Memorizing Music

Organization

 

I have several hints for you to help in learning and memorizing music.


First; “The greatest aid to memorization is organization”.

There are 3 kinds of things: 

    Things that are the same.

    Things that are different.

    Things that are similar.

The hardest to memorize are the things that are SIMILAR because they get confused.  Because of this, the greatest aid to memorization is organization.  In music, this mean understanding the Form of the song - the way the sections are organized.  In almost all music there is repetition or a theme to the music.  When these are the same there it no problem but when there are variations, as there usually are - here is where the problems come.  We need to keep them straight as to which one we are on at the moment.  Thus, understand the form (organization) of the song.


Commonly a song has these parts:

    Introduction

    Verse

    Chorus

    Coda (called a Tag in Barbershop singing)

The Verse and Chorus may be in different order and repeated in various ways but regardless, understand the parts of a song.


Next: understand that a verse and/or chorus is subdivided into various parts or phrases.  Frequently they are in A A B A form - meaning that there is a musical theme (A) or phrase that is repeated (A), then contrasted with a “bridge” section (B) before returning to the original theme (A).  Usually the “A” sections are not exact repetitions but are SIMILAR.  As we have said, these require special attention to keep it straight what part you are on at the moment.


Once you find a specific confusion, practice first one part then flip flop to the other until you get the confusing section straight.  Be especially careful of the “little note” (fast notes).  Particularly whole or half step “dips” or “humps” that can easily be done inaccurately when they go by so quickly. 


                                  I would love to hear from you. 

                          I appreciate any comments or suggestions.

                                  tednorton@roadrunner.com