A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Coursera – DYM Lesson 1 Peer Reviews

Peer review for the first week‘s homework assignment for the Coursera Developing Your Musicianship class began yesterday (Thursday). I didn’t get to look at any of the assignments until about 30 mins ago. We have to review 5 assignments by Sunday and submit them. That basically gives us the weekend to finish (less for me, since I work on Sundays). For the review, we can grade each answer with one of 3 scores:

0 = Disagree
5 = Somewhat agree
10 = Agree

Along with providing a score for each question, we have the option to include a comment as well. Under each comment field, a tracker lets us know how many words were written in our response.

Lesson 1 Peer Reviews

Here are the 5 questions that we had to answer:

  1. Write in your own words the definition of harmony.
  2. Write in your own words the definition of ear training.
  3. Write in your own words the definition of interval.
  4. Identify three songs in the key of C major. Feel free to use a search engine like Google to find song titles.
  5. Write out the C major scale by hand.

Here are answers to the first 5 reviews I got and what my comments were (in italics). I’m going to try to do additional reviews later:

1. Write in your own words the definition of harmony.

  1. Harmony- is a combination of two or more notes when combined forms a chord
    Just an FYI: Two notes sounded together isn’t a chord. Its a dyad, but your concept of harmony is correct.
  2. The use of various pitches or chords in the construction of a song.
    The key component of harmony is that it uses various pitches or chords simultaneously. The notes have to happen at the same time.
  3. Harmony is the study of the music language: scales, chords and melody.
    Your definition is fine, as far as what the professor said, but the essence of harmony centers on notes being played at the same time.
  4. Harmony is the combination pitches to produce chords, melodies, and scales.
    Yours is the first answer to specify that harmony is the “combination” of pitches. Good job, I think that’s the key part.
  5. the relationship between notes when they are played simultaneously and how this simultaneous notes change each other to form enjoyable movement
    Yours is one of the two best answers of the 5 reviews I did. Simultaneous playing is really the key characteristic that some others missed.

2. Write in your own words the definition of ear training.

  1. Ear training – what your ear hears to identify the sound or music
    More specifically, its about identifying pitches
  2. The ability to understand what pitches, tones, and chords your ear is hearing.
  3. Ear training is learning our brain to understand what music speaks.
    Ear training is training our ears and brain to correctly identify specific pitches that we hear.
  4. Ear training is a skill that allows you to recognize pitches, melody, intervals, and other musical elements.
    Excellent answer. I like that you identified it as a skill instead of just saying what it does.
  5. training the ability to recognize sounds and relationship between them only by your ears.
    More specifically, its about identifying pitches

3. Write in your own words the definition of interval.

  1. Interval – distance between notes
  2. How far apart 2 or more notes are from one another.
  3. Interval is the distance between two notes.
  4. An interval is the amount of notes–the difference–between two notes measured in half steps.
    Great answer. Yours is the first to mention half-steps as the unit of measurement.
  5. the “distance” between notes in their highness where distance is measured by fraction of ‘main’ unit of octave.
    Good answer. The only one I’ve seen that was better included the use of half-steps as the unit of measurement.

4. Identify three songs in the key of C major. Feel free to use a search engine like Google to find song titles.

  1. While my Guitar gently weeps – Beatles, Its not easy- Five for Fighting, Lean on me-Bill Withers
  2. Stay- Rihanna, When I was your man- Bruno Mars, Killing Me Softly- Fugees
  3. Richard Marx – Right here waiting for you, Celine Dion –  It’s all coming back to me, Cyndi Lauper – Time after time
  4. Stay: Rihanna Mikky Ekko, Use Somebody: Kings of Leon, Piano Man: Billy Joel
  5. Blink 182 – Dammit (This student only linked to one song instead of 3. My comment was “There’s a problem with your answer here – you need to include 3 songs. I only see one.”)

5. Write out the C major scale by hand.

  1. First student included note names, solfege and scale degrees.
  2. For the 2nd student, my comment was “The 5th is actually ‘sol’ not ‘so’, but you definitely have the right idea.
  3. The 3rd student wrote out the notes but didn’t list the note names, or any other info.
  4. The student used 1/2 notes. My comment was ” You pointed the stems in the right direction as well. I skipped that by using whole notes. 😉
  5. No image was attached or linked. My comment was “There’s a problem here as well. There’s no image attachment or link to an image on a photo-sharing site.

Here’s the first student’s C major scale. It was the best of the 5 that I reviewed:

Lesson 1 - Student C Major 1

 

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