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Music Fundamentals 1: Pitch and Major Scales and Keys cover image

Music Fundamentals 1: Pitch and Major Scales and Keys

(4 reviews)

Terry B. Ewell

Catherine Schmidt-Jones

Pub Date: 2013

Publisher: OpenStax CNX

Language: English

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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

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.