Beware of too much Music Theory.

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
Obineg+
KVRer
8 posts since 8 Sep, 2019

Post Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:32 pm

excuse me please wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:28 pm
I think the OP means that one does not need any theory to create a track.
if me means that, then he did not understand what "music theory" is.

because there is not THE theory.

there are dozens of cultures, systems and approaches around, and if you want to ignore all of those and make up your own it is still one. (your theory will be limited to "i dont need this" but that´s a theory after all)

btw. why was the OP banned?

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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:09 am

excuse me please wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:53 pm
Yeah well, Beethoven's most famous work consists of 4 notes, while 3 of them are a repetition of a single note.
You'd do well to consider the meaning of a phrase such as '[the work] consists of' before typing it. An exceedingly silly look

Romy Schmidt
KVRer
6 posts since 8 Sep, 2020

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:30 am

Obineg+ wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:32 pm
excuse me please wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:28 pm
I think the OP means that one does not need any theory to create a track.
if me means that, then he did not understand what "music theory" is.

because there is not THE theory.

there are dozens of cultures...
Yet, there is only one overtone series. No matter what culture, we all hear the same structure. It's the base of music theory.

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risome
KVRAF
2115 posts since 30 Oct, 2006 from Australia, NSW

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:34 am

If you don't know the rules how can you break them
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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:27 am

it's just the usual misconception of the concept of 'music theory', confounding the term with a narrow application of formal theory. Everyone who is doing anything that makes sense musically to them is applying their own conception of principles in some way. Perhaps not in a very thoroughgoing fashion. I'm doing something where I chose to have things in patches I don't fully grasp, not how they got there anyway, in order to have surprises and new materials, where there is no usual 'correction' available.

I remember a stage where I realized the mystery of a lot of things is gone, I'll always hear the thing going forward recognizing the moves which were made to arrive at it. It's a good trade-off if you ask me. You'll lose something of that just getting your ear trained to recognize common intervals and/or harmonies.

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AsPeeXXXVIII
KVRian
563 posts since 17 Aug, 2015 from Finland

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:33 pm

The way I see it, there's no harm in studying music theory as extensively as possible. If nothing else, it can help understand what happens where and, in some cases, why. But it shouldn't be treated as a strict template on which to build your own songs. Ignoring any and all notions of "safety" and experimenting with different chord combinations, time signatures etc. is where the real fun lies.
"Creativity is a lot like sex. When it's spontaneous, it's good, but forcing it makes it bad."
My metal music | My electronic music

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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:59 pm

'treated as a strict template' - see, I don't know where that's a thing at all. The people I knew in school to be a composer kind of a person were not doing any conventional music. I seem to have heard about programs where you would write an exercise in the style of, or complete this unfinished bit from one of the bewigged composers, but in my sphere of influence people were encouraged to write new shit, be yourself, go nuts; and by the time you're at this stage in your 'career' the other stuff is kind of grunt work or superfluous.

So what models I had in that milieu led me to a notion of composing where I have never really written a conventional piece of music. I have done in bands, I can do it because of the familiarity as a player and arrranger but I never considered doing anything in say sonata allegro form, or a full fugue and I'm kind of in a conflicted attitude to tonality anyway. Except for that student emulating a master model, that 'as a template' is a mistake, and not one serious people make.

hotmitts
KVRist
446 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:04 am

Dynasty0 wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:08 am
This will not go well with those who have spent their whole lives learning but in my case learning some music theory has actually held me back by a very long way.
Prior to any music theory I was able to compose with natural emotion, yes I was breaking all the rules but it was working for me and to the people that heard my tracks.

In the pursuit of improving I decided to learn a little and with each and every turn my music started to conform to the rules. It started to sound more structured and coherent.
And now I hardly ever play a bum note and everything seems so sterile.

They say learn the rules and then learn to break them but in my case everything I now play seems to have already been done before.
The done before bit is troubling, Am I borrowing, stealing the things that I have learnt?
I wondered what musicians /composers you like and what their approach is ?

As an aside, I'm personally probably better at drawing than making music (certainly in any technical sense) and I certainly find that people who 'can't draw' (or think they can't) often produce pictures that are very interesting/pleasing. The lines are more alive, the subject and the humour shines through...maybe they're not 'hung up' like I am in doing it 'right'.....maybe they have no expectations, they 'know' they're not 'artistic' and so they're as not scared of making mistakes...

Don't know what the answer is, maybe learn the rules and then systematically break every one haha

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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:03 pm

Yet Picasso and Dali et al were master draughtsmen.
I can almost draw, but like so many I fail at drawing hands. I think it's just one sign of many that I'm not meant to do it in a way I should take very seriously.

I think the charm of a childlike freedom is not going to sustain one very long in music. I get what that is but eventually you're going to become competent or not.

Knowledge expands horizons, the notion it makes one less free is a stage one wants to surpass ultimately.

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Hink
Rad Grandad
32292 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:52 pm

I had to take fours years of mechanical drawing along with my 4 years of machining school (technical high school)...I am not good at drawing and I hated those classes with a passion...but I can read a blueprint (very few can read my blueprints :hihi: )

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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:41 am

I took drafting in jr high school. It wasn't going anywhere, my aptitude for mechnical reasoning is not any good, and around the same time I became interested in acoustics & found there was a lot of maths prerequisite to even think about it seriously.

rp314
KVRAF
2991 posts since 25 Mar, 2006 from The city by the bay

Post Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:02 pm

"Beware of too much Music Theory"? Yeah, I guess, although as is sometimes pointed out it kind of depends on the path one has chosen.

Ennio Morricone's obituaries sometimes include mention of his music teacher, the great Goffredo Petrassi, who for a good part of his 98 years on this planet taught many composers, e.g., Franco Donatoni, Aldo Clementi, Cornelius Cardew, Peter Maxwell Davies and Richard Teitelbaum.

There have been some successful composers of film music who may not have received what we might consider to be a traditional music education but it seems to me that if you want to cover the range of Morricone's incredibly prolific output, getting "somewhere around just the right amount of Music Theory to be able to do that" is what one ought to do. :wink:
Mechanical skills, mental skills-you've got to have both if you want to play the instrument.
-George Van Eps

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vurt
addled muppet weed
71184 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:49 pm

rp314 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:02 pm
"Beware of too much Music Theory"? Yeah, I guess, although as is sometimes pointed out it kind of depends on the path one has chosen.

its a health and safety warning.
if you buy too many books, a shelf may fall on you and you will be buried under hundreds of kilos of modes, scales, rhythym and all that weird stuff you lot go on about.

im not digging you out from under all that!

Melkor
KVRian
961 posts since 25 Feb, 2008 from Sydney, Australia

Post Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:15 pm

"Academic" music theory can be rather strict in many ways, but once something has been accepted into the "standard" curriculum, anything goes.

Case in point - Jazz
A now "accepted" form, that is both freeform AF, yet highly complex where certain "rules" must be observed.

Stockhausen and Varise etc
It is "curriculum", as freeform as the wind, and won't really survive a shenkerian analysis.

Hip Hop
A kick, a clap, a bass note (note: lack of plural) and a monotonic vocal sounding the same note as the bass.

Punk
I IV V or I vi IV V played -strictly- with powerchords.

Or, 2 bare notes alternating over a single drone note.

It's totally possible for our convential theory to cover -all- this ground, but it is starting to look a bit frayed at the edges, after all this time :)
Prestissimo in Moto Perpetuo

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jancivil
KVRAF
20452 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:24 am

I went to CCM at the same time as Jeff Teitelbaum, a cousin of Richard's. Oddly I ran into him in SF shortly after moving here. He told me he refused to use the connection to further a career... he wasn't even headed to LA. He was a bass student, neither of us were composers in school.

If you know the thing you're after consistently is the relation "I IV V" and that you leave off the third, you're doing music theory.

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