#1
I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions of the term MUSIC THEORY. And to rectify some gross misuse of phrases like "writing music without theory"

1)Basic Theory: This is what is behind music. That is, people have figured out a way to put down on paper what is interpreted in our ears and brains when music is played. (It may clear things up that the root of theory began when Pythagoras wanting to figure out why us humans interpreted certain things as music)

2)Study of Theory: (Study not "studying"). This has to do with analysis of the stylistic traditions of harmony as established by classical canon (Bach not Canon Rock) or more recently in different genres of music as interpreted by Academia

Very quick explanations I know. But if you are playing a tonal instrument derived from the tonal music of western culture...a system derived from theory has made it possible. Please differentiate between the theory of music and the study and analysis of theory and style.

Theory is why you have frets on your guitar and keys on a piano. <-If you say these things are not used when you make music, sure...disregard this post. In the end, theory was discovered to help us understand OURSELVES and enable to put things into: words, numbers, roman numerals, concepts; the abstract emotion/pleasure/displeasure - in short the amazing reaction of the human brain to a collection of frequencies.

I wrote this Wikipedia free. So feel free to add technicalities.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
Last edited by KryptNet at Mar 23, 2008,
#2
Well Done?
Hull City A.F.C

Quote by Thrashtastic15
crunkym toy diuckl;ess ass ****igkjn ****** **** bitch ass pussy ****er douchecanoe ****** **** you s omn cnt you lieet le biutch
#4
Quote by KryptNet
I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions of the term MUSIC THEORY. And to rectify some gross misuse of phrases like "writing music without theory"

1)Basic Theory: This is what is behind music. That is, people have figured out a way to put down on paper what is interpreted in our ears and brains when music is played. (It may clear things up that the root of theory began when Pythagoras wanting to figure out why us humans interpreted certain things as music)

2)Study of Theory: (Study not "studying"). This has to do with analysis of the stylistic traditions of harmony as established by classical canon (Bach not Canon Rock) or more recently in different genres of music as interpreted by Academia

Very quick explanations I know. But if you are playing a tonal instrument derived from the tonal music of western culture...whatever you want to say, you are using theory. Please differentiate between the theory of music and the study and analysis of theory and style.

Theory is why you have frets on your guitar and keys on a piano. <-If you say these things are not used when you make music, sure...disregard this post. In the end, theory was created to help us understand OURSELVES and enable to put things into: words, numbers, roman numerals, concepts; the abstract emotion/pleasure/displeasure - in short the amazing reaction of the human brain to a collection of frequencies.

I wrote this Wikipedia free. So feel free to add technicalities.



Haha at ^, I'd actually be a little concerned if you had taken it from wikipedia.

It was a very good point, you should post it as an article. It is short and sweet. Helps people understand, theory is an essential part of music. Theory IS music.
#5
Quote by KryptNet
. But if you are playing a tonal instrument derived from the tonal music of western culture...whatever you want to say, you are using theory.



I have to disagree with this.

Music theory is a field of study.

Music Theory

Using theory IMO would be choosing any aspect of your composition ( notes, chord progressions... ect) based on what you have learned through the study of music... (music theory).

This is different than if an artist finds what he is looking for by the way it sounds, without any "formal" theory knowledge.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
Haha at ^, I'd actually be a little concerned if you had taken it from wikipedia.

It was a very good point, you should post it as an article. It is short and sweet. Helps people understand, theory is an essential part of music. Theory IS music.


No theory is not music. Theory is the study of music.


PS - while WIki has its issues, the explanation of music theory is correct.


To the TS:
I think rather than clearing up a misconception, you are propagating one.


Here is how I see it:

You are using music theory if:

- you are studying music
- you are using what you learned from studying music as a guideline to creating music.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 23, 2008,
#6
Quote by GuitarMunky
I have to disagree with this.

Music theory is a field of study.

Music Theory

Using theory IMO would be choosing any aspect of your composition ( notes, chord progressions... ect) based on what you have learned through the study of music... (music theory).

This is different than if an artist finds what he is looking for by the way it sounds, without any "formal" theory knowledge.


No theory is not music. Theory is the study of music.


PS - while WIki has its issues, the explanation of music theory is correct.


To the TS:
I think rather than clearing up a misconception, you are propagating one.


See, this is why a tried to differentiate the theory behind music, and the study of theory. EDIT: but yes, perhaps I should have been more careful with the phrase "you are using theory" I'll edit that. - changed.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
Last edited by KryptNet at Mar 23, 2008,
#7
Music is music. Theory is descriptive of the music. Theory ceases to exist if it is not being studied.


imo people care way too much about silly words when they should be playing and enjoying their instruments.
#8
Quote by Nick_
Music is music. Theory is descriptive of the music. Theory ceases to exist if it is not being studied.


imo people care way too much about silly words when they should be playing and enjoying their instruments.


my thoughts exactly!
shred is gaudy music
#9
Quote by Nick_
Music is music. Theory is descriptive of the music. Theory ceases to exist if it is not being studied.


imo people care way too much about silly words when they should be playing and enjoying their instruments.
I care very much about playing and creating and the wonderful abstractness and and limitless potential of art and the human imagination. I hate the idea that studying the functionality or science behind something is somehow abstinence. I'm not trying to further emphasis on "silly words" but a deeper understanding of music other then "whoa, sounds awesome, just keep on rockin' on". Which is nice and something I admittedly say often, but I want more.

It's semantics in a way yes. But I like it and respect it because it introduces conciseness and a working vocabulary that enables further expression, further passion of the "theoretically" inscrutable.

Man...I'm writing too much aren't I? <-don't answer that!! In short there is an undeniable mechanism to our consciousness and unless your a solipsist, it exists without your cognizance.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#10
Quote by KryptNet
I care very much about playing and creating and the wonderful abstractness and and limitless potential of art and the human imagination. I hate the idea that studying the functionality or science behind something is somehow abstinence. I'm not trying to further emphasis on "silly words" but a deeper understanding of music other then "whoa, sounds awesome, just keep on rockin' on". Which is nice and something I admittedly say often, but I want more.

It's semantics in a way yes. But I like it and respect it because it introduces conciseness and a working vocabulary that enables further expression, further passion of the "theoretically" inscrutable.

Man...I'm writing too much aren't I? <-don't answer that!! In short there is an undeniable mechanism to our consciousness and unless your a solipsist, it exists without your cognizance.


I dont think anyone is saying that studying the functionality or science behind something is abstinence.

You just have to understand it for what it is. Theory is a field of study. If your into it thats great. I find it very interesting myself. But it is what it is.

And yes the field of study exists without some peoples cognizance..... thats because someone, somewhere IS studying music.... therefore the field of study (music theory) exists. That being said, if you make music and have never studied theory.... your not using it. Someone else may be able to study it from a theory perspective, but the composition itself comes from a different place.

there is really no reason to argue it. The fact that music can be, and often is conceived by people that haven't formally studied it, should in no way discourage the study of it by people who wish to engage in it that way.

The "you need theory" vs "theory is bad" argument is pointless. If your into it cool, if not... thats ok to. whatever.... just enjoy it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 23, 2008,
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky

The "you need theory" vs "theory is bad" argument is pointless. If your into it cool, if not... thats ok to. whatever.... just enjoy it.


This is basically my opinion
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky

The "you need theory" vs "theory is bad" argument is pointless. If your into it cool, if not... thats ok to. whatever.... just enjoy it.
That's not my argument though. I agree, arguing on the internet is dumb. But this isn't the pit and I'm arguing against people who's intellect I respect. (I think I'm arguing with GuitarMunky and Nik?) And actually, I struggle with learning theory and have a love/hate relationship to musical form and dogma. This is not a learn theory or don't thread.

So again, in "our" semantical argument, 1)theory is I-V, abdefg and is has no affect on what an unlearned person spontaneously] creates in his brain. OR 2)there is an explanation to what our brain does and theory puts it into words.

Myth says that Thelonious learned his unique harmonic concepts from learning on a thoroughly de-tuned piano. So this is a great example we can work on if you wish. He didn't however change the science of how we perceive music. To say Thelonious Monk's music does not work off of theory is still wrong(detuned piano and all). THAT is my argument and the thread title. With or Without.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#13
Quote by KryptNet
)there is an explanation to what our brain does and theory puts it into words.


I believe that is your core argument..... I just dont happen to agree with you. Music theory is a field of study. What your describing is something different.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Mar 23, 2008,
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
actually my disagreement with you is on what you propose is the meaning of the term "music theory".

Music theory is a field of study. what you describe is not music theory. I get your point, but I disagree thats its "music theory".
it's simply this: The dictionary chooses to define physics as: The study of matter, energy, space, and time, and of the relations between them.

but I say physics exists without studying it. that's it.

EDIT: but since you know I know what you know I know - any suggestions on editing my original thread to "help" people or make my point less abstract?
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
Last edited by KryptNet at Mar 23, 2008,
#16
Quote by Nick_
Music is music. Theory is descriptive of the music. Theory ceases to exist if it is not being studied.


imo people care way too much about silly words when they should be playing and enjoying their instruments.


+1

plus the whole fact that western theory is different than a lot of eastern theory, there is no set way to play music, many arab countries have systems based off micro-tones, something we rarely use in western music

there is no 'basic theory' because theory is merely a way of labeling stuff, its like our alphabet, compare it to russian, same sorts of sounds, way different way of writing it, then compare that to asian languages, ENTIRELY different system

theory is theory. its a guide, not a rule book, that's all that's important. don't over analyze it...save that for jazz standards.
Quote by beadhangingOne
There is no music but metal and muhammad is its prophet.
#17
Lol, great post, respect to you. I agree 100%.

Just one thing, I think that theory was not "created", but rather "discovered" just like mathematical equations ect. I would use the word discovered, but it's your article and I'm not starting a ****storm lol. I'm on your side 100%



EDIT: nevermind lol, I guess created sounds better. But you know what I'm getting at, people didn't make theory, they just described and put into words what they noticed in music, patterns,ect.. Don't change it, I just read it over and "discovered" would sound stupid.
Last edited by one vision at Mar 23, 2008,
#19
Quote by werty22
Someone should add this to the sticky.
^^yeah right...but approval is nice. I'm glad this post didn't raise any stupid arguing. Just dignified arguing....on the internet....crazy. Also check out my other post: "<3 looks like testicles" in The Pit
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#20
I think discovered is the better word. We didn't create harmony, that's dictated by wave physics. Rather, we discovered pleasant sounds and gave them names.
#21
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I think discovered is the better word. We didn't create harmony, that's dictated by wave physics. Rather, we discovered pleasant sounds and gave them names.
I don't think so. But I'm probably safer with a "Yes Ma'am!" - changed
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#22
Quote by Nick_
Music is music. Theory is descriptive of the music. Theory ceases to exist if it is not being studied.


imo people care way too much about silly words when they should be playing and enjoying their instruments.


+1
Gear:
Schecter Hellraiser Deluxe
Boss DS-1
Crate GTD65

GAS List:
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster
#23
Quote by KryptNet
I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions of the term MUSIC THEORY. And to rectify some gross misuse of phrases like "writing music without theory"

1)Basic Theory: This is what is behind music. That is, people have figured out a way to put down on paper what is interpreted in our ears and brains when music is played. (It may clear things up that the root of theory began when Pythagoras wanting to figure out why us humans interpreted certain things as music)

2)Study of Theory: (Study not "studying"). This has to do with analysis of the stylistic traditions of harmony as established by classical canon (Bach not Canon Rock) or more recently in different genres of music as interpreted by Academia

Very quick explanations I know. But if you are playing a tonal instrument derived from the tonal music of western culture...a system derived from theory has made it possible. Please differentiate between the theory of music and the study and analysis of theory and style.

Theory is why you have frets on your guitar and keys on a piano. <-If you say these things are not used when you make music, sure...disregard this post. In the end, theory was discovered to help us understand OURSELVES and enable to put things into: words, numbers, roman numerals, concepts; the abstract emotion/pleasure/displeasure - in short the amazing reaction of the human brain to a collection of frequencies.

I wrote this Wikipedia free. So feel free to add technicalities.

To be frank with you man, I am not going to sit down and write out a complete synopsis of a song that I write.

If I use music theory when I write a song then yay. All I care about is when I play something and it sounds good, I write it down.

I don't get all technical about something that sounds good and try to analyze it as to why it sounds good. I just know to my ear that it does and thats that.

I'm not writing music by a specific theory or whatever, I write my music the way I like it to sound.

In other words I feel what I write and what I play. I'm not going to sit down and say "Well theoretically this is not correct because of this." If it sounds good and I like it, I'm good.
#24
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I think discovered is the better word. We didn't create harmony, that's dictated by wave physics. Rather, we discovered pleasant sounds and gave them names.

I'm slightly inclined to disagree. Harmony itself exists without our knowledge, yes, but human beings created the entity that we know as "music" (some of us have more divine beliefs about it, but on the whole we can pretty much agree that "music" is something that is only interpreted and and understood by men and men alone). Harmony in itself is just sound, and in nature is more often than not a coincidence. Sound by itself, with no structure or organization, is just noise. Sound, when organized, written, played, created, whatever sort of verb you which to apply, becomes music, and theory doesn't describe the science of vibrating eardrums, it describes various devices used in the creation of music in a way that makes the knowledge of "what sounds good" accessible to anybody wishing to create music.
#25
^^so the original "created" the better word Cowboy? Deciphered? Cuz you seem to get the core of the matter so any corrections would be appreciated.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#26
Quote by KryptNet
^^so the original "created" the better word Cowboy? Deciphered? Cuz you seem to get the core of the matter so any corrections would be appreciated.

I don't really intend to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I say keep created in there, just because it sounds better in context, in my humble opinion. At any rate, I doubt it will make a difference to people reading it.
#27
My point is, to clarify more:


Theory (much like time, but that's a different story) was created by human in its insatiable desire to codify, classify, and catalogue everything.

Theory, being descriptive, is dependent on two things for its existence:

1. That the music exist. NOT the other way around.
2. That someone conceives of it to describe the music.

My issue is that theory cannot be "behind" music; it can but describe it.
#28
Quote by Sc0rpi0n
If I use music theory when I write a song then yay. All I care about is when I play something and it sounds good, I write it down.


You can't write music "using" or "not using" theory. It's descriptive.
#29
Quote by :-D
You can't write music "using" or "not using" theory. It's descriptive.
Exactly.


Someone can calculate how to throw a basketball in order to score and then shoot at the calculated angle with the proper amount of force, or they can just shoot the damn ball. Either way, the path of the ball follows the laws of physics, regardless of your calculating.
#30
i think theory is most useful for communication. i yell out to my bass player 'shuffle in A' he knows what i mean. writing it down for others to play and vice versa...if theory wasn't what it is it would be something else, we need some way of telling each other what we mean!
A fool is not one who makes a mistake, a fool is one who does not learn from it.
-me HAH!
#31
Quote by bangoodcharlote

Either way, the path of the ball follows the laws of physics, regardless of your calculating.


I disagree.

The laws of physics will always describe the path of the ball but the ball does not follow them.
#32
Quote by CowboyUp
At any rate, I doubt it will make a difference to people reading it.
true dat, true dat.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#33
Quote by GuitarMunky
I dont think anyone is saying that studying the functionality or science behind something is abstinence.

You just have to understand it for what it is. Theory is a field of study. If your into it thats great. I find it very interesting myself. But it is what it is.

And yes the field of study exists without some peoples cognizance..... thats because someone, somewhere IS studying music.... therefore the field of study (music theory) exists. That being said, if you make music and have never studied theory.... your not using it. Someone else may be able to study it from a theory perspective, but the composition itself comes from a different place.

there is really no reason to argue it. The fact that music can be, and often is conceived by people that haven't formally studied it, should in no way discourage the study of it by people who wish to engage in it that way.

The "you need theory" vs "theory is bad" argument is pointless. If your into it cool, if not... thats ok to. whatever.... just enjoy it.


I agree 100% , It's a matter of you being interested in it or not, I am cool with it and theory helps me understand where everything came from.
Last edited by Shockball V at Mar 24, 2008,
#34
No theory is not music. Theory is the study of music.


PS - while WIki has its issues, the explanation of music theory is correct.


To the TS:
I think rather than clearing up a misconception, you are propagating one.


Here is how I see it:

You are using music theory if:

- you are studying music
- you are using what you learned from studying music as a guideline to creating
music.


Dude lighten up, I was generalizing about Wikipedia, I know that a lot of the articles in there are correct, but some are not.

When I say music is is theory, I am pointing a simple fact out in this indepth discussion, that without a form of theory, there would of never been someone to register sound and notes as music. So therefore, in a general term, music IS theory. But not directly as you pointed out.

Maybe I should of been less aberrant and more coherent.
#35
Quote by AngryGoldfish

Maybe I should of been less aberrant and more coherent.
By god...it could change the internet as we know it.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#36
Quote by KryptNet
By god...it could change the internet as we know it.



In the most laziest and pointless fashion.....YES!!
#37
You can't write music "using" or "not using" theory. It's descriptive.


This is partly false. While in fact, basic theory, the theory that this board deals with almost exclusively is purely descriptive (nomenclature,four part analysis) there is a whole level of theory that lies virtually untouched by UG members. Schenkerian analysis, species counterpoint, Schoenberg's "developing variation" are just a few examples of this higher level of music study that seek to do a great deal more than merely categorize and communicate. All of these attempt to deal directly with the artistry of music.
Last edited by Erc at Mar 24, 2008,