Q: I recently purchased Ear Training One Note Complete and have been working with the program for about two weeks. At this point I have a question: Since we are learning the sound of various pitches as they relate to a tonal center (key), shouldn't we be referring to the notes by their scale degree rather than their note names? The sound of the third degree of the scale will remain the same in all keys but note positions will change in every key won't they?
A: This is a question that is asked often. Many students that are just starting with this ear training don't have a strong music theory background. Many are just starting to learn about scales and the chromatic scale. By using note names it helps a beginning student organize music theory relationships and apply them to their instrument. In the long run a student needs to know both the note names and the degree relationships in every key. It would be nice if the book contained 6 CDs so a student could work on both methods. This is not practical because of cost considerations. I have found that a student that works through my Music Theory books has no problem instantly switching keys and using note names or degree relationships. If you don't currently have this ability I would suggest you start working on it. If you do have this ability then it won't matter if you are saying note names or degrees.