#1
I was reading a book about music, it's structure, and similarities towards language, and it gave an interesting question:

During a concert, is it possible to tell when the performer has made a mistake if you have never heard the piece before?

Keep in mind that obviously the body language of the performer is not a factor, rather than if we were just listening to the music and nothing but the music.
#2
It all depends, the musician might make a mistake thats perfectly in key, or thats so sudden that you might not notice. Or the musician might play a completely dissonant note, or miss a beat, which would probably be noticeable.
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#3
If it's an out of key mistake then it will seem that way to anyone who knows anything about music, but as long as everything stays in time and key then probably not.
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#4
yeah, like when you uses the same strumming patern over and over and over again in a song.
and suddely he playes a diffrent chord.. and goes on

or did you mean something else ?


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#5
Well, maybe if you were at Glasto '97 and watching Radiohead play Lucky, you might have thought, "Hmm, maybe someone made a mistake there" when Thom burst out laughing when Jonny played a wrong note.
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#6
If everyone else on stage glares at them then yes. Apparently James Brown once hit one of his bassists for hitting a bum note.
#7
we'd tell ourselves that before gigs in the school band
chances are the audience hasn't got a clue about what you're playing so if you mess up, pretend its meant to be that way (providing you don't mess up in a really ugly way)
#8
No, to understand if he made a mistake you would have to be familiar with his style enough to know understand him musically. So any mistake would surprise you.

Even then, if he made a mistake on a recording and told no one I believe you coudl easily familiarise your self with it so you did not think it was a mistake.
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#9
Quote by catchy phrase
If it's an out of key mistake then it will seem that way to anyone who knows anything about music, but as long as everything stays in time and key then probably not.
What if the composer wanted it to sound out of key and odd?
#10
Quote by The Madcap
What if the composer wanted it to sound out of key and odd?


that depends on the nature of the song

people have some general idea of what to expect, especially in most mainstream music

if you're playing some modern composer's serialist twelve-tone technique stuff, chances are, nobody will notice

but if you're playing something really pretty to a point its already kitschy, then chances are they'll know when something is "not write"


of course, this is just taking pitch into account
its even easier to spot a group that can't hold the rhythm
#11
Even dissonant notes can't be classified as mistakes just by listening. Countless composers and contemporary musicians use dissonance as a musical tool.
#12
i remember seeing buckethead live he plays some songs in different keys or whatever and he might hit a wrong note but he seemed to go off and just use that as start for some crazy **** hes got goin on in his head

buckethead,buckethead,buckethead!
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#13
Quote by Jene Simmons
If you make a mistake, just say to yourself "YEAH! THAT WAS AN AWESOME MISTAKE!" and keep playing.


Most bands I've seen don't make a big deal out of making mistakes, but every once in a while my band's singer will make a mistake, then she has a hard time getting back into it.
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#14
Quote by Child In Time
Well, maybe if you were at Glasto '97 and watching Radiohead play Lucky, you might have thought, "Hmm, maybe someone made a mistake there" when Thom burst out laughing when Jonny played a wrong note.


That's what I was thinking.
#16
Quote by The Madcap
I was reading a book about music, it's structure, and similarities towards language, and it gave an interesting question:

During a concert, is it possible to tell when the performer has made a mistake if you have never heard the piece before?

Keep in mind that obviously the body language of the performer is not a factor, rather than if we were just listening to the music and nothing but the music.

I saw a documentary on Frank Zappa the other day where brian may was talking about making mistakes during shows and frank zappa responded: mistakes? what are mistakes? it's your show and you made up the song, there are no mistakes
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#17
If it is a rhythm problem or he goes out of key, yes.
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#18
Quote by HaKattack
Even dissonant notes can't be classified as mistakes just by listening. Countless composers and contemporary musicians use dissonance as a musical tool.


yeah, but if a compostion is solely in g major, and a horribly out of key note is played (tritone, minor 2nd, whatever), you could probably tell. so you probably couldnt tell in a rachmaninov piece, but you probably could in a bach piece.
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#19
There's deffinately a difference between chosen dissonant notes and mistakes - i dunno how it is, i think it may just be you can tell the player relaises he's made a mistake and he has to think about correcting it etc

You can just tell...
#20
Quote by philipisabeast
There's deffinately a difference between chosen dissonant notes and mistakes - i dunno how it is, i think it may just be you can tell the player relaises he's made a mistake and he has to think about correcting it etc

You can just tell...
Well, that's what it seems like. Everyone is just assuming, yet I don't think anybody can know it's a mistake, unless they've heard the original composition.
#22
Quote by Child In Time
Well, maybe if you were at Glasto '97 and watching Radiohead play Lucky, you might have thought, "Hmm, maybe someone made a mistake there" when Thom burst out laughing when Jonny played a wrong note.
see if you can find the mistake in this song...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MEjJuvJPHm8
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#23
Quote by The Madcap
Well, that's what it seems like. Everyone is just assuming, yet I don't think anybody can know it's a mistake, unless they've heard the original composition.


True, but when watching an artist performing, you can just sort of sense a change in their demenour if they stumble or make a mistake - a lack of confidence suddenly or something?
#25
Quote by Child In Time


Yeah....................sorry, what?
it's just the video of that radiohead performance...i quoted you only as a reference
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#26
Quote by RageAgainst...
it's just the video of that radiohead performance...i quoted you only as a reference


Oh right, sorry. I thought maybe there was something else in it. Apologies.
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#27
if it was a classical piece, which i think is what you mean, if the note played was just a fret higher or lower than it should have been, i think it would be pretty noticable (unless it was in key.)

basically, off key mistakes, yes. in key mistakes, not so much, but probably noticable to some highly attuned people.
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#28
Quote by Sol9989
if it was a classical piece, which i think is what you mean, if the note played was just a fret higher or lower than it should have been, i think it would be pretty noticable (unless it was in key.)

basically, off key mistakes, yes. in key mistakes, not so much, but probably noticable to some highly attuned people.


In key notes could sound out too though, if, in the rare case, a classical piece repeats a section, and the two sections sound slightly different.

You have to argue the point that notes played in or out of key are still defined as music.
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#29
I think it depends on a few things. For instance, if the mistake is made in a phrase that occurs several times in the composition, it may be noticeable. If the mistake involves hitting a bum note, or one that is simply sounds wrong, it will be noticed.
Also, it depends on the listener - some people will pick up errors that others miss(or consider to have been intentional).
#30
Quote by MightyAl
I think it depends on a few things. For instance, if the mistake is made in a phrase that occurs several times in the composition, it may be noticeable. If the mistake involves hitting a bum note, or one that is simply sounds wrong, it will be noticed.
Also, it depends on the listener - some people will pick up errors that others miss(or consider to have been intentional).


Intentional errors are quite rare though. The only intentional mistake I can think of is the lame sounding chord at the beginning of Rush's 2112: Discovery.

You've kinda raised another point there - live performances do put in different sections each time. It'd be the first-time listener's choice as to whether they hear a change in phrase repetition as a mistake or as a live ad-lib.
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