Think like a Composer

New Ears Resolution is not only designed to teach you to play by ear;  this discipline also encourages you to think more intelligently about the material you are playing.  Rote memorization of a song is not only tedious & laborious, but that process also cheats you out of the joy, wonder, and beauty implicit within the composition, the qualities which make a great performance so special.  When you approach a piece with “new ears,” you are beginning to understand its underlying logic in the same way the composer did while creating it.

Below is a simple illustration of this process.  The example is a Mixolydian phrase.  Try playing it in all 12 keys.  On the first line, the phrase is presented as if it were in C major.  On line 2, the same phrase is shown once again, this time as if it were in F major.  Which line helps you to better understand the phrase?  I welcome your comments.

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