#1
This feels like the most daft and idiotic question I've asked here let alone on the internet, but here goes anyway.

Essentially,I've been getting the impression that there seems to be a belief that studying all this theory you learn in a music-centered college or something of the sort kills the ability to enjoy simpler music that isn't so heavily technique-oriented. While this does seem somewhat like it makes sense, at the same time it sounds absolutely idiotic(I can't see musicians of all people paying money to do something that makes some music unenjoyable). I've been listening more and more to the kind of music I want to be playing and calling "a song I wrote" eventually, and it may just be the fact it's 5:30 AM here that's making me think this, but I don't think I can get to where I want to be with the gargly noises I call original music without the kind of stuff they teach in these kinds of music institutes(Again, it may just be the fact it's 5:30 AM that's making me think like this, but figured I'd make this just to be sure).

So, basically, does anyone on here know whether going to those kinds of places really kills the simple music or is that an idiotic superstition like I'm thinking it is, and in addition, this may seem a bit odd of a question, but could one also get a decent business education from one?
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#2
Music is a language. I like to know how to read, write and speak my languages

And any decent music course will have a business aspect to it, sometimes optional, sometimes part of the course itself. Depends where you study (I think that's what you're asking?).
#3
Why would you not want to learn more about what you're passionate about? I never understood that.
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#4
no. The people who don't enjoy simple music after such a college were snobs before as well. As long as you're open minded, it won't kill your pleasure
#5
I don't think it kills it.You CAN become a theory freak and call simple riffs like Soulfly's ones simple and boring but I don't believe that's seen too often. Theory is good as long as you don't practise scales for the rest of your lives. If you're a John Petrucci guy you'd hate Soulfly. I believe it goes on your preference though,like if you're into mixed like I am you'd like the techniquish (lol word) new Machine Head and still love the old Machine Head with the simple riffs. You know,if you're limited and stupid you hate simple riffs If you're really a smart and fun-loving person you love both
#6
I will agree that this infact has had a great affect on me.
Due to all the musical theory I have studyed, I have become very much so into the more complicated genres.
Such as Progressive music of all kinds and Mathrock.

I have such a dislike of playing music that is in only 4/4 or 3/4 and just one Diatonic or pentatonic scale throughout. I get so bored and end up putting a great deal of planning and thought into my music. Although i beleive this makes my music more complex and enjoyable.

I beleive the most beautifull thing about an instrument Is that fact that one never truely learns everything, and there is allways room to improve, there is always something you can do to it. Because music, as an art, is never complete.

I very much so have noticed great deal of change in my musical tastes since I started studying musical theory and listening to as much music as I could.

EDIT: Take in mind I am not saying that I dislike all music that is not rigored with complexity, but through musical theory and music exploration I have found that I find complexity a trait in which I enjoy.
Last edited by [[BurnTheDusk]] at Jun 28, 2009,
#7
People saying it kills it really are just trying to convince themselves that their lack of great technical ability isn't a big problem. I've used that one a couple of times before but then i just watch Randy or Van Halen and go 'oohh man...'

I also think that theory is kind of enjoyable, even separated from creativity, but when you combine them you get so much good stuff. Can't think of many guitarists that express themselves without any theoretical knowledge, maybe the lead guitarist from Chicago (not sure what his name is).

I think it kills musical pleasure when it gets to the point that some classical instrument teachers and virtuosos seem to have, where they 'compose' songs by sitting down and thinking them through in terms of loads of theory, and where you have to go to uni to join an orchestra or something like that and then they're all down on people that can express themselves without all that.
#8
It's an obvious truth that, after having become used to the best for a long period of time, returning to the average makes the mediocre seem all the worst. The problem with this question is that it assumes two falsities. First, that complexity is some how better than simplicity, and second, that enjoyment of music is of purely an intellectual nature. Simple yet powerful music will always be powerful despite brilliantly created musical universes like Bach's Fugues from Die Kunst der Fugue; which are complex and powerful just as well.
#9
For me, studying theory has made listening to music more pleasurable, because coupled with improving my ear it has allowed me to understand music and hear it more clearly. It's opened my ears to styles of music I didn't listed to before, like jazz. Even though music has some logic or science to it, for me it will always be creative and magical. It's amazing how people can interpret 12 notes in such different ways.
#10
I've only taught myself so far, but I think I understand, and for me, it's sort of true. I think it's like someone who studies the English language and is like a grammar nazi on the internet. In that, it's annoying a little bit.

I've started to dislike a lot of simple hard rock like AC/DC, but have started to appreciate progressive rock like Dream Theater more and more. I like AC/DC from time to time, but I just prefer music that has more composition.

... But then again, I think that could be me now getting into Classical and Jazz music and wanting to listen to something written like it. >.<
#11
Quote by necrosis1193
This feels like the most daft and idiotic question I've asked here let alone on the internet, but here goes anyway.

Essentially,I've been getting the impression that there seems to be a belief that studying all this theory you learn in a music-centered college or something of the sort kills the ability to enjoy simpler music that isn't so heavily technique-oriented. While this does seem somewhat like it makes sense, at the same time it sounds absolutely idiotic(I can't see musicians of all people paying money to do something that makes some music unenjoyable). I've been listening more and more to the kind of music I want to be playing and calling "a song I wrote" eventually, and it may just be the fact it's 5:30 AM here that's making me think this, but I don't think I can get to where I want to be with the gargly noises I call original music without the kind of stuff they teach in these kinds of music institutes(Again, it may just be the fact it's 5:30 AM that's making me think like this, but figured I'd make this just to be sure).

So, basically, does anyone on here know whether going to those kinds of places really kills the simple music or is that an idiotic superstition like I'm thinking it is, and in addition, this may seem a bit odd of a question, but could one also get a decent business education from one?



For me, learning music theory was a positive thing. The perspective I've gained has allowed me to appreciate music on a deeper level.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 28, 2009,
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
For me, learning music theory was a positive thing. The perspective I've gained has allowed me to appreciate music on a deeper level.


Definitely this.

But I did start to dislike lots of metal and heavy for some reason when my understanding of music got better, could be 'cause I was kinda depressed when I listened to them the most though. Still love Tool though.

#13
There definitely are people that learn theory and then start looking down their noses...... but that's a personal issue. If it wasn't music theory.... they'd be using something else to bolster their ego.

Music theory on it's own though is just information. If your into music, you'll find this information to be relevant and useful.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 28, 2009,
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
There definitely are people that learn theory and then start looking down their noses...... but that's a personal issue. If it wasn't music theory.... they'd be using something else to bolster their ego.

Music theory on it's own though is just information. If your into music, you'll find this information to be relevant and useful.

+1

i still enjoy listening to nirvana.
#15
Well, when I started learning theory I started to appreciate some bands more, but I wouldn't say it has stopped me from liking simpler music. In fact, I only recently got into Taking Back Sunday's first album
#16
I know what you mean, but I only have this for a very small selection of music.

I listen to quite technical stuff, but I love AC/DC, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and more.

I think there's a difference between simple music, and music that focuses on other aspects.

Like, I do get bored if I hear something simple composition wise, but if the guitar really sings, or if the sound is nice, or nice vibrato's or w/e, I can appreciate it.

For me, simple and complex don't exist as 2 extremes.

Music has a lot of other (often overlooked) aspects.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jun 28, 2009,
#17
Hi Necrosis,

Without getting too hippy and spiritual, I've always thought of music as fulfilling two separate but similar purposes.

Art and entertainment.

Music as art comes from a deep understanding of the theory formed by you into something that other can appreciate either on an artistic level or purely just as entertainment.

I'm sure you listen to some music and appreciate the art whilst listen to other music simply because it makes you tap your foot. And then a whole load of music in the middle which serves both purposes.

Keep with the learning but keep it chilled with your playing and enjoy it.

Keep jammin'

Ed
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You've no idea where the last 4 hours of your life disappeared to!!
#18
The more I've learnt about music, the more I've started to listening to bands like Cynic and Atheist... but at the same time I've started listening to guys like Devendra Banhart and Iron & Wine: simple Folk artists.

Learning music hasn't killed my ability to enjoy simple music. It has just widened the amount of genres I listen to.
#19
Personally, this hasn't happened for me, not a complete transition...
I do enjoy complicated pieces more than I used to, but I can enjoy The Ramones (simpler than simple) even more than complicated (shred) pieces... I still listen to simple music, but I also listen to 'complicated' stuff (exotic chords, creating moods, think Radiohead)...

You have to listen to what you want, if it's complicated technical stuff, listen to it, if you like simple music, learning theory can change that, but it can also stay exactly the same, if you realize that even the simplest music has been composed with a certain mood in mind, it could have been more complicated, but it isn't... I'd rather choose a song with 2 or 3 chords than a song with all kinds of key changes, and licks...
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#20
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I know what you mean, but I only have this for a very small selection of music.

I listen to quite technical stuff, but I love AC/DC, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and more.

I think there's a difference between simple music, and music that focuses on other aspects.

Like, I do get bored if I hear something simple composition wise, but if the guitar really sings, or if the sound is nice, or nice vibrato's or w/e, I can appreciate it.

For me, simple and complex don't exist as 2 extremes.

Music has a lot of other (often overlooked) aspects.


But you don't like generic pop or punk that you hear on the radio, right? I find when I listen to Led Zeppelin, there are often very interesting things (raggae influence in D'yer M'ker, or Indian influence in Kashmir) that don't come from being technical, but simply aren't often heard in most of the music we listen to. Pink Floyd, while not technically complex, can still be quite progressive and interesting to listen to. With the Who, the only album I've really been able to get into is Tommy, but I like it more for its story line than for its musical quality. And their The Kids are Alright DVD is quite funny. AC/DC just have their own sound, and while I don't want to listen to alot of their stuff at once, its fun party music or whatever that everyone knows.
#21
Since I started learning theory a few years ago, I've noticed I can't listen to crappy Top 40 stuff simply because every song shares the same structure. Other than that, I've expanded my musical tastes to include more complicated stuff while still listening to other stuff. For example, before I learned theory I was really in to classic rock like Zeppelin, Rush, Pink Floyd and now knowing that what they were doing makes me like them even more. Also, before I learned theory, I refused to even give some of the more complicated things a chance, but now I'm a huge Fusion & Prog Rock/Metal fan, something I never pictured myself as when I first started playing. I also enjoy Indian music, African music, etc just because of what they bring to the table. Most guys I know who went to music college actually came out listening to the simpler stuff even more just because they learned how it relates to other genres and that just because it's not complicated doesn't mean it's not good. Another thing I've learned since picking up music theory was that being a great all around musician is far more important than being just a great technically advanced guitarist. I don't see any reason not to learn theory.
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#22
I actually think of it the other way around... If I'm understanding you correctly you're saying that being a theory buff makes it difficult to 'appreciate' simple music. Well, for me anyways, although I enjoyed music before learning theory... I find it easier to fully understand, and in turn, appreciate music now that I'm becoming 'fluent' in the language of music.

edit: I just read the post above me, and I do agree to an extent. Lots of the 'mainstream' music is, dare I say, stale and unoriginal. Tough, I still have no difficulty findng beauty and pleasure in a simple 4 chord progression with a simple melody over top. Music is music to me, if anything, the actually intent and 'motive' behind songs effect me more so than the actual content of the song. If it's got a good 'vibe' and nothing is meant by anything, and there is no bad intentions... then let the notes flow My 'philosophy' is borrowed largely from John frusciante, and the Red hot chili peppers point of view. If you watch "Funky monks" you'll hear all of the RHCP spewing philosophies and stuff... quite fun actually :p
Last edited by Ganphra at Jun 29, 2009,
#23
i have never learned any music theory and yet able to play quite proficiently without it. i cant stand learning scales and repeating things over and over. I love music way more without that stuff, think of it as ignorance is bliss type thinking. nothing against anyone else just my opinion.
#24
Quote by Ganphra

Tough, I still have no difficulty findng beauty and pleasure in a simple 4 chord progression with a simple melody over top. Music is music to me, if anything, the actually intent and 'motive' behind songs effect me more so than the actual content of the song. If it's got a good 'vibe' and nothing is meant by anything, and there is no bad intentions


Neither do I. I actually enjoy some of it. I should've said the other reason I don't like most of it. I find that the vast majority of it contains no emotions whatsoever in the instrumentation or voice. I've heard so many pop songs where the singer sounds happy but their lyrics are about something sad. There are some pop artists I find decent and some that I actually find pretty good, especially considering that they managed to make it on pop radio. But songs by people like Britney Spears, Mims, Metrostation, etc., I just can't stand.
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#25
My take on it is that learning more about music theory develops your ear a LOT, and trains you to listen to all the parts of a song. So if you're actually listening to the guitar part or the drum beat in your favorite standard, straightforward pop or rock song, you'll notice that it is in fact really simple and straightforward compared to other music. If you still like the melody or the vocals or the feel of the song, then you still like it. But the fact is that a lot of popular music doesn't have much to it besides the charisma of the performer, and by studying music theory you're learning to listen to and evaluate music on a deeper level. So your taste in music may change. But i think that because you're thinking about music more, you'll appreciate and enjoy it more.
#26
Quote by Phraug
My take on it is that learning more about music theory develops your ear a LOT, and trains you to listen to all the parts of a song. So if you're actually listening to the guitar part or the drum beat in your favorite standard, straightforward pop or rock song, you'll notice that it is in fact really simple and straightforward compared to other music. If you still like the melody or the vocals or the feel of the song, then you still like it. But the fact is that a lot of popular music doesn't have much to it besides the charisma of the performer, and by studying music theory you're learning to listen to and evaluate music on a deeper level. So your taste in music may change. But i think that because you're thinking about music more, you'll appreciate and enjoy it more.


I agree. It's not like studying music makes you dislike music. It just changes what music you likes, and generally allows you to appreciate more music, even if you know longer like the stuff you used to like. You'll stop liking a few musicians, but start liking a whole lot more.
#27
Quote by isaac_bandits
But you don't like generic pop or punk that you hear on the radio, right? I find when I listen to Led Zeppelin, there are often very interesting things (raggae influence in D'yer M'ker, or Indian influence in Kashmir) that don't come from being technical, but simply aren't often heard in most of the music we listen to. Pink Floyd, while not technically complex, can still be quite progressive and interesting to listen to. With the Who, the only album I've really been able to get into is Tommy, but I like it more for its story line than for its musical quality. And their The Kids are Alright DVD is quite funny. AC/DC just have their own sound, and while I don't want to listen to alot of their stuff at once, its fun party music or whatever that everyone knows.


That's what I meant.

It focuses on other aspects of music, and not technique. (like you stated about zeppelin).

That is stuff I like as well for that.

I find generic pop music haven't got any aspect I like, musical wise.

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#28
I never liked generic pop - not because its simple, but because it doesn't mean anything. Its just churned out to get the masses that like their music safe and predictable to spend their money.

Music theory doesn't stop you enjoying music - it just helps you understand it better, and it will probably widen the range of stuff you listen to, as you will start to appreciate other genres more as you gain a better understanding of them.
#29
Quote by mmolteratx
Since I started learning theory a few years ago, I've noticed I can't listen to crappy Top 40 stuff simply because every song shares the same structure. Other than that, I've expanded my musical tastes to include more complicated stuff while still listening to other stuff. For example, before I learned theory I was really in to classic rock like Zeppelin, Rush, Pink Floyd and now knowing that what they were doing makes me like them even more. Also, before I learned theory, I refused to even give some of the more complicated things a chance, but now I'm a huge Fusion & Prog Rock/Metal fan, something I never pictured myself as when I first started playing. I also enjoy Indian music, African music, etc just because of what they bring to the table. Most guys I know who went to music college actually came out listening to the simpler stuff even more just because they learned how it relates to other genres and that just because it's not complicated doesn't mean it's not good. Another thing I've learned since picking up music theory was that being a great all around musician is far more important than being just a great technically advanced guitarist. I don't see any reason not to learn theory.


Dude i agree with you 100%

EDIT:
But as I see it, it just depends on what kind of person you are. If you're open minded and willing to sound good, then definitely go for it. If you're like my band's lead guitar player who only focuses on the technical aspect of everything, ONLY liking songs for the complicity and hating every song that's a four chord progression then I think there could be some problems. The funny thing is, he doesn't even know theory.
Last edited by skittle_eater at Jun 30, 2009,
#30
Only tools go to a university and look down their noses at simple music. Most professors you have will actually strongly push love of simplicity while teaching you complex theory.

Quote by tom1thomas1

I think it kills musical pleasure when it gets to the point that some classical instrument teachers and virtuosos seem to have, where they 'compose' songs by sitting down and thinking them through in terms of loads of theory, and where you have to go to uni to join an orchestra or something like that and then they're all down on people that can express themselves without all that.



Composition of complex orchestral music is TOTALLY different from writing a rock song. It also has loads of emotion. The people that write like that just know exactly how to express emotions through theory very quickly because they have a VERY firm grasp of it. They aren´t using theory to compose the song. They are using theory to write down the song that is already composed in their head. There is a huge difference. Classical composition is a totally different way of expression, and it is every bit as expressive to write as guitar based music.

If they´re looking down on people that don´t know theory to a T... then well... **** them. Not all of them are such douches.
#31
When you study any art the same way that a college would have you study music, of course you lose some appreciation for simple things. But that balances out because you can start to appreciate and understand things that you couldnt have before

Its like art. Studying it for a long time may make you lose your appreciation for that cool picture of a car your friend drew, but it will open your mind up to things like Da Vinci (sp) and Van Go (also sp)
#32
If anything a greater understanding of how something works only makes me appreciate it more, unless its a magic trick or something. You do start to hate pop music though, and lean to more complex genres.
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Last edited by turtlewax at Jun 30, 2009,
#33
Let's have a fun 'brainstorming' session If you could pick two, three, maybe four points that can be said of theory what would they be? I think music theory: helps widen your perspective, gives a greater comprehension of the structure of music, and most of all... is like a translator between your thoughts, feelings, the spirits in your head.... and the outside world. For a person who knows very little theory... it can be difficult to 'translate' a song you've got in your head, into something that can be played. Theory helps bridge the gap, in my opinion...