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Old 25th July 2019
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Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I think someone can be musically intellectual (musical?) without knowing any theory at all...and can then have a musically intellectual conversation entirely within the language of music. Not needing english or any other language to describe it. You can learn new musical vocabulary entirely without words to describe it.
Totally true, No argument there.

Originally Posted by RyanC View Post

Music theory, to me, would be a sort of meta-intellectualism.

I went to college for music and in my world there are a lot of people who agree, years later, that they had to sortof 'recover' from an overly academic/meta/not-in-their-musical-mind approach. That said, all the best teachers I've ever had always emphasised the importance of developing the understand by ear...

Again I'm not saying it's inherently bad, but I think it's completely fair to say that it's often a distraction for people, and compared to putting in the hard work on aural skills, it can be an easy way out. IE if you write harmonies based on 4 part choral theory, vs by ear. If you get good at doing it by ear (which is A LOT more work), you and your music will be better for it.

That's how I see it at least...OTOH as a working engineer these days it doesn't hurt to be able to set autotune to the right key.
You're SUPPOSED to write by ear. You're not supposed to use rules to write choral style. You're supposed to HEAR it. Bach supposedly improvised everything he wrote. And he knew theory.

I know people who've been distracted by various things when they were young and impressionable. I used to like some twitchy crap at one point. I figured if someone could wiggle their fingers all fast or flashy, they were great, and to an extent I believed that if you couldn't wiggle your fingers, you were a lesser musician. That lasted a few years, high school into college. A lot of music school nerds go through a phase like this. It's a taste mistake. You get distracted by the shiny things.