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Help Needed Recognizing Chords , Cadences and Modulation!

Discussion in 'Technique' started by Bubbles, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. Bubbles

    Bubbles New Member

    Dec 18, 2007
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    Help, I am taking my Grade 8 Piano Examination this Year and I really need help on how to recognize chords by ear at one glance for my Aural Component.

    I am having difficulty recognizing chords especially in the second and third inversion, its progression and singing the lowest part after it being played twice by the examiner.

    As for Modulations, I can recognize modulations to relative major and relative minor, but some others , like modulation to subdominant major/ minor and supertonic major/ minor really makes me so nervous.

    As for singing the lowest part, I have tried playing only the lowest part on the piano, but when all the other voices are played together, its sound is often blurred by the other colours of the voices and hence the trouble again. Plus , how do you focus on training your memory to recognize that phrase and sing it out, especially if you need to distinct it from other voices.

    How do I improve my overall ability in this area. Are there any pieces by any composers or useful resources that can help me to improve me chord recognition.
    I m really nervous about my coming piano examinations .
    Help much appreciated!
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

    Apr 30, 2007
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    Gulfport, MS, USA
    Hmm. Sight singing and dictation was something that I never had to practice, and I really don't know how to teach it. I need to learn, though, since I plan on teaching it one day. :shock:

    Here's a suggestion. To my ears, a chord in any inversion is recognizable. So, try playing a chord in all of its inversions, and listen for the similarities in the chords, so that you can recognize that chord no matter which inversion it appears in. After you can recognize those similarities, it should be a lot easier to sort out the inversion of the chord.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Recognizing chords/triads:
    I hadn't thought much about this, but after listening to some triads I seemed to pick up the two higher notes when playing a triad/chord in any inversion. So I just concentrated on them:

    Root - should be easy because they are all 3rds apart (no note sounds 'further' away)
    1st inversion - I could hear a 4th out of the top two so it had to be 1st inversion
    2nd inversion - I could hear 3rd, and it didn't sound like root so had to be 2nd inversion

    I recommend also humming each note in the interval played, and listening to where the distance (4th) is.

    As for picking out the lowest note in a sequence of triads/intervals, all I can suggest is ask someone (not yourself as you'll then know them) to do a recording of them, and to play the bottom note louder. As you get better at following the bottom note, get new recordings that have them all the same dynamic .

    I remember an exam where I had to clap back the rythmn of melodies, and I was terrible at it! So to prepare me, my teacher made recordings of heaps of them and I just sat in the car when driving, clapping (at traffic lights only of course).

    I really had to be persistant and accept there may not be immediate improvement - but eventually I got there and did extremely well!

    So as you would know for everything else in piano, persist persist persist! Hope this helps

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