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Author Topic: Reading actual Notes versus Transposing? Help!  (Read 10190 times)
ASmile
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« on: November 30, 2011, 07:12:16 pm »

I'm all confused and well I have to admit rather on the lazy side if I can get away with it musically.
My husband, smaness, and I were discussing the curriculum for learning the G ocarina which we got with our G and C ocarina.
I play the G and he has both a G and a C that he plays.

Anyway, he explained to me that the curriculum isn't the actual note that you would play with another instrument and is transposed.
I understand the reasoning for this being as we would be playing way up high on the staff if we had to read the actual notes. (I used to play French Horn and understand transposed music.  I also play piano and can read music.)

So I'm trying to find an easy way to learn to play songs on my ocarina.  I would like to go through the curriculum but I'm afraid of having to unlearn all the note names and relearn the accurate name.  (This is where my lazy streak is coming in.)  Should I just not worry about it, learn exactly what you have in the curriculum and then worry about the actual notes later? 

I don't want to confuse anyone else with my difficult thinking processes.  I tend to make things a lot harder than they really are in order to get around what I think would be harder.  I'm complicated.  Undecided


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jiminos
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humming to myself


« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 08:44:13 pm »

there are a couple of ways to approach this particular challenge..... and it is a frequent challenge not only here, but on the forums for Irish Whistles where I hang out as well.....

The MO is a transposing instrument.... That is to say.... if you play a tune on your C MO, then play that same tune using the same fingerings on the G MO, the tune will be a musical Fifth above what you just heard on the C MO.... confused yet?  If Karl and Cliff made an MO in the key of D (hint hint) as another example... and you played that same tune yet again.... it would sound a Major Second higher than the C MO .... still, through all three MO's... the exact same fingering could be used and the tune would sound correctly, just at a different pitch....

Now.. with regard to the curriculum.... I just took a quick look over at the curriculum pages online.... on the page where you play the B...A... G... series of notes, the fingerings given would indeed produce a B, an A and a G... on the C MO. or.... if you had a tuner and played the fingering of the Left Index finger down, all other fingers up, on the C MO, it should produce a note fairly close to a B. With Left Index and Left Middle fingers down, the note produced (according to the tuner) will be an A if you are using a C MO. And on it goes.... the curriculum is written for the C MO (or at least that is how it appears from what I glimpsed.)

But... you are using a G MO. So... your handy, dandy tuner will tell you the note produced when you have only the Left Index finger down is an F#.... Index Finger and Middle Finger produces an E... Left Index, Middle and Ring Fingers down produces a D....

IMPORTANT PART.... while the notes you produce using similar fingerings on the two ocarinas have different names according to the tuner and different pitches according to your ears.... the relationship of the notes B,A,G on the C MO is EXACTLY the same as the relationship between the notes F#,E,D on the G MO....

So... somewhere down the road, you may want to invest the time to learn the actual names (according to the tuner) of the pitches produced by the G MO... but for learning purposes... using the fingerings taught in the course will teach you to play tunes successfully on your G. Further, the notes you are learning to read in the course are correct... e.g. a note on the bottom line of the treble clef is an E... on the second line up from the bottom is a G, on the third line from the bottom is a B, etc... So, you will not have to learn how to read music differently later on.... you will only need to learn the fingerings of the G MO that produce the actual tones written on the staff.....

Personally, my approach has been (because I play keyless flutes in a variety of keys, and most music for Irish Traditional seems to be written for the D flute and the D whistle) I read the music as written for a D flute/whistle regardless of which flute or whistle I actually pick up to play.... I do know that all fingers down on an F flute produces an F, but for learning the songs from music written in D... When a D is written, I play all fingers down....

Hope this helps more than hinders,
be well,

jim


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kypfer
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 11:08:18 pm »

If Karl and Cliff made an MO in the key of D (hint hint) ...
... you might like to check out my "barocarina" conversion ... a C MO that plays like a D whistle http://www.ocarinaboard.com/bb/index.php?topic=1484.msg13169#msg13169 . If you're brave you can end up with a Mountain Ocarina that plays like a diatonic D whistle (with a low C, like a recorder) within a very few minutes, but do be careful enlarging the LH1 hole, there's a LOT of material that needs to be removed, also, I've subsequently found that the LH thumb-hole needed to be sleeved a bit to bring it properly into tune. I've had problems getting my RH thumb to behave itself, so rather than fight it, I've blanked the RH thumbhole for the time being with a disc of plastic held in with beeswax. Once I get proficient enough to need the extra note, I'll remove the blanking plate.


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"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
ASmile
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 11:11:57 pm »

LOL Well, that was what I was afraid of.  The curriculum would work for a C unless you are playing along with the CD which is performed on a G.  My husband said that for my Dad (whom we are planning to find one for and has the same if not worse "lazy" traits musically as me) we would just let him learn the curriculum and not "worry" him with the fact that it isn't the actual notes.  When the day comes that he wants to play a song with my mom on the piano, we'll just say, "Oh, you just use the same fingerings on the C ocarina." 

I asked my husband, why I couldn't just do that so that I don't have to think so hard.  LOL!  Well, too late, I'm a little overly musical and well it looks like I'll just have to learn both sets of notes. *sigh*  Especially if I am going to play songs along with him.  I thought I might could just write the actual note I'm playing down beside the notes on the curriculum page. 

Okay, as I said, I'm trying to make an easy thing complicated just to get out of work aren't I?



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ASmile
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 11:17:59 pm »

... you might like to check out my "barocarina" conversion ... a C MO that plays like a D whistle http://www.ocarinaboard.com/bb/index.php?topic=1484.msg13169#msg13169 . If you're brave you can end up with a Mountain Ocarina that plays like a diatonic D whistle (with a low C, like a recorder) within a very few minutes, but do be careful enlarging the LH1 hole, there's a LOT of material that needs to be removed, also, I've subsequently found that the LH thumb-hole needed to be sleeved a bit to bring it properly into tune. I've had problems getting my RH thumb to behave itself, so rather than fight it, I've blanked the RH thumbhole for the time being with a disc of plastic held in with beeswax. Once I get proficient enough to need the extra note, I'll remove the blanking plate.

Oh no!  Shocked Don't show my husband this, or at least don't come up with a conversion for my G MO.   
Of course, his attempts at it might just get me a new MO.  Smiley


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Scott Maness
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 02:14:32 am »

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Don't show my husband this, or at least don't come up with a conversion for my G MO.

Let me see.  Where did I put my drill bits?   Smiley


The thought of experimenting on one sounds really fun.  Smiley


I would have to find more of those seconds that you were talking about.


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4efs
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 04:55:07 am »


ASmile- I was really quite worried about this too (being musically lazy myself)

Actually, it isn't hard at all especially since you already read music.
As bakfot says, it's harder when you think about it!

Just find some things within the MO Gs actual range. I found a beatles book in the library that was for violin- it worked great  and then just read it with your bottom notes as F# and G.
The cards included with your ocarinas show the "actual notes" and the transposed ones so you can just refer to that if you get a little confused at first- a few songs and you'll be in there-honest,  if I can do it pretty easily, you can too!
I went to the tab page  and printed off the chromatic scale and then wrote/drew in the "actual" notes because it was easier for me to see that way. Hope that helps, really, it isn't hard.

Smaness, put down the drill!  Shocked


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kypfer
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 07:56:07 am »

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or at least don't come up with a conversion for my G MO
... the principal works on the G instrument as well, I've done it. One needs to be a little more delicate with the file as the tolerances are, inevitably, tighter. The net result is an ocarina that plays primarily in A, which is possibly a little less useful than a G instrument for playing in a group of mixed instruments, but as a solo instrument it's not a problem. All the advantages of the size and robustness of a Mountain Ocarina with the familiarity of recorder/whistle fingering   Grin
PLEASE DO REMEMBER - these are my modifications to my instruments for my benefit. I make no recommendations that anyone should alter their ocarinas or take any responsibility for any alterations that don't work as hoped.


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"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."
ASmile
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Posts: 16


« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 07:04:19 pm »

4efs, thanks!  That actually sounds like what I was thinking about doing.  Just writing in the actual note next to the fingering chart.
So I'll just start the curriculum keeping in mind what the actual notes would be.  (Even though that does require one more thought process. Smiley


And thanks, kypfer, now I need to go hide my MO.  LOL



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Scott Maness
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 04:01:06 am »

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And thanks, kypfer, now I need to go hide my MO.  LOL
Hide and seek! 

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Smaness, put down the drill!   Shocked

Ok, I'll be good.   Wink


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Dunetraveller
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 04:59:56 am »

I had a problem with this myself, or rather I was wrestling with this issue for the last week. I understand how much easier my life would be if I could just try and forget what I have spent the last week or so learning, namely the fingerings for the G as a non transposing instrument.
 
I am also learning the recorder (which is not transposing), so that probably conditioned my desire to learn the so called "proper fingerings". I wish in a way that I hadn't. I find music all over the net in the key of G, but written for the C ocarina. I had to laugh first several times this happened; then I just got a bit depressed. Call it stubbornness, but I refuse to have wasted all that time learning the proper notes, fingerings, and such for my G ocarina.

I opted to buy a poly C yesterday and call it quits on the conundrum. Just as well. Now I can master the various Major Pentatonic Scales on my poly C.  Grin


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Scott Maness
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 06:42:46 am »

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I understand how much easier my life would be if I could just try and forget what I have spent the last week or so learning

I don't believe that it is time wasted.  Simply, start with either the transposed fingerings or the actual note fingerings.  There are only 18 note fingerings to memorise no matter which you choose to start with.  It will only matter about the actual note names if you are going to play with someone else.  I had started on the C ocarina first and memorised the fingerings and then got a G.  So when I started playing on a G, I would use it as a non transposing instrument if the music was higher, or I could pretend that I was playing on my C ocarina and then it would be transposed.  I will generally play my C if the song has more low notes and My G if the song goes higher.

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I find music all over the net in the key of G, but written for the C ocarina

Since both the C and the G are both chromatic instruments they can both play in the key of G.  On a lot of songs, however, it matters whether the song starts on the root note or the fifth.  Because of the limited range, Amazing grace in G, for example, fits better on the C ocarina, because it starts on its fifth which is a D.  If I were to play the same fingering on the G ocarina It would sound in the key of D.  I would start on an A note which is the fifth of D.  I have been working on getting better at the fipple bend lately and have been able to more or less get down to a D on my G ocarina, which means that I can now play Amazing grace untransposed on the G ocarina.  Of course there is enough room within the range to move it up or down a couple keys before I run out of notes on the instrument. 

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I opted to buy a poly C yesterday and call it quits

You will enjoy having a C and will benefit from having it.  But don't give up on the other.  Hang in there! Great things happen when you persevere and work through the difficulties.   

Hopefully, I haven't muddied the water too much.  Let me know if there is any way that I can help.   Smiley


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Dunetraveller
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 07:56:29 am »

I did understand it. This, and well my recorder too, is my very very recent first attempt to play musical instrument(s) in my mid forties. I have had to start learning to read music (still working on that, but improving quite a bit), and I have also been trying to work through music theory with a passion (or at least while I still have passion, lol). If I hadn't been putting in the hours doing that, about 60% of what you just said would have been so much babel, but it made a fair bit of sense, and I will have to remember things like that.

So far I have seen music theory from a piano, guitar, and a fiddle player's perspective. All were the same and vastly different at the same time according to the material and how they use it, but all of it is adding to my knowledge of the overall.

The most fascinating information yet has been improvising over various chords in different scales (or modes) on root or above and below the tonic, etc; and while I understand it in a way, until it becomes actual playing... you get the idea. I'm sure a lot of it will make much more sense someday when the light goes on in the middle of some practice session. :-)


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Scott Maness
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2011, 06:38:04 am »

It sounds like your running in the right direction.

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and a fiddle player's perspective

I enjoy playing the fiddle also.   Smiley  What style of fiddle playing do you do?

You can fiddle around on an Ocarina, but you can't ocarina around on a fiddle.   Huh


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Dunetraveller
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 06:51:12 am »

 Shocked Oops! Maybe I ought to have been more detailed in my writings. This is what comes from trying to be concise and missing the mark a bit. I was actually perusing (I mean actually reading every word on every page available since most of the sites were very small, not glancing through it) various sites dedicated to said instruments... so from their perspective rather than my own, lol. Smiley

I do wish I could play a fiddle though. I may pick up the mountain dulcimer one day just to add to the obscurity level of my instrument collection. Four or Five strings. Easy to learn the basics, but a lifetime (or more) to master. Kind of like the ocarina in a way.



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