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Do you know music theory?


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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?

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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



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




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

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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:


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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:

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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.:(

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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.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What you need is one of these:



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


Sonically seasoned,



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,


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