Author Topic: Quora questions on music  (Read 1082 times)

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Quora questions on music
« on: November 14, 2017, 06:54:30 AM »
For kicks I started answering questions on Quora, a catch-all "ask the expert (or so-called expert) anything." Many of the questions are apparently homework assignments or test questions; some are hilarious; some ludicrous; some thoughtful and interesting. Anyhow, I have been appointed as some sort of expert on music and literature, so I get forwarded a lot of questions, many of which I can't answer, like "who is the bassist for an obscure pop group?" Some questions can be answered by Google (amazing how many people can't use this simple all-purpose tool).

I thought you might be interested in this question and answer that I just provided. (Apparently it is a popular answer because it has been "upvoted" several times in the past 10 minutes)

What can you teach me in a few minutes that will change how I look at music theory?


[/color]Ronald J Brown, works at Composers (1960-present)

Answered 1h ago

Learning music theory is the equivalent of learning the grammar of a language. In order to be understood by others there are certain rules and conventions each language carries that enable one to communicate with others in a form that they can understand. Many early compositions by those who have not studied music theory are like saying, “Cow the jumped moon brown the over.” While the words are English words and they are all necessary to form a complete sentence, their order scrambles the meaning to the point that a listener would have a hard time deciphering what was meant to be communicated.
Further, studying theory opens up possibilities to the student that they would never have discovered on their own—and why should they have to discover on their own what others have already revealed and explored in detail? Would you study chemistry without ever opening a textbook, hoping that somehow you would rediscover the principles on which it works by testing ingredients you found lying around the house? Or learn the law by sitting in courtrooms observing, but never actually opening a book on law?
Music is a complicated language that cannot be picked up and spoken fluently without considerable effort and studying in detail the principles on which it works.
Rules? What rules?


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Re: Quora questions on music
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 12:13:36 PM »
I simply can't Quora any more.
My face was starting to hurt from all the /facepalming the incredibly stupid questions were causing me to do.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"