#1
I'm havin an argument with a friend...look at title for the question.

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#2
Song structure = songwriting.
relationship between notes = theory
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#3
Actually, I'd say song structure (aka Musical Form) is theory, but a very small part of it. How about rounded binary form?
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#4
It is kind of, but not really. You learn music theory to fully grasp what is going on in a song, but it is not necessary the whole song structure. Alot of songs don't follow theory right on. Alot of artists make chords that can't even be given really any proper name.
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#5
Quote by Ravenblacktear
Alot of artists make chords that can't even be given really any proper name.

Again, thats impossible. Any chord can be named.
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#6
In some ways it is, but not really. For example, if you had a bunch of riffs and you wanted to figure out how to arrange them in a song, things like cadence could help you out. But for the most part, song structure is just another part of songwriting.
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#7
Quote by Muphin
Actually, I'd say song structure (aka Musical Form) is theory, but a very small part of it. How about rounded binary form?


I'd be inclined to agree. Stuff like Sonata form would be learned in a theory course.
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#9
Quote by Say Ocean
Uh I would say its a huge part of theory. You think Bach just made a bunch of cool sounding parts and stuck them together randomly?

He didn't?
#10
Quote by Say Ocean
Uh I would say its a huge part of theory. You think Bach just made a bunch of cool sounding parts and stuck them together randomly?

Okay, so what did he do? What is the theory behind song structures?
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#11
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Again, thats impossible. Any chord can be named.

Well, I shouldn't have said that...I mean...well, chords that you don't usually see. For example, I use the octive, the 5th, and the maj 7th for the chord. It would be something called like a (note)5maj7, because it isn't a major chord without the major 3rd, but I am using the maj 7 (so it is a major 7th sounding chord, but it really isn't without the 3rd). I don't know how to put it...but my theory instructor said that it is very uncommon, but as long as it fits the artistic needs of the player, than whatever works. Basically, I view it as if someone uses pure theory to write without any real playing time and such into it, then chances are, it won't sound the greatest. I guess you could use the technique if you have absolutely perfect ear. It takes more than just theory to write a good structured song.
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#12
Quote by WhiteLight
He didn't?

Yeah, he needed alot of knowledge on theory to come up with his pieces (especially because, obviously, they are classical). I mean, he probably used more than just a structured set of rules to write his peices.
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#13
To throw my two cents in on this. Form is an integral part of theory, in the sense that theory is a way of looking at how things should sound in relation to each other, and from the sense that theory is a look at the historical relationship of tones.

Form is also important to large scale theory. While it's nice that we can spend most of our time focusing on the micro-aspects of music, chordal and tonal interactions over short periods of time; those micro-theories either break down, or become iterative as they're applied on a large scale. A lot of major music theorists spent a lot of time analyzing form and large scale structure, and their works directly influence how we see tonal music in the small scale today. If you're concerned with a holistic theory of music, then large scale forms and structures are much more difficult to grasp and deal with than smaller sets of tonal interactions, and tend to be just as important.

That said... there's been some interesting comments in here...

Bach, for the most part, didn't use structured form for most of his music. There are some exceptions to that, but those forms are stylistically implied. Any fugue, for instance, is going to have some similar fugal form, by the very nature of it being a fugue. Certain elements are required, and analytically you'll find similarities in the form of all fugues. However, the mass majority of Bach's output is ecclesiastic choral work, which is very linear and very unstructured, as far as large scale form goes -- largely because they're too short to have very large form. For the most part Bach was setting text, and using musical ideas to emphasize the text and write music for a congregational choir; there simply isn't any way to build around form for that.

FWIW, Bach wasn't a classical composer either -- and tbh, didn't even influence the classical mindset.

To get off the Bach subject. It's true that you can force a name to any chord. It's also true that doing so is often a waste of time at best, and foolishly misleading at worst. This especially applies to some newer music, where harmonic structures aren't tonal in a sense that makes them logically nameable in the tonal system; a lot of Charles Ives' music fits this role for instance, where you have large quartal, quintal, and secundal harmonies that don't fit any attempt at logical naming, and to force names to them makes less sense than to simply view them as moving intervalic harmonies. Most post-tonal, atonal, or serialistic music fits this description also, because the harmonies tend to be incidental.
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#14
Lyrics and poetry are basically the same thing if it weren't for structure.
Different structure for different feels, in my opinion.
#15
Quote by KMilliron
Lyrics and poetry are basically the same thing if it weren't for structure.
Different structure for different feels, in my opinion.


Lyrics and poetry are not music.
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#16
Quote by FoolOnThePlanet
I'm havin an argument with a friend...look at title for the question.

thanks.

song structure is song structure.... to study it would be in the realm of theory.

from wiki:
"music theory also often distills and analyzes the elements of music – rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, and texture. People who study these properties are known as music theorists.
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#17
Quote by Corwinoid

FWIW, Bach wasn't a classical composer either -- and tbh, didn't even influence the classical mindset.


Js Bach or CPE bach? Cause JS bach was baroque, and CPE bach was Rococo.
When people talk 'about classical music', they mean it as a blanket term for everything between Baroque and Romantic, not just the individual era.
#18
^ Generally the unqualified refers to JS. I would have thought the distinction between periods was clear in context, and just mistaken... the poster that regarded though, on second thought, isn't as aware of that as I thought when I wrote it. The non-sequiter I was referring to was "obviously they [he] knew a lot of theory because it was classical." When, for the most part, baroque 'theory', and even early classical theory, was drastically different from what we have today, and largely undeveloped in the parts we would tend to focus on.

For those of you not keeping up on what I just said, theory is retrospective. You don't use theory to write music; you use theory to understand music that's been written, and how things sound in a given context, so that you can use those ideas of developing sound to create new musical ideas. It's not some set of rules, or some framework and law that you live by, it's more of a tool box with various colored hammers. One of the implications being during early tonal development (Baroque), there wasn't a lot of musical history to draw from -- there wasn't a lot of "theory" to know.
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#19
Quote by Corwinoid
^ You don't use theory to write music; you use theory to understand music that's been written, and how things sound in a given context, so that you can use those ideas of developing sound to create new musical ideas. It's not some set of rules, or some framework and law that you live by, it's more of a tool box with various colored hammers. .


A great point, that isnt stressed enough here at UG. great post.
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#20
lol @ corwinoid, hammers aren't the only kind of tool. why have a toolbox of all colorful hammers instead of a hammer, a screwdriver, and a power drill?

In all seriousness that was a very good response to a very vague question. While you're posting...can you recomment a good book about 20th century harmony? I guess it probably expanded so much so fast that it would be hard to write about harmonic progression and form compared to classical music, but if anybody here could recommend some literature it's probably you.
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