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MTMS Closed for Inclement Weather

MTMS is closed today for inclement weather. Makeups will be available. Priority makeups will be scheduled for students performing in this Saturday’s Benefit Concert. Please contact us to schedule your makeup. If your makeup is not urgent, we will be happy to talk to you next Tuesday at your regularly scheduled lesson to schedule your makeup.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Lesson Sampler Sale: Buy One, Get One Free!

Buy One, Get One FREE!

Through 12/31/16: Buy any lesson sampler online at 2016 pricing and receive a second sampler, free.*

MTMS Lesson Samplers consist of four trial music lessons for students who have never studied the instrument before. The Lesson Sampler allows prospective music students to determine whether longer-term music lessons are right for them.

You don’t have to have an instrument or buy a book. Instruments and educational materials are provided for the in-class lesson time, and there are no homework assignments or at-home practice expectations for the duration of the Sampler.

*Limited spots are available, so watch our website for Lesson Sampler options.

Halloween Party and Harry Potter Festival

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Halloween Party and Harry Potter Festival:

Talk to your teacher about choosing a recital piece and signing up to perform at the Halloween Party. As with all of our recitals and performance events, the Halloween Party is free of charge to enrolled students. The Harry Potter Festival is an all-day event with a tuition of $63.95.

Lesson Sampler Sale: Buy One, Get One Free!

Buy One, Get One Free!

THROUGH 6/30/16:

Buy any lesson sampler online

and receive a second sampler, free.*

MTMS Lesson Samplers consist of four trial music lessons for students who have never studied the instrument before. The Lesson Sampler allows prospective music students to determine whether longer-term music lessons are right for them.

You don’t have to have an instrument or buy a book. Instruments and educational materials are provided for the in-class lesson time, and there are no homework assignments or at-home practice expectations for the duration of the Sampler.

Limited spots are available, so watch our website for Lesson Sampler promotions in a variety of instruments. You may also call or email us to be place on a wait list for upcoming Samplers.

If you find you or your child enjoys the Sampler, consider enrolling in ongoing weekly private music lessons after the last session. If you choose to do so, we’ll waive your private lesson enrollment fee.

Current Tuition: $89.95/sampler (includes four beginner lessons)

* The online purchase of any lesson sampler qualifies for a gift certificate redeemable for a free second sampler, which you may use on your own account or gift to someone else. Gift certificates must be redeemed by speaking with a receptionist to book the sampler. Gift certificates may not be redeemed online.

On Confidence

I have the pleasure of hearing lots of talented young musicians every day. One of my greatest challenges is convincing them that their talents stand on their own unique merits. It’s good to respect and admire other musicians, but not at the expense of your own self esteem. Music is meant to be enjoyed, not judged. I can’t count the number of musicians I love to hear, and I don’t compare them or wish one had some particular skill that another has. I enjoy each for who they are, period.

Folks, if you enjoy listening to a musician and have the opportunity to tell them so, please do. It might be just the encouragement that person needs to get up and perform the next time.

Consonance and Dissonance in Music

Beware: Science and Math Ahead!

 

A Facebook friend posed the following question:

Here’s a bit of music theory to dabble with…

The fifth in a scale is called the “perfect fifth”. The ear loves it with a passion: So much so that it has a vile hatred of the diminished fifth, or tritone. The fifth is even called the “dominant”. Musical tuning and key signatures revolve around the fifth…literally. (circle of fifths)

But why is that? I wondered about the underlying math. The ear accepts an octave as the same note because it is double the frequency. A4 is 440 Hz. A5 is 880 Hz. A3 is 220 Hz. The chromatic scale has 12 progressive semitones (minor seconds), and the fifth happens to be 7 semitones above the tonic. (12 and 7 are Divine numbers.) What’s 7 the number of? Divine completeness. Six is the number of man. The tritone is only six semitones above the tonic.

Does your ear really understand that? It might. But what is the fifth in terms of actual frequency?

Well, a minor second is 2^(1/12) Hz above its tonic. So it stands that the fifth is 2^(7/12) Hz above. And that power is almost exactly 1.5. (It’s actually 1.49something). Incidentally, the tritone, being six semitones above tonic is exactly root two. That’s right, the square root of two times tonic. Since A major has 3 sharps (F, C, G), and the fifth is E natural, it stands to reason that E4 is just under 440 x 1.5 Hz, or almost 660 Hz. The ear likes that interval.

My answer follows:

You don’t ask simple questions, do you? First of all, consonance (the opposite of dissonance) is entirely subjective. Yes, we have centuries of study that show harmonics are pleasing to the ear of the average person, but that’s still only the average person’s opinion. Consider that different rules apply across the world; we are mostly familiar with Western music. Also, consonance would be boring without dissonance, which gives us the ability to color our music with emotion and expression.

Nonetheless, the perfect fifth is considered pleasing to the ear by general consensus. Mathematically, the perfect fifth has the simplest frequency ratio (see “pitch ratio“) except for the unison and octave intervals. If you would like to conjecture about the spiritual basis for the consonance of the perfect fifth, I certainly enjoyed reading your theories. I can only add that if you believe that God made all things beautiful and all things unpleasant, then it follows He is responsible for the design of audio frequencies and their relative consonance or dissonance. I find it entirely believable that He would have a sense of humor or at least irony about the whole thing.

In your question, you correctly stated that the pitch ratio of the perfect fifth is 1.5, but consider it this way instead: 3/2. The octave is 2/1.The perfect fourth is 4/3, also considered a highly consonant interval, and the major third is 5/4. The augmented fifth, according to this chart of pitch intervals, is 25/16.

When multiple audio frequencies are heard together, they do not remain independent. They interfere with one another. So the relative frequencies, and how simple or complex they are with respect to one another, will impact the resulting frequency that you hear. For the perfect fifth, independently, the fifth oscillates three times for every two oscillations of the root. This is why we consider pitch ratios in whole number fractions instead of decimals to evaluate their simplicity (where “simplicity” is an indicator of consonance.)