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Re: Theory: What is Crap and what is not Crap?
11/12/2006 10:52 PM
David Mackie (11072) wrote:
I think Andrew K. has a great perspective on it, but I have a differing perspective and some caveats.
After much study in my late teens and early twenties, I came to a conclusion that my musical brain (the part we usually refer to as ear) just doesn't want to process things the way they are layed out in theory texts. I haven't tried to form my own academic theories, I truly don't process music on a theoretical basis. If I really feel I need to do that if I hit a trouble spot, I can recall enough to be able to find what I think I need, but I find myself needing to do that almost not at all. I find I can come up with solutions that satisfy my ear much more efficiently simply playing around with possibilities and gesturing on the instrument. By gesturing, I mean simply moving my hands in predertimined ways which are unfamiliar and may produce unintended sounds that I find intriguing. (or not)
It's not actually an efficient process, but I found that solutions I worked out through theoretical study usually seemed stale to my ear, and rarely, if ever, satisfied.
One big trap in my approach (and I often fall into it for varying periods of time) is that you can crawl too much into yourself and all your music sounds the same and somewhat annoying to people outside your own creative space. Then you dismiss your critics saying "They just don't get me." That's a musical dead end. I have a fairly restless ear however, and so far I've managed to get myself out of those nasty ruts. The big problem is recognizing them.
I guess my main point is this; you may not like theory, you may not even need it, but if you're going to reject learning it, you have taken on a big responsibility in finding your own methods of keeping your music fresh and vital. If all you want to do is bash out punk songs the rest of your life, go for it; but don't expect anyone to still care about your music twenty years from now, when you're still bashing out the same songs because you can't come up with any new ones.
It doesn't work for me personally, but for most people I think more knowlege is better. I actually often wish I could process music that way, and will occasionally go back to the books for awhile before reality hits and I realise I am who I am and I've made some pretty good music as myself. I can live with that.