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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, December 17, 2007


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

Check Out This Music Theory Website:

An area director recenty tipped us off to a wonderful music theory website. contains tons of resources you can use including drills on note names, clefs, rhythm dictation, key signatures, intervals, scales, and chords. If you wish to set assignments and track individual student performance, you can sign up for a subscription.

Here are some links to some of the drills on

Click Below To Go!
(Note: If your computer doesn't allow pop-ups, try control-clicking the blue links.)
Chord Functions This drill gives you a key and a chord function -- you have to figure out the triad or 7th chord needed, and build it on the staff.  Use the advanced options to try more difficult functions: secondary dominants, borrowed chords, augmented 6th chords, neopolitans, and more.
Note Names Click on-screen buttons with your mouse or use the computer keyboard to identify notes that appear on the grand staff.
Paced Note Names Identify the notes sliding across the staff before they disappear into oblivion! This is a very effective way to quickly learn the grand staff once you have gained a general familiarity with it.
C-Clef Note Names Similar to the Note Names drill, but on your choice of 4 possible C-claves: soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto (the viola clef), or tenor.
Piano Keys Identify the notes on the staff by clicking the proper key on a piano keyboard pictured on the screen. You can also play the keyboard before running the tutorial.
Guitar Frets Identify the notes on the staff by clicking the proper fret on a guitar fretboard pictured on the screen. You can also play the on-screen guitar before running the tutorial.
Rhythm Performance Tap out the rhythm displayed on the staff.
Rhythm Dictation Notate rhythmic patterns based on what you hear, using whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes (depending on difficulty level).
Key Signatures Identify the key signature that appears on the grand staff by clicking on-screen buttons with the mouse. You can determine whether the key is major or minor by listening to a chord, listening to a scale, or simply being told.  Also tests if you know the relative major/minor.
- treble clef
- bass clef
- alto clef
There are two different modes to help you learn your intervals: in "interval building" mode, place the note with the right accidental in the right place to make the interval. In "identifying intervals" mode, identify the interval shown on the staff.

- treble clef
- bass clef
- alto clef

Strengthen your knowledge and understanding of scales by building them one note at a time on the staff.
- treble clef
- bass clef
- alto clef
Build and identify triads or 7th chords on the staff, with options similar to those in Intervals drill.



Screen Shots

eMusicTheory Home Page

Paced Note Reading

Click for a printable copy of this flyer

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins, Mike Brown, Jeromy Pope, and Jim Wilson
  Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Burl Williams
  Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
  Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades and Zach Houser
  Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp and Dick Murdock
  Broken Arrow (918) 770-6827 Mackey Amos and Mark VanVranken
If you would like to submit material, make changes or corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.