At 2/28/08 04:51 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote:
Music theory isn't some genetic formula for creating music, it's a means to turn emotions, feelings, and thoughts into music. There is no formula for writing music, but knowing the theory will teach you how to get the type of sound you want. Without this knowledge your really just shooting holes in the dark trying get something that sounds good.
As a side, please don't go around saying that music theory isn't helpful if you don't know music theory.
You might want to re-read what I wrote (I don't mean to say that in an insulting way) and I probably could have explained my message better so I won't sound like a stubborn (lazy) kid who thinks music theory is useless. In fact, I agree with everything you said except your last sentence (in your first paragraph). I probably could have just quoted nav, said I agree, and left it at that. But I will explain myself so I don't come off as being ignorant.
I highly doubt music theory will be the key aspect on deriving a catchy tune. if you just solely rely on that then you will just end up sounding formulaic, which will not result in making a catchy riff. With that said, it won't hurt if you dont solely revolve around music theory, but you certainly won't *should have said always* need it.
I have a friend who's been playing violin for seven years, shes an excellent performer, and was a great student in the theory class we took together. But when the class got near the near the end and we approached harder subjects, this time involving excercises were we start composing are own music, she was completely lost. With all those years of reading music, and knowing how to analyze, you still can't write anything at all? This is more common among musicians than you think. That just shows, you can have perfect grammar, a broad vocabulary, an overall excellent understanding of the language of English- but when it comes to writing your own stories, all that knowledge is pointless if YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.
I would never advise not to learn music theory, for the reasons you stated and more. I just don't think it's entirely necessary in all cases, and it is certainly not the foremost important aspect in creating music. IMO, having a personal inspiration and having something to say is the gateway to composition. Your ear is by far the most important tool when creating music. Can music theory improve it? Obviously yes, but it will never be the answer to everything. If you look at professional musicians you will see that there is a balance between those who attend school and seriously study music, and those who just have a natural talent for creating audio and composing something appealing, with having little to no formal training. If you want to talk about composing symphonies and juding on a technicality basis you can make a case, but this topic is a query on how to make catchy tunes.
(I took that literary analogy from Steve Dunster btw)
Besides, I fail to see how that video that you posted has anything to do with making catchy riffs.