Études

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Études to teach music

Études To Teach Music

The use of études to teach music goes back hundreds of years. One of the most famous ones was the Chopin Études but there are also books by:

Igor Stravinsky
Heitor Villa-Lobos
Darius Milhaud
Andres Segovia
Olivier Messiaen
John Cage
Pierre Boulez
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Brian Ferneyhough
Claude Debussy

The list goes on and on throughout the history of music. These études do two main things. They teach technique and they present new ideas for the music lexicon. But there is no better way to integrate new things into your playing, and that’s why I have created the Pitch Class Series and the études within it.

Pitch Class Set Études

Using Pitch Class Sets for composition and improvisation will present you with new ideas on combining pitches, but this takes time. Your ear needs to grow accustomed to the sound, and you need to get some muscle memory by doing each exercise.

Pitch Class Set Improvisation methods often use other ways of combining pitches to create new sounds. Below are some of the ways they do this:

  • The use of hexatonic scales (6 note groups) which are often divided in trichords (two groups of three notes.) McCoy Tyner was one of the first musicians to use this in improvisation.
  • The use of three 7th chords to make up a 12 tone grouping such as 23rd chords, invented by Charlie Banacos.
  • Sweep arpeggios that move through multiple octaves. The Tertial Octatonics course is a good example of this, which is available in the Pitch Class Set Theory and Practice Courses.
  • Collections of diads which can be used both in a Chord Tone and Tension superimposition or as a harmonic progression. The Sonic Resource Guide (which is part of the Pitch Class Set Theory Courses Bundle) lists these for every possible scale. Again, a technique often employed by McCoy Tyner and every modern piano play since.
  • The use of non-tertial (not built in thirds) trichords and tetratonics (four note groupings). Musicians from Pop, Rock, Jazz and other idioms use these chords all the time.

Pitch Class Set Improvisation Études Courses

All of these techniques are further explored in the Pitch Class Set Improvisation Étude Courses. By the way, these études are also excellent for ear training because they help your ear hear more advanced types of key centers. Just use the MetroDrone to create your key center and jump right in singing these études. They will do wonders to help you hear new kinds of key centers which will help you to be a more creative musician.

I created all of the étude courses for myself, to help me get these advanced concepts into my ear while developing the technique needed to improvise freely with each new idea. This is an idea that Charlie Banacos drilled into me by making me write so many exercises by hand in all keys and then using them as étude books.

As you can see from my list of the composers above, this goes back through the ages and you are part of this history. Just take a look at the Music Education Genealogy chart to see how the very things that you are studying from my various courses goes all the way back to Scarlatti and includes musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn to name a few. But it also includes contemporary musicians such as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett.

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Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

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