Reading intervals on a diatonic staff

The Problem

      Gaps and Key signatures  

The Solution

      color-coded chord intervals

      color-coded triads  those most frequently used

      recognizing triad inversions

      a couple more triads  those less used

      recognizing 4-note chords

      example sheet music

In Summary

This approach is totally unproven and is only a proposal.  Anyone with some colored text highlighters could implement it, though, on their paper Traditional Notation sheet music in order to try it out and judge for oneself.  This hand-coloring exercise illustrates that color-coding chords (CCC) is not strictly tied to WYSIWYP but could be applied to any diatonic, or even chromatic, staff system.  It would be great to see some informal evaluations, or better, formal evaluations by music educators to determine whether the idea has any merit.

This approach perhaps suggests a new instruction methodology for beginning students of the keyboard.  In addition to single note recognition, there would also be an emphasis on recognizing and playing intervals on any degree.  Being a runner leads me to refer to this as “interval training.”  The concept is similar to both running and playing music though: ongoing exercise and practice leads to proficiency.  It is my belief that a color-coding tool makes learning more efficient due to a general understanding of chord structure.  This would enable the student to recognize them all without rote memorization of them individually.  And with sufficient interval training, one can learn to play intervals and chords with muscle memory.