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Old 05-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
gnr10101
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Can Music Theory Improve Your Songwriting?

Hey everyone,

I wrote a blog about this topic, and I'm curious to hear other people's opinions about it...Let me know!

http://www.breenmusiclessons.com/20...in-songwriting/
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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Well done article. It didn't have anything that I disagreed with.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
Well done article. It didn't have anything that I disagreed with.


I appreciate that, glad you enjoyed the read!
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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Warning: I'm feeling rather cynical today.

I've read that same article about a million times before, just with different words. 95% of the regulars here have probably typed that same article at some point, in their own words. As far as blogs go it didn't really offer any new or interesting angles. disappointed.

Also are you just trying to generate traffic to your site???
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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scrolled quickly, saw tons of words = unnecessarily verbose answer

the entire question at work is quite literally "does understanding what the hell's going on in (topic x) improve your ability to work with (topic x), yes or no"

how could there possibly be a "no" side of this
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by :-D
scrolled quickly, saw tons of words = unnecessarily verbose answer

the entire question at work is quite literally "does understanding what the hell's going on in (topic x) improve your ability to work with (topic x), yes or no"

how could there possibly be a "no" side of this


"You're using your brain to make music not your heart."

I imagine that's what most people who answer no would say.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:53 AM   #7
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true

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Old 05-07-2013, 03:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 20Tigers
Warning: I'm feeling rather cynical today.

I've read that same article about a million times before, just with different words. 95% of the regulars here have probably typed that same article at some point, in their own words. As far as blogs go it didn't really offer any new or interesting angles. disappointed.

Also are you just trying to generate traffic to your site???

Nail. Hit. Head.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:32 AM   #9
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Inspiration is a bitch... it always favours someone else. Rather just do it instead of waiting for it to come to you. If the mountain refuses to play fetch with you... burn it.

Was an ok article. Lots of words that initially promised not to show how its done, and you stayed true to that principle.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:07 AM   #10
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I think theory is a means by which you explain an artistic phenomenon. You utilize theory to explain music, not to write music.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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I liked everything except where you said you could write in a wrong note that clashes with established music theory. There are no wrong notes in established music theory. It's basically an accidental. Unless you used a note that wasn't one of the 12 notes, but even that would be explained with music theory (but I wouldn't like the sound of it).
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #12
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I think theory is a means by which you explain an artistic phenomenon. You utilize theory to explain music, not to write music.

It can be used to both explain and write.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
It can be used to both explain and write.

Don't know so much about that. It can't teach you to write well. But it can be used to take away all the magic of a piece. Some people tend to dumb down the piece with a theoretical explanation and succeed. I tend not to like those people... are you one of them?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by evolucian
Don't know so much about that.


Allow me to direct you to this line from the above article (because I'm too lazy to write up something myself) :
"...it definitely doesn’t hurt to be aware of all your musical options before finishing a piece."

Quote:
It can't teach you to write well.

No, it can't. But it sometimes can be an aid in helping when you're stuck.

Quote:
But it can be used to take away all the magic of a piece.

This statement is nonsensical. Music is based upon listening. Evaluation of a piece should NOT ruin "the magic" for you.

Quote:
Some people tend to dumb down the piece with a theoretical explanation and succeed. I tend not to like those people... are you one of them?

How do you dumb down a piece with a theoretical explanation?

I think I get what you're saying, but (as above) I find it to be nonsensical. Theory doesn't dumb things down. It simply explains what's going on. If that ruins it for you, then you probably don't understand how to properly apply theory.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:16 PM   #15
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Its pretty easy to dumb it down... especially when you separate a magical three line post into four sections. Point proven.

Looks at daily planner: get someone crazy to take the bait - check.

Quote:
Allow me to direct you to this line from the above article (because I'm too lazy to write up something myself) :
"...it definitely doesn’t hurt to be aware of all your musical options before finishing a piece."
Direct me then and stop typing... direct me already! What happens if I only have one chord to do to finish my piece, do I stop everything and draw up some charts to see if my final chord I'm thinking of is the right one? What happens if I have that chord but just need to write one more melody note to finish my piece. Do I just stop and draw some more charts to look at all my possibilities?

Quote:
Evaluation of a piece should NOT ruin "the magic" for you.

What good is evaluation if it can't strip the magic away? I don't like it then.

Quote:
Theory doesn't dumb things down. It simply explains what's going on. If that ruins it for you, then you probably don't understand how to properly apply theory.

It does. If it explains what's going on then its dumb. I don't understand how to properly apply theory... teach me.

Last edited by evolucian : 05-07-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #16
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I don't see why not. In my case, music theory has only helped me. It allows me to know exactly what it is I'm looking for when I'm writing, rather than before, which was essentially me pecking in the dark looking for the note combinations that I was looking for. And theoretically explaining something, again for me, has helped me, as in bringing the "magic" down to explanations helps me rebuild that sound in my own music.

It comes down to your own songwriting style. But I feel that either way knowing theory can help you in some manner.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #17
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music theory is like science

yeah, it encapsulates a series of understandings, but first and foremost it's an analytical system that operates whether we devotedly study it or not. if you've ever understood anything about music at all (especially not strictly on a textbook level), hummed a melody, learned some riffs by ear, you've put some effort into your musical education.

there's a level of pretentiousness, as in any craft, but all this "music theory or no music theory" stuff is redundant and serves no purpose because theory is inherent in anything. somebody didn't just one day say "okay, this is how music from now on is going to be" - it just happened and people learned to explain it so we could add it to our compendium of understanding in the realm of music - but anybody passionate about music can start from the ground up and learn everything with curiosity, a strong ear, passion, and the ability to connect, challenge, and edify theories objectively and with common sense.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by evolucian
Its pretty easy to dumb it down... especially when you separate a magical three line post into four sections. Point proven.

Looks at daily planner: get someone crazy to take the bait - check.

Direct me then and stop typing... direct me already! What happens if I only have one chord to do to finish my piece, do I stop everything and draw up some charts to see if my final chord I'm thinking of is the right one? What happens if I have that chord but just need to write one more melody note to finish my piece. Do I just stop and draw some more charts to look at all my possibilities?


What good is evaluation if it can't strip the magic away? I don't like it then.


It does. If it explains what's going on then its dumb. I don't understand how to properly apply theory... teach me.

Nobody would write charts to find chords and melodies to write music, that's ****ing stupid. Your rebuff of theory is based on nothing, as you yourself just stated that you don't understand how to apply theory. You're nonsensical.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #19
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Yes, I'm nonsensical... and don't understand how to apply theory. Will you offer to teach me pls, mac?

Last edited by evolucian : 05-07-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #20
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