function of our visual note system - in the Ancient Harp program - is to make three things
1. Early learning of signs which enable the student to relate to
rhythm and sound pitch.
2. The ability to write and play instantly according to the visually concrete signs.
3. The ability to play together without remembering each part, which may be useful, for
example, in a concert.
The direction of writing and reading the
signs is from left to right, as it is in the regular staff.
Which string do we play?
Each string is represented by a line with a number in a little circle at its left. This
number represents the number of the string. The soprano string (the thin one) is
represented by number 1 in the circle. The second, string (the middle one) is represented
by the number 2. The bass string (the thick
one) is represented by the number 3. We use the same numbers to mark the strings on the
Ancient Harp itself, so that the student knows and sees which number represents which string.
the duration of the sounds we play?
While we teach the students to distinguish the strings, we also teach them the three basic
rhythmic values: the whole note, the half note and the quarter note. Each sound is written
as one of these three values.
We also teach the children that notes are written from left to right. We divide the bars
by rhythm and explain the allocation of notes in every bar. For example, in a bar of 4/4
there can be one whole note, two half notes, four quarter notes or other combinations that
will amount to 4 quarters.
In addition, we teach the students that when a note is written above another note, this
means that both notes are played simultaneously, and that a line of three notes written
one above the other is called a chord.
We can now write basic musical patterns and play them together with the students.
It is possible for the teacher to play the solo part.