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Old 2013-07-19, 19:25
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dstreets dstreets is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 257
Originally Posted by smalik View Post
I am interested to know how many of the Reason users out there are actually musicians...meaning those who actually learned to play an instrument and everything that goes with it, i.e. theory, harmonies, chord structures, etc, etc, etc.

I am postulating whether there is only so far that one can go in making music before one realises that to progress further some knowledge and understanding of musical theory is required.

Of course, there are those who play by ear, but I think that perhaps to reach that greater depth of the creative person inside, one needs to be versed in some theory at least which would help.

As an analogy, one could think of speaking a foreign language. Knowing just a few words would probably get you by, but those few words backed with knowledge of the grammer would make make all the difference, and you would be able to express yourself much more faithfully.

It would be interesting to know what opinions are on this. Thx.

I can only share my own experience. I started playing piano by ear, then took classical lessons up until college. At University I studied music theory and composition.

The theory and composition part changed my life. I think Danny Elfman said in an interview earlier in his film scoring career that the only difference between him and a classically trained composer (schooled in theory) is that the latter could tell you why the elements come together to result in the desired effect.

Elfman actually may have acquired some of these additional skillsets later but it again proves that talent can sometimes help you leapfrog. You just hear the lines in your head and you're taking dictation (i.e. Brian Wilson). For the rest of us we need a bit more direction (i.e. theory/comp).

There is also something to be said about learning what the rules are and then forgetting them (or breaking them).

For me it's been quite the opposite however. I am constantly hearing modern music where the band thinks they're songwriters and their attempt at dissonance actually reflects a complete ignorance of the rules that allow such sounds to remain musical vs. just making noise.

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