Musical ‘Play’ Simplified


In our system of music there is great emphasis placed on harmony (harmony defined as the pleasing combination of different sounds). For various reasons, not to be enumerated in detail here (please see our book, “The Magical Musical Spiraled Seashell and Friends” – go to the heading above – Musical Books), we have a musical system based on 12 tones (referred to as chromatic – like the 12 numbers on a clock).

These 12 tones can be easily visualized by looking at the white and black notes on a piano – there are 12;  7 white – a, b, c, d, e, f and g and 5 black – a#/bb, c#/db, d#/eb, f#/gb and g#/ab (one of the idiosyncrocies of music is that the black notes have two names for the same sound – by the way, # = sharp and b = flat). These 12 tones are repeated at higher and higher octaves (pitches) over the entire length of a piano keyboard. But we are basically dealing with just 12 basic root tones in our musical system.

Now, getting back to “harmony“, to maximize harmony, our musical system requires that only 7 tones at a time out of the 12 be used in producing a piece of music. Using all 12 tones is not particularly pleasing to the ear. This 7 tones kind of music with which we are most familiar is called “diatonic” (sometimes a 5 tone subset of the 7 is used which is referred to as “pentatonic“). OK – too many details.

Here is the bottom line – “THE SECRET of MUSIC” – if you have an instrument that only produces 7 tones at a time, you can “play” it any way that you like, alone, or along with another piece of music drawn from the same 7 tones – the same Key as it is referred to), and you will naturally create beautiful harmonizing music.

This simple technique is referred to as “improvisation“, is much easier than trying to read music, should be an integral part of every persons musical self-discovery, and is the secret to unlocking the creative musicality residing within ALL of us!

Not wanting to confuse, but just adding a little more information, within our 12 tone system, using 7 tones at a time, there are 12 different arrangements of those 7 tones called Keys, changing from one to the next changes the relative highness or lowness of the music only – the song still has the same basic melodic and chordal structure.


All of the instruments you are about to experience here, produce only the notes that fit one Key – so not only can you read and reproduce written music easier that you would with common chromatic instruments, but you are “FREE” to “PLAYFULLY” create (improvise) your own beautiful music, alone or along with others, without the fear of making a mistake, i.e., playing an out-of-Key, or “wrong” note. And with all the Seven Arrows Instruments, you will even be able to easily convert the instrument from playing in one particular Key into another particular Key, thus enhancing your opportunity to play along with others in different Keys, and sing along with your voice which is sometimes better suited to particular Keys.