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#1
When you play, do you limit the notes you access based on a traditional pentatonic or diatonic pattern, or do you freely incorporate all twelve notes? Do you shoot for an overall "major or minor" tonality, or is there another motivation behind which notes you choose?

It baffles me why musicians for over 500 years have been for the most part using the same two scales over and over again without getting bored. What's so special about diatonicism? What can you convey with seven notes that I can't with nine or ten, or twelve?
#2
I don't see why you have to choose one over the other. The reason the tonal system of harmony works is because it allows you to work the more discordant chromatics in with the more consonant diatonics by integrating them by function, rather than in modes and strict patterns.

Out of sheer curiosity, why did you choose 500 years?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Apr 3, 2011,
#4
Quote by food1010

Out of sheer curiosity, why did you choose 500 years?


I like nice, round numbers.

But you're thinking one way or the other. If you're labeling each note as fitting in with the diatonic gamut or outside of the diatonic gamut, then you're thinking diatonically, even if you play the notes outside the gamut. You're operating on a base assumption that a certain note is going to be more "right" to hit than another in a given context.
Last edited by inf4nticide at Apr 3, 2011,
#5
from around the Baroque period to the Classical period it was mainly strict Diatonic patterns, but there were still devices such as tierce de picardie (raising the minor third to make it major) which was kinda dissonant, but it was bringing around a new tonal centre. You don't have to choose one over the other. Iprefer playing diatonically and adding some chromaticisim in.
#6
diatonically cause its easy but not like i stay in th emajor or minor scales

sometimes i find myslef playing atonally just to piss of my neighbors
#7
Quote by inf4nticide
I like nice, round numbers.
Actually, nevermind, I get why you said 500. You're talking about the diatonic system. I was thinking way back to when modes were introduced.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
Quote by rhys digby
from around the Baroque period to the Classical period it was mainly strict Diatonic patterns.


So Diminished 7ths, Neapolitan 6ths, Augmented 6ths, secondary dominants, altered and borrowed chords are diatonic?
#9
Quote by supersac
sometimes i find myslef playing atonally just to piss of my neighbors
Haha I love messing around with some free-form atonal jazz.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#10
Diatonic sounds nice, people listen like to listen to nice things, musicians like to get paid

diatonic is win-win
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Apr 3, 2011,
#11
It's probably something to do with the fact that most songs are in major or minor keys, and none are in a chromatic key. As a result, even if we played the chromatic scale over a progression in a major or minor key, we'd still merely be playing the major or minor scales with added accidentals.

TS, learn about accidentals.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
Playing in a key is nowhere near the same thing as only using two scales. All that playing in a key denotes is that you are playing with one of two sets of harmony that resolves to a tonal centre.

Also, the tonal system has only been around for 300 years.

Also, broaden your musical taste. Listen to contemporary (i.e. 20th-21st C.) classical music which uses all of the twelve notes and sometimes more in various ways and experiment with writing in that style.

Also, your question could be asked by someone who uses a 36-TET system. "You only use 12 notes lololol, wut about the other 24?!1?1!!?!1!" So your question is a little bit invalid.
#13
Quote by inf4nticide


It baffles me why musicians for over 500 years have been for the most part using the same two scales over and over again without getting bored. What's so special about diatonicism? ?


it's not all that baffling when you get more experience.
shred is gaudy music
#14
Quote by food1010
Haha I love messing around with some free-form atonal jazz.

There's nothing better

Hell, I find myself putting incredibly dissonant chords and licks in 12 bar blues nowadays
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#15
There all scales just giving you more than 7 notes such as the octotonic scale (oct=8).
Or just 7 note scales with replaced notes such as melodic (flat 7) minor and harmonic (sharp 7) minor.
And you have the wholetone scale consisting of 6 notes which gives a really cool dream sound.
#16
you can still use all 12 notes, and be in a key.
being in a key, and using functional harmony doesn't mean your only using two scales, it means that theres one note and chord that sound like home base to a listener. moreover, you can change keys throughout the course of a song. i think your conception of what a key is is flawed.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#17
My concept of a key is a note that my overall progression or melody wants to resolve back to. That's it. That's all a key is. If you're thinking any more deeply about it, then you're restricting yourself for absolutely no reason other than that you read somewhere that maybe it was a good idea to.

Most people who replied to this post are missing my point entirely, or failing to explain why they believe what they do.

Quote by AlanHB
It's probably something to do with the fact that most songs are in major or minor keys, and none are in a chromatic key. As a result, even if we played the chromatic scale over a progression in a major or minor key, we'd still merely be playing the major or minor scales with added accidentals.

TS, learn about accidentals.


Wow...do you actually believe that I started this thread and I DON'T understand that concept?

I'm not talking about "playing the chromatic scale" over a progression that otherwise chooses notes specifically from a diatonic scale. I'm talking about coming up with interesting progressions that don't simply involve semitones in order, or all the chromatic notes period, but also do not follow the rigidly formulaic diatonic gamut, or any modes of harmonic or melodic minor, and then using those notes and other notes outside of the progression in interesting ways together, without even beginning to add any diatonic thought to the process. I'm talking about taking twelve equal pitch classes, and using them to make music in an original way, a way that isn't so heavily influenced by the way that everybody else believes music should be played.

If somebody handed you an instrument tuned to twelve-tone equal temperament, and you had absolutely no knowledge of "western music theory," and told you to make music, you would not be thinking diatonically. You probably wouldn't in a hundred years come up with the notion that chords should be built from ONLY the notes found inside a specific seven note stepping pattern. Your progressions would be unconstrained by the conventional thought and systems of language that suggest they should follow certain rules. You would be writing music for the way it pleases your ear rather than for the way it can be properly analyzed according to diatonic theory, which is the WHOLE ****ING POINT OF MUSIC. It was meant to be a form of free expression.

My problem is everybody's blind acceptance of the diatonic system. Just because it's been around, they keep using it, and keep preaching to each other about how right it is, without any real science to explain why it is so great. "Music theory" should simply be a term describing the analysis of a musical piece, or an idea why something sounds the way it does, why that sound invokes the emotion it does, and how it is constructed. Instead, "music theory" as it stands today is a catch-all term for a whole collection of archaic language describing the major scale and its various arrangements.
Last edited by inf4nticide at Apr 3, 2011,
#18
Quote by inf4nticide
My concept of a key is a note that my overall progression or melody wants to resolve back to. That's it. That's all a key is. If you're thinking any more deeply about it, then you're restricting yourself for absolutely no reason other than that you read somewhere that maybe it was a good idea to.

Re: Accidentals

Wow...do you actually believe that I started this thread and I DON'T understand that concept?


Well, yes. You can use any note you want to. It's just described as "out of key" because it doesn't belong in the scale that is shared with the key.

If you're disappointed with Western music theory, there's always eastern music theory. It may be more your style considering it didn't develop from the same diatonic basis.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#19
I understand that, but the whole language is enraging to me for some reason. That a system of notation evolved where you have twelve tones but only seven steps and any note not falling inside that pattern is linguistically labeled as not belonging to the others, it just doesn't make sense. For some reason I doubt eastern music theory would suit me any better, especially working on a 12-tone instrument.

That's it. I'm developing my own theory of music. **** all this shit.
#20
Quote by inf4nticide
I understand that, but the whole language is enraging to me for some reason. That a system of notation evolved where you have twelve tones but only seven steps and any note not falling inside that pattern is linguistically labeled as not belonging to the others, it just doesn't make sense. For some reason I doubt eastern music theory would suit me any better, especially working on a 12-tone instrument.

That's it. I'm developing my own theory of music. **** all this shit.



Good luck with that mate.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
Quote by AlanHB


If you're disappointed with Western music theory, there's always eastern music theory. It may be more your style considering it didn't develop from the same diatonic basis.


yeah although it's often based on pentatonics (with microtonal adjustments), or in the case of peking opera, absolutely nothing at all.

also, inf4nticide, ever heard of a guy called schoenberg?
#22
Yeah, but I'm not interested in serialism. It's even stricter than diatonicism. Can't repeat a note until all 12 are sounded, pfft. I like his early stuff though
#23
Quote by inf4nticide
My concept of a key is a note that my overall progression or melody wants to resolve back to. That's it. That's all a key is.

"Music theory" should simply be a term describing the analysis of a musical piece, or an idea why something sounds the way it does, why that sound invokes the emotion it does, and how it is constructed. Instead, "music theory" as it stands today is a catch-all term for a whole collection of archaic language describing the major scale and its various arrangements.



That's pretty much how it has been taught to me.
#24
So you're pretty much asking why more people don't just write by ear, preferably with an ear that hasn't been exposed to a ton of diatonic music without any variance?
#25
My first issue with what you're saying is that this concept is well over 100 years old, and hardly unique. It actually has a striking similarity to impressionistic thinking, so I would listen to the likes of Debussy and Ravel, if I were you.

My other issue is what exactly do you consider the "rigidly formulaic diatonic gamut?" The diatonic system isn't that rigid, and it's a little surprising to me that anyone would call it that.

Another issue I have, (although it's not really on topic) is when you said that music is supposed to be a free form of expression or some other nonsense like that. I completely disagree in that art is beauty, nothing more, nothing less. Pure expression is useless, and in my opinion the less of the composers individuality and existence in a piece, the better. Most people would not agree with that opinion, but that's why it's an opinion and not a fact.

Also, there is quite a lot of acoustical property as to why we enjoy the sounds we do, like triads, for instance, which the apparently dreadful system of tonality is based upon.

Another point is that, just because a note is out of key, does not mean it does not function to confirm the key (which is the point of functional harmony).


EDIT: Wow, if I can base anything of what you understand of tonality on what you understand of serialism, then this conversation is going nowhere.
Last edited by jazz_rock_feel at Apr 3, 2011,
#26
I'm asking why people don't seek more freedom in music. Why western theory developed the way it did and why everybody seems to just learn it and not ask questions about the things it assumes.

edit: Is that not a property of serialism? That all twelve notes must be played before one is repeated, to completely avoid the concept of a tonal center? Enlighten me if I am wrong, kindly. Either way, it is useless as a form of expression (which is what music is to ME, i guess we differ on that point) because it applies extremely rigid rules of composition. Sure, variance is allowed. But variance among very rigid guidelines. It's a novel concept, but it's not a foundation for the creation of expressive music.
Last edited by inf4nticide at Apr 3, 2011,
#27
Modern music has been ****ing traditional music theory ten ways from Sunday since the early part of the 20th century.
#28
So why do people still learn it the same why, why aren't new languages for describing music developing and being taught, why is it the same old shit?
#29
What do you suggest that we relate alterations to instead?

In order to create a system that makes sense and retains versatility you're going to have to bias towards some sort of root model.
#31
Quote by inf4nticide
So why do people still learn it the same why, why aren't new languages for describing music developing and being taught, why is it the same old shit?


Because theory lags behind innovation. It is very rare that it is the other way around, and I can't think of a single instance in which theorists have described what is happening before it has happened, or even been remotely concurrent. You can't readily teach what hasn't happened, or what hasn't been standardized. Tonality lagged at least 30-40 years from Corelli basically standardizing it and Rameau cataloguing it.

Quite frankly I was like you not that long ago and it took me opening my mind to different music and compositional practise to make me realize that knowing where you come from is just as significant as knowing where you want to go in being a successful artist.

There are two types of artists, those who open their minds to all practises, and those who dig. You dig.

#32
Quote by inf4nticide
So why do people still learn it the same why, why aren't new languages for describing music developing and being taught, why is it the same old shit?


This argument is repeating itself, I'm starting to suspect troll.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#34
If you could create a completely neutral way of analyzing music I would seriously like to hear about it.
#35
Quote by inf4nticide
Well maybe if you actually had a point to throw out there then it would go somewhere.

Wut?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#36
Quote by inf4nticide
Well maybe if you actually had a point to throw out there then it would go somewhere.


Ok, address the same point that's been made by every user. Tell me why this statement below is incorrect.

"Music theory is not a set of rules, but a method of describing a piece of music. The music itself has the freedom to be expressed in any way, but the music theory describes why it sounds the way it sounds."
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#37
As we play in an harmonic context, there are notes which cause dissonance the combination of the 2 wave length of the pitches case us irritation. this means that the notes we put emphasis on should be notes that have a resolution or notes which are stable (do not cause dissonance) in that harmonic context. usually notes which are not diatonic of the key will be used as mechanisms for creating tension these tension notes want to be resolved thus are used as vehicles to propel the music on to a resolution note which will be diatonic.
#38
Consonance and dissonance are almost entirely subjective though, and they have changed over time, and probably HAVE since the establishment of modernized western theory, and definitely will again in the near future.

Quote by AlanHB
Ok, address the same point that's been made by every user. Tell me why this statement below is incorrect.

"Music theory is not a set of rules, but a method of describing a piece of music. The music itself has the freedom to be expressed in any way, but the music theory describes why it sounds the way it sounds."


That's what the term "music theory" SHOULD mean, but in practice, that's not what it is. It doesn't describe the way something sounds. It doesn't attempt to do anything more to sound than categorize it using diatonic linguistics. I understand that there are no "rules" to theory, but the language used to describe it GREATLY ENCOURAGES you to make decisions based on the notes that follow the diatonic gamut, and then you've got all your pedantic forumgoers who will tell you that there are no rules and then chastise you for making a compositional decision that they believe to be somehow "less correct."

Name me one aspect of modern music theory that deals in explaining WHY something sounds the way it does. Oh wait, you can't. Because all theory is, is a collection of terms that label certain chord progressions and certain collections of notes with bias toward a supposedly superior major/minor tonality.

Whenever I see a "theory buff" who actually takes the time to CORRECT somebody who writes something like this "C, C#, E" as if it were inherently wrong because they used the enharmonic note C twice and sharpened it instead of replacing it with a flattened D...I feel sorry for that person. I truly do. Because that is what they have occupied their time with. Convincing themselves that there is actually a difference. That they are more correct because of the way they write down a series of notes, because clearly THEIR version follows the idea of a 7-note system more closely than the other guy. Truly they understand more about how music works...it's got nothing to do with the actual pitch, it's how you label it! It must all be labeled correctly! It all makes sense now! Give me a ****ing break.
Last edited by inf4nticide at Apr 4, 2011,
#39
I don't think your problem is ours to solve.

You have your feelings about it, and to be honest, none of us here are interested in, or really care about the same things that are bothering you about diatonic theory.

Really, that's for you to deal with. Good luck with that.

By the way, a lot of what you write suggests that you don't understand theory ,as much as you might have us believe, you sound like someone with a little knowledge, a lot of time on their hands and a penchant for debate for debates sake.

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 4, 2011,
#40
What about what I write suggests I don't know what I'm talking about, specifically?

I never asked any of you to solve my problems, I asked you to explain to me why exactly everybody has an undying hard-on for certain seven-note scales. So far everybody's been too busy either assuming I'm stupid or attacking me to provide a legitimate answer.
Last edited by inf4nticide at Apr 4, 2011,
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