Author Topic: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?  (Read 3070 times)

  • Aladar
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Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2015, 09:24:34 AM »
Just found something relevant, Brian Eno on music:
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/17/east-india-youth-meets-eno

"Since he first appeared with a ludicrous mullet and spangly jumpsuit as synth player for Roxy Music in the early 1970s, Eno has advocated the idea that those without technical musical ability can potentially write the better songs."

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 04:44:40 PM »
I don't really think so. There are so many successful artists out here nowadays that have barely even thought of going to college. It's like being able to get a job based on your experience, skills, and talents rather than just your educational background on a piece of paper.

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2015, 03:54:15 AM »
No, it's definitely not necessary. A lot of musicians nowadays don't even know how to read music, of course they're the minority, but it's not as rare as you'd think. I'd even argue that learning music theory won't automatically make you a better artist either. Lots of music majors in college never end up making it in the field.

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2015, 08:31:55 PM »
Just found something relevant, Brian Eno on music:
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/17/east-india-youth-meets-eno

"Since he first appeared with a ludicrous mullet and spangly jumpsuit as synth player for Roxy Music in the early 1970s, Eno has advocated the idea that those without technical musical ability can potentially write the better songs."
And he’s quite critically acclaimed. I’m a fan myself, so hey, not bad at all for someone with no formal training. Just goes to show that there are things that music theory can't/won’t teach you when it comes to actually making music.

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2015, 12:49:11 AM »
Just found something relevant, Brian Eno on music:
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/apr/17/east-india-youth-meets-eno

"Since he first appeared with a ludicrous mullet and spangly jumpsuit as synth player for Roxy Music in the early 1970s, Eno has advocated the idea that those without technical musical ability can potentially write the better songs."
And he’s quite critically acclaimed. I’m a fan myself, so hey, not bad at all for someone with no formal training. Just goes to show that there are things that music theory can't/won’t teach you when it comes to actually making music.

Fascinating article. You know what they say: "Those who can't do, teach"

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2015, 02:49:43 AM »
I think absolutely not. My teacher used to say Jimi Hendrix was a great example.
Now don't judge me if I say something erroneous, I've never really been interested in Jimi Hendrix and don't know much about the guy, I'm merely speaking about what my teacher told me back in the day, but he said Hendrix didn't know theory, but he knew the pentatonic scale "by feeling" and through his lack of theory knowledge that's how and why he exploited the pentatonic scale to unimaginable degrees, innovating much of it, all despite having admitted he wished he knew other scales to work with.
Like I said, don't know how accurate that story is, but I think it's hard to deny that Hendrix did amazing stuff with pentatonics.

That said, as someone who studied theory for 6 years or so, I think it's incredibly important and extremely underrated.
As a musician, and not that I ever took it very far, I constantly came across people with tons of ideas that they worked really hard on, and sometimes they'd been stuck with a lick or a riff for weeks, and I'd step in, try something that made sense to me and voila! -- what they'd been looking for seemed to unravel effortlessly before them. Of course it wasn't effortless, I spent hundreds of hours studying to build that knowledge, but it did pay off then and there.

When I gathered with other studied musicians I honestly felt very often that I should be studying harder, but it was always interesting. A very different, more dynamic and often more fruitful experience.
In any case, I don't think you'd ever do wrong to try and further educate yourself, so I highly recommend music theory to anyone who wishes to play instruments and create music.

  • tarverten
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Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2015, 07:01:21 PM »
If you like composing songs like me, you should try to take an AP Theory course. It will be the best thing that happened to you in terms of music. It will make you appreciate music at a whole new level.

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2015, 08:05:38 PM »
Music theory is a load of crap! I have never ever used it! I'm being honest, don't give up guitar because you could be wasting your hidden talent! I'm making good, steady progress and I've not needed to use music theory before, yes I may have touched on it, but I just didn't get it. Guitar is an instrument which you can make your own, you can really feel the music because, to be honest music theory is for classical instruments like cello's (I know this because I played it for 3 years before getting bored and quitting)

Re: Is it necessary to learn music theory to make music?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2015, 09:03:21 PM »
I personally don't feel music theory is a necessity. It may help with some basic understandings. But music comes from the heart and soul. No music theory can ever teach that.