Read more about Music Fundamentals 1: Pitch and Major Scales and Keys

Music Fundamentals 1: Pitch and Major Scales and Keys

(10 reviews)

Terry B. Ewell

Catherine Schmidt-Jones

Copyright Year: 2013

Publisher: OpenStax CNX

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of Use

Attribution Attribution


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Olem Alves, part-time faculty, Lane Community College on 6/15/21

This book does a good job covering all areas of Music Fundamentals in regard to pitch and major scales. A small example of this is the way the author shows the treble and bass clef's as fluid systems of the musical alphabet directly followed by... read more

Reviewed by John Mery, Music, Department Chair, Portland Community College on 5/5/21

The hyper links to terms and concepts embedded in the modules are quite effective. A student is able to thoroughly explore a topic. Perhaps including basic information acoustics and sound (soundwaves, resonance, hertz etc.) might be useful to... read more

Reviewed by Dr. John Shiu, Part-Time Lecturer, Bridgewater State University on 6/28/20

This pretty much covers most of the basic material, yet it strays from simplicity and focus. read more

Reviewed by Sarah Braverman, Doctoral Student/Teaching Assistant, James Madison University on 12/31/19

Overall, it does a decent job but there are a few missed explanations. The part I have an issue with is when the text all of a sudden throws in the words “interval” and “chord” without explaining what they are, nor does it bother to bold text... read more

Reviewed by Pamela Haynes, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Piano Studies, Instructor of Music Fundamentals , Manchester University on 12/19/19

The contents of this text thoroughly explore and explain the basics of pitch, major scales and keys. Extra content is available through hyperlinks embedded throughout the chapters. Here users will find detailed and accessible information for... read more

Reviewed by Wesley Bradford, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette on 11/5/19

As a “Music Fundamentals 1” text, this seems to cover expected topics, but sometimes includes extra information that doesn’t serve to improve content. Instructors would need to add explanations and examples from a repertoire of their choice to... read more

Reviewed by Danielle Cozart Steele, Adjunct Instructor, Earlham College on 5/29/19

The book is a decent general introduction to music terminology and symbols while not delving too far into complicated concepts. The Circle of Fifths is introduced, which seems unnecessary until students under stand major and minor keys, parallel... read more

Reviewed by Bill Whitley, Theory and Aural Skills Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 5/15/19

The writing is clear and concise, and is well within grasp of a first-year college student. read more

Reviewed by Crystal Kim, Adjunct Lecturer, New York City College of Technology on 4/8/19

Step by step guidance from basic note reading skills to relationships between intervals, scale degrees, and key signatures are explored and showcased very well. read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Cruz, Full Professor, Central State University on 9/14/18

I think all content was appropriate. I appreciate the fact that there were hyperlinks to dive deeper. At times, I think the information presented was more than necessary and pragmatic and would have been better served as information embedded in... read more

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to Pitch Notation in Music
  • 2. Clef
  • 3. Introduction to the Piano Keyboard
  • 4. Pitch: Sharp, Flat, and Natural Notes
  • 5. Chromatic and Diatonic Half Steps
  • 6. Octave Designations in Music
  • 7. Key Signatures
  • 8. Major Keys and Scales
  • 9. Scale Degrees of the Diatonic Scale
  • 10. Enharmonic Spelling
  • 11. The Circle of Fifths

Ancillary Material

  • Submit ancillary resource
  • About the Book

    This collection is the first of five dealing with the rudiments of music.

    About the Contributors


    Terry B. Ewell, professor, Department of Music, Towson University Former President, International Double Reed Society

    B. M. University of Washington; Bassoon Performance, magna cum lauda

    M. A. University of Washington, Music Theory

    Ph.D. University of Washington, Music Theory

    Terry Ewell is Professor of online instruction and bassoon at Towson University Department of Music. In his 30+ years as a professional musician he has received recognition as a performer, teacher, scholar, and administrator.

    Catherine Schmidt-Jones graduated from Rice University in 1985, completing a BA in chemistry, a BA in music and a Master of Music in French horn performance.

    Contribute to this Page

    Suggest an edit or add missing content