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Do you know music theory?


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#1 Tormod

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:58 AM

Most of the people I know who play instruments have a basic knowledge of music theory. Usually it's limited to scales and chords. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that they have some basic music skills with a touch of theory.

Guitar has always been my main instrument (with voice and piano in a tied second place), and I know a fair bit of music theory. I use some theory when I write music, but I find that most of the time I don't really worry too much about theoretical approaches. Maybe it's a result of having played for a long time...but sometimes I wonder that it may be because I have forgotten much of it. :hihi:

So - what instrument do you play (if any), and how much theory do you know?

#2 freeztar

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:22 AM

Cool thread Tormod, and appropriately timed. :)

I play guitar and also compose music on my computers (+MIDI controller).
I have a bit of a zen approach when it comes to music theory. Sort of like:

The one who plays all notes, knows no notes
A scale is a snake's skin, beware the snaking scale
Beats are of the heart, the heart is unforgiving
etc.....etc....

I'm certainly no Mozart or Django, but I do enjoy a good song. :(

Oh yeah...
I started messing around with alternate scales and tunings and it REALLY opens your eyes to what is possible with music. The western-based equal temperament is so bach-ovian. :hihi:

Here's a tune I did a little while back using an alternate tuning:

FAWM.ORG :: Songs 2007

Anyhow...

Should we start with the circle of fifths/fourths? :D

#3 Buffy

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:26 AM

Guitar mostly, played bass in a garage band in high school, some keyboards, but mostly "sequencer"! Its been too long since I've done anything much with it (moving put a lot of equipment in storage), but Real Soon Now....

I've also always been facinated by just *sound*: I'm a bit of an analog synth maven, as I had extensive access to an old Arp 2600 when I was in high school...

I've never formally studied music theory, but I did study it because I'm theoretical about everything. But I only know enough to be dangerous. I can read all the squiggles, know my scales and modes, but it gets fuzzy beyond there...and again, its been ages: I'm rusty.

This should be fun though....

Well, there *ought* to be a B#, :hihi:
Buffy

#4 freeztar

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:41 AM

Well, there *ought* to be a B#
Buffy


Not again.... :(

How many times must I remind people about Cb!!!

:hihi:

#5 Tormod

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 05:41 AM

The C# Major scale has a B# note in it...just like G# Major has a double A## in it (etc etc).

#6 Tormod

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:02 AM

The C# Major scale has a B# note in it...just like G# Major has a double A## in it (etc etc).


:( It's of course the other way round.... A# Major has a double G##... ;)

#7 pgrmdave

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 07:35 AM

I have a bit of knowledge of music theory (one year in high school and played trumpet for eight years), although it's only applicable to tonal western music, I didn't get far enough to learn about atonal music, or jazz chords.

#8 Buffy

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:39 AM

The C# Major scale has a B# note in it...just like G# Major has a double A## in it (etc etc).


Tormod, Tormod, Tormod, can't you tell a discussion of microtonal scales when you see one? :(

Well-tempered,
Buffy

#9 Tormod

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:18 AM

Tormod, Tormod, Tormod, can't you tell a discussion of microtonal scales when you see one? :shrug:


Microtonal...ah, you mean the little music!

#10 Queso

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:43 PM

Hey check out my favorite website ever (other than hypography)

GUITAR SCALES

#11 Tarantism

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:44 PM

dont Bb
dont B#
just B (natural sign not available)

#12 Tormod

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 12:22 AM

dont Bb
dont B#
just B (natural sign not available)


It's a fun joke. :(

But to avoid confusion, there is a Bb and a B# just like any other variations. In notation notes may be written differently but sound the same (C# = Db etc) but in fact the sharp and flat notes are not 100% equal. I remember that in college we had a keyboard with "split" black keys, one for # and one for b. :shrug:

#13 freeztar

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 12:30 AM

in fact the sharp and flat notes are not 100% equal.


I need one of those split-black-keys keyboards. I can't stand hearing the difference in Db and C#. Those micro-cents really grate the ear!

#14 Edella

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 02:05 AM

As a young drummer, I neglected much of my theory classes, thinking it wouldn't help my drumming all that much and I truly regret it. I just wasn't interested in playing tympani or mallet instruments, and only studied lessons I thought would help my trap set playing.:shrug:

Although I neglected a lot of music theory in school, I've noted that my strengths (note value, syncopation, dynamics, etc.) are what many non-percussion musicians have problems with. With the exception of a musician who can't tune their instrument, there's nothing worse than a band member with bad time.

Anyway, here are some wonderful rhythmic lessons from Dr. Norman Weinberg, Associate Professor of Percussion at The University of Arizona. Norm Weinberg's WebRhythms: Introduction These lessons go from mind numbingly simple to ridiculously complex (check out the final exam!). Although designed with the percussionist in mind, the lessons can certainly benefit all musicians. I guess I'll go check out this mystical "circle of fifths" thing you guitarists talk about.:(

#15 Buffy

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 02:07 AM

I need one of those split-black-keys keyboards. I can't stand hearing the difference in Db and C#. Those micro-cents really grate the ear!

What you need is one of these:

Posted Image

Source: Wendy Carlos Homepage (click here to go to page and view)


A 53-note-per-octave organ...

Sonically seasoned,
Buffy

#16 Monomer

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:24 PM

The flute is my main instrument which I learnt at high school, and continued to play after school in an orchestra, so for about 15 years. I studied music theory for 4 years while at school, but that was 16 years ago, and I've forgotton what isn't essential for me to be able to play now. I remember something about alberti bass and balad bass...

I also learnt the violin which I miss playing, and I'm currently learning the piano. I'd like to get back to learning theory, then maybe I can figure out those augmented and diminished chords.

#17 freeztar

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:52 AM

What you need is one of these:

Posted Image

Source: Wendy Carlos Homepage (click here to go to page and view)


A 53-note-per-octave organ...

Sonically seasoned,
Buffy


A 53-step Equal Tempered Harmonium!!!
No thanks, I have enough trouble with my twelve keys!! :hihi:
But seriously, imagine the theory involved with playing that "thing" well...
Microtuning is something that has been interesting to me lately, but I suppose that is for another thread...;)

Tuning -- At the Crossroads,
Freezey