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#41
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I can't tell if you're being anti- or pro-Varese, so I've prepared an answer for both scenarios.

Anti- : Don't talk shit about Varese.

Pro- :

Varese is the man.
#43
Quote by LeeAlacoque
So I'm getting farther and still don't understand how this could help me write music. One lesson was an analysis of a piece of O Canada and all it did was name each chord. Nothing about why these chords were used or anything. It just seems like stuff you would need to know if you wanted to write sheet music
Look into functional harmony (i.e. chord functions). That will help explain why certain chords are used.

However, there's no straightforward explanation for why anything sounds inherently "good" or "bad." That's up for our ear to rationalize.

I don't know if it's been said yet in this thread, but theory is descriptive not prescriptive, meaning you use it to explain an existing section of music, NOT to put together a bunch of notes that are "supposed" to sound a certain way. You need to develop the ear to be able to recognize patterns in music so that you can recreate them or alter them to get a specific sound you HEAR in your head. You don't write music mathematically. You write it by hearing it.

Of course, learning theory helps you internalize these different patterns aurally, but only if you match the proper ear training with it.

For example, sing a major scale in solfege. Now sing a minor scale in solfege from la to la. NOW sing a major scale again, then lower the 3 6 and 7 each a half-step (mi becomes me, la - le, ti - te). This helps you internalize the differences between how these intervals sound.

Here may actually be a practical use of the modes: Try singing each mode rooted on do (for example, phrygian would be do ra me fa so le te).

Look up some basic solfege lessons and sing everything you possibly can in solfege.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#44
Quote by LeeAlacoque
So I'm getting farther and still don't understand how this could help me write music. One lesson was an analysis of a piece of O Canada and all it did was name each chord. Nothing about why these chords were used or anything. It just seems like stuff you would need to know if you wanted to write sheet music




Do you have any idea what the words coming out of your mouth actually mean?
#45
Quote by LeeAlacoque
The same thing but starting at a different spot. I don't get why this is important or why it would help me.

That's because they're not important / won't help you.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#46
Quote by CarsonStevens


Do you have any idea what the words coming out of your mouth actually mean?


I mean it's not helping me come up with my own music. It would help with writing it down though
#47
Quote by LeeAlacoque
I mean it's not helping me come up with my own music. It would help with writing it down though


Do you know anything about intervals and functional harmony? Or just what the difference in sound from a tonic to a minor 3rd and a tonic to a perfect 5th is? Or how to construct a simple triad?
Last edited by Morphogenesis26 at Feb 11, 2013,
#48
Quote by LeeAlacoque
I mean it's not helping me come up with my own music. It would help with writing it down though

This is a big simplification, but here goes:

Theory doesn't come up with ideas for you. That' all on you. What it does do is make it easier to take that idea and run with it.
^^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
#50
Quote by LeeAlacoque
Obviously I do see value in it if I'm attempting to learn some. Don't get all mad


then if you see value in it, stop bitching about how "you don't see it will help you". you see it or you don't. if you don't see it, don't go for it. if you see it, go for it.

you waste so much of your time that i'm inclined to believe you won't get much of a result even with a prolonged study. get serious with it or don't.

i'm trying to push you towards results. if you want to fight me on it, i'm going to stop pushing you, and you'll get your results that much more slowly.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#51
Quote by OurRequiem
In my experience theory has not helped me write anything, i've tried to incorporate it into my playing and it's useless. I'd much rather just run around on the neck and figure it out like that, i know what sounds good together and jumping around until you get it right for me works a whole hell of alot better. Never wrote anything good or unique trying to use theory. Maybe i never learned the right parts or didnt learn it the right way, but at this point i don't care, i see it like this, theory is like a manual for writing music, and the last time i checked no one used a manual to make anything unique or oringinal. I got tired of reading about all theory shit and trying to make it all make sense, when i could have used that time to play my insturment and improve my skills. Theory will do a good job improving your reading skills tho.

So my advice don't even waste your time studying it, when you could be using that time to practice your insturment and actually get better. work on techniques of playing rather than a theory of playing. So stupid...

hey that's some really Great Advice given out to other users of this Forum on the Internet

what a Cool Post, metal forever, theory is gay and if you like theory then your a gay butt

#52
If you have 'why' questions about music, music theory gives you answers.

All human beings are born with a strong sense of curiosity. For many people that curiosity fades in time but a small proportion continue to nurture it throughout their life. They always want to know 'why'. I find much music theory not especially useful in making the kind of music I make, yet I'm still interested in the mechanics of what works and what doesn't.

I see music as a thing that no one can comprehend fully and no system can describe perfectly. But music is a harmonious, holistic thing. Anything you learn in one area of theory may have an echo in another. And everything you learn adds to your understanding of everything you do, and music as a whole.

Some parts of theory are essential. An understanding of keys can give you the ability to exploit tension. An understanding of how chords are constructed (and voice leading) can add a degree of refinement that just thinking in terms of blocks of chords can't achieve.

Maybe the ideal situation is that while you're free to make music by ear you study theory too, and eventually they'll meet.
#53
Yeah, theory doesn't write the music. You write the music. But theory will help. For example you can analyze a song that you like and see why you like it. Is it the chords or melody or the rhythm? And that way you know which kind of melodies/progressions/rhythms you like and you can use them in your songs (I'm not talking about stealing, I'm talking about using similar stuff and you really start using it automatically). If I listen to my compositions from the time I didn't really know that much theory, they really use very simple progressions and stuff. Back then they felt like magic (Em-D-C-D and that kind of stuff, lol) but now I can come up with that kind of progression easily and I instantly know how it will sound like.

You can learn it the other way like the musicians that don't know theory that much. They really know theory but they know it the other way. They might not know any note names but they know how they sound like and how they work. But that's the harder way to learn things and it takes much more time than learning all the "fancy" terms like major and minor and the note names.

Before I knew theory, there was just music that sounded good or bad. Now I can analyze all the parts independently and really find some cool things in all songs. Now I know why something sounds like you've heard it a hundred times before or something sounds new. I listen to music differently now.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Feb 11, 2013,
#54
Generally I find people delve into theory as their curiosity about music increases, if you can't see any use whatsoever to it as far as your playing goes, then you might down the line. On the flip side, you might not, lots of players has a very limited theoretical knowledge
#55
For most people the choice comes down to A) learn Theory, or B) spend years "discovering" basic concepts that you could have learned in two weeks of reading about theory.
#56
Quote by cdgraves
For most people the choice comes down to A) learn Theory, or B) spend years "discovering" basic concepts that you could have learned in two weeks of reading about theory.

Yeah, both ways work but why wouldn't you choose the option A?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#57
The one thing I want to say is that so many players say 'Oh, this guitar player doesn't know theory'. The thing is, while he may not know conventional classical theory, over the years, they would have worked out their own way of doing things, their own music theory, so the 'doesn't know theory' idea is just wrong, and, as a Metal fan, if you say 'Oh, I play Metal, I don't need to know theory', then, I'm sorry, but you're ridiculous. Even Metallica know what sounds right and what doesn't, and they're often the subject of many 'Why I shouldn't learn theory' debates. And, with Metal, you never know where it'll take you, five years ago, I was playing Metallica covers with friends, now I study Classical Theory, play Symphonic Metal, and I'm gonna be honest, I wouldn't even call my thirteen year old self a musician after hearing what I can write and compose nowadays. If you want to write music of any kind, you need theory, it's very important in Black Metal, too, as you need to know how to build tension and exactly when to defy theory to create an evil, dark sound.
#58
Quote by CelestialGuitar
The one thing I want to say is that so many players say 'Oh, this guitar player doesn't know theory'. The thing is, while he may not know conventional classical theory, over the years, they would have worked out their own way of doing things, their own music theory, so the 'doesn't know theory' idea is just wrong, and, as a Metal fan, if you say 'Oh, I play Metal, I don't need to know theory', then, I'm sorry, but you're ridiculous. Even Metallica know what sounds right and what doesn't, and they're often the subject of many 'Why I shouldn't learn theory' debates. And, with Metal, you never know where it'll take you, five years ago, I was playing Metallica covers with friends, now I study Classical Theory, play Symphonic Metal, and I'm gonna be honest, I wouldn't even call my thirteen year old self a musician after hearing what I can write and compose nowadays. If you want to write music of any kind, you need theory, it's very important in Black Metal, too, as you need to know how to build tension and exactly when to defy theory to create an evil, dark sound.


As I like to say when explaining music theory, especially to people that say that music theory will stunt creativity because they're too lazy to learn it... "You have to learn the rules to learn how to break them."
#59
Quote by CelestialGuitar
The thing is, while he may not know conventional classical theory, over the years, they would have worked out their own way of doing things, their own music theory, so the 'doesn't know theory' idea is just wrong


bullshit. knowing what sounds good isn't knowing music theory. by that logic, everyone who has a good ear knows music theory, which is simply not true. you're welcome to argue the point further if you still think you can.

even if you were correct, there's a big difference between chopping down a tree with an axe and doing it with a spoon.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#60
Quote by AeolianWolf
knowing what sounds good isn't knowing music theory.


it's pretty damn close. being able to filter input/output and understand dissonance and consonance is something far too many "theory-heads" can't actually do. no point knowing a textbook if you don't have the balls to back it up

that's under the pretense that they're mutually exclusive, though. you should definitely learn as much as you possibly can in as many ways as you possibly can, but i'd always recommend prioritization of your ears and intuition (until you've reached a level where you can call the shots for yourself and understand the best way to better your education)

your ear and common sense will give you the tools to be self sufficient, both technically and compositionally. without that, you're sunk, because those two tools are the key to your ability to rationalize a wide world of musical logic - if you don't have those tools, why even bother learning music theory? music probably doesn't mean a hell of a lot to you if you can't hum along to your favorite tunes and be naturally curious about it.

a good ear is part of having proper theoretical understanding, and is, to me, very much the more important part until you've reached a level where diminishing returns set in. don't trivialize it as if it were an insignificant part of the equation, and that you can't get proper fulfillment out of transcription and deduction of knowledge.

you don't need a textbook to come to terms with the scientific method through natural curiosity and rationality. it sure as hell helps, but what happens when you introduce classical theory prior to someone having their feet wet in aural comprehension can be very easily seen in our articles section. you get hung up on misappropriation of the basics and look like an asshole.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#61
Quote by AeolianWolf
bullshit. knowing what sounds good isn't knowing music theory. by that logic, everyone who has a good ear knows music theory, which is simply not true. you're welcome to argue the point further if you still think you can.

even if you were correct, there's a big difference between chopping down a tree with an axe and doing it with a spoon.


I think you got the wrong end of the stick there, I did very clearly state that what they knew was not conventional classical theory, but rather a bastardised version of their own creation.
#62
Quote by Hail
it's pretty damn close. being able to filter input/output and understand dissonance and consonance is something far too many "theory-heads" can't actually do. no point knowing a textbook if you don't have the balls to back it up


i don't consider people of this type musicians. they're musicologists, and from a standpoint of what i do, i consider them useless.

a good ear and theoretical knowledge are absolutely mutually exclusive -- this is why it is up to the musician to be able to combine them. they're as mutually exclusive as being able to play the accordion and being able to construct diatonic seventh chords from a scale.

Quote by CelestialGuitar
I think you got the wrong end of the stick there, I did very clearly state that what they knew was not conventional classical theory, but rather a bastardised version of their own creation.


i think it's not your place to tell me what i know and what i don't know.

what you're describing is a good ear. just because you can hear things does not mean you can categorize them -- not at all. that's why we have 7 million drummers who can only convey what they know by "boom-ba-da-CHA-ba-da-boom-ba-da-CHA".

you work with a myriad of musicians like that and tell me that having a good ear equates to knowing theory.

i suggest thinking about it before you argue your point further -- i really don't want to make a wall of text post about it. hopefully you'll get it first.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#63
Quote by wikipedia
Two events are 'mutually exclusive' if they cannot occur at the same time.


uhm
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#64
Just last night I was working with a singer I sometimes collaborate with, and we were trying to piece together a medley. It was trivially easy for me to find the good spots to make the connections between the songs from looking at the chord charts and with some knowledge of theory.

She's a great intuitive singer, but has no real theory knowledge. So she had a bunch of ideas, most of which didn't work once we actually played them.

It was a great example of how theory can help you. Certainly we could have gotten to the same place through trial-and-error, or somebody with a great ear might have been able to really hear the transitions without playing them.

But knowing theory really made the whole process go a lot faster and smoother.
#65
Quote by Hail


ftfy
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
#66
Quote by Hail
uhm


you maybe want to prove to me that theory and a good ear occur simultaneously, and are not two separate pieces that are synthesized by the musician? i really don't think you can -- you've got a better shot at proving that no force is directed back into you when you exert pressure into an object.

or you can let your bottom bitch sleepy do it for you, but i think you've got a better shot at it.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#67
Quote by HotspurJr
Just last night I was working with a singer I sometimes collaborate with, and we were trying to piece together a medley. It was trivially easy for me to find the good spots to make the connections between the songs from looking at the chord charts and with some knowledge of theory.

She's a great intuitive singer, but has no real theory knowledge. So she had a bunch of ideas, most of which didn't work once we actually played them.

It was a great example of how theory can help you. Certainly we could have gotten to the same place through trial-and-error, or somebody with a great ear might have been able to really hear the transitions without playing them.

But knowing theory really made the whole process go a lot faster and smoother.


i'm more playing devil's advocate than anything, but it should be made clear that a good ear is absolutely a requirement in being a solid musician, and is an integral part of making use of theoretical knowledge.

again, they're not mutually exclusive, but even AW noted he doesn't take "musicologists" seriously as musicians. don't discredit musical street knowledge simply because it isn't the whole picture - it's encapsulated in theory, but AW again agreed in that they're not implied as a singular unit.

you can say "having a good ear isn't theory" then say "you can't have theory without a good ear"

'sall i'm sayin yall

Quote by Sleepy__Head
ftfy

lol'd hard

Quote by AeolianWolf
you maybe want to prove to me that theory and a good ear occur simultaneously, and are not two separate pieces that are synthesized by the musician? i really don't think you can -- you've got a better shot at proving that no force is directed back into you when you exert pressure into an object.

or you can let your bottom bitch sleepy do it for you, but i think you've got a better shot at it.

dude you have the definition of mutually exclusive wrong....

it means that you can have both theory AND a good ear at the same time. it doesn't mean they occur simultaneously. now read back your last post and realize that it makes no sense.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
Last edited by Hail at Feb 11, 2013,
#68
Quote by Hail

you can say "having a good ear isn't theory" then say "you can't have theory without a good ear"


I agree with that.

And, heck, between hearing music made by someone with a great ear, and music made by someone who was great at theory, I'll pick the former every time.

I was merely giving an example of how theory can be useful to a musician in practical terms.


dude you have the definition of mutually exclusive wrong....

it means that you can have both theory AND a good ear at the same time. it doesn't mean they occur simultaneously. now read back your last post and realize that it makes no sense.


Exactly. Mutually exclusive means that one excludes the other. This is obviously not the case here, as there are lots of people who have both (even in this very conversation).

Knowing theory and having a good ear are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to develop one without the other, although most people tend to learn them in a somewhat connected way. There's a lot of variation in how people end up learning, though.
#70
Quote by Hail
i'm more playing devil's advocate than anything, but it should be made clear that a good ear is absolutely a requirement in being a solid musician, and is an integral part of making use of theoretical knowledge.


Beethoven's Late Period comes to mind and there are other examples that tend to disagree?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#71
Quote by Arby911
Beethoven's Late Period comes to mind and there are other examples that tend to disagree?


Eh.

When people talk about the quality of your ear, what they're really talking about is the ability of their mind to think precisely and accurately in pitches, to hold and manipulate complex sounds inside your head and know what they would sound like if played.

Beethoven had that in spades.

We talk about it as having a good ear, but it's really about having a musical mind. It's a quirk of language.
#72
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
This thread is so fucking bad and you should all feel bad about it.


yeah, I know what you mean, but it's the best thread that's been posted here for a while
#73
Beethoven didn't need to hear what he was writing because he knew exactly what it would sound like already. I guarantee he didn't just scribble shit and ask, 'hm, does this sound good?'. He knew what his notes and intervals would sound like when he wrote them down (like people who can write down a riff that they just thought of without even touching their instrument. They just know what notes they need. Perfect pitch )

For the whole mutually exclusive thing- I think you mean that one doesn't come with the other. As in you could have theory with no ear and ear with no theory. Mutually exclusive means it's physically impossible to have an ear AND theory, which isn't true, even if you do have to put them together yourself.
#74
Quote by skilly1
yeah, I know what you mean, but it's the best thread that's been posted here for a while

No it's really not.
I can't believe that.
Because if that's true,
then this is all for nothing.
There is not a single post in this thread,
that I found myself thinking, "Hmm, that's not an
incredibly stupid thing to say, maybe there is something to this thread."

Poem.
#75
Missing the theory part is limiting, even if your ear is highly developed. Composition on a genuinely complex, artistic level is almost a non-starter if you can't notate your ideas. Short of having the Mozart-esque ability to hear and play every instrument's 20 minute-long melodic part independently prior to playing/writing/recording, you're pretty much stuck doing things phrase by phrase.
#76
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
No it's really not.
I can't believe that.
Because if that's true,
then this is all for nothing.
There is not a single post in this thread,
that I found myself thinking, "Hmm, that's not an
incredibly stupid thing to say, maybe there is something to this thread."

Poem.


bro do you even haiku?

Quote by cdgraves
Missing the theory part is limiting, even if your ear is highly developed. Composition on a genuinely complex, artistic level is almost a non-starter if you can't notate your ideas. Short of having the Mozart-esque ability to hear and play every instrument's 20 minute-long melodic part independently prior to playing/writing/recording, you're pretty much stuck doing things phrase by phrase.


to be fair, it's become quite common to use a DAW as a sort of omniscient notation software - skipping the notation step. this is limiting for obvious reasons, but at the same time it opens up the possibilities of timbres and sample usage that would be impossible to experiment with when using typical notation methods unless you're some sort of ecclectic prodigy
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
Last edited by Hail at Feb 11, 2013,
#77
Quote by Hail
bro do you even haiku?


to be fair, it's become quite common to use a DAW as a sort of omniscient notation software - skipping the notation step. this is limiting for obvious reasons, but at the same time it opens up the possibilities of timbres and sample usage that would be impossible to experiment with when using typical notation methods unless you're some sort of ecclectic prodigy


You'd be surprised what kinds of timbral/non-instrumental experimentation goes on in the world of Institutional composition. On that end, abstraction and innovation are the focus because traditional theory is extremely passe.

Nobody with an MA in composition is still interested by a prissy little violin trio. Unless, of course, it's set ironically against an aleatoric tape piece to display the absurdity of rigid formality in a creative setting.

Either way, I find these "To Theory or Not to Theory" debates a little absurd. It's like, if you want to be an author or poet, should you be able to read? No shit you should be able to read. Sure, there's a small chance you'll dictate the great American novel into a pocket tape recorder during your spare time, but don't count it on it. Anyone who hopes to become a professional musician without knowing to how play in a given key or even spell chords/scales has a damn steep hill to climb.

Do you need to be able to transcribe a symphony on a single hearing? Of course not. But I am consistently surprised by how easily people are discouraged at even the most basic level of music literacy.

Really, I'm disappointed in all of you.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 11, 2013,
#78
Quote by cdgraves

Nobody with an MA in composition is still interested by a prissy little violin trio. Unless, of course, it's set ironically against an aleatoric tape piece to display the absurdity of rigid formality in a creative setting.

It's not the 50s. Modernism is dead.
#79
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
It's not the 50s. Modernism is dead.


nah they're still doing that shit. Goofy tape loops are like the 808 "kick drum" or breakbeat sample of modern classical music.
#80
Quote by D..W..
Beethoven didn't need to hear what he was writing because he knew exactly what it would sound like already. I guarantee he didn't just scribble shit and ask, 'hm, does this sound good?'. He knew what his notes and intervals would sound like when he wrote them down (like people who can write down a riff that they just thought of without even touching their instrument. They just know what notes they need. Perfect pitch )


Perfect pitch isn't required for that, actually. Relative pitch works just fine.