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DO YOU BELIEVE IN MUSIC THEORY OR JUST EARS???





tizziano
Very Happy i believe in both cuz they are supplemental , how do you think?
liljp617
It's not a matter of believing lol

If you choose to deny either, you're choosing to deny reality. That may not be a problem for some people I guess, but it is for me.
Ankhanu
Theory is neat and all... but it's useless without the ear; kind of like knowledge and wisdom. Alternatively, there's always theory behind what the "ear" produces without consciously thinking about it.
catscratches
Without music theory, it's just a couple of random notes played after eachother. But without the ear, it's heartless and numb.
Helios
Soulful music played by a talented musician with "good ears" is much much better than just technically played music. Shoot me, but that's my opinion Smile
venometal
i believe in "music theory" which consists of 3 facts; rhythm, melody and harmony. melody matters for ears. hence, soulful music is also a part of music theory. theory is not just technical issue, it is also emotional. melody refers to emotions such that mood changes, rhythm refers to physical reactions like dancing or clapping synchronized with the tempo, harmonic theory refers to intelligence so that the listener would get the real idea in performer's mind by the scales and chords he is playing.
funky_programmer
At first, ears and feelings are important. But without enough music theory, there won't be any orderliness in music, because music theory regulates all the things needed to make a good music, like beats, tone composition, etc.
liljp617
Kind of odd people are saying theory is useless without the ear while ignoring that the ear is useless without theory. Theory is present in every piece of music whether the musician knows the technical terms or not. You can't have music without theory. It's impossible. Even if you pick up, say a guitar, and you start playing without having any true theory knowledge, you're still using the theory...and that's the precise reason the music sounds as it does.

Your ear knows what sounds good because of the theory. If you don't play in scales, if you don't play in harmony, if you don't have any sort of melody, if the notes simply don't work together, (and these are among the things that draw emotion from the listener), then your ear is obviously not going to like it.



But overall, neither is more important than the other....at all.


Helios wrote:
Soulful music played by a talented musician with "good ears" is much much better than just technically played music. Shoot me, but that's my opinion Smile


There isn't any soulful music without theory. There is no such thing as a talented musician who doesn't use theory. Theory is not "just technical." It's the reason the music sounds good to you.
deanhills
I think someone who has mastered theory of music has a good chance of composing technically good music, with lots of effort. However someone who has been born with an ear for music, such as Mozart has, would be able to master theory possibly more instinctively and compose brilliant music with much less effort spontaneously.
Helios
liljp617 wrote:

Helios wrote:
Soulful music played by a talented musician with "good ears" is much much better than just technically played music. Shoot me, but that's my opinion Smile


There isn't any soulful music without theory. There is no such thing as a talented musician who doesn't use theory. Theory is not "just technical." It's the reason the music sounds good to you.


Sorry that I didn't explain myself in the previous post.

Of course, I can't just deny musical theory and I don't! I'm simply saying that a good ear and feel to the music are much more important to me than to study musical theory more and more, and become very technical. Obviously, an artist who possesses both of those things is a great artist, but in my opinion an artist who knows less musical theory can still make great music, and sometimes better music! Now shoot me Razz
deanhills
Helios wrote:
Sorry that I didn't explain myself in the previous post.

Of course, I can't just deny musical theory and I don't! I'm simply saying that a good ear and feel to the music are much more important to me than to study musical theory more and more, and become very technical. Obviously, an artist who possesses both of those things is a great artist, but in my opinion an artist who knows less musical theory can still make great music, and sometimes better music! Now shoot me Razz


Agreed totally, and I think I understood your original posting. But now have a question of my own. Is theory not always something that is acquired? I.e. you have to sit down and work on it, learn all the symbols for notes, do a number of serious exercises to perfect it over a period of time? I know Mozart had to do that and did it at quite a young age, but then he had this wonderful gift of being able to write it without even having to touch a piano. He obviously had music in more than just his ears.

I think if an artist has only an ear for music and no knowledge of theory, he can still compose something much more brilliant than someone with super theory but not an equivalent ear and talent for composing music. Maybe he can get someone to write it down for him/her? Smile
liljp617
Helios wrote:
liljp617 wrote:

Helios wrote:
Soulful music played by a talented musician with "good ears" is much much better than just technically played music. Shoot me, but that's my opinion Smile


There isn't any soulful music without theory. There is no such thing as a talented musician who doesn't use theory. Theory is not "just technical." It's the reason the music sounds good to you.


Sorry that I didn't explain myself in the previous post.

Of course, I can't just deny musical theory and I don't! I'm simply saying that a good ear and feel to the music are much more important to me than to study musical theory more and more, and become very technical. Obviously, an artist who possesses both of those things is a great artist, but in my opinion an artist who knows less musical theory can still make great music, and sometimes better music! Now shoot me Razz


But having a "good ear" and music theory ARE NOT independent of each other. People have a "good ear" because the theory behind their music (even if they don't know it) is making the music fit together in a way that makes it worthy of listening to.

I think I said something on this subject earlier. Even if you don't know the technicalities of theory (all the scales, building chords, roots, etc. etc.), you are still using it! Someone who lacks knowledge of the technical terms and definitions that make up theory does not play great sounding music solely because of a "good ear;" they play great sounding music because they're inherently using music theory...that is what makes the notes fit together, that is what makes the chords fit, that is what makes the scale they're playing in fit, that is what makes the tempo right, and so on. If the theory was not behind their music, they COULD NOT have a "good ear" because their music would be all over the place and the notes simply would not match.

I understand what you're saying. People who have not been formally educated on all the technicalities of music theory can still make good music. I agree. What I'm saying is their music is not "good" just because they're said to have a "good ear." Their music is good because they're still using the theory that makes music sound good, even when they aren't aware of the technical terms of the theory they're using.

deanhills wrote:
Helios wrote:
Sorry that I didn't explain myself in the previous post.

Of course, I can't just deny musical theory and I don't! I'm simply saying that a good ear and feel to the music are much more important to me than to study musical theory more and more, and become very technical. Obviously, an artist who possesses both of those things is a great artist, but in my opinion an artist who knows less musical theory can still make great music, and sometimes better music! Now shoot me Razz


I think if an artist has only an ear for music and no knowledge of theory, he can still compose something much more brilliant than someone with super theory but not an equivalent ear and talent for composing music. Maybe he can get someone to write it down for him/her? Smile


But they're still using the theory. That's the point. Just because they don't know the formal definitions of what they're using and they haven't taken courses on theory doesn't mean they're not using it. For instance, the scale they're using, even in the event they don't know what the scale is called and they just know the notes fit, is still music theory and that's why their composition is going to sound good. If the theory was not behind the random notes they're playing, it would not be deemed nice sounding by their "good ear."

If you spend a year playing an instrument and you don't study any theory, you still apply a ton of theory to your music even if you're unaware of it. Your ear begins to recognize and remember which notes work together and which notes do not work together...and that is because of the theory behind your music.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
But they're still using the theory. That's the point. Just because they don't know the formal definitions of what they're using and they haven't taken courses on theory doesn't mean they're not using it. For instance, the scale they're using, even in the event they don't know what the scale is called and they just know the notes fit, is still music theory and that's why their composition is going to sound good. If the theory was not behind the random notes they're playing, it would not be deemed nice sounding by their "good ear."

If you spend a year playing an instrument and you don't study any theory, you still apply a ton of theory to your music even if you're unaware of it. Your ear begins to recognize and remember which notes work together and which notes do not work together...and that is because of the theory behind your music.


OK, I understand where you are coming from. The theory is there, but the guy with the good ear for music does not know it. Mozart was lucky in that he could get the training so that he could write out his music and his brilliance shared with everyone. There might have been many more people with the inherent theory in their compositions of music, i.e. gypsies, who were not living close to the courts of Europe at that time, and people of influence, so could not read or write or learn what they inherently knew of music theory. But the theory was there ... Theory is like language, you do not have to be able to write letters, but the letters are there when you speak the language Smile
Helios
liljp617, alright, I see what you're saying. You're just defining things differently, but it doesn't really contradict what I said. Not that it should...
Melacos
Well that's a classic discussion if any..! Razz I guess what you want to discuss is the more value-loaded aspect of it...

There are multiple levels to this. The levels consist of factors that influence the composer AND the listener. Well in fact they can both be called 'listeners' in this connection.
If it's about the actual product, and the way it's recieved, it probably won't matter if it's 'ears or theory', as most listeners would be aware with which it was (primarily) made.

In the end it's a question of the judgement of taste.
What I guess it comes down to in these post-modernist influenced times, is that the listener must be the judge of that.

When writing music myself I usually go by the sound of it, but at the same time, sure I've got some theoretical foundation. I don't know if you get 'conform' and non-creative if learning 'too much' from scales and such, but again I take the easy way out and refer to the actual outcome of it all - if it's a piece of music that you or whatever other listener who might get to know it, finds satisfying, it doesn't really matter if it's created in one way or another... Smile
daefommicc
ne shit u play n think "yeah it sounds good!" is based on some scale (generally in my case everything i play is from d minor pentatonics) so they go hand in hand. not two different things at all!!! they r complementary to each oder.
tony
I think there is theory behind all music but we do not yet know all the theory. and for this reason, composing by ear rather than by theory can open up new ideas people have not thought of before. just my theory Smile
Nutteloos
The major difference between the two, is that just ears - without the theory - might work. [edit: actually, make that 'it will probably work']

Just theory (without the ears) is probably horrible.
ortie10
I'm an ears guy too stupid for the Theory!
catscratches
Nutteloos wrote:
The major difference between the two, is that just ears - without the theory - might work. [edit: actually, make that 'it will probably work']

Just theory (without the ears) is probably horrible.
Well, Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf...
froginabox
I think it depends on how you're trained. For instance, I started learning piano by ear when I was 2, and didn't learn to read sheet music until I turned 4. Even today, I have many melodies floating in my head, but sometimes struggle to put them directly onto paper. I think theory is just an extension of what the ear hears - theory says a major fifth sounds pleasing because everyone can agree that the interval sounds good to their ears Wink
Nutteloos
catscratches wrote:
Nutteloos wrote:
The major difference between the two, is that just ears - without the theory - might work. [edit: actually, make that 'it will probably work']

Just theory (without the ears) is probably horrible.
Well, Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf...


Didn't he just turn deaf somewhere along the way?
liljp617
Nutteloos wrote:
The major difference between the two, is that just ears - without the theory - might work. [edit: actually, make that 'it will probably work']

Just theory (without the ears) is probably horrible.


Except anything that sounds "good" to your ear is drowned in theory, whether you recognize it or not. It wouldn't sound "good" without the theory there.

catscratches wrote:
Nutteloos wrote:
The major difference between the two, is that just ears - without the theory - might work. [edit: actually, make that 'it will probably work']

Just theory (without the ears) is probably horrible.
Well, Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf...


Well, he gradually lost his hearing throughout his "career." He wasn't born deaf and he didn't just become deaf one day. I could be wrong, but I don't even know if he ever became completely deaf. Although, I imagine being really hard of hearing when you're in his position is just about as hard as being completely deaf.
amfriendsforever153
NO I dnt believe in music theory ,i only listen it.
bchuminx
i guess theory is important in a certain way..still remember way back when I was drilled with scales/intervals/melody writing/figured bass, etc..felt it was useless back then but now I'd really appreciate it a lot when I compose or improvise..theory provides a framework/snapshot..without it..you can't know the magic behind those wonderful sounding chords(love the opening chords progression of Nibelheim orchestral theme from FF7)..why is this flat and why is that sharp at times we do wonder...only then we can appreciate it more with a lil' theory as we explore and freely improvise on our own..but I'm against theory taught mechanically without explaining why and it wont hurt to do creative demonstration at times..sigh theory nowadays are taught just to pass board exams..you know some teachers just crammed everything to meet the syllabus requirements? this will just kill imagination and eventually you'll lose interest in music playing..it really happened to my bro and sis..although they scored super high for theory; when comes to playing they are really not interested at all Sad
Chaya
i believe in both
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