#1
If you are experienced in music theory, what would you say has helped you the most in terms of understanding how all music clicks into place? Ive learned Co5 and my intervals, notes within chords and the chords within keys etc, but i dont feel like im understanding everything as a whole.

For example i just looked at a scale diagram and it had the key of Bb instead of A#..is this normally used instead of A# and why? Esharp and Bsharp notes do exist (despite what i was told in school) so when are they used?
#2
Quote by Orangatango
Esharp and Bsharp notes do exist (despite what i was told in school)

I'd like to know where that teacher got their music degree?

And there isn't really one single thing that helps me more, it's all collective for me. When analyzing a song there's many thing I know from keys to rhythms to intervals that help me understand it.
Last edited by pwrmax at Jul 12, 2009,
#3
A# does not really exist as a key because it would have double sharps in it. Double sharps are fine, but they are usually reserved for accidentals. The reason that comes to mind is that if you have a double sharp in key and you want an accidental, then you need triple sharps which don't exist. Bb is easier on the everyone because it's only 2 flats versus 4 sharps and 3 double sharps.
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#4
The keys of Bb and A# are enharmonically equivalent (sound the same) but are composed of different note names. Bb is much more common because there are only two flats in the key signature, whereas A# would have 10 sharps (lol), meaning there are three notes that are double sharps. Because that is so inconvenient to read and play, the key of Bb would be used instead.

E# is a note in the key of F# (it is the leading tone of the scale and is used because you can't have two different degrees of the scale with the same letter name in scales with 7 tones).
B# is a note in the key of C#, with the same explanation as above

EDIT: analyzing every piece of music you can get a hold of helps it click for. Whenever I learn a song on guitar, I figure out what key it's in then figure out all the notes in that scale. Also, I play the vocal line on piano to figure out what notes the singer is singing. Figuring out the phrasing is also helpful, for example in the song Everlong, the verses are composed of 7 measure phrases which is not common for a rock song.
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Last edited by bluethunder2512 at Jul 12, 2009,
#5
Quote by sharpiemarker
A# does not really exist as a key because it would have double sharps in it.

This, only a composer with a personal vendetta against musicians would compose in the key of A# major. I don't think that even possible though as I've never seen a picture of a key signature with double sharps.
Last edited by pwrmax at Jul 12, 2009,
#6
Quote by Orangatango
If you are experienced in music theory, what would you say has helped you the most in terms of understanding how all music clicks into place? Ive learned Co5 and my intervals, notes within chords and the chords within keys etc, but i dont feel like im understanding everything as a whole.

For example i just looked at a scale diagram and it had the key of Bb instead of A#..is this normally used instead of A# and why? Esharp and Bsharp notes do exist (despite what i was told in school) so when are they used?



well lets see, E sharp... can be the raised 7th of F# minor, thus giving us harmonic minor. scales always go in letter order, but we can determine how the scale is changed from its major/minor scale and thus we have stuff like modes.

get what i'm saying?


theory has helped me out a bunch with playing, i compose solo's and riffs etc easier then just learning from tabs and ear playing etc. it helps you analyze music knowing what works etc etc.
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#8
Quote by Orangatango
sorry why would a sharp have double sharps?

Say you have a natural minor scale and the 7th degree is a sharp, like A# minor would have a G# as a leading tone. To make it harmonic minor you need to sharpen that G# but it still needs to be called G and not A. So that's where G double sharp comes into play.
#9
I guess ill keep trying then. Everytime i seem to want to progress with theory i feel i am just too dumb to understand it and it just goes over my head. I guess if i just totally memorise my notes on the fretboard, notes in chords, intervals on the fretboard etc then thats the best way to get the foundation.
#11
Theory has been kind of disappointing to me. I've been studying it pretty diligently over the last few months and I thought it would improve my playing 10x but it really has not. I like writing songs, and improvising. I'm very good at improvising but pretty weak when it comes to song writing. Learning theory helped with song writing a bit, but not with improvising.

Its been helpful learning what chord progressions sound good, what 7th and 9th chords are and how to make them. Its made it easier for me to understand how to work out complicated time signatures.

It has done nothing for my guitar improv though. Strangely enough I am much better at piano now after learning theory. I think because of how simply the notes are layed out on piano.

I still have some ways to go, i'm glad I learned it but im not sure if it made to much of a difference. I guess its nice to know what im doing for once.
#12
In my world is A# and Bb exactly the same, that makes it quite easier..

How would you guys write an A# scale, compared to a Bb scale, with the double sharps and ten sharps in the key signature?
#13
For me, music clicks when the underlying feeling is fully expressed and shared regardless of the theories surrounding harmony, rhythm, tonality, key signature, et cetera. The real trick is understanding the underlying feeling and expressing it to others in a way they can relate empathy or at least sympathy.

Blues fans don't love 12 bar blues because it follows a form. Some people may prefer this form to others because they are familar with the form, but most often blues fans love blues because they experienced the feelings expressed in the songs.

I feel the greatest benefit of music theory is the solid framework for describing a work to other musicians who understand the theory. Understanding how something works is not the same as experiencing the operation of the 'thing', but you may at least know what to expect thus limiting time spent in trial and error. Either path may or may not lead to discovery.
#14
Everything started clicking together when I stopped worrying about silly half/whote steps and started comparing everything using intervals and deriving it all from the major scale.
#15
Notes->Scales->Chords->Chord Progressions

That's pretty much how I learned the basics of theory.
#16
I haven't come accross anything which needs to be double flattened or double sharpened yet in my own playing or the theory i'm currently looking at (i've still a lot of stuff to look at in theory though so i'm sure it'll pop up sooner or later). The way I got my head around A#/Bb was to look at every scale that I see (on internet, in books, others have written out) and make sure they are use good scale practice like no repeating letters. You change some notes to their enharmonic equivalents, so if someone has written out the A# major scale (A#, C, D, D#, F, G, A) I change it to Bb major (Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A - no repeating letters).

The thing that made theory start to click was when people on UG suggested I look into the major scale in real depth and look at diatonic harmony and intervals. Then things like chord and scale construction just kind of progressed from there.
Last edited by Helpy Helperton at Jul 15, 2009,
#17
Quote by Orangatango
If you are experienced in music theory, what would you say has helped you the most in terms of understanding how all music clicks into place?
Understanding (and I mean really understanding, in terms of its construction in notes and intervals) the major scale.

If you understand the major scale you can derive pretty much any other scale from it, you can derive all the diatonic chords from it and understand why they are diatonic, and you can modify them all. When you start looking at modifying scales and chords then double flats and double sharps start to make practical sense too.

@tangled - theory won't make you any better technically, but it lets you understand why some things work together. So you may not be any better at improvising within a scale if you know theory, but you'll probably have a much easier time identifying an appropriate scale to use in the first place.
#18
Just call it Cbb Dbb Ebb Fbb Gbb Abb Bbb

All double-flats...that's, um..."convenient."