G7.  

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Pete_Violin
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August 14, 2019 - 10:21 am
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BillyG said
What did I say above...  darn it - that's not right...  I *think* I know what I meant to say...

Feel free to correct me....  I'll be back later...

  

I had no idea you were so adept with music theory, @BillyG.  

You're humor is so non-geeky with music!  It threw me off completely. LOL

- Pete -

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
August 14, 2019 - 1:27 pm
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🙂 @Pete_Violin - LOL Pete -

I'm Scottish, and we Scots are world renowned for our dour, mean, dismissive and surly attitude, and our total lack of a sense of humor.

Believe that if you will.....

Now THAT was truly funny....

LOL !

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Pete_Violin
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August 14, 2019 - 1:41 pm
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Ye'r a guid jimmy, @BillyG 

- Pete -

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BillyG
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August 14, 2019 - 1:45 pm
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Oh - by the way original poster - @deBachin - I ( and I'm sure Mr Gordon Schumway @Gordon Shumway would concur ) - we apologize for slightly hijacking your well-intentioned post and digressing into other (but related and relevant) matters.

Our apologies.

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BillyG
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August 14, 2019 - 1:55 pm
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pchoppin said
Ye'r a guid jimmy, @BillyG 

  

roflol TY  @Pete_Violin !   Aye, indeed.   A "guid jimmy" - for that sir, I hereby bestow upon you the title of Honorary Scotsman (something not to be taken lightly.. 🙂 )

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Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Pete_Violin
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August 14, 2019 - 9:51 pm
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Thank you @BillyG 

It is a definite honor!

- Pete -

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