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Music Theory & Composition Questions & comments about composition, arrangement, and music theory. Music rules and how to follow or break them.

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Old 27-02-2015, 10:09 PM   #41
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

Learning music theory will only give you another tool you can use in your music. It won't restrict you, you can choose whether to use it or not. You'll only feel like a more complete musician for learning it.

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Old 28-02-2015, 01:41 AM   #42
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Re: Music theory, idm and djing; A must?!

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Originally Posted by UCoB View Post
you can just as easily become trapped in doing things the exact same way as last time (or last dozen...) because it worked, even if you figured that shit out on your own. the only difference being that it probably took you a year to figure out some basic shit by trial and error which would've taken you a week to figure out by spending a little time to study the shit that people already figured out hundreds of years ago. it's just weird, people don't have a problem to watch a 10 minute youtube video on creating sik wobblez so they can regurgitate them in every single track, but to spend 10 minutes to learn what a pentatotnic scale is so they can regurgitate that in all their tunes and suddenly it's "oh noez, all my creativitiez are dying".
I bolded all my favorite parts of this post.


(and apparently, I pulled that other thread on a tangent not knowing this thread was already talking about these things)

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Old 28-02-2015, 12:08 PM   #43
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

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...

Even then, you could never even pick up a book in your whole life. You are still studying theory. And unless you've grown up in a vacuum, or a remote village absent of western music, your theory will conform to the rules of western music. Theory isn't something written down in a book. Theory is something you form in your mind. When you figure out that C-E-G sounds good, that's a theory. There's no way of proving that these sound good, but you hypothesise that they will and, upon striking them you determine this to be true. Test another hypothesis, make a determination. Prove or disprove your theory.

...
I'd go a step further and say that even then it will conform to the rules of western music, if we use "rules" loosely. I like the idea of the literal definition of "theory" as it pertains to the scientific method, as one of the big reasons musical hypotheses became theories is they were "peer-reviewed" by other cultures throughout history.

The most basic concept is the octave. Practically every culture, and I mean all of them, discovered the idea of the octave, even if they didn't think of it in precisely the same terms. Basically how a frequency doubled or halved produces the "same pitch, just higher or lower". Likewise with the small simple integer ratios making the interval of a fifth, and recognizing the overtone series and basing pitches on that. Even the gamelan music, one of the only "true" microtonal systems (but that's another topic), recognizes the octave and the fifth. An ethnomusicologist might shake his head at my oversimplication, but it was basically like, "Oh snap, you guys do it the same way over there and down there? Neat!"

Plus it gives white folks way too much credit to say they invented scales and pitch theory. :mayonesa:

Harmony theory can be largely cultural, the finer details of it that is, but the building blocks of scales and melody are a universal thing independently discovered among various cultures. I find this to be beautiful but I have the feeling it actually disappoints some people (and not just anthropologists and musicologists).

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Old 05-03-2015, 11:22 PM   #44
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

If you would like to communicate ideas quickly to other musicians then yes, learning theory makes life easier. Also back in the day stuff like tritone substitutions were one of the things I would stumble upon when jamming and go 'oooh, that's cool', learning the theory behind them gives you understanding of why they work and you end up incorporating them into your musical vocabulary.

You can learn a lot of cool tricks without having to stumble upon them by accident, I guess this takes away from the discovery element of making music.

People not wanting to learn it are just lazy. It's the ABC and the dictionary of your craft ffs.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:18 AM   #45
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

A lot of people look at music theory like it's a set guidelines on how to write music. In reality, it's an explanation on how music works.

To humans, the dominant seventh to the tonic chord is just so pleasing to the ear. That's why so many songs have it. That's just normal theory.

You can use musical theory to figure out why "it doesn't sound right" too. Maybe you have a part in your song where you can't figure out why it's sounding weird or off. Could be your voice leading. Maybe try a chord structure someone else has before and work off that. It's much easier to do that if you know theory.

At the end of the day, you have to know the basic rules of music in order to break them and make new, exciting things.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:44 PM   #46
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Re: Music theory, idm and djing; A must?!

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Originally Posted by professurreal View Post
If you are speaking about single note melodies then you are right. When youre making chords out of 3 or 4 notes there are slightly more combinations... not even taking into consideration where you are playing the notes you choose for your chord...
Yeah but 2 of these notes are like the main notes of the chord that give the weight of the progression and many 2 note relations don't work for several reasons. The other two are color or filler as I see it.

Quote:
Even then, you could never even pick up a book in your whole life. You are still studying theory. And unless you've grown up in a vacuum, or a remote village absent of western music, your theory will conform to the rules of western music. Theory isn't something written down in a book. Theory is something you form in your mind. When you figure out that C-E-G sounds good, that's a theory. There's no way of proving that these sound good, but you hypothesise that they will and, upon striking them you determine this to be true. Test another hypothesis, make a determination. Prove or disprove your theory.
Well said that is what I mean. I don't know if you directed your response to me or just thread in general but what I think is boring about theory is reading about it, I dislike reading in general and much prefer experimenting myself.
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Old 10-03-2015, 02:10 PM   #47
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

It's interesting because I'm not a big fan of reading either unless it's about a topic I love and this Music Theory For Computer Musicians is amazing and I love it with all of my hearts.

But everyone learns differently. Im a learn-by-doing person. But this theory book is paramount.

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Old 08-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #48
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Re: Music theory, idm and DJing; A must?!

Why do so many people look for shortcuts within the field they proscribe to love? For whatever reason, i would always strive to learn even the arguably UNnecessary elements of theory and sound design just out of a desire for total immersion. I guess some just want to see drunk people dance in a room. That's cool too

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