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Thread: Why all these scales?

  1. #121
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    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.
    Hit a nail on the head there. There are some very good teachers who can analyse and teach analysis of improvised solos. Often those analyses will include references to lots of good and interesting concepts including motif development, tension, release. There is often reference to complex scale use, modes of the the melodic minor etc, to explain some very nice or clever harmonic and melodic stuff. But often the actual improviser isn't thinking about those things and in many cases many not even know about them. Or may know about them but not understand them or how to use them in the real time situation of chord changes flying past like telegraph poles on a high speed train journey.

  2. #122

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    But it now seems to me that a lot is being put into this bag called 'creativity' which seems to be responsible for both that aspect of music composition (either planned or spontaneous) and music enjoyment that is inventive and novel. But we don't have a description of what it is. And I might not know very much but I do know that I'm not going to ask that question.

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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz Is All View Post
    Compared to the one that we seem to have been set free from, it's a breath of fresh air.


    On topic: I think what is being said by saxpiece and Pete is really very uncontroversial, in fact. We would hardly expect someone with a PhD on Shakespeare to be able to write plays as well as Shakespeare.

    Possibly what Tony is suggesting though is that there are degrees of creativity. It's not just something you've either got or not.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  4. #124

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Nicely put, Lord Rooty (and I'm glad to see that you avoided the question too). By the way, if Shakespeare didn't really write the plays, as some would have it, would it be wrong to let someone else write your Ph.D. on Shakespeare?

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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    By the way, if Shakespeare didn't really write the plays, as some would have it, would it be wrong to let someone else write your Ph.D. on Shakespeare?
    No. It would be fittingly Shakesperean. In fact, so is any form of duplicity or subterfuge. It might mean you would fail you PhD and get thrown out of academia forever but this is because the world is a mean and hypocritical place.
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  6. #126
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by RootyTootoot View Post


    We would hardly expect someone with a PhD on Shakespeare to be able to write plays as well as Shakespeare.
    It would be even more extraordinary to find one who can play the sax!
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    I remember reading something a long time ago written by a classical musician about the orchestra playing arrangements of Beatles tunes (which were relatively new at the time) and how the classical musicians were denigrating the musical knowledge of McCartney and Lennon, for instance talking about how they didn't know that they should resolve chords. A similar example is the one about Penny Lane in this thread which goes from a section in B major to the next section in B minor. Anyway, the classical musician wrote that eventually the orchestra players came to realize the creativity of what McCartney and Lennon were doing, that they were breaking conventional musical rules in creative ways that made for appealing music that was very "modern."
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Just like Bach did, Beethoven did, Debussey did, Stravinsky did ...... Etc etc etc.

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  9. #129

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by rleitch View Post
    It would be even more extraordinary to find one who can play the sax!
    Well, I do have a Ph.D. in Literature but it wasn't on Shakespeare but then again I think of myself more as a clarinet player so maybe you were right all along.

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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by rleitch View Post
    It would be even more extraordinary to find one who can play the sax!
    I think that would be very very rare although a few of our learned doctors may have become proficient at rhythmic belching and tiddlywinks..

    Tony, you are obviously something of a prodigy.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  11. #131

    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by RootyTootoot View Post
    I think that would be very very rare although a few of our learned doctors may have become proficient at the rhythmic belching and tiddlywinks..

    Tony, you are obviously something of a prodigy.
    Lord Rooty, you've clearly heard of my great tiddlywinks tour of 2002. I put it down to practice, buying the best tiddlywinks I could afford and taking lessons from the best teachers I could afford. Of course, I stayed away from the organised tiddlywinks schools. I knew I was looking to express ME and not play those tired games of the past. When it comes to rhythmic belching, I didn't take a lesson but I was brought up in a belching household. Like Lester Young's dear old dad, my old man would whack me with a stick when I didn't belch on the beat. That worked but I'd been years on the road before I learned polyrhythmic belching. There was this old drunk in a Labour Club in Warrington and he always said 'It's ok for you young funk belchers to hit the one like that but you're not going to belch with the masters until you do THIS ...' and my life changed forever. Thanks for seeing the real me, Lord Rooty.

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    Well, I do have a Ph.D. in Literature but it wasn't on Shakespeare but then again I think of myself more as a clarinet player so maybe you were right all along.
    I did write a Ph.D dissertation on Shakespeare, but I can hardly play Come to Jesus in whole notes on a good day. Sadly, my genius has gone un-crushed by the endlessly stamping (but apparently not-so-swinging) boot of formal musical training!
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  13. #133
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by RootyTootoot View Post


    On topic: I think what is being said by saxpiece and Pete is really very uncontroversial, in fact. We would hardly expect someone with a PhD on Shakespeare to be able to write plays as well as Shakespeare.

    Possibly what Tony is suggesting though is that there are degrees of creativity. It's not just something you've either got or not.
    But that is a cherished myth in art. It helps justify the teaching of theory, systems, and such, as fundamental and essential. Because the one who applies himself to the system has the "real" creativity - the creativity that can stand the test of being rigidly uncreative.
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Laughlin View Post
    It seems like I've seen this scenario played out before . . .
    Ah, yes -- here it is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlV3oQ3pLA0
    Yatag has disappeared, and the series of posts that inspired the posting of this link has disappeared with him. This post no longer makes sense, but I am unable to delete it.

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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Hmmmm .... Marbles playground thing I wonder
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    I believe there was a brief interlude of name-calling, pigtail pulling and "I'm an internet tough guy" talk that was quite rightly broken up by the headteacher.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  17. #137
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz Is All's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    His whole show was a bizarre display of passive-aggressive acting out that IMO is better forgotten. Those theater of the absurd narrations of his own actions and thoughts in the Third-Person-Robotic were the capper....woo, woo, woo, dingaling, dingaling, dingaling.

    I had always thought music theory was a dry and non-controversial subject, but then again I've never been in a conservatory or university music school. Now I have to wonder if this guy was just a lone loose canon or do people from that background commonly go into attack-dog mode over discussions of something as non-life-threatening as chords and scales?

    Whatever....let's all breathe a sigh of relief and sing along with Ella:

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  18. #138
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Here, I'll weigh in and **** some people off. Why not.

    I've always been suspicious of people's motives who have a general disregard for theory. IMO that's just shooting yourself in the foot. Why be afraid of additional knowledge? You don't have to be a slave to it to add it to your repertory of skills. Could it perhaps be a cover of one's own deficiencies?
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  19. #139
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    Quote Originally Posted by gary View Post
    Here, I'll weigh in and **** some people off. Why not.

    I've always been suspicious of people's motives who have a general disregard for theory. IMO that's just shooting yourself in the foot. Why be afraid of additional knowledge? You don't have to be a slave to it to add it to your repertory of skills. Could it perhaps be a cover of one's own deficiencies?
    I agree totally. There will always be "exceptions", e.g. great improvisers with monster ears (and intuition or whatever) who claim to know no theory, but by and large the average "no theory" players would benefit enormously from learning some harmony. Same argument applies to reading music, it opens up a lot of new avenues to go down.

    There appears to have been some confusion in this thread though, in which people were attacked not for eschewing theory per se, but for preferring to use a different system.

  20. #140
    Distinguished SOTW Member Jazz Is All's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why all these scales?

    I don't have any disregard for theory, so I hope you weren't referring to me. I've been trying to absorb and learn as much of it as I can so that over time I'll be able to understand even more about it. That's why I started reading this thread because the OP, a guy named Jaker, asked a question way back when about chords and scales that I thought might produce some enlightening information. Instead after only 2 pages the troll with an agenda, a chip on his shoulder, and a messianic preference for scales over chords, hijacked the thread and attacked anyone who questioned or even slightly leaned away from his partisan viewpoint. I never knew that chords and scales were political ideologies, but I guess to someone like that they are.

    For me, and I could be wrong, they seem to be two sides of the same coin, because chords come out of scales and scales can be built from chords. It appears to be the chicken and egg question all over again, and frankly would you do battle or even get worked up over one side or the other in that dichotomy? Nevertheless we got several pages of the following:[I]

    A: "I think the egg might be more important, but not everyone likes eggs or needs them all the time."
    B: "The chicken laid the egg, you stupid ignorant SOB! You must be an incompetent cretin if you don't know there can be nothing without chickens first."
    A: "Oh chicken feed!
    B: "I'll make you eat that! I'll peck your eyes out! Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck.
    & Etc.
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