Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Advanced Notation
with Gismart - Real Piano

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Theory

Advanced Notation

Learn advanced concepts of song notation! Practice reading music!

Teacher Resources

This lesson is about advanced song notation and reading music - building up on the concepts introduced in the previous lesson. The new concepts introduced include rests, dotted notes and faster and slower notes. Later in the lesson, the students get to record their own melodies and read the music of their friends.

  • Theory: This lesson introduces your students to advanced concepts of musical notation.
  • Play: The students get to practice how musical notation works and reading music.
  • Share & Discuss: The tasks focus on writing and reading music.

Musical Notation: Rests

  • Rests simply mean that you play nothing as long as the rest lasts.
  • The numbers on the left indicate how much of a bar each rest takes. So two minims would last an entire bar, whereas you need four crotchets to fill an entire bar.
  • It’s not necessary to learn the names of the different rests.
  • You will most likely only need crotchets and quavers.

Rests in musical notation.

Teacher Resources

A rest is simply a moment when you do nothing: a pause. For most rests, it doesn’t really matter where you place them on the lines, except the minim.

Image Source: Rest (Music), Wikimedia Commons.

Dotted Notes

  • A dotted note lasts 1.5 times as long as a dotless version of it.
  • In the pictured example, the dotted note would normally last a beat (2/8 of a bar) but now lasts one and half of a beat (3/8 of a bar).
  • Double dotted (1.75) and even triple dotted (1.875) versions of notes exist but are far less common than dotted notes.

Teacher Resources

Dotted notes last one and a half times the length of a regular note and are very common in music. When playing them, it’s a good idea to consider their “companion notes” (in the picture, the latter note) so you will have a good idea what happens within the beat.

Note Lengths

Duple note values.

Teacher Resources

This image provides a clear reference for note lengths. Each row lasts 4 beats, a single bar in a 4/4 time signature. This means that the first note - the whole note - lasts 4 beats, the 2 notes on the second row last 2 beats each, and so on. There is an easy trick to remembering the logic for these lengths, and tell it to the students:

The blacker and more detailed its possible tail is, the shorter a note is.

Note: The “II” mark at the start of the line simply means that the lines are in the 4/4 time signature. This “II” symbol is only used for rhythm lines like the ones above: ones without the 5 lines for melody, containing only rhythm.

Image Source: Duple Note Values, Wikimedia Commons.

Play

Lesson Goal

Record 4-6 bars worth of an original melody by using Gismart’s record function.

Help

Show Notes

Recording your playing.

Help #2

Show Notes

Playing from sheet music.

Help #3

Show Notes

Sheet music notation.

Pair up with another student. Taking turns, play each other’s melody by borrowing your pair’s device, then switch roles.

How to Play

To play, just start the game. The keyboard is now ready to be played!

Gameplay screenshot

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • How hard is it to read sheet music?
  • Is it easier to play from sheet music if you listen to the recording? Why? Why not?
  • Rock and roll musicians don’t usually use sheet music. Why do you think that is?
Show Notes

Rock musicians traditionally did not read music, because prior to the Internet, learning to read music was primarily only part of classical training. Rock and roll musicians typically record their riffs and melodies and usually only write down the chords and lyrics. In modern times, ever more musicians know how to read and write music, but still often rely only on their recordings, because they are usually much faster and easier than to stop and write anything down.