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Belated London Premiere for Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel on International Women’s Day

As part of its special day of programming for International Women’s Day, BBC Radio 3 broadcasted a live performance of the Easter Sonata, a major piano work which until recently had been attributed to Felix Mendelssohn, but is now proved to be the work of his sister Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Moonlight Sonata Music needed!  (Read 2758 times)
spifty
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« on: February 25, 2004, 08:56:38 PM »

Hello!

I need help, does anyone know where I can get Moonlight Sonata sheet music in a key other than C... My keyboard is a 61 key keyboard and I can't get the bass notes for it unless I move up the keyboard but then it doesn't sound good!
Any help would be appreciated!
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_ Jon _

piano sheet music of Sonata 14 (Moonlight)
Its_about_nothing
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2004, 09:36:12 PM »

I guess there isn't any sheetmusic available for the Moonlight Sonata in another key than C-sharp minor (not C), exept maybe a very easy version for beginners, but I guess that's not what you're looking for. So you could either transpose it into another key yourself,  buy a new keyboard or leave out the bass notes.
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mark1
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2004, 07:05:14 AM »

Have you thought of getting a full size keyboard? That "piece" needs it. I'm sure someone on this forum could help you with that! I'm not good with that electronic stuff. Good luck.           Mark Smiley
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rachlisztchopin
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2004, 11:01:00 AM »

i have a 61 key in my bedroom that has a transpose function on it...does urs have that?  if it does u can get  the keyboard to play 1 octave lower than it normally plays...this would prob only work for the first movement of moonlight sonata since the 2 mvt is towards the upper register and the 3rd mvt. is all over the keyboard
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matt_black
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2004, 11:47:25 AM »

If you have a version of CUBASE ofr Logic and you can get a version in midi format you should be able to transpose the key and then print out the score - i have not done this but i am 80% that this functionality exists in the program - but if you have bot got this kind of gear it would be cheaper to buy a piano

Hope that helps

Anyone got any suggestions for blues music for me to learn - I have been looking at ragtime but want to move on to Jools holland type blues styl;e?
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spifty
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2004, 01:43:30 AM »

Hi, thanks alot for all your replies and help. I am now stuck with a different problem ...

I managed to get hold of my brothers keyboard which you can transpose on so that's that. But I'm curious now with the sheet music I have for Moonlight sonata in c#m (the original i believe) .. There's a B# and I'm not that great at this but I wasn't aware there was B#! - I am positive that it is B#
 
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schnabels_grandson
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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2004, 01:51:33 AM »

Yes, B# = C natural.  Is that what you were wondering about?
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spifty
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2004, 01:53:32 AM »

This is off the proper sheet music, if B# = C natural, wouldn't it have C there instead of B#...?
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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2004, 01:57:02 AM »

It would work either way.  B# is the same tone as C natural.  I don't know why he wrote it B#, but it doesn't matter.
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spifty
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« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2004, 02:00:05 AM »

okay i'll take ya word for it then ! ..
Thank you very much for the quick help!   Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2004, 02:00:31 AM »

Actually I do know why he did it.  Because in order to notate the C natural as such, He would have had to put a natural sign in front of the C.  Later in the same measure, C# is needed.  It is less confusing to use a B# than putting a bunch more naturals and sharps all over the place.  I hope that made sense
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bernhard
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« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2004, 03:00:19 AM »

Quote
Actually I do know why he did it.  Because in order to notate the C natural as such, He would have had to put a natural sign in front of the C.  Later in the same measure, C# is needed.  It is less confusing to use a B# than putting a bunch more naturals and sharps all over the place.  I hope that made sense


Er...

Actually no.

The reason is very simple. But it will take a while. So bear with me.

You are probably talking about the first triplet in bar 4. This piece is written in C# minor. The scale of C#minor has exactly the same notes as the scale of E major, hence the identical key signature (F#, C#, G#, A#).

It goes: C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B - C#.

This is called the natural minor scale, and it is the old Aeolian mode.

17th century musicians decided that for the purposes of melody the gap between the leading note and the tonic (the penultimate and the last note in a scale) in a minor scale was too large (a full tone). In the major scales the gap is only a semitone. So, they decided to have a semitone gap there as well and sharped the leading note of the natural minor scale. In this case it happens to be a B, hence B#.

Now the scale looked like that:

C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B# - C#.

Why didn't they simply write C? Because there is already a C in the scale. Had they done so, the scale would look like that:

C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - C - C#.

1. It would have two Cs.
2. It wold have no B.
3. It would make a mess of the key signature which states that Cs in this scale are sharp.

How come the B# does not appear in the key signature of C# minor? Because the B# was never there inthe first place. It was an artificial construct of the 17th century musicians to make the pull from the leading note to the tonic more compelling. In fact even minor scales with key signatures with flats have sharped leading notes.

But it gets worse.

Having meddled with the natural minor scale, they realised that by sharping the leading note they had diminished the gap between the leading note and the tonic, but as a consequence they had created an enormous gap between the submediant and the leading note of 1 and a1/2 tones. Therefore they sharped the submediant (the 6th note) as well. The minor scale now looked like that:

C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A## - B# - C#.

Yes, you saw it correctly: A## (A double sharp). If you sharp the A you get the next key to the right, which is a black key. If you sharp that black key you get the key to the right which happens to be natural B. Why write A## when it is far easier to write B? For the same reasons: the scale would have two Bs and no A. By the way, the symbole for double sharp is like a small x. You can see one on bar 34 (xF, or F double sharp, or G natural).

Although there is a strong pull from the leading note towards the tonic (the leading note moves eagerly towards the tonic), there is a great reluctance for the tonic to go into the leading note. So, in terms of melody it only makes sense to sharp the leading note when the scale is ascending. Once it descends it does not matter that the gap between leading note and tonic is of a full tone. So the 17th century musicians left the natural minor scale alone when descending.

Thes situation now was like that:

C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A## - B# - C#. (ascending)
(natural minor scale with the 6th and 7th notes sharped)
C# - B - A# - G# - F# - E - D# - C#. (descending)
(untouched natural minor scale)

So, as you can see, when descending you have the natural minor scale (which has exactly the same notes as its relative major: E major) But when ascending it has a sharped leading note (to make the gap between leading and tonic of a 1/2 tone) and a sharped submediant (to normalise the gap created by the sharping of the leading note).

This is called the melodic minor scale, because all this mess was caused by melodic considerations.

Once this had been sorted out, counterpoint (the interweaving of severl melodies) went out of fashion, and the need for a melodic minor scale disappeared. Harmony (one melody with accompanying chords) took the place of counterpoint. From the point of view of harmony, all this discussion of intervals between notes of a scale  became irrelevant, since harmonically you think chords, not intervals (melodically you think intervals). So the melodic minor scale fell into disuse and was replaced by the harmonic minor scale, which maintained the sharped leading note (since it made cadences more forceful) but couldn't care less about the big gap between submediant and leading note. And harmonically, ascending and desceding are equally important. So the harmonic minor scale ascends and descends equally and it is basically the natural minor scale with the 7th note sharped:

C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B# - C#. (ascending)
C# - B# - A# - G# - F# - E - D# - C#. (descending)

The B# is still an accidental, so it is not included in the key signature.

Now you know. Wink

Best wishes,
Bernhard.


P.S.
There are only 24 scales (12 major, 12 minor). 99% of Western music for the past 500 years uses these 24 scales. Get to grips with them!.
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schnabels_grandson
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« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2004, 03:06:12 AM »

Wow!  That was enlightening, thanks Bernhard!  
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spifty
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« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2004, 12:58:04 PM »

Incredible.

Much appreciated Bernhard!

I can't say I understand most of it. I see why it is written in #'s or x's though. Though at this stage of learning I would much rather have read naturals !

Thanks again!
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2004, 09:28:59 PM »

I know about the technical reasons behind the double-sharp and double-flat notations, but even to me, it would always be a lot eye-friendlier to print, for example, an A rather than a G-double-sharp, or an F rather than a G-double-flat.
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Peter (Hong Kong)
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2004, 10:25:19 PM »

I find it much more convenient to read double sharps instead of reading the next note up as natural (or whatever the next note up is, as the case may be), because I get into the mindset of scales when reading music. When I can "hear" the changes of chords in the music before I play them, it's easier to think in terms of progressions rather than single disembodied notes.
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2004, 11:38:31 AM »

Quote
This piece is written in C# minor. The scale of C#minor has exactly the same notes as the scale of E major, hence the identical key signature (F#, C#, G#, A#).
 
It goes: C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B - C#


Your explanation is correct to almost the slightest detail, and is very comprehensive... However, you did make a small mistake. The identical key signature that C#m and E have is (F#, C#, G#, D#), there is no A# included.  There is therefore no need for an Ax (A double sharp) when the submediant note is sharpened.

So the C#m scales are:

Natural
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B - C# (ascending and descending)

Harmonic
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B# - C# (ascending and descending)

Melodic
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B# - C# (ascending)
C# - B - A - G# - F# - E - D# - C# (descending)

I'm not trying to be mean - just helpful.

Also, spifty, think of the intervals. Certain chords belong in certain keys, and it's vital to maintain a proper dominant chord. The dominant in C#m is G# (G# - B# - D#) it comes directly from the scale itself. If you rewrote this with a C instead of the B#, you wouldn't have a root-position triad anymore, because the interval between the first and middle notes would no longer be a major third, but a diminished fourth.
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bernhard
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2004, 12:25:06 PM »

Quote


Your explanation is correct to almost the slightest detail, and is very comprehensive... However, you did make a small mistake. The identical key signature that C#m and E have is (F#, C#, G#, D#), there is no A# included.  There is therefore no need for an Ax (A double sharp) when the submediant note is sharpened.

So the C#m scales are:

Natural
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B - C# (ascending and descending)

Harmonic
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A - B# - C# (ascending and descending)

Melodic
C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A# - B# - C# (ascending)
C# - B - A - G# - F# - E - D# - C# (descending)

I'm not trying to be mean - just helpful.



You are absolutely right. Embarrassed

I must be getting senile after all! Grin

Thank you for the correction, you have been very helpful Cheesy

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
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