Submitted by brittany.anjou on Mon, 2012-04-30 02:01
Jazz piano has three components - the bassline, chords (middle register), and the melody. Your left hand covers basslines while your right hand covers melodies in the treble registers, but both hands need to be able to grasp chords to accompany yourself as well as other performers.
The ii-V-I progression is one of the most common chord progressions in jazz standards. A "Two-Five-One" progression literally means you play three chords in succession:
The first chord begins on the second degree of the scale (ii, "two chord")
The second chord begins on the fifth degree of the scale (V, "five chord")
The last chord begins on the first degree of the scale (I, "one chord")
For example, in C major, the ii-V-I progression would be Dmin7 (two), G7 (five), CMaj7 (one).
Submitted by brittany.anjou on Tue, 2011-10-11 11:11
I'd like to share with you some of my favorite materials for beginning piano students. Although rudimentary, these seem to be harder to find nowadays with the lack of sheet music retailers in Brooklyn. First is a primer on reading sheet music and second is a fingering chart for all 12 major scales and arpeggios.
Mnemonic Devices for learning the names of the lines and spaces
a Rhythm Tree showing Whole, Half, Quarter, Eighth and Sixteenth Notes
the most common Time Signatures and all twelve Key Signatures
some Popular Triads so you will start to feel out reading two handed stacked harmony
Fingerings of the Twelve Major Scales and Arpeggios - Download
Group One Scales(C, G, D, A, E) all have identical fingering patterns. Once you physically get the feel with both hands together for C major, it will be the same action in muscle memory for G, D, A, and E.
Group Two Scales(B, Db, Gb) are similar in the number of sharps/flats, thus the fingering changes to acquire depressing five black keys in this group. For example, in B Major, the right hand is the same as the Group One scales, but the left is different to accommodate the pattern physically.
Group Three Scales(Ab, Eb, Bb, F) are most similar in that they have 1-4 flats, and their finger patterns are nearly alike. At times, the right and left hands must switch thumbs at the same points, making them easier to memorize than the Group One Scales.
This is pretty much all you need as it covers fingerings for both the right and left hand for all twelve major scales, plus minor scales and arpeggios. The best thing is that it labels both hands for one and multiple octaves, which is essential for the progressing pianists' technique and for future school auditions!
Submitted by brittany.anjou on Tue, 2011-07-05 01:01
My experience teaching enriches and enhances my musical pursuits. As a pianist first and mallet player second, I come from two traditions of training, jazz and classical; technique and improvisation.
My experience studying music and Ghanaian Xylophone, aka Gyil, in Ghana enhanced my studies by removing me from a familiar instrument, music and culture tradition, tonality, and scale. My Gyil has 14 wooden bars woven together by string, twine, and goat skin; amplified by gourds tuned to each prepared tuned bar.
Although some Gyils are tuned to a western pentatonic scale, most Gyils are tuned to the village master xylophonist's instrument. My gyil is tuned to master xylophonist Bernard Woma's scale. I like to call it the Woma pentatonic scale.
Here is the original tuning of the Woma pentatonic scale, as notes per bar from treble to bass:
E+50 cents (or F-50 cents)
G-40 cents (almost Gb)
The music is a collaboration with myself on Gyil (with the Woma Scale) and Terry Dame (of Electric Gamelan Junkyard) on her hand-tuned hand-built Gb pentatonic Clayrimba:
Submitted by brittany.anjou on Thu, 2009-03-12 14:49
A talented recording engineer friend of mine has recently returned from Ghana, where he recorded Gospel choirs in and around Accra, as well as the last session before the passing of late brilliant Ghanaian jazz drummer, Kofi Ghanaba (also known as Guy Warren). He was noted for his musical works with Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and original Ghanaian highlife band The Tempos. Generally, his work transferred through jazz drumset, Afro, free music, from and back into traditional drums and beyond.
BAPMAF, an NGO archival collection, standing for Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation. It is maintained by Professor John Collins, author, musician and ethnomusicologist, at the University of Ghana. The archives pay attention to the history of Ghanaian highlife music and its performers.
Koo Nimo, aka Daniel Amponsah, the original celebrated beautiful Palm wine guitarist. Palm wine guitar, which he made popular in the 1960s, uses a form of plucking akin to classical and flamenco guitar used in popular song. His is some of the most beautiful musicI've ever heard. Koo brought Palmwine guitar from the Asante region (middle-west) of Ghana.
Submitted by brittany.anjou on Tue, 2009-03-03 01:32
Professor Willie Anku is a theorist/ethnomusicologist who focuses on rhythmic theory and travels giving numerous international conferences. This is from his course I took at the University of Ghana-Legon, and here are some examples of notated rhythms he discusses.
A focus of his themes include categorizing rhythms within mathmetical frames and notes how different groups of people, i.e. Yoruba, Bembe, and Ewe, perceive the "1" or "western downbeat". He describes African music theoretically within cyclicality, time and circles. Here is a photo of the time cycle example below...