Musical mnemonics

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AlnmouthAlnmouth Frets: 69
A few years ago I had a go at learning to play the mandolin.  I didn't get very far with it, but the upside was that I did learn quite a bit of theory along the way.  In order to keep it in my memory, I came up with some mnemonics.

So let's have some fun.  I will type some mnemonics below, and let's see who can be the first to decipher them.  I will start with the easiest.

By 'eck - no sharps.

Take That sound terrible; they totally suck.  (Or if you prefer not to be brutal - Take That sound terrific; they totally sell.)

Take some time to savour the taste.

The times, she says, three times.

The same three sisters stay three semesters.

I only came up with the last one today, and it is pretty hard.

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  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 466
    edited October 25
    2nd one : Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone. = Intervals of the Major Scale.

    The others look like lists of intervals as well. If the last one means 3 intervals of 3 semitones, then that would fit a Dim7 Chord.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5093
    edited October 25
    Alnmouth said:
    A few years ago I had a go at learning to play the mandolin.  I didn't get very far with it, but the upside was that I did learn quite a bit of theory along the way.  In order to keep it in my memory, I came up with some mnemonics.

    So let's have some fun.  I will type some mnemonics below, and let's see who can be the first to decipher them.  I will start with the easiest.

    By 'eck - no sharps.

    Take That sound terrible; they totally suck.  (Or if you prefer not to be brutal - Take That sound terrific; they totally sell.)

    Take some time to savour the taste.

    The times, she says, three times.

    The same three sisters stay three semesters.

    I only came up with the last one today, and it is pretty hard.


     
    2nd one : Tone, Tone, Semitone, Tone, Tone, Tone, Semitone. = Intervals of the Major Scale.

    Then natural minor. The last two aren’t full scales. I think the last one is supposed to be the symmetrical whole/half scale, or maybe the half-diminished. 
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  • AlnmouthAlnmouth Frets: 69
    The first one tells us that the notes B sharp and E sharp do not exist.

    The second is the major scale.  Every word beginning with S indicates a semitone, and every word beginning with T indicates two semitones.

    The third is a natural minor.

    The third is a blues scale.  The number three indicates three semitones.

    The last one is an Egyptian or Arabic scale.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19125
    edited October 26
    Alnmouth said:
    The first one tells us that the notes B sharp and E sharp do not exist.

    Er, what is the 7th note in C# Major?
    or F# major?
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5093
    edited October 26
    Alnmouth said:
    The first one tells us that the notes B sharp and E sharp do not exist.

    The second is the major scale.  Every word beginning with S indicates a semitone, and every word beginning with T indicates two semitones.

    The third is a natural minor.

    The third is a blues scale.  The number three indicates three semitones.

    The last one is an Egyptian or Arabic scale.
    Ah, I didn’t think of the significance of the word three. You mean THREE times she says, three times, right?

    Obviously B# and E# do exist, as do Cb and Fb (though we know what you mean - they don’t exist as black notes on the piano). So for the sharps and flats, I think a huge step in theory is to commit the entire circle of fifths to memory and really understand how it works and what it is. I came up with rather a neat way of remembering it, and through extension, the sharps and flats (other than using the awesome “father charles” / “battle ends” mnemonics), like this:

    It starts with C (C for “circle” )

    then you imagine plucking a 5 string bass from top to bottom: G D A E B

    then you imagine detuning by a semitone and repeating: Gb Db Ab Eb Bb

    finally it finishes with F (F for “fifths”!!!)


    (yes, the Gb is also called F# but that spoils my method!)
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  • Elmer Fudd; Before Christ. One fret apart on a fretboard, while the other notes are two frets apart.
    “Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?' 'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought. Piglet was comforted by this.”
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  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 466
    octatonic said:
    Alnmouth said:
    The first one tells us that the notes B sharp and E sharp do not exist.

    Er, what is the 7th note in C# Major?
    or F# major?
    @octatonic is quite right. I guess the original intent was a way to remember that there is no note on the fretboard between B/C and E/F. In terms of music theory both notes not only exist, but you can also have double sharps and double flats. Treble sharps and flats are theoretically feasible, though I have not, as far as I can remember, come across any as yet.

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  • vizviz Frets: 5093
    edited October 26
    octatonic said:
    Alnmouth said:
    The first one tells us that the notes B sharp and E sharp do not exist.

    Er, what is the 7th note in C# Major?
    or F# major?
    @octatonic is quite right. I guess the original intent was a way to remember that there is no note on the fretboard between B/C and E/F. In terms of music theory both notes not only exist, but you can also have double sharps and double flats. Treble sharps and flats are theoretically feasible, though I have not, as far as I can remember, come across any as yet.

    They exist if you were to create a sharps and flats system for the melodic minor scale for certain modes and keys (like the C### in F# Lydian Augmented!) But otherwise, diatonically they can’t because they’d need a double sharp key as the tonic, which would always be renamed as the actual note. Even if you called C major B# major it’d only have B# C## D## E# F## G## A## B#. 
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  • vizviz Frets: 5093
    edited October 26
    Slightly off-topic but here’s a C### using a modified sharps/flats system I created in order to write music for my customised melodic minor keyboard invention

    Obviously this keyboard requires what we hear as F being relegated to G#, and the whole system is a silly bit of nonsense!

    https://youtu.be/uGzF4gA-fGs

    Sorry for going off track
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  • AlnmouthAlnmouth Frets: 69
    Thank you to everyone who pointed out the flaw in my first mnemonic.  I was hoping that people would take the hint that I was not delving too deeply into theory on this one, but instead observing where no black keys exist.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19125
    Any composer who gave me a score in B# would get a swift kick in the nads.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 466
    edited October 26
    octatonic said:
    Any composer who gave me a score in B# would get a swift kick in the nads.
    I assume A7♯9 isn't welcome chez @octatonic . Mr.Hendrix would be saddened.

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9301
    Guitar strings 6 -> 1: Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
    Lines on treble clef lowest->highest: Every Gay Boy Doesn't F*ck
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • vizviz Frets: 5093
    Guitar strings 6 -> 1: Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
    Lines on treble clef lowest->highest: Every Gay Boy Doesn't F*ck
    Every good boy deserves favour has been considerably updated since I were a lad. 
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9301
    viz said:
    Guitar strings 6 -> 1: Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
    Lines on treble clef lowest->highest: Every Gay Boy Doesn't F*ck
    Every good boy deserves favour has been considerably updated since I were a lad. 
    Was football or food when I were a lad. But IMO the rude one sticks better ...

    I once told a lad that f stood for forte, commonly undestood to be loud (but probably more accurately strong). I said can you suggest what ff might mean? He paused for a moment and then said "Effin loud?". I've not forgotten that, he was brilliant!
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Bass clef:

    Great Bassists Do Fuck All
    My band: Hedge Gods
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 9301
    I think of bass clef as G9 on the lines and A-7 on the spaces.

    The treble clef is Fmaj7 on the spaces and E-7-9 on the lines.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • AlnmouthAlnmouth Frets: 69
    I seem to remember that I got the idea of inventing mnemonics from a video on YouTube which said that mandolins are tuned: Great Danes are enormous.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19125
    octatonic said:
    Any composer who gave me a score in B# would get a swift kick in the nads.
    I assume A7♯9 isn't welcome chez @octatonic . Mr.Hendrix would be saddened.

    No that’s fine, but presenting a score in the key of B# is just being difficult fir the sake of it.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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