of you who are aware of my work, would know about my fascination
with the keyboard patterns of scales. In my book 'Pictorial
Patterns for Keyboard Scales and Chords' I present new ways
of approaching the learning of the Major and Minor scales
through graphics of their patterns.
this article I would like to touch on the keyboard patterns
of some types of scales, other than major and minor, that
have been used through the centuries to sing and play music.
the Pentatonic Scale and
the Ecclesiastical or Church modes.
origins of the music of many cultures including Western
music come from the natural properties of sound, that is:
the natural harmonics that occur in instruments of all types
- blown instruments, stringed instruments and instruments
that are struck. In the 6th century BC, the great Greek
mathematician Pythagoras in his experiments with sound and
number, found that by dividing a string in half, the sound
moves up exactly an octave. The same goes for when the length
of a pipe, such as an organ pipe, pipe is shorted by half.
If a string is stopped at the two-thirds point, the sound
goes up an octave and a fifth. If we only built our music
on octaves, there would be not many notes to work from,
as they all are higher versions of the same note. But when
we move up by fifths we can create several different notes
which can be gathered together as a scale.
SCALE (meaning five-note scale)
The Pentatonic Scale
is derived from the naturally occurring interval of a Perfect
fifth. A basic form of the Pentatonic scale is created when
five notes, each a fifth from the other are gathered together
to make a scale. For instance C- G -D - A and E, can be
rearranged as CDEGA. When transposed onto F sharp, the scale
comprises all the black keys of the keyboard (F#G#A#C#D#).
This easy pentatonic scale is a wonderful keyboard scale
with which to begin improvising. You will be able to explore
the sounds with confidence as all the notes blend well with
each other and there are no 'wrong' notes.
this particular Pentatonic scale is derived from naturally
occurring intervals it is commonly found in the music of
many cultures. For example: Scottish folk songs, (Auld Lang
Syne), Negro Spirituals (Swing Low Sweet Chariot), and Chinese
and Japanese folk tunes.
the scale contains no extreme dissonances, it is therefore
frequently used in music of an ambient nature for healing
and meditation. The late 19th century French composer Claude
Debussy, who heard the music of the lndonesian Gamelan orchestra
at the Paris Exposition Universelle in France in 1889 began
to use the Pentatonic scale and the chords of the added
6th and 9th which derived from the scale, to achieve the
sounds of the eastern music he was hearing. This added to
the distinctive quality of his music which conveyed the
feeling of Impressionism that the painters of the time (Monet
and Manet) were able to achieve with their unique treatment
of light and colour.
first five fifths as used in the Pentatonic scale, are taken
from the fundamental or starting note, in the Pythagorean
tuning system, are well in tune in relationship to each
other and to the starting note. Once the series goes beyond
that, there will be slight inharmonicities with the tuning.
If you move up in perfect 5ths from F that is: F-C-G-D-A-E-B-,
you have all the white notes on the piano, enough to make
C major scale!
system called 'Just Intonation' or 'Real Tuning', based
on the harmonic series, was used in European music before
the 1600's. This suited music which mainly stayed in one
mode or scale for the whole tune. In Western Music the discrepancies
of tuning which occurred when composers endeavored to modulate
or change key within one piece of music, were overcome with
the advent of Tempered Tuning which was first devised in
1596 by the mathematician Simon Stevin who was the first
European to construct a monochord using the mathematics
of the twelfth root of 2.
Tuning became established in the 1700's when, Johann Sebastian
Bach wrote two sets of 24 Preludes and Fugues called 'The
Well-Tempered Klavier' to demonstrate the possibilities
of this revolutionary approach to tuning, writing pieces
which explored every Major and Minor key. The first book
was completed in 1722 and the second set was completed in
mentioned previously prior to the 1700s European music was
based' first on Pythagorean tuning and then on several other
tuning systems, including just intonation, before the tempered
system became widespread. (For more information on the changes
in tuning SYSTEMS between 1482 and 1596 refer to
and Music - Harmonious Connections
, by Trudi Hammel
Garland and Charity Vaughan Kahn- ISBN 0 -86651-829-0)
the early days of the Gregorian chant, most music was sung
as a single note, but when notes began to be added as harmony
notes, they were mainly the pure fourths and fifths derived
from the Pythagorean tuning. The religious music and the
secular improvised music played outside the church, was
handed down in the aural tradition for several centuries
until the development of notation. The monk Guido D'Arrezo,
who lived around 1000AD devised the system of sight-singing
using a hexachord or six note scale, and Sol-fa syllables
that we now sing as 'Do-Re-Mi'. Guido's syllables were taken
from the first couple of letters some of the words of the
hymn 'Ut Queant Laxis". So his original system was actually
UT 're' 'mi' ! It was at that time also that the beginnings
of staff notation and clefs came about, so that the intervals
could be pitched exactly. A red fine was used for F, a yellow
Line for C, a black line for the A in between and any others.
For several centuries a four line staff sufficed. The five
line staff became more usual from the 1400s on.
Gregorian chant was sung in several scales known as Modes.
I have given a history of the development of modes in Book
3 of my Contemporary Piano Method, but to cut a long
story short, by the 1500s a standard system of seven church
modes was recognised. As the name "mode" suggests, these
are scales played in a different fashion. Their names are:
Ionian (same as the major scale), Dorian, Phyrgian, Lydian,
Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian.
the practical standpoint of the keyboard player, the advantage
of thinking of the major and minor scales as patterns on
the keyboard, is that to play a mode, you simply run the
scale over a different range. For instance if you play C
Major scale (all white notes) from the second note to the
ninth note, (that is from D to D along the white notes),
you will be playing the Dorian Mode on D.
if you know the keyboard pattern for a scale, such as B
Flat Major (which has 2 flats - B flat and E flat), you
simply play the keyboard pattern from C to C to find the
Dorian mode. This is a great help when improvising or composing.
Modes are favourite scales for Jazz musicians, who blend
the modes with their matching chords.
composers over the past centuries used the modes, beginning
with the church composers in the 11th and 12 centuries including
the Abbess Hildegard Von Bingen, who this year celebrates
her 902nd anniversary! You can find modes in the baroque
music of Bach and even in the classical music of Mozart!.
By becoming aware of this fact you can avoid mistaking the
scale for the usual major or minor scales.
classical and jazz composers from the time of Debussy (1862
-1918) on, in their quest to depart from the Major/minor
tonality and chromatic harmonies of the majority of 19th
century romantic music, began to explore the possibilities
of modal sounds.
recommend that students be aware of the various scales,
modes and chords in each piece, and, through their knowledge
of keyboard harmony, be able to predict the following chords
in a progression
can find more information on the modes and how to find them
in Book 2 of my Contemporary Theory Workbook series and
in Book One of the Contemporary Chord Workbook. For the
sounds of the Modes refer to Contemporary Aural Course Set
7 (Hear Your Chords!) and Set 8 (Hear More Chords!) To help
you find the keyboard patterns for the scales refer once
again to 'Pictorial Patterns for Keyboard Scales and Chords'
ROLE OF MUSIC IN THE DEVELOPMENT
THE WHOLE PERSON
BRANDMAN OUTLINES HER VIEWS ON THE POWER OF MUSIC AS A FORCE
IN THE HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF A PERSON AND ITS VITAL ROLE
IN THE EDUCATION PROCESS.
is many things to many people. For some it creates a sense
of balance and harmony and oneness with nature. For others
it can be calming or energising or sharpen mental powers.
It can transport us to a higher plane or into a meditative
mood. Many people choose to listen to early music such as
the Gregorian chants or Baroque music, which can help us achieve
a state of complete relaxation so that our brainwaves are
in an Alpha state. 'Alpha rhythms' put us into the receptive
'ear state' to support creative writing and other creative
pursuits. As the music stimulates the Right Brain faculties
it not only puts us into that dreamy state which evokes imagery
and awakens feelings but also relaxes, refreshes and regenerates.
feelings, "by building for the soul invisible sanctuaries
and regions of contemplation" (1) , can improve the condition
of mankind and raise the social conscience of the time. One
has simply to look at the leading musicians who have stood
up for social and environmental change in recent years; Sting
and the Amazon rainforest campaign, Bob Geldof and the Feed
the World campaign and most recently John Farnham's Rwanda
concert. Music has also been used for protest and to change
society's perception in such events as the famous Woodstock
concert in which the youth of America protested against the
suffering on both sides of the Vietnam war. My personal view
is that if more people played an instrument there would be
less crime. As far as I can recall I've never seen the headlines
'Musician robs bank', or 'Musician commits heinous crime!"
playing music are too busy enjoying themselves, relating to
their fellow men or women and developing a sense of spiritual
connection. My own life is often brightened by 'Synchronistic'
events and intuitive messages to which I feel more disposed
through having played music in improvised ensemble situations.
can be used to convey many varied emotions ranging from Love
to Despair, Resignation or Elation, People use music for relaxation,
to take them away from the mundane cares of life, for rejoicing,
for worship, to attain a spiritual plane, or for soothing
grief. Recently I was asked to play some quiet Jazz at a funeral
service. Those present regarded the music as a means of releasing
tensions, as the pleasant nature of the music cushioned the
effect of the sudden loss upon the family and friends concerned.
a meditative state, the eyes are closed and the inner hearing
takes precedence. Most religions exhort the believer to 'hear'
as in the quote from St. John in the New Testament 'Every
one that is of the truth heareth my voice' and the Upanishads
say 'The Ear is the Way'.
aural awareness encouraged by music in early childhood, awakens
a sense of caring for society and the environment. We should
nurture the 'sound' environment of our children as the 'EAR'
is the way to the Feminine receptive aspects of our personalities
and the connection with the Right Brain faculties. According
to eminent Sydney psychiatrist, Dr Fred Kyneur, (a Jungian
analyst and person friend) the Right Brain attributes include:
the intuitive, creative, softness, stillness, silence, dreams,
relaxation, hypnoses, altered state of consciousness, art,
legends and myths and music. The Right Brain has the feminine
attributes and the Left Brain the masculine. The Right Brain
attributes, when stimulated, encourage a greater use of the
entire brain and therefore provide access to the means of
Accelerated Learning in many fields.
my view cultured music is better for a gentler society. Therefore
the sound environment for our children should include early
modal music, baroque and early classical pieces, some romantic
music and much of the music of Impressionist composers such
as Debussy and Ravel. A great many Jazz and Latin American
genres provide interesting listening while stimulating our
rhythmic appreciation and a kinaesthetic response. Particular
favourites of mine are jazz pianist Bill Evans and the fine
song stylist Frank Sinatra, whose recent records have been
arranged by Quincy Jones.
fascinating listening can come from the ethnic music of various
cultures. Some of the current music is suitable when interesting
rhythms and harmonic progressions are used. (I find some of
the music of Australian artists such as Diesel and John Farnham
both rhythmically and harmonically interesting as is the music
of some American artists who stem from the Gospel tradition
such as Aretha Franklin). Music which stimulates dance and
encourages us to sing along can increase our sense of happiness
specialists have found that loud music listened to for a long
period without interruption does much damage to the hearing.
Heavy rhythmic music is bad for the heart, can create hypertension
and is likely to deafen the listener so in my view it is better
to steer clear of the "heavy metal" influences in today's
charts. 'As the volume exceeds 80 decibels, blood pressure
also rises. The stomach and the intestine operate more slowly,
the pupils become larger and the skin gets paler'.(2)
author Joachim Berendt (Europe's foremost Jazz expert, record
producer and author of many books on music including The Jazz
Book) in his book 'The Third Ear' makes a plea for the ascendance
of the Ear to equal status to the Eye after centuries of the
dominance of the eye. Berendt realised the universal importance
of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life. He feels
that 'it is only by learning to use our ears that we may experience
the fullness of being that is our true birthright'.(3) According
to Berendt the powers of the ear include:
being the instrument of accurate measurement 'feeding mathematics
into our sense organs'.(4)
registering ten octaves and the eye is just one.(5)
regulation of our sense of balance.
capacity for transcendence.(6)
his lectures and seminars Berendt found that the eye-people
taking part in discussions displayed more aggressiveness than
ear-orientated participants who were more tranquil, reflective
and patient, considered what they said more carefully and
were generally more balanced.
great French researcher into the ear and hearing, Dr Alfred
Tomatis, has discovered that there are three times as many
nerve connections between the ear and the brain as between
the eye and the brain. In his Music therapy sessions Tomatis
plays the music of Mozart, especially the Violin concertos,
with the lower frequencies filtered out to resemble the sounds
heard in the womb. According to the author, the foetus has
an automatic filtering out of the lower frequencies to prevent
trauma from the low sounds of the bodily functions of the
mother. Tomatis points out that the embryo develops rudimentary
ears within a few days of impregnation when it is just 0.9mm
long and that the cochlea, the organ of hearing, is fully
developed and ha reached its ultimate size four and a half
months after fertilisation.
effect of sound upon the unborn baby is very real as anyone
who has carried a child through pregnancy and experienced
the child's reaction to sound, as I have, would probably concur.
Dr Thomas Verny in his book 'The Secret Life of the Unborn
Child', states, the throbbing beat of rock music provokes
an emphatic foetal response. He tells of the case of patient
of obstetric physiologist Michele Clements who was 'driven
from a rock concert by the violent kicking of her baby'.(7)
In line with the findings, my personal approach to pregnancy
was to expose my unborn babies to gentle sounds and to achieve
a calm state of mind.
his research into music and healing, Dr Tomatis discovered
that the monks from the Abbey of St Pierre de Solemnes had
changed their lifestyle from a life of chanting to a life
of silence and were becoming physically ill. He reintroduced
the chants back into the daily ritual of the monks thereby
restoring them to health. The Gregorian chants sung by the
monks have now been recorded and have become top sellers,
owing to being purchased by many people who are now seeking
respite from the tension and pace of daily life. They find
the chants when played in their homes or offices have a calming
and refreshing effect resulting in more productivework.
music for healing recommended by Dr Tomatis in his book 'The
Conscious Ear' include the Mozart Violin Concertos, the aforementioned
Gregorian Chants and the music of the Jazz trumpeter, Louis
Armstrong. Another important author on music and healing is
Don Campbell, a student of the influential French composer
and teacher, Nadia Boulanger. He discusses the importance
of music as a healer in the daily lives of our psyche and
physical being in his books 'The Roar of Silence, 'Music Physician
for Times to Come' and in his 'Music and Miracles' tapes.
I was introduced to British author Tony Buzan's 'The Mind
Map' book which discusses his ideas on 'Radiant Thinking".
Having read the book, I then became inspired to use his system
to map my teaching methods, showing how much whole brain (Right
and Left brain together) information was used in my style
of teaching. I find that students progress very quickly when
offered the opportunity to incorporate more Right Brain information
ie., Colour, Spatial Orientation, Rhythm, and seeing the Gestalt
view (whole picture view), into the learning experience.
attended Tony Buzan's Sydney seminar in October 1994 and noted
with interest that he strongly suggested the audience of senior
company managers should all take up music or art or both to
provide them with a more whole brained approach to business.
Tony showed by Course Map to those present and was eager to
take a copy with him to show at future seminars. Any interested
readers can obtain colour copies of this Course Map by contacting
me at the end of this article.
his book 'Frames of Mind', Dr Howard Gardner, Professor of
Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, discusses
his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Namely:
Logical -Mathematical Intelligence
Gardner draws the conclusion that "important and integral
links (are obtained) between music and other spheres of intellect
... music does relate in a variety of ways to the range of
human symbol systems and intellectual competences". "Moreover,
precisely because it is not used for explicit communication,
or for other evident survival purposes, its continuing centrality
in human experience constitutes a challenging puzzle'.(8)
learning to play or sing and by being involved in the arts
in general, we can stimulate our brains to be more responsive
and effective in the study of other seemingly unrelated subjects
as mathematics or science. Students of mine have found that
understanding the harmonic structure of music is a definite
aid to their comprehension of the mysteries of mathematics,
as music through its natural development from the universal
laws of acoustics reveals many mathematical and spatial patterns.
The number 7 appears many times in musical thinking - 7 alphabetical
note names, and the sequences of 7 sharps (FCGDAEB) or 7 flats
(BEADGCF) and the linking up of the Cycle of Fifths using
these seven letter sequences. Music is also full of mirror
patterns, for instance the set out of five of the Cs on the
Grand Staff. Another feature I have found to be personally
intriguing is the awareness of the 'magical' musical patterns
on the keyboard which I have outlined in my methods in order
to simplify the student's understanding of the topic of keyboard
can be an individual (Intrapersonal) or shared (Interpersonal)
experience. Many people choose to learn a musical instrument
simply for the pleasure of heightening emotional responses,
sharpening the thinking process and for self reflection. Others
enjoy the social experience of participating in ensemble situations
and performing in front of an audience. One of the greatest
musical experiences is that of Grand Opera regarded by the
composer Richard Wagner as a pan artistic work (Gesamtkunstwerk)
centrally locating Music amongst the other arts involved in
the production - Drama, Mythology, Poetry, Scenery and Acting.
On the lighter side, many recent musicals have had a similar
multi-sensory appeal and provide the audience members with
the sensation of a total experience.
the composer's point of view, I realise how important music
is to our everyday lives, particularly in the background to
movies and television and even when commercial concerns continue
to pervade our senses when shopping. I personally find the
piped music in shops very disturbing, finding that I am critically
appraising the sounds, when I really need my concentration
on the item I wish to buy. Similarly, the music while-you-wait
on the phone can often be extremely distracting and affect
my concentration on the matter at hand.
my view all individuals, whether child or adult should be
given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument
or sing, so as to be given a means to achieve an holistic
integrated personality and to become cultured listeners with
an appreciation of styles. Even the learning of an easily
accessible instrument such as the recorder can bring great
joy to people's lives, connecting as it does breath, pitch
and rhythmic and kinaesthetic senses to play both simple and
more advanced tunes. It can provide an easy way to introduce
a student to music fundamentals and act as a stepping stone
to other instruments.
addition, when learning an instrument, students should be
given the opportunity to explore sound and creativity, via
improvisation, an often neglected part of traditional music
education. Performers can once again inject vitality into
the performance of the written Classical pieces, when they
realise that most of the great composers were also competent
improvisers, who were constrained by the lack of live recording
equipment and forced to commit music to paper to preserve
it for posterity! I have found that the student who is able
to improvise gains a greater feeling for the music being performed.
It is a joyous experience being able to create music spontaneously.
conclusion, I believe that the evidence on the power of music
as a force for the holistic development of the personality
has been well and truly proven and that now it is simply a
matter of spreading the word throughout the community on the
necessity of some type of musical education for all people,
for the sake of a gentler and more caring society in the years
Kathleen Raine, The Inner Journey of the Poet p.88
Joachim-Ernst Berendt, The Third Ear, p.79
ibid, outside back.
Dr Thomas Verny Secret Life of the Unborn Child, p.72
Dr Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind, p122-123
Buzan, T.(1993) The Mind Map Book, - BBC Books, London
Tomatis, Dr.A.(1991) The Conscious Ear, Station Hill Press,
Berendt, J.A.(1988) The Third Ear, Element Books Ltd, Dorset
Campbell, D.(1989) The Roar of Silence, Quest Books, Wheaton
Campbell, D(1991) Music Physician for Times to Come, Quest
Raine, K.(1982) The Inner Journey of the Poet, Allen &
Gardner, H.(1984) Frames of Mind, Heinemann, London
Verny, Dr.T.(1981) The Secret Life of The Unborn Child,
Sphere Books, Glasgow
Brandman is an Australian Composer, author, music educator
and pianist who has written a series of unique music education
materials using her accelerated learning concepts for music.
For further information on her publications suitable for both
class and private teaching.
quite some time I have considered putting my thoughts on this
aspect of healing down on paper.
have written quite extensively on music in its educational societal
and healing contexts, especially in a recent article for WellBeing
magazine. (The 1998 Annual which was published in December 97)
this time, I would like to forward my personal view, from my
own experience, on the role of the Music Teacher in the holistic
development of the student of music.
find that when giving a private lesson, the teacher often become
the confidant and guide for the students everyday problems and
health concerns in addition to the purely musical teaching that
many times the student will say " I was unable to practice because:
I had the flu/ migraine/ chicken pox etc
I hurt my arm/leg/finger/back etc
of emotional problems - stress, hard day at school or work etc
a teacher I find the first consideration is to promote the students
well being. Then when the physical and mental problems (eg concentration)
are resolved , the student is able to practice and perform at
the optimum level.
my own case, I have consulted a very caring naturopath who has
some very practical and sensible advice on nutrition and vitamins
which can be easily conveyed. For the students' or my own, occasional
headache or queasy tummy, I always keep on hand homeopathic
'chamomila tablets' and rescue remedy.
ways I find myself helping the student is through Rei-ki, transmitted
either my myself, or encouraging the student to be attuned by
a Rei-ki master, so that
benefits flow throughout their own lives. It is easy to explain
to a music student the process of Rei-ki 'attunement' as it
is similar to tuning a musical instrument.
reason students come to music, especially adult students, is
to use music for "Stress relief'. So many of my students comment:
" I am able to turn of my daily concerns and focus purely on
various aspects the music." This change of focus is very relaxing,
like the process that occurs when doing Yoga.
we realise that each tone resonates in a different area of the
body we can understand the vibrational healing aspect of sound.
(Physiotherapists use Ultra sound equipment to promote healing)
also teach both improvisation and pieces that are written in
the ancient church modes, similar to those sung in Gregorian
chant. Music in the Dorian Mode particularly has a very calming
effect. (My recent composition 'When Spirits Soar' begins with
a section in the Dorian Mode.)
of the ways of accessing inner calm is to improvise in a Mode,
with the eyes closed, feeling ones way around the keyboard and
therefore heightening the aural sense. The Right Brain is thereby
accessed and the resulting response in the body is regenerating
and refreshing. Music that is written with extended time over
a single sound (known as a pedal note) also has the effect of
changing brain wave patterns, similar to the effect gained when
the 'Om' is chanted.
colleague and dear friend Australian composer Sarah Hopkins
has explored these effect in her CD 'Reclaiming the Spirit'
you are having music lessons currently, or intend doing so,
I would encourage you to include improvisation, modal pieces
and some highly rhythmic popular or jazz pieces for the joy
that can bring to your musical life . Also when playing the
classics it is great fun to find the jazz chords used by composers
of the past centuries, who in many cases were masters of improvisation.
conclusion in my view the humble music teacher should be valued
more highly in society for the service they provide, bring the
healing power of music into people's lives.