Daily English 915 - Learning to Read Music

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Mike: You have a great voice. You should join our choir.

Grace: I don’t know anything about music. I can’t even read music.

Mike: It’s not that hard. I could teach you. Look, this is a piece we’re working on right now.

Grace: What’s that weird thing at the beginning?

Mike: That’s the clef. It tells you which note each line and space on the staff represents.

Grace: Okay. What about these numbers?

Mike: That’s the time signature. It tells you how many beats are in each measure, and what kind of note gets one beat. This little number above there gives you the tempo.

Grace: Hmm, that’s kind of complicated. Why are all of these notes stacked on top of each other?

Mike: That’s to indicate a chord, with two or more notes played together at the same time. See? Musical notation is really very simple.

Grace: I don’t think I got all that.

Mike: I’m happy to help you until you get the hang of it. We could even work on some duets. We could sing harmony or I can accompany you on the piano.

Grace: I think you’re overestimating my singing ability, but I’m willing to give it a try. At least, I think I can stay on pitch. I just don’t want to embarrass myself too much.

Mike: I think you’re overestimating the quality of our community choir!

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