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Old 08-09-2008, 05:45 PM   #31
underrealm
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I grew up learning to read music for piano and trumpet. But these days, I don't even bother. A lot of that has to do with my preference to improvisation, but the main reason is because I really haven't needed it.

On the other hand, I think that having learned how to read music (along with an understanding of theory) has really helped my improvisational skills, as well as the way I create and arrange music.

Every little bit helps, but I would never say that it was "essential", nor would I take any merit from a truly great musician - Regardless of their knowledge of theory or their ability to sight-read.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:23 PM   #32
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Franman, your post pretty much summed up everything I feel on this subject.

/thread
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:34 PM   #33
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When I was learning piano, I could sight read a little. When I stopped playing the piano and picked up the guitar, I just sat there with a chord book and went from there. When I tried to read sheet music for the guitar, it made no sense. The patterns on each string were totally different than the repeating pattern on the keyboard, and then there was the problem with the same note being found in multiple positions of the guitar, which just ended up confusing the hell out of me. Tabs seemed to solve those problems for me, as I was able to just read and play. However, I never really relied too much on tab either, instead I relied on my ears and memory, which has always worked best for me.

With that said, I don't necessarily think that not being able to read music/having a limited capacity to read music necessarily is an obstacle to having an understanding of theory. In my case, I could hear the patterns and hear how the notes used would fit together, and then later I would then learn the basic patterns behind them (scale patterns, chord names that sort of thing), though I would have absolutely no idea how to read them off a staff. If anything, understanding these patterns has helped me both develop my ear, and be able to figure stuff out easier due to being able to have a framework to work off.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:58 AM   #34
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lol@thread

being musical IS inside. what then does it have to do with reading?
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:19 PM   #35
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lol@thread

being musical IS inside. what then does it have to do with reading?
Tell that to anyone in a Philharmonic Orchestra. I dare you.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:34 PM   #36
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im about to properly learn all of this, when I start classical and jazz lessons. I'm taking a break from metal, perhaps forever.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:49 PM   #37
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Tell that to anyone in a Philharmonic Orchestra. I dare you.
ya i'll tell the next one i meet. what does theory have to do with beeing musical? sure, its a useful tool, but doesnt make you any more musical than beeing able to play 47 notes a second.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #38
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lol@thread

being musical IS inside. what then does it have to do with reading?
Surely being able to read is part of whats inside?
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:57 AM   #39
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dont see how that has anything to do with beeing musical. thats like saying learning the alphabet will make you come up with more creative lyrics (yeah sure it will allow you to share it with others more easily, and comprehend more of other peoples lyrics, but knowing it still doesnt make you a better writer)
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:26 PM   #40
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dont see how that has anything to do with beeing musical. thats like saying learning the alphabet will make you come up with more creative lyrics (yeah sure it will allow you to share it with others more easily, and comprehend more of other peoples lyrics, but knowing it still doesnt make you a better writer)
The alphabet is a part of vocabulary....not the other way around.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:35 PM   #41
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lol@thread

being musical IS inside. what then does it have to do with reading?
This. Stupid argument.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:40 PM   #42
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The alphabet is a part of vocabulary....not the other way around.
so the notes you play dont exist till you know their names and what scales they are part of?
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:08 PM   #43
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so the notes you play dont exist till you know their names and what scales they are part of?
No, but it means you're illiterate. And illiterate people don't have jobs.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #44
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ya liek jaco
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:22 PM   #45
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No, but it means you're illiterate. And illiterate people don't have jobs.
Doesn't translate to music. Bottom line = good ear > knowledge of theory.

I believe danny elfman had no formal training when he did the score for pee wees big adventure.

Last edited by stabwound; 08-12-2008 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #46
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yup.

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Elfman is the manic frontman for Oingo Boingo and a successful Hollywood composer who readily admits to not being able to read music let alone having ever taken a course in music theory.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:32 PM   #47
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Doesn't translate to music. Bottom line = good ear > knowledge of theory.

I believe danny elfman had no formal training when he did the score for pee wees big adventure.
So that's one exception. The VAST majority of skilled writers for film soundtracks and stuff of the like have great knowledge of what they're doing and why they're doing it. Having a good ear is essential, and having a strong understanding helps you convey ideas and may even give you ideas you wouldn't think of otherwise.

You can become successful without the knowledge, but it simply helps to know what you're doing.

You can throw some mics together in a room and record a song and fiddle randomly with the EQ and mixing/mastering and get lucky and get a great result. Or you could study recording and know what you're doing completely and be able to get the same result or better. It's the same thing.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:42 PM   #48
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I feel set back because i haven't played with other musicians besides myself.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:10 PM   #49
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You can become successful without the knowledge, but it simply helps to know what you're doing.
I didn't know this discussion was about how successful you could be as a musician without knowledge of theory, because I'm not doubting it's easier to get jobs and be a professional musician if you've got down your theory/reading/chops. But the fact is that you don't need knowledge of theory or the ability to read music to be a great musician.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:13 AM   #50
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dont see how that has anything to do with beeing musical. thats like saying learning the alphabet will make you come up with more creative lyrics (yeah sure it will allow you to share it with others more easily, and comprehend more of other peoples lyrics, but knowing it still doesnt make you a better writer)
Being musical is a very broad term. I would say learning music in many different ways and exploring all areas of music is being musical. One of those ways is by reading music. You get to analyze and interpret many things about a piece, study what composers have done. Also when you play in orchestras, you think people can actually memorize exactly what to play and when their parts are? Thats what reading music has to do with being musical. Learning to read music will be the gateway to studying composition and other things such as counterpoint or harmony etc. It will show you different things you can do. Reading music is so beneficial to being "musical" its not even funny. Reading music can also help develop your ear. I could go on about this but i think (and hope) you get the point. If your goal is to be musical why would you just limit yourself to your own way of looking or thinking about music? Theory is an understanding of music that can be applied onto all instruments

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so the notes you play dont exist till you know their names and what scales they are part of?
no they exist obviously, you just dont know how to identify them. Reading music is a hell of a lot more than just reading notes and finding out what scales they are part of. That is just one of the simplest things to read. Its like reading a childrens book vs adult literature
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:13 AM   #51
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obviously, but the point is you dont have to be able to read to be a great musician. you could study all you like but it doesnt necessarily make you very musical at all..
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:21 AM   #52
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Paul McCartney is a good example who has no clue on either rythmic or melodic notation.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:49 AM   #53
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right, and on the other hand there are lots of musicians who wouldnt have made it without learning how to read, it goes both ways. In my opinion not learning how to read limits you and i dont see why you would not want to learn, its fun.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:01 PM   #54
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that was never the point. you dont need to be able to read to be a good musician. no one has claimed beeing able to read was a bad thing, but i can definetly see why lots of people choose to spend time on something else than learning standard notation. ESPECIALLY when playing metal. neglecting tabs is even more stupid..
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #55
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obviously, but the point is you dont have to be able to read to be a great musician. you could study all you like but it doesnt necessarily make you very musical at all..
You are arguing for arguments sake- and not very well.

The people you claim (suppose) are good musicians, who don't know anything about music- are not good musicians. Anybody can write something that "sounds good" ANYBODY- yes non-musicians, that's why we have so many making music, who have no idea what they are doing.

Look at Finale or Melodyne for fucks sake- you don't even have to know how to play an instrument.


Sorry, but if YOU think it's good, that's YOUR problem; train your ear.
Quit arguing and run away while you still can save some face.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:30 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoncible View Post
that was never the point. you dont need to be able to read to be a good musician. no one has claimed beeing able to read was a bad thing, but i can definetly see why lots of people choose to spend time on something else than learning standard notation. ESPECIALLY when playing metal. neglecting tabs is even more stupid..
that wasnt your initial point, but you seemed to be very one sided about what you said when there is much more to it than you stated. You implied that reading music doesnt have anything to do with being musical, which makes it seem like its a bad thing.

whatever im done with this thread
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:42 PM   #57
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You are arguing for arguments sake- and not very well.

The people you claim (suppose) are good musicians, who don't know anything about music- are not good musicians. Anybody can write something that "sounds good" ANYBODY- yes non-musicians, that's why we have so many making music, who have no idea what they are doing.

Look at Finale or Melodyne for fucks sake- you don't even have to know how to play an instrument.


Sorry, but if YOU think it's good, that's YOUR problem; train your ear.
Quit arguing and run away while you still can save some face.
Retarded post. You think that just anyone can sit down on finale and score a film? And are you saying paul mccartney is a poor musician? You even say anybody can write something that sounds good, which is just supporting the fact that you don't need a background in music theory.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:48 PM   #58
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Retarded post. You think that just anyone can sit down on finale and score a film?
"Extreme lack of comprehension post". I didn't say film scoring- but somebody here already provided an example of somebody who knew nothing about music scoring a film.
NEXT

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And are you saying paul mccartney is a poor musician?
That's EXACTLY what I'm saying.
Dense much?

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You even say anybody can write something that sounds good, which is just supporting the fact that you don't need a background in music theory.
When I say "sounds good" I mean appeals to the dumb masses- i.e. you, most metal listeners, and most people that listen to top 40 (country, pop, rap). Do you think Ashlee Simpson is "good"? Probably not- but could you explain to someone who does think she is good, why she isn't, with more than "she fucking sucks"? Unlikely. "good" is subjective. Knowledge isn't.

On the opposite end of the spectrum let's use...oh I don't know...Arnold Schonberg. The dumb masses probably wouldn't even consider some of his music, to be music. But it doesn't matter, because we KNOW (derived from "knowledge") that his music is BRILLIANT. Extremely complex, well orchestrated, and on and on. Whether or not you like him is irrelevant- his music, from a MUSIC PERSPECTIVE is amazing.

Ashlee Simpson...doesn't know a G note on staff paper from her G spot. (please don't take this to mean all pop stars- this applies to many metal bands as well). Yet a lot of people like her and think she has "good songs". (This is of course ignoring the fact that she doesn't even write her own music- but rather, professional songwriters do; one of the MANY reasons I will listen to pop music over metal ANYDAY- because those songwriters have an understanding of music)
If you take Ashlee Simpson, the VOCALIST, or Paul Mccartney musician, I can explain to you why she/he is NOT good- whether or not you praise them as the messiah.
That is the fundamental reasoning behind good and bad music. The music will speak for itself.
I'm sure you could analyze a beatles song and find good writing (or acceptable in regards to theory) ...but it's guess work. They didn't know. It's comparable to taking a multiple-choice test that you didn't study for. It's hit or miss.
Again, that's the same reason these same pop/country writers get used over and over and over again......they studied for the multiple choice test.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:06 PM   #59
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On the opposite end of the spectrum let's use...oh I don't know...Arnold Schonberg. The dumb masses probably wouldn't even consider some of his music, to be music. But it doesn't matter, because we KNOW (derived from "knowledge") that his music is BRILLIANT. Extremely complex, well orchestrated, and on and on.
That's a very uncritical attitude. The fact that Schönberg was an incredible innovator and wrote some extremely intense music doesn't make anyone "know" that his music is brilliant, nor does it make all his pieces equally convincing; I certainly consider his output very mixed in quality. You clearly just think you're superior for knowing some of his music, but you probably have little understanding of it if that's the way you talk. I wouldn't even speak so crudely about someone much more canonic, not even Beethoven. You might think you can act like top dog around here because most people don't know much about theory or classical music, but come and pay us composers a visit and see how smart you feel. You're pathetically inane, and stupid enough to be arrogant about it nonetheless.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:26 PM   #60
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I'm sure you could analyze a beatles song and find good writing (or acceptable in regards to theory) ...but it's guess work. They didn't know. It's comparable to taking a multiple-choice test that you didn't study for. It's hit or miss.
It doesn't matter how they came about it if the songwriting is amazing, you elitist faggot. They could hear what they were doing. It doesn't matter if they didn't know the chord progression was a 2-5-1, or didn't know how to write the music down in standard notation, or even know what notes they were playing. All of that is irrelevant if the song is great.

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When I say "sounds good" I mean appeals to the dumb masses- i.e. you
You're a fucking idiot.
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