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Advanced? Music Theory

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HyperTrough
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Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 14:10:37 Reply

Here's a great website that covers more than just basic music theory*. Very interesting, VERY informative and easy to follow.

*By advanced, I mean stuff I haven't encountered yet. May be simple stuff, but this site has helped me alot


lol fuk u

Breed
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 14:25:58 Reply

To be honest, I found that entire site to be vague and whoever wrote it out seemed more focused on using proper vocabulary rather than actually explaining any concepts in detail. He's probably a music theory student who feels smart by using terms, and thought that filming semi-related chunks of lectures at his college or high school made his site more legit or something. Overall the site doesnt actually piece much together. It just touches briefly on a few subjects.

If you want a good source for theory, find yourself a well established and well written book that doesnt require a teacher, and just slowly devour it (applying things you learned along the way in your compositions or instrument playing).

Troisnyx
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 14:36:20 Reply

Someone will have to start with ABRSM Music Theory made easy. Literally made easy. People need to understand what's going on in theory first, before progressing to full-blown performance directions.

FatKidWitAJetPak
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 19:28:04 Reply

Personally, I don't see what the big whoo haw is over music theory. To me, it is the language of music written down for everyone to analyze in order to fully grasp the concept of where a beat should go and where a guitar lead should hit. It is the backbone to a track. The glue that holds everything together. Bla bla durpety durp duper durp. I get that and everything, but I self teach myself what needs to be done and how it needs to be done by listening to music, a whole lot of it, and messing with producing constantly. This, of course, makes collaborations a little bit difficult, but I have learned various terms across the years I have studied music and feel these handful of terms are allll I need to get my point across. Frankly, the artists I work with understand what I mean when I say "put a blip pity bloop wobbly whoop right after this guitar riff" and then we high five each other and scream RIGHTEOUS DOOD after making a kickass electronic guitar dubstep loop. Neither of us have read anything on music theory, yet we can do whatever we want by ear because we just understand it. Our only limitations are time and knowledge. We learn new things every single day, like where a beat should start and end, what frequencies should be included in a house mix, and what happens when we twist a knob and pull a lever over here.

Music theory tutorials and books are simply not for me. I am using it, obviously, but I have learned everything I know by ear, not by reading a book or looking at tutorials on websites. I think people should experiment HANDS ON to fully grasp the concept of music theory and production. Of course, there are more ways to skin a cat.

dem0lecule
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 19:44:06 Reply

Wow, that guy should take literacy degree instead of music.

Personally I think you don't need to be like a big wussy who majors in music composition to know how to compose good music. People like this guy is pretty much those who loves to bang their head against the wall, just to make music that they think it is good. The guy could be an autistic dude who like everything in order. That's quite common.

What's the big deal of learning advanced music theory? I see no use of it, unless you are planning to become professors who teach in music history!


What comes around goes around...

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Buoy
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 19:47:56 Reply

At 8/25/12 07:28 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Frankly, the artists I work with understand what I mean when I say "put a blip pity bloop wobbly whoop right after this guitar riff" and then we high five each other and scream RIGHTEOUS DOOD after making a kickass electronic guitar dubstep loop. Neither of us have read anything on music theory, yet we can do whatever we want by ear because we just understand it.

Wait do you have any idea how much theoretical work has been done during the last couple of millennia just to
create the equal temperament chromatic scale that you use when you make that kickass electronic guitar dubstep loop, and the scales and progressions your western ears have grown accustomed to.

Fine if you don't get it/don't get anything out of learning music theory but I find the dismissive attitude a bit weird.

The-iMortal
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 19:52:04 Reply

At 8/25/12 07:28 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: This, of course, makes collaborations a little bit difficult, but I have learned various terms across the years I have studied music and feel these handful of terms are allll I need to get my point across.

As long as you know your scales, then jams will go smoothly. One of the reasons I got into electronic music production was because the guitarist I used to jam with did not know scales, and while the rest of us were able to get a track down patt in less than an hour, he would struggle the whole day with the progressions... the bassist had to explain to him where fucking G was on the fretboard for the solos!

To all guitarists and other instrument players... LEARN YOUR FUCKING SCALES AND MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR THOSE AROUND YOU!

As you can see, I have been burnt... scorched, really...

camoshark
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 20:07:18 Reply

At 8/25/12 07:44 PM, Computer112 wrote: Wow, that guy should take literacy degree instead of music.

Personally I think you don't need to be like a big wussy who majors in music composition to know how to compose good music. People like this guy is pretty much those who loves to bang their head against the wall, just to make music that they think it is good. The guy could be an autistic dude who like everything in order. That's quite common.

What's the big deal of learning advanced music theory? I see no use of it, unless you are planning to become professors who teach in music history!

The big deal of music theory is to bypass the whole "learning by yourself" process. Thing is, everything that you know has already been discovered by someone else, so there's really no point in "discovering" it again.

Think of it as learning language, since it literally is. You can listen to other people articulate words and eventually learn how to articulate simple ideas like "I like you." But the whole process could take anywhere between a month and a year, while being taught these kinds of things can condense that to a day.

Then, if you further your study, you'll learn to express more complex ideas like "The silk of your hair, the plumpness of your cheeks and the freckles upon them, like a aggregate of sunflowers blowing through a field of raspberries ; all of this, plus the frailty of my own poor soul, beg to express my own attachment to your very being". and at song point, once you get to the point where you are confident enough in your understanding of musical theory, you can go ahead and experiment.

Disregarding musical theory would be to disregard every musical advancement since the Baroque era. If people weren't pushing the boundaries of theoretical knowledge, we'd still be making madrigals.

camoshark
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 20:08:59 Reply

Seems like I got double-ninja'ed, but my point still stands.

Buoy
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 20:14:42 Reply

damnit camoshark you are brilliant

The-iMortal
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 20:22:38 Reply

At 8/25/12 08:08 PM, camoshark wrote: Seems like I got double-ninja'ed, but my point still stands.

No, your post was more informative than mine.

RobSoundtrack
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 21:35:10 Reply

+12345 for theory.

At the risk of dividing us into two entities, I have to say at least this, when it comes to those that know theory, and those that don't.

People that know theory, have, at some point, NOT known it.
They see it from both angles.

If you DONT know theory....well guess what.
You only know one angle.

It's like knocking it before you try it.

To put it another way

PPL that know theory now:
1. Have not known theory
2. Have known theory

PPL that don't know theory now:
1. Have never known theory

So I don't see how folks can comment on something they've never known.

Granted, it is usually some frustrated post about how it is useless.

Disclaimer: I am not saying either is superior.
I just want you to shut your pie hole and maybe get better at your "passion"


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Breed
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-25 23:04:22 Reply

Why is it that people feel the need to argue the point of theory whenever it comes up in a thread? I mean if somebody posted up an article about compressors or EQs then you dont end up with a bunch of people saying its useless, so why do it with theory?

This post was about a theory website. A bad one, but still.....

BlazingDragon
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 00:43:46 Reply

Yeah, I didn't really care for that guy personally...His presentation wasn't very concise.

If you want some a free, practical resource with understandable explanations and audio examples, check out the tutorials by this guy.

His series on altered chords rocks. He also has a very good tutorial on secondary dominants that is far easier to understand than from the guy in that other site.

What I like about the Ryan Leech, who does the above tutorials, is that he uses audio examples from a variety of genres. You can hear what is being explained, the the notes, and really get a grasp on what the practicality of theory is.

As a side note on theory:

Music theory is simply the study of past music. It seeks to answer the question, "What did ___ composer do to get ___ sound? Why does that work so effectively?" Sure, you can teach yourself a lot without theory, but knowing music theory will save you a lot of time and headaches. Why spend your life reinventing the wheel when you can learn theory (what people have done to make awesome music in the past) and with that knowledge go to new places that are unexplored?

As Didacus Stella once said, "...a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself." If you want to advance music, it helps to stand on the knowledge of what has already been done.

HyperTrough
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 00:54:21 Reply

At 8/26/12 12:43 AM, BlazingDragon wrote: If you want some a free, practical resource with understandable explanations and audio examples, check out the tutorials by this guy.

His series on altered chords rocks. He also has a very good tutorial on secondary dominants that is far easier to understand than from the guy in that other site.

As a side note on theory:

Music theory is simply the study of past music. It seeks to answer the question, "What did ___ composer do to get ___ sound? Why does that work so effectively?" Sure, you can teach yourself a lot without theory, but knowing music theory will save you a lot of time and headaches. Why spend your life reinventing the wheel when you can learn theory (what people have done to make awesome music in the past) and with that knowledge go to new places that are unexplored?

As Didacus Stella once said, "...a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself." If you want to advance music, it helps to stand on the knowledge of what has already been done.

Thank you so much! These tutorials look great! I don't know why this thread has turned into a big battle over whether music theory is worth learning or not...Personally, learning just the basics has helped me immensely! But anyway, I'm trying to start getting into music from the romantic period. I just love how this period in time is famous for generating music which can be so "physical". The altered chords tuts should help me heaps!


lol fuk u

FatKidWitAJetPak
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 01:26:14 Reply

At 8/25/12 07:47 PM, Buoy wrote:
At 8/25/12 07:28 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Fine if you don't get it/don't get anything out of learning music theory but I find the dismissive attitude a bit weird.

There has certainly been tons of work done on it, and I completley think music theory is a wonderful thing, but i personally enjoy discovering things for myself. Thats all im really trying to say. I love learning theoey by messing around constantly without worrying about things. I am only dissmissing the idea of focusing too much on it, for diversive and experimental reasons.

I want to ADAPT upon theory and make something different.

Troisnyx
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 08:21:59 Reply

At 8/26/12 01:26 AM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: I want to ADAPT upon theory and make something different.

That's what I would generally do, but there are also times where I would want to stick to theory as closely as possible (like, if I'm doing chant or anything close to a motet-like structure). Different settings for different pieces.

For sure, I've broken the rules of theory a few times (consecutive 5ths and 8ves anyone?), but that won't stop me from loving to learn it very much.

BlazingDragon
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 08:40:47 Reply

At 8/26/12 08:21 AM, TroisNyxEtienne wrote:
At 8/26/12 01:26 AM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: I want to ADAPT upon theory and make something different.
That's what I would generally do, but there are also times where I would want to stick to theory as closely as possible (like, if I'm doing chant or anything close to a motet-like structure). Different settings for different pieces.

For sure, I've broken the rules of theory a few times (consecutive 5ths and 8ves anyone?), but that won't stop me from loving to learn it very much.

One great advantages of learning the "rules" (guidelines) is that you also learn how to break them. There are some musicians how break those rules out of ignorance and it often shows. Conversely, there are those who break them consciously to achieve a certain sonic effect, and they do so with effective, intelligent execution.

But I like FKWAJP's quoted statement up above. I think that the goal of any musician learning theory should be to adapt it and make it their own. The majority of people in my theory classes learned the material, took the tests, and then only ever used the basics. It was all abstract to them. When I learned a concept, I sat down at the piano and thought, "How can I incorporate this into my improv and harmonic vocabulary?" Then I'd compose phrases with that idea. Now when I write music, I use a lot of secondary dominant, borrowed chords, neopolitans, augmented sixths, etc, but I don't even have to think about them. They have simply been built into my style as a sort of second nature. And some people listen to a piece of mine and say, "Dude, I don't know what the heck you did at :35, but the that chord was sick! Totally didn't expect that." Point is, learning the stuff has expanded the possibilities for me and sharpened my individual style. That's practical.

But I'm not trying to bash those that don't learn theory. To each their own. I am trying to show that there is a definite practicality and benefit to learning it though.
Breed
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 10:05:42 Reply

I seriously doubt anybody will be doing anything new with theory for a while. There's not really an adapting to make it your own these days; mostly just getting comfortable using more advanced or abstract concept.

Go listen to shoenberg, bartok, or maybe even some microtonal etudes(its crazy). That shit is completely rejected by society pretty much. Until atonal or microtonal music becomes something we adapt to loving and consider tonal, taking it a step farther is basically un-comprehensible.

Having good theory knowledge is more so just like having more colors on your palette. You arent going to invent a new color anytime soon(unless our eyes adapt to seeing more of the light spectrum), but knowing color theory will certainly taking you leaps and bounds beyond using a 12 color sharpie set.

BlazingDragon
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 10:24:34 Reply

At 8/26/12 10:05 AM, Breed wrote: I seriously doubt anybody will be doing anything new with theory for a while. There's not really an adapting to make it your own these days; mostly just getting comfortable using more advanced or abstract concept.

Go listen to shoenberg, bartok, or maybe even some microtonal etudes(its crazy). That shit is completely rejected by society pretty much. Until atonal or microtonal music becomes something we adapt to loving and consider tonal, taking it a step farther is basically un-comprehensible.

Having good theory knowledge is more so just like having more colors on your palette. You arent going to invent a new color anytime soon(unless our eyes adapt to seeing more of the light spectrum), but knowing color theory will certainly taking you leaps and bounds beyond using a 12 color sharpie set.

There are people doing some "new" things that I'm sure will get in the theory books of the future. Just look at jazz harmony over the last sixty years. Computers and electronics are also changing the conservatory landscape some, but I'm not a big fan of all that personally...

I agree somewhat though in the sense that I don't see much inventiveness happening in the way of harmony/theory beyond trying to overthrow the system with atonalism. A lot of recent developments seem to be more related to timbre and combining music with other media.

I think that film music will soon become the new classical as atonal composers further distance themselves from audiences.

dem0lecule
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 13:06:04 Reply

At 8/25/12 08:07 PM, camoshark wrote: Disregarding musical theory would be to disregard every musical advancement since the Baroque era. If people weren't pushing the boundaries of theoretical knowledge, we'd still be making madrigals.

After this paragraph I start to think that 99% of self-taught musicians are a bunch of ignorant and arrogant fools. Well, I put shit together. I find ways to use off note chords that 80% of 'standard musicians' rejected. I learn music from scratch. Well, everyone did/does!

The Baroque folks didn't 'invented' the law of 'music'. Nature did/does. So if you are still praising those people who claim/ed they created music then are you guys a bunch of ignorance, too? Claiming on something that already exists!

However they did innovate ways/perspectives of their music composition. Which were those shaped what you call: music theory. I am blind and I innovate my own ways of music composition. However I don't claim to be Mr. Know-It-All. I keep in mind that there are many more self-taught musicians who has better way of learning music than mine and that BS 'standards'.

Ya know, I always question myself how the 2 distant civilizations learned each other languages, despise the fact that none of them met or knew each other exist. Later I realize they used the most basic communications of humanity. Well, both of them were humans.

It's just like music. 'Music' is a pretty fancy word thing that human put it in another perspective. Music is sound. Sound is a part physics of of this universe. Nothing fancy, in the end. Ain't we all receive this 'music aka sound' by ears?

If comparing to everyone who commented on here, I am nothing but a dummy, in learning this yada theory. I only took one music class in high-school and that wasn't even a theory course. RobSoundtrack is right. I can't judge on something that I don't certainly know.

There is more than one way to shape the world. There is more than a way to learn music. Just my 2 cents.


What comes around goes around...

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zelazon
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 13:20:01 Reply

Music theory is also something you learn if you're taking elementary/Jr./High school band classes, as what you'll learn from those types of classes is initially a foundation of what you'll be learning in a Music Theory class.

I haven't taken one, but technically I did when I was learning how to use logic pro and my friend was taking a class in music theory so I would just go with her to her class and work on my music while hearing from the background the teacher discussing about it.

But if you think it'll be a simple concept to learn, you have to remember that music has been around for a VERY LONG TIME and many of the concepts that we take for granted has probably been done sometime ago.

Basically, it a good idea to look into music theory (as many of the other artist have been rightfully saying) and really analyze it, because it can only make your music better.

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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 13:21:46 Reply

At 8/26/12 10:05 AM, Breed wrote: Having good theory knowledge is more so just like having more colors on your palette. You arent going to invent a new color anytime soon(unless our eyes adapt to seeing more of the light spectrum), but knowing color theory will certainly taking you leaps and bounds beyond using a 12 color sharpie set.

This.

The main reason an individual would want theory training is to expand their knowledge on how music works,and how/how not to write music. The main reason I would want theory training is to understand harmonization and chord progressions,as well as many other things aside from those two reasons. Theory(as a class),to me,seems to be the only viable option atm to improve on what i've learned writing music-wise. Of course, I could just go buy a book, and learn it by myself, but I'd rather take it by word of mouth and instruction because I thrive in that kind of learning environment rather than a self-taught thing. That's just me though.


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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 14:46:33 Reply

All in all, we all have our own styles. Some like going by the book and some don't. I feel music is an expression of ones mind and soul. It is an art form that varies in many, many styles, tempos, and sounds. There is A LOT of music out there. Who are we to say what the "proper" way of making this music is? Not going by music theory is NOT going blindly. Some of the most famous artists of all time started out when theory was non existent. Some of the most heard tunes in the world were composed by men and women sitting down at a piano and experimenting, learning, and crafting their hearts out into beautiful sound. As culture and the world progressed, we formed equations, language, and concrete descriptions of what this music was. We took it apart and explained it. That, in itself, is pretty amazing as well. There are still people who are developing upon this theory, attempting to explain the most complicated building blocks of music.

Not knowing this theory has NOTHING to do with talent or skill or arrogance in an artist. It is simply a PREFERENCE.

Everyone has their own ways of composing music. I am a piano player, I program synthesizers, I DJ, and I am an Ambient Producer. I know some theory, but 99% of my skill has come from sitting down and pressing my fingers against keys, turning knobs, and analyzing frequencies. I don't need a book to tell me what is going on. Sure, it would help. It would help a lot. I pride myself, however, in developing my own techniques and styles. I don't want to base myself from something made from somebody else. i want to achieve pure emotion through sound. Personally, I feel learning advanced music theory would almost corrupt everything that I have learned. Sure, there would be nothing wrong with learning music theory. But... It is so much more fun to learn it for myself!

In fact, experimentation is why we evolve! I want to be unique in my music. If I focused too much on theory, I would't cry when playing the piano, I would think to myself "oh ok time to move onto the chromatic scale". That is how many play. There is nothing wrong with it. Using theory is a beautiful thing as well. Not using it is equally as beautiful. That is my opinion.

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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 15:06:39 Reply

At 8/26/12 02:46 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: Some of the most famous artists of all time started out when theory was non existent.

come again?

Also why in the world are we discussing this? It's like discussing Mac vs PC in a thread with a link to cool Mac OS tips.

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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 15:07:02 Reply

At 8/26/12 02:46 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: In fact, experimentation is why we evolve! I want to be unique in my music. If I focused too much on theory, I would't cry when playing the piano, I would think to myself "oh ok time to move onto the chromatic scale". That is how many play. There is nothing wrong with it. Using theory is a beautiful thing as well. Not using it is equally as beautiful. That is my opinion.

Okay, that is fair enough. From my own experience though, I'd like to point out that theory hasn't ruined the magic for me. See, you learn theory to forget it. It can be tedious at first thinking, "Okay, how do I spell a French Augmented Sixth chord when in the key of g minor...uh...." Eventually though, it becomes internalized in your ear. You don't give it a second thought. You just hear something in your head and your fingers make it happen.

It's like Einstein said: "The more I learn, the more I realize I donâEUTMt know." Learning a bunch of theory has taught me how amazingly expansive music really is. I feel like I appreciate it more, personally.

I still improvise at 2:00 AM and cry as ideas come in. I'm not thinking about theory or chords at that point. No, I'm just letting the music overwhelm me. However, that theory has helped me get ideas out from my head and onto the piano keys, staff paper, or music software.

Plus, it's really magical for me to hear a piece of music and think, "Wow, he just used ___! I never would have thought of it being used that way. Man, that's really ingenious and beautiful the way that was executed." Whereas in the past, I would have just heard the piece in the background and though, "That's really pretty. Hmm." That might just be how my brain works though.

FatKidWitAJetPak
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 17:03:09 Reply

At 8/26/12 03:07 PM, BlazingDragon wrote:
At 8/26/12 02:46 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote:
It's like Einstein said: "The more I learn, the more I realize I donâEUTMt know." Learning a bunch of theory has taught me
Plus, it's really magical for me to hear a piece of music and think, "Wow, he just used ___! I never would have thought of it being used that way. Man, that's really ingenious and beautiful the way that was executed." Whereas in the past, I would have just heard the piece in the background and though, "That's really pretty. Hmm." That might just be how my brain works though.

Of course! Learning is what makes us stronger. Whats cool is there are many different ways to learn. I listen to music all the time and am always amazed at all of the progressions and techniques used. I remember when I first figured our what people were doing in a song. I thought "wow, i cant believe he just assigned a modulation that controls the OSC 1 and filtering module!" thats more programming experience, but I also can analyze the placement and how it progresses into q breakbeat. There is sooo much out there. I will probably study theory one day, but for now ill study by ear and hand on analizing.

Also SBB, this isnt an argument lol. We are just discussing prefrences really. There is no single right way to do this. There are many ways.

Troisnyx
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 17:43:40 Reply

At 8/26/12 05:03 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: There is no single right way to do this. There are many ways.

Hence the existence of lots of different genres. Some would require more power and more emphasis than others.

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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 18:16:29 Reply

At 8/26/12 05:03 PM, FatKidWitAJetPak wrote: We are just discussing prefrences really.

We are NOW, after you completely derailed the thread with your opinions about the merits of music theory itself. That was the point of my previous post.

Because trust me, had this been a thread about the importance music theory itself, in which case your posts would actually have been relevant, I would have picked your posts apart and vigorously criticized them in detail to a degree you wouldn't believe.

Maybe I will, if this ends up becoming a big "music theory general" thread. Better that than a thread about what's appropriate to post in a thread about a website with lectures about certain aspects of music theory, which I realize is he direction I'm pushing it towards now. I'm genuinely sorry. I really am.

And the first person to accuse me of overreacting will receive a boot to the head.

Breed
Breed
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Level 11
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Response to Advanced? Music Theory 2012-08-26 18:33:31 Reply

Your music will never be original. To think otherwise is just a fools way to think better about yourself. It's been done. All of it. Yeah you could break shit down and find little nuances of things but in general, not gonna happen. Might as well know what youre talkin about while you write it instead of pretending youre more spiritual and self-guided than you actually are.