Music of Note

There is a slow piano section in Rhapsody in Blue which I find very interesting. It is nothing but dominant chords. You remember what those are, right? This section of music has a bass line that descends chromatically (a half step at a time.) Also, the third section is the same as the first. But for some reason they sound different. Maybe it is because one is at the beginning, and one is at the end.

A Descending Chromatic Bass Line Using Dominant Chords
Rhapsody in Blue

Half Way There…..

Even though there was a plethora of entertainment available online this morning (which is a pretty rare occurence these days) I decided to create music instead.

Coming in at eight minutes and one second long, here is more of Rhapsody in Blue.

And here is Leonard Bernstein playing it in 1976.

Everyone, play along!

By George, I Like This Song

Maybe that is the reason I can’t stop working on it. I should be done in 7 to 14 days. In case you were wondering.

West Wing Theme on Piano
Photo by Fabian Wiktor on

Nothing But Arpeggios

This is an example of an arpeggio.
I Have Blisters on My Fingers

This little 12 bar section has nothing but arpeggios. As you no doubt know by now, arpeggios are the notes of a chord. In this case there are only 3 chords: C7, G7, and F7.

Which notes do they share?

C7: C E G Bb
F7: F A C Eb
G7: G B D F

C7 shares one note with F7: C
C7 shares one note with G7: G
G7 shares one note with F7: F

So it turns out the notes they share with each other are the roots of each chord.

The third and seventh notes of a chord are considered to be the most important. Musicians call them guide tones. Check out what happens when you multiply numbers by 3s and 7s:

333 x 444 = 147,852
333 x 777 = 258, 741
2 x 333 x 777 = 517,482

Do you notice anything about those answers? They all have the same digits. The first answer is the exact reverse of the second one. And one of them is twice as much as the other. Do you know any other numbers that have the same digits when they are doubled, or are the exact reverse? I haven’t found any yet.

Fun Fact #37:

37 x 99 = 3,663
37 x 999 = 36,663
37 x 9999 = 369,963

73 x 99 = 7,227
73 x 999 = 72,927
73 x 9,999 = 729,927

I could go on and on, but the answers will always be the same backwards and forwards. And it only seems to work with 37 and 73.

Isn’t that fascinating? I think so too!

If you find math as interesting as I do, you will probably like this video. And it might just save your life one day:

Repitition in Music

This is a perfect example of repitition. The melody is repeated in the bass line, and vice versa. This is just a small part from Swan Lake, but it is one of my favorite parts.

I transcribed the music and then repeated it in different keys with different instruments for this song.

(Warning: Once you hear it you will be humming it for the rest of the day.)

Photo by Fabian Wiktor on
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