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  1. #101
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
    That's probably okay with music schools - as long as most or all of the real artists got their technique in music schools.

    Few schooled musicians really resent the self-taught, but many are contemptuous about self-teaching. Here's a commercial industry perspective...or several, really.
    You can add me to the list of the self-taught. QED
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  2. #102
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    The first time I heard about "Bebop scales" was here at SOTW.

    I think the Bebop scales are just scales with passing notes added and they are not really scales IMO but scales with passing notes.

    If someone was using the Bebop scale over a C7 and hung onto the Bebop scale's B note then that might not sound so good, so it's implied that someone plays the "Bebop scales" in a certain way and if someone wants to sound similar to someone else who is also playing the "Bebop scales" in a certain formula like sort of way then that's the way to go I suppose.

    Charlie Parker uses the C, B, Bb thing with the chromatic B passing note over a C7 a fair bit but I wouldn't make a scale out of it, and Charlie just so happens to use a fair few other chromatic passing note devices that are not covered by the so called "Bebop scale".

    I think the "Bebop scales" are an easy way to sound sort of Bebopish but they are just one thing out of a myriad of possible things that can be used.

    I think musical training is great for expanding and developing things but by itself it won't make anyone very creative if they are not already creative.

    If Lennon and McCartney knew about arranging scores then they would probably have not needed George Martins help but George Martin didn't write the melodies and chords.

    Lennon and McCartney wrote those songs by ear and by using whatever creativity they had.

    The thing guiding McCartney's change from B major to B minor in the Penny Lane verse is McCartney's ear.

    Theory can say McCartney changed from B major to B minor etc but someone can change from B major to B minor and it could end up sounding bland or not that great because context and other things are involved in music and theory doesn't really cover them adequately.

    If someone is a musical theory rulebook with an a@@hole then that's what they will sound like.

    Bobby Keys tells a music reading story about him and Lennon and the Brecker Brothers http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashvi...ream-interview

    Beethoven was a trained musician that was also creative and I don't think it was the musical training that let him be creative, I think Beethoven was just creative.

    Plenty of trained musicians have a very hard time when it comes to creating things.

  3. #103
    Distinguished SOTW Member piwikiwi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    The first time I heard about "Bebop scales" was here at SOTW.

    I think the Bebop scales are just scales with passing notes added and they are not really scales IMO but scales with passing notes.

    If someone was using the Bebop scale over a C7 and hung onto the Bebop scale's B note then that might not sound so good, so it's implied that someone plays the "Bebop scales" in a certain way and if someone wants to sound similar to someone else who is also playing the "Bebop scales" in a certain formula like sort of way then that's the way to go I suppose.

    Charlie Parker uses the C, B, Bb thing with the chromatic B passing note over a C7 a fair bit but I wouldn't make a scale out of it, and Charlie just so happens to use a fair few other chromatic passing note devices that are not covered by the so called "Bebop scale".

    I think the "Bebop scales" are an easy way to sound sort of Bebopish but they are just one thing out of a myriad of possible things that can be used.



    I think musical training is great for expanding and developing things but by itself it won't make anyone very creative if they are not already creative.

    If Lennon and McCartney knew about arranging scores then they would probably have not needed George Martins help but George Martin didn't write the melodies and chords.

    Lennon and McCartney wrote those songs by ear and by using whatever creativity they had.

    The thing guiding McCartney's change from B major to B minor in the Penny Lane verse is McCartney's ear.

    Theory can say McCartney changed from B major to B minor etc but someone can change from B major to B minor and it could end up sounding bland or not that great because context and other things are involved in music and theory doesn't really cover them adequately.

    If someone is a musical theory rulebook with an a@@hole then that's what they will sound like.

    Bobby Keys tells a music reading story about him and Lennon and the Brecker Brothers http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashvi...ream-interview

    Beethoven was a trained musician that was also creative and I don't think it was the musical training that let him be creative, I think Beethoven was just creative.

    Plenty of trained musicians have a very hard time when it comes to creating things.
    I think you got a point there but the B major to B minor isn't really the best example since it's just major chord going to it's relative minor chord, basic composing stuff.
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  4. #104
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    The relative minor of B Major would actually be G# Minor.

  5. #105
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Penny Lane goes

    B major (B, Bb, Ab, F# bass), E, C#m, F#7

    B major (B, Bb, Ab, F# bass), and then lands straight into Bm

  6. #106

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    The scale of B has no Bb and Ab, its called an A# and G#. Last time with another thread there was a guy who was talking about a D# instead of Eb in C minor.

  7. #107
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    I know they are not quite the same thing but they are the same thing to me when I play.


    Which brings me to scales.

    There is a whole frequency range that spans an octave and then it's the same thing involving higher or lower frequencies depending on going up to the next octave or down to the next octave.

    How anyone wants to divide those frequencies up is up to them.

    By tradition it has been divided up to produce what was named the major scale and all of the others.

    Someone or a group of people divided it up that way because it turned out pleasing for their ears.

    So once again we are at ears and the theory was constructed for our ears.

    In Asia it's often divided up in a different way.

    Naming things is just tradition and convention plus the fact something has to be called something.

    Musical Theory is man (should also include women here I think) made for people.

    Getting carried away with musical theory terms and correct traditions won't result in much creativity because that is another area.

  8. #108

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    Plenty of trained musicians have a very hard time when it comes to creating things.
    Isn't that because they are trained to be musicians and not trained to compose? I'm not a trained musician but the trained composers that I have known have trained in a different way to the trained musicians that I have known. I know people talk about improvisation as instant composition but my understanding of trained composers is that they do a lot more than invent impromptu melodies. But, I stress, I'm not trained at anything musical. These are only personal observations.

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzaferri View Post
    Well, when I think about it, we don't practice speech too much. I mean we don't spend hundreds of hours on the alphabet..

    Reading through this thread at leisure (slow morning ) this admittedly somewhat off-topic but interesting remark caught my eye..

    This is an area that I have observed closely and with interest over the past 3.5 years. For a native speaker, there will be, of course, hundreds and hundreds of hours of exposure to the spoken language and (importantly) interactions and transactions conducted in it. eg [child has quite deliberately started sliding out of high chair and is eyeing parent to observe reaction] Parent says: "please sit up" [pause] Child: "No!" Parent: "please sit up!" Child: "NO!!" [repeat ten times] Parent: "oh for goodness sake, SIT UP!" [parent gets up and sits child up]. This is real learning, I think. The other thing I notice in children's speech is they might not be able to do much but what they can do they really know how to make it work. This analogy between music and language can be illuminating at times.

    edit: oh, hang on, that's a thread hijack. shucks.

    On the immediate point, I don't think someone who had "a very hard time when it comes to creating things" would really be much of a musician at all. Admittedly, some musicians put their energies into interpretation (as does an actor or theatre director). But that can still be creative, I think.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  10. #110
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    It's also interesting how modern instruments are designed for our scale frequency divisions.

    The guitar has fixed position frets in sync with our scale frequency divisions.

    The sax is similar as to where the toneholes etc are.

    I think with the Sitar, the frets can be moved and therefore produce different scale frequency divisions.

  11. #111
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by RootyTootoot View Post
    Reading through this thread at leisure (slow morning ) this admittedly somewhat off-topic but interesting remark caught my eye..

    This is an area that I have observed closely and with interest over the past 3.5 years. For a native speaker, there will be, of course, hundreds and hundreds of hours of exposure to the spoken language and (importantly) interactions and transactions conducted in it. eg [child has quite deliberately started sliding out of high chair and is eyeing parent to observe reaction] "please sit up" [pause] "No!" "please sit up!" "NO!!" [repeat ten times] "oh for goodness sake, SIT UP!" [parent gets up and sits child up]. This is real learning, I think. This analogy between music and language can be illuminating at times.

    edit: oh, hang on, that's a thread hijack. shucks.

    On the immediate point, I don't think someone who had "a very hard time when it comes to creating things" would really be much of a musician at all. Admittedly, some musicians put their energies into interpretation (as does an actor or theatre director). But that can still be creative, I think.


    How does this work,

    When say a Japanese family moves to the USA with a daughter who is 3, then the daughter will most probably end up with a full on USA accent and not a Japanese tinged USA accent like her parents will probably end up with, even though the Japanese girl grows up with Japanese spoken in the house and she also ends up speaking Japanese.

  12. #112
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    It's also interesting how modern instruments are designed for our scale frequency divisions.
    This is because we have had to adopt equal temperament in may instances. Violin players don't have frets and so can more easily slip into just or other intonations (they can avoid open strings). I am reminded of a session where there was just me and an orchestra. I had to sustain an F# through a chord change, and I actually heard where it went out of tune as the strings changed chord.

    My wife has a renaissance guitar with moveable frets, and a harpsichord with dual G#/Ab and A#/Bb keys. Very cool but tricky to play Giant Steps on.

  13. #113
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    Isn't that because they are trained to be musicians and not trained to compose? I'm not a trained musician but the trained composers that I have known have trained in a different way to the trained musicians that I have known. I know people talk about improvisation as instant composition but my understanding of trained composers is that they do a lot more than invent impromptu melodies. But, I stress, I'm not trained at anything musical. These are only personal observations.

    Paul McCartney's knowledge of theory when he wrote Yesterday would have been hardly any.

    What Paul McCartney can do is recognize certain combinations of sounds ie melodies, chord progressions, rhythms, words etc and put them together in a way that a lot of people like.


    Someone else could do the exact same thing Paul McCartney does and only a few might like it and most dislike it.

    It's the style and manner of how it's all put together that ends up appealing or otherwise.

    It's not what someone does, it's how they do it.

    Paul McCartney has just got a knack and style for popular songs.

    Someone could spend their whole life studying theory and not be able to write a popular anything.

    Same thing goes for improvisers.

  14. #114
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    How does this work,

    When say a Japanese family moves to the USA with a daughter who is 3, then the daughter will most probably end up with a full on USA accent and not a Japanese tinged USA accent like her parents will probably end up with, even though the Japanese girl grows up with Japanese spoken in the house and she also ends up speaking Japanese.
    That is called being bilingual. I think the point about "hundreds and hundreds of hours" will still hold, in fact. The girl would be exposed to hundreds of hours of Japanese at home and hundreds of hours of English at school. As a child, my best friend was a French bilingual kid who had come to the uk at age about 8 (parents divorced, mother was English). He could hardly speak a word of English on arrival in the UK (father's English was weak, mother's French was excellent) but was fluent and accentless 2-3 years later when starting secondary school.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  15. #115

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    Paul McCartney's knowledge of theory when he wrote Yesterday would have been hardly any.

    What Paul McCartney can do is recognize certain combinations of sounds ie melodies, chord progressions, rhythms, words etc and put them together in a way that a lot of people like.


    Someone else could do the exact same thing Paul McCartney does and only a few might like it and most dislike it.

    It's the style and manner of how it's all put together that ends up appealing or otherwise.

    It's not what someone does, it's how they do it.

    Paul McCartney has just got a knack and style for popular songs.

    Someone could spend their whole life studying theory and not be able to write a popular anything.

    Same thing goes for improvisers.
    But I was responding to the comment you made about trained musicians having a hard time creating things. Paul McCartney is an individual case and, as far as I am aware, neither a trained musician nor a trained composer. My point was that trained musicians are trained to play their instruments and trained composers are trained to compose music. I was not commenting on McCartney's ability to do anything. What I was trying to do was point to a certain unfairness when people accuse trained musicians of having difficulty with either composing or improvising. I didn't think that they were trained to do either of those things. I still qualify my comments with the fact that I don't really know what goes on inside music schools, I'm just guessing.

    But on the subject of McCartney, he'd probably been hanging around George Martin for about three years before he wrote 'Yesterday' so he might have picked something up. From all accounts, he was quite a quick young lad.

  16. #116
    Distinguished SOTW Member piwikiwi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by warp x View Post
    The relative minor of B Major would actually be G# Minor.
    oops I meant parallel minor
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  17. #117
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Training can be different things.

    In the case of Paul McCartney it was growing up with his Dad's old songs and playing Rock and Roll.

    I think he wrote "When I'm Sixty Four" when he was 15 or something and it has that "Dad's old songs" thing to it.

    Musical Theory training does not hurt a composer but the ideas in the composition have to really come from the composer.

    Musical Theory training can influence composers and musicians and so does just listening to music.

    Musical Theory training and/or just listening to music does not guarantee that someone can create something which other people might want to listen to.

    In the case of Paul McCartney it is the influences that he gathered from just listening to music rather than any Musical Theory training.

    McCartney was listening to the Brandenburg concertos on the BBC just before recording Penny Lane and was influenced by it to include a piccolo on Penny Lane.
    Apparently McCartney played or sand the piccolo part and George Martin wrote it out.

    There are influences that everyone gathers but eventually it's up to the individual to do something themselves and that's up to them and their abilities etc.

  18. #118

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    So it isn't training that you have little time for but 'Music Theory training', that I get.

    But the picture of 'Music Theory training' that comes from your posts would lead me to believe that it is almost incidental to music composition. If that is the case, what exactly do music composition students study? Don't they study music and the process of turning ideas into fully developed musical pieces?

  19. #119
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    I have time for "Music Theory Training".

    I'm just talking about areas it doesn't quite cover like creativity, style and context etc.

    I think some might expect too much from "Music Theory Training".

    Analyzing Beethoven's Fifth using Music Theory is an after the fact thing to do.

    I've read books on Beethoven's Fifth analysis by authors using Music Theory.

    They are interesting but just because I've analyzed Beethoven's Fifth (and Beethoven himself might not agree with some of the analysis) it doesn't mean that I can now go and write a Symphony that will be as popular as Beethoven's Fifth.

    What I am missing is Beethoven's creativity.

    How many other composers were around in Beethoven's day that knew as much Musical Theory as Beethoven but have been forgotten with time, I'm guessing quite a few.

    Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Irving Berlin etc are all creative in popular music with hardly any theory know how and Beethoven was creative and knew Music Theory (Music Theory up until that time) but the thing they all have in common is creativity and there is no creativity theory as far as I know.

    A great improviser probably knows some musical theory but they also have creativity and musical theory can't really supply the creative part.

    An improviser with not much creativity will tend to play the same things and run out of ideas and will tend to fall back on patterns learnt from Musical Theory etc IMO which is easy to do even for creative improvisers at some points.

  20. #120
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz Is All's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by RootyTootoot View Post
    edit: oh, hang on, that's a thread hijack. shucks.
    Compared to the one that we seem to have been set free from, it's a breath of fresh air.
    "We don't determine music, the music determines us; We only follow it to the end of our life: then it goes on without us." -- Steve Lacy


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