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Topic: This post is about music, NOT rules...

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  1. #1

    Talking This post is about music, NOT rules...

    It's incredible how boring after a while it is to continously find the same old story about rules or inspiration.

    It's due to the fact that every sensible and spontaneous human who likes music, one day finally ask:

    - how do people make music?

    The answers are not possible, are not simple, are a lot and all equally valid.

    So pragmatic people will answer:
    - take this book, try the following link etc. etc. It's providing rules and training.

    And ALWAYS, some dreamer will answer:
    - forget the rules, just follow your inspiration, great composers were all breaking rules...

    Finally some savant people will add a trial of synthesys of the antithetic statements:
    - learn the rules before, then when you are mastering it, don't hesitate breaking all the rules to be as great as the great composers breaking rules....

    This play is more or less what we are doing all the time. It's unbelievable because all the answers are simply FAKE!

    This is only the way to frustration:

    - follow rules, and you wont make any good music. Only predictable and boring school homeworks.

    - breake rules and you wont make any good music. Only roughly done, bad sounding imitation of some model. And only bad models will be well imitated...

    Nobody answers in the simple and correct way: to make music you simply need to became a musician.

    - If you like academic and educated music, you need a long study of the educated music. You will know about rules and about inspiration, and you will know how to mix it up to make your ideas sounding as great as the composers do.

    - If you like ethnic or pop music, start playing and singing every kind of instruments and songs your favorite style is based on, and you will learn about style and sound, rythm and melody. Finally you will be able of creating your own songs and solos as the great players do.

    If you like both, just start with the easiest or favorite: it will be easier later to understand counterpoint if you write good ballads. It will be easier later to play jazz harmony, if you know counterpoint!

    No shortcuts to good music unfortunately exist, this is the bitter true that we never want accept. Only time and severe practice will drive people to the magic world were no more rules and no more dreams, but real good music-crafting is the result of the daily musical experience of a musical mind.

    That's all folks.

  2. #2

    Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    And there are some people who know the rules, but don't know that they know the rules - they just have good ears and an inate ability to produce music.
    Richard N.

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  3. #3

    Thumbs up Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard N.
    And there are some people who know the rules, but don't know that they know the rules - they just have good ears and an inate ability to produce music.
    GOOD POINT! I say frequently about it: it's a matter of human mind format. Inate ability is applying best practice instinctively before a rational process selected it!

  4. #4

    Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Fabio,

    great post, thank you. Same for Richard.

    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  5. #5

    Smile Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen McMahan
    When it comes to music - there are no RULES. Just previously accepted practices.

    Stephen
    ...yes...practices.
    (And previously accepted, then considered good... rules...)

    just kidding ;-)

  6. #6

    Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Interesting, interesting. It leads to the question

    Can anyone make music?

    which then leads to the terrifying question of what is music? and i dont think an answer will ever be found to that one which will satisfy everyone!

  7. #7

    Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Rules, schmules.

    If you are writing for yourself, develop the skills necessary to express what you have to say. And if you're writing for an audience, develop whatever skills are necessary to reach them.

    If using rules-based systems helps you to do either, then use them, and if rules-based systems prevent you from reaching these goals, then don't use them.

  8. #8

    Cool Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Quote Originally Posted by BenNichols
    Interesting, interesting. It leads to the question

    Can anyone make music?

    which then leads to the terrifying question of what is music? and i dont think an answer will ever be found to that one which will satisfy everyone!
    Yes your seems to be a very deep and difficoult question, but the questions I was referring to are usually very simple:

    - how can I play drums like this african native drummer?
    - how can I write a chord sequence nice like a piano jazz player?
    - how can i write a synphonic soundtrack like J.Williams?
    - how can I write an organ choral like Bach or a piano piece like Chopin...

    etc.

    Yes more simple and clear questions. Not so easy the answer...

  9. #9

    Smile Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    Quote Originally Posted by DarwinKopp
    Rules, schmules.

    If you are writing for yourself, develop the skills necessary to express what you have to say. And if you're writing for an audience, develop whatever skills are necessary to reach them.

    If using rules-based systems helps you to do either, then use them, and if rules-based systems prevent you from reaching these goals, then don't use them.
    My friend, you are so right: the issue is still hidden in the "develope the skills" statement...

    It was all about how "develop the skills"...

  10. #10

    Re: This post is about music, NOT rules...

    I have no idea why this topic just keeps popping up like a bad case of athlete's foot.

    rules, schmools.

    The only people who are "anti-rule" are those who never studied them and have no idea what they are.

    "Rules" of harmony, or counterpoint, or orchestration, are nothing more than tools. The more tools you have at your fingertips, the more easily the work gets done.

    I am honestly sick of hearing that "rules stifle imagination".

    And you do NOT "learn the rules to break them".

    You learn about the "rules" to understand why they applied and in what context, and then once you understand that, you can decide which rules apply to YOUR music. Only by undertanding WHY a rule existed can you understand the effect of not applying that rule.

    And "rules" are actually guidelines. They're not "the 10 Commandments brought down by Musical-Moses from the Sinai of harmony".

    Most of the rules were guided by very sound physical accoustical effects. "Don't double a flute in its lowest octave with a trombone at the unison"... Why not? What if that's the effect I want? Well, as an hommage to Marcel Marceau I guess it will work, because that flautist will be doing nothing but mime.

    That's a "rule" that is firmly grounded in the physics of music. It is a sound accoustical principle.

    And most of the "rules" that people are so often griping about are likewise grounded in some such solid foundation. To break a rule, you need to understand it.

    As for "rules of common practice harmony", well, that's exactly what they are - rules for writing in a very specific style. Do you think Strawinski was thinking about those rules when he wrote Le Sacre du Printemps? I know Strawinski understood those rules perfectly, and I also know that there is still a reflection of that understanding even within something so far from "common practice" as Le Sacre.

    When I compose, do I do nothing but apply mathematical guidelines and solidly unbreakable rules to my music? No, and anyone who thinks that composition is just that is a fool. I use the rules as guidelines. The affect some aspects of my music, less other aspects, and not at all yet other aspects.

    As for developing skills... what do you think the rules and guidelines are? They are simply carefully catalogued guides TO those skills.

    "I want to write like John Williams... but I don't want to study harmony and counterpoint!!" Well, sorry. Not going to happen. Let's at least be a LITTLE bit realistic.
    Last edited by qccowboy; 09-30-2007 at 12:31 PM. Reason: biblical correction!

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