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Generalizing New Tonic Patterns

Lesson Summary

Now that we have learned to read three familiar tonic patterns in two DO-signatures, we will harness the power of generalization to read more tonic patterns. Some of the patterns will be familiar to you aurally, while others will be brand new.


Generalization is the ability to figure out the unfamiliar on the basis of the familiar. For example, when you were young, your parent probably told you that fruit is sweet. If they handed you a mango, and you asked what it was, and your parents said, “It’s a mango. A mango is a fruit,” you should have been able to infer then, through generalization, that a mango is sweet. Using those same inference skills, you should be able to read many more patterns than just DO MI SO, SO MI DO and DO SO DO.

Generalizing New Patterns

Look at the two patterns below.

The first pattern (DO MI SO) is familiar to you. Using that knowledge, can you figure out the second pattern? Hopefully, you generalized that it was DO MI.

Generalizing Tonic Patterns in Eb-DO

Use the skill of generalization to read these new patterns in Eb-DO.

Use the skill of generalization to read these new patterns in F-DO.

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