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3.Combine Rhythm & Pitch

Below are just a few excerpts from the book's unit on

Combine Rhythms and Pitches
Putting It All Together

Be sure you know and can play the material from  Beats & Rhythm -  the LONGS and SHORTS of music
and   Pitch & Melody -  the HIGHS and LOWS of music   before beginning this unit.

This unit will show you how to read "real music," that is, both the rhythm notation AND the pitch notation at the same time. You'll learn fingering -- how to choose which fingers to use for playing various note patterns.  Most of all, this unit will have important hints on How To Practice so you repeat good habiits that help you progress and avoid bad habits that hinder your progress. Here will be some tunes to read and play with both hands and also some exercises for getting your eyes, hands and fingers coordinated so they work together well.

Fingering Numbers are often (but not always) written above, below or next to notes to suggest the best fingering that works for a musical passage.


An important part of playing piano is getting your hands and fingers to respond well both together and independently.

Count the beats at first to help you keep moving and play fluently.
Then sing along with the pitches to help you hear what you see.
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The second half of the above piece had a transposition. Composers sometimes transpose musical sections to another pitch level. This way there can be not only repetition to provide unity in a piece but also variety to provide continued interest. In this case, the entire tune of the first half was raised by an interval of a half-step. An interval is a distance between two pitches. Did you hear the WHOLE TUNE go up?

Much more in the book

Congratulations! Now you can read some music. From here you can expand your skills and learn more by ordering the Read Music Now book and working through it.

It has more tunes to read and play through. There are more than 60 pages of additional detailed explanations and easy instructions for improving your music reading skills.


These contents Copyright Kenneth W. Davies 2001
Most of this material and the presentation sequence comes from previous material I published in 1976.