The Sound of Chords
Unlike perfect pitch, which is the sound of single notes, relative pitch is the sound of chords. A chord is a group of notes that when played together, create a new sound called a harmony. This harmony can be major, minor, or any one of the many derivatives and the reason that relative pitches are called such is because they’re dependent on the relationships within a chord’s notes.
What Makes Musichttps://www.piano-lessons-central.com/ear-training/relative-pitch/
Since a large part of learning how to play the piano entails training the ear, it’s important that you spend some time training yourself to “hear” the song’s chords and chord progressions rather than a simple tune or melody. Similar to color, relative pitch creates new sounds. When colors are mixed the way that notes are played together, we get new colors or in our case, new sounds.
The ability to readily recognize relative pitch is extremely helpful in composing new music and if you want to write your own music one day, you’ll need to learn how to recognize the structure of a song as easily as you can recognize words. This of course is done with the help of practice. Consistent practice will help your ears “opening up” in such a way that identifying the structure of any song becomes almost natural.
The Physics Of Music
As you’ll soon discover, your body plays a significant role in your ability to play piano and this time, we’re not talking about posture. In this regard, we’re talking about the vibrations that it produces and the way that your body processes those vibrations.
Since all sounds are waves, your body responds to the sound waves that come from your piano. It will absorb some of those waves and it will even repel some of them. Either way, sound waves create physical feelings that your body experiences after being exposed to them.
Non-musicians may interpret these feelings emotionally and thus attach emotive connotations to certain kinds of music. But this is because they don’t understand the physics behind the music. All the properties of music are based on physics (vibrations, frequency, travel though space, etc.) and once fully understood, they can be manipulated to push music to new heights.
Just remember that surprisingly, harmonies are not cross-cultural. Sounds that may “feel good” to Americans may not create the same effects for Africans, Mexicans, Asians, or even Europeans living in Sweden, Spain, or France. Cultural groups grow up with preferred harmonies — harmonies that account for varying preferences in music and if you’re going to write music, write for a specific audience.
The success of the latter of course depends on your exposure to the music of different cultures. Even if you have no intentions of playing or writing music for a foreign group, it’s still interesting to learn how that group interprets and appreciates the music that it favors over your own.