The musical keys of M, R and X.

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challism
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Post 30 May 2021

I bought my electric piano from a piano teacher. I noticed there is writing on some of the keys. Easy enough to wash off, but what the hell was she teaching her students? It's faint, but you can see the D key (next to middle C) is marked with an R. The E key is marked with an M. The B (not pictured) is marked with an X.

The keys of M, R and X? Okay!
Is this some kind of riddle or mystery to be solved? Maybe it means something in Vietnam (where I live). I just emailed the teacher's sister to try and explain. Will report back what I find out.
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Ahornberg
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Post 30 May 2021

Do Re Mi Fa So La Si
C . D . E . F . G . A . B

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.

see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfège

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challism
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Post 30 May 2021

I have often wondered what musicians in Vietnam do about the F, because the Vietnamese alphabet doesn't have an F (also missing J, W and Z).

Well, the mystery is solved. I learned something today.
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Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
Do Re Mi Fa So La Si
C . D . E . F . G . A . B

I know and am aware of the chromatic scale. That wasn't the point of my post. The post was pointing out the wrong letters written on the piano keys. But I contacted the seller and she cleared it up for me. But thanks for the free lesson on Do Re Mi! ha ha ha

EDIT: DERP! I see what you were saying. I was being a dolt. And you are correct!
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.
Wouldn't B need to be made distinct from E, not G? The same way C might be confused with F, by a novice player. I could also see novices confusing D, G and A, as they are in the middle of the clusters.
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Ahornberg
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Post 30 May 2021

To clear things up:
  • C, D, E, F, G, A, B is not the chomatic scale, it is the C-major diatonic scale.
  • The chromatic scale is C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B.
The easiest way to learn the note names on a piano keyboard is:
  • There are 2 groups of black keys - one of 2 black keys and one of 3 black keys.
  • The D lies between the 2 black keys.
  • G and A lie (G is left, A is right) inside the 3 black keys.
  • All other white keys can easily be identified by knowing D, G and A.
IMO I would not write the note names onto the keys.

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orthodox
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.
Wouldn't B need to be made distinct from E, not G? The same way C might be confused with F, by a novice player. I could also see novices confusing D, G and A, as they are in the middle of the clusters.
Meaning, to distinguish Si(B) from Sol(G), which start with the same letter S.

Could you post a photo of that "X"?

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DaveyG
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
Well, the mystery is solved. I learned something today.
I'm disappointed you found the answer so quickly. I was hoping to persuade you it was a modern version of the Enigma machine. :D

Tiny Montgomery
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Post 30 May 2021

Let's hear it! Break out the tape echo and the minor chords.

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challism
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Post 30 May 2021

Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
Do Re Mi Fa So La Si
C . D . E . F . G . A . B

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.

see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfège
It just hit me what you were saying.... derp! Sorry, I missed YOUR point.
Yes, it seems to be a Do Re Mi thing going on.
The C has a D (Do) on it, the D has an R (Re), the E has an M (Mi)... I thought you were trying to teach me the chromatic scale. ha ha ha,
Yes these are abbreviations for the Do Re Mi note names. You were the first to crack the code! My apologies for missing what you were saying. :)

Your answer is exactly what the seller went on to say.
Tiny Montgomery wrote:
30 May 2021
Let's hear it! Break out the tape echo and the minor chords.
When I "play" the piano, it sounds NOTHING like this!
.

orthodox wrote:
30 May 2021
challism wrote:
30 May 2021

Wouldn't B need to be made distinct from E, not G? The same way C might be confused with F, by a novice player. I could also see novices confusing D, G and A, as they are in the middle of the clusters.
Meaning, to distinguish Si(B) from Sol(G), which start with the same letter S.

Could you post a photo of that "X"?
The X is very faint and doesn't show up in the picture very well, but you can kind of see it.
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0.jpg
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
IMO I would not write the note names onto the keys.
I wouldn't either, and I'm happy that they will easily wash off.
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Ahornberg
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Post 30 May 2021

Get a book on music theory written in french language and you will find Do, Re, Mi exclusively and no C, D, E. So I wasn't suprised to find Do, Re, Mi on keyboard in Vietnam due to history.

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challism
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Post 30 May 2021

The interesting thing here, to me, is that the Vietnamese alphabet doesn't have the letter F, but they still use F for F. But it doesn't stand for F, it coincidentally stands for Fa.
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
Get a book on music theory written in french language and you will find Do, Re, Mi exclusively and no C, D, E. So I wasn't suprised to find Do, Re, Mi on keyboard in Vietnam due to history.
Good point! Lots of French influence here, in Indo-China. And good for you for knowing some history of this part of the world. Many people are completely ignorant of it.
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
Do Re Mi Fa So La Si
C . D . E . F . G . A . B

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.

see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfège
Where I come from, the B is called Ti (not Si). So maybe Viets use X for Xi. That would make sense why there is an X, and I could easily see them calling it Xi, instead of Si. Depending on the dialect, the X and S can sound the same in Vietnamese (common in northern accents).
DaveyG wrote:
30 May 2021
challism wrote:
30 May 2021
Well, the mystery is solved. I learned something today.
I'm disappointed you found the answer so quickly. I was hoping to persuade you it was a modern version of the Enigma machine. :D
Well, Ahornberg cracked the case immediately. Nicely done!
Sorry to disappoint, though. Maybe I can find another unsolved mystery.
What do you thin happened to Elisa Lam? :(
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challism
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Post 30 May 2021

So I have given this a bit of thought and am wondering what the French do with sharps and flats? Are they really Do#/Reb, R#/Mib... etc? Seems way more complicated than just using C thru B.

Now, I'm to go drink some Xi "with jam and bread"

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orthodox
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
So I have given this a bit of thought and am wondering what the French do with sharps and flats? Are they really Do#/Reb, R#/Mib... etc? Seems way more complicated than just using C thru B.
I was taught in that tradition, to me, CDEFGAB seem cryptic. We say dièse, bémol, bécarre. What's so complicated in that? :-)

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DaveyG
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
So I have given this a bit of thought and am wondering what the French do with sharps and flats?
I asked a Frenchman and...

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WongoTheSane
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
So I have given this a bit of thought and am wondering what the French do with sharps and flats? Are they really Do#/Reb, R#/Mib... etc? Seems way more complicated than just using C thru B.
Yes, it's "Do dièse" for "C sharp" and "Ré bémol" for "D flat" (pronounced roughly "doh diayz" and "ray bay mall"). Or Do# and Réb in notation. "bémol" has the same origin as "moll" in German (like "Sonata D-Moll" for instance).

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orthodox
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Post 30 May 2021

WongoTheSane wrote:
30 May 2021
"bémol" has the same origin as "moll" in German (like "Sonata D-Moll" for instance).
Yes, but in German it means "minor". It all started with two variants of B in G-major and G-minor in Italian. The major one was referred to as "duro" (hard), the minor one was "molle" (soft). So now major and minor are called "Dur" and "Moll" in German.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 30 May 2021

challism wrote:
30 May 2021
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
Do Re Mi Fa So La Si
C . D . E . F . G . A . B

Maybe the B is marked with an X to distinct it from G.

see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfège
It just hit me what you were saying.... derp! Sorry, I missed YOUR point.
Yes, it seems to be a Do Re Mi thing going on.
The C has a D (Do) on it, the D has an R (Re), the E has an M (Mi)... I thought you were trying to teach me the chromatic scale. ha ha ha,
Yes these are abbreviations for the Do Re Mi note names. You were the first to crack the code! My apologies for missing what you were saying. :)

Your answer is exactly what the seller went on to say.
Tiny Montgomery wrote:
30 May 2021
Let's hear it! Break out the tape echo and the minor chords.
When I "play" the piano, it sounds NOTHING like this!
.

orthodox wrote:
30 May 2021


Meaning, to distinguish Si(B) from Sol(G), which start with the same letter S.

Could you post a photo of that "X"?
The X is very faint and doesn't show up in the picture very well, but you can kind of see it.
.
0.jpg
Ahornberg wrote:
30 May 2021
IMO I would not write the note names onto the keys.
I wouldn't either, and I'm happy that they will easily wash off.
Thank you for that amazing video and to learn about her.
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