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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
Taedium Vitae
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Haha those two Allan pics are priceless. I really suck at theory but I know some of what he did. He did actually try to teach himself common theory as a youngster (his dad was a guitarist) but he didn't really like it, and stubborn as he is, he decided to figure it all out himself. He approached it mathematically and built scales as permutations of all possible notes, discarding all apparently useless scales containing more than 3 consecutive chromatic notes and compiled a list, naming them himself and then use these to build chords out of. It's weird. I can't get my head around it at all, but then again I'm too old and decrepit to even teach me proper vanilla theory. The only thing I'm halfway decent at understanding is rhythm theory; polyrhythmics (not polymetrics, although that's nice too) being my favourite thingy, but enough about me.

I agree that 4/4 is a tricky signature to write for. I never consciously write anything in odd meters, but for kicks, when I'm done, I usually go through to see what I did, and it's rarely in 4/4. It's DIFFICULT making something groove in 4/4. 7/8 is MUCH easier. Hell, 19/16 has one hell of an intrinsic groove. All those 11+/16th sigs, when in a quarters+16ths pulse (like for example aforementioned 19/16: 4/4+3/16) groove like MAD.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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man this discussion has gotten pretty sweet. i didnt mean to be a jerk about the gordian knot, DT thing, and im not saying it was taken that way, understanding that its only my opinion, and people certainly listen to music for different reasons. additionally, i really like alot of the members of Gordian Knot but im not always happy with how they make music, its kinda like (and this'l be offensive again) liking all the members of Asia, but not being able to listen to it. its good when one can suppress elitist tendencies and induldge in some epic neo-prog, i just cant do it with a genre that is so close to my heart. and as far as exclusivisity and exposure to music ive tried my hardest to make sure i hear all kinds of stuff. i dig weather report, talking heads, peter gabriel, steely dan, and i totally love alan holdsworth stuff, especially the live I.O.U stuff in the early eighties, that guy is ridiculous on so many levels. also, i think who ever made the comment about mastery of the instrument as being very important, and comparing it to sports is basically right (especially in my book), yet in the world of music it is different in the fact that songwriting does not require technical mastery, and i think many normal musicians have made me pretty pumped about songs that are just well done in ways other than time changes, complex structures, and hard-to-play parts: ie. peter gabriel or david byrne. those guys are not instrument masters. but i like 'em. its also nice to see musicians like tony levin and adrian belew in the eighties incarnation of king crimson use their awesome talents in a setting where songs are not as complicated but require effort in other areas of dynamics and tastefulnes. however, i will always love a group who combines all elements of technical prowess with songwriting, structure, complexity, dynamicism, and heavy as fuck riffs. like uh........spastic ink! thanks for being awesome Ron!
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Personally, I abhor any parallels drawn between music and sports. In part because sports are completely useless and horrible to me and do not tickle my brain, but also because music — both the "product", if you will, and the performance — shouldn't be a competition.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:40 PM   #29 (permalink)
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yeah, i kinda agree. i actually hate guitar solos, drum solos, etc. i probably shouldnt have agreed with that dude, but i do abhor hacks and no talent ass clowns getting popular. i also dont like Tool. and as for the crazy malmstein v. jones comparison. whoa!
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 05:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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@fragility- That is true, for anyone who wants to learn how to write music. Writing music has to be one of the hardest thing I've ever tried to do. First, when I tried to write all "technically" and such I found that it was really hard. I attempted to write in 8/4 or 9/5 before I put my base as Ron put it. Now I'm much more careful, learning Music Theory for me is key to writing some good notes. And Also I can play some extremely complicated notes that about 6 months ago I could not even IMAGINE playing. Practicing your methods really REALLY matter.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:42 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicerino
and as for the crazy malmstein v. jones comparison. whoa!

I was merely trying to pick good examples for what i was trying to say. Malmsteen having superb skill but no creativity, and Jones having no skill but tons of creativity (the word 'no' may be an exaggeration ). It's my way of explaining that i take creativity over skill.

Anyway i know what you guys are saying about not consciously writing in odd time signatures. As i've progressed with my writing in recent times i've started to write a riff or a lick or whatever without giving the time signature any thought. Turns out i can write in obscure time signatures when writing this way, which i never thought i could do before.
It's the similar with the formula side of theory, but with that i wouldn't be able to say what scale i was using neither first nor last, unless it was a major scale
So i guess even some of us do write music in ignorance, yet we still manage to find at least some sort of technicallity/complexity. Again, i don't mean to sound like i'm lumping myself in with the likes of Friedman.
Even so, i think when people start composing music they gain some sort of understanding/appreciation for complexity and creativity even if they do not fully understand what's going on. That's not to say people who don't compose or even play can't have the same appreciation, it's just a different kind of appreciation.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:49 PM   #32 (permalink)
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This quote might be some food for thought, or not:

"We must agree that the beauty of a work of art will always remain a mystery, in other words, we can never be absolutely sure 'how it's made.' We must at all costs preserve this magic which is peculiar to music and to which, by its nature, music is of all arts the most receptive." — Claude Debussy

Or something. Yadda yadda.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 04:53 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I think that pretty much sums it up. Very nice quote!
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Old March 4th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Damn it, that was a cool discussion then that quote killed it, hehe

As a related topic, which I've recently been discussing. To you, what is a musician?
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Old March 4th, 2005, 06:09 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragility
To you, what is a musician?
Somebody who creates music. They don't have to know any theory at all, or have amazing chops, as long as they are creating music with an instrument they are a musician in my eyes.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #36 (permalink)
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@sand of the seas- We have our reasons for writting music but the biggest one is LOVING THE MUSIC
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Old March 6th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjarz
But back to the English language. In this post, I have used the words “appropriate”, “deliberately”, “unique”, “comparison”, “theoretically”, “transcribed”, and “knowledge”. Right? To those reading this, I’m just using normal, everyday words. Right? Did any of you think I was trying to impress anybody?? Hopefully not…

Well, show this post to a 2nd grader and he/she might claim that I’m trying to sound technical.

Ron
That's probably the best response in talking about "technical" music I've seen. Don't know if I would bring that up in debating "real" music with someone who thinks it's stupid, though....^_^
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Old March 6th, 2005, 12:14 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metropolis Part 2
@sand of the seas- We have our reasons for writting music but the biggest one is LOVING THE MUSIC
You're absolutely right
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Old March 6th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjarz
But back to the English language. In this post, I have used the words “appropriate”, “deliberately”, “unique”, “comparison”, “theoretically”, “transcribed”, and “knowledge”. Right? To those reading this, I’m just using normal, everyday words. Right? Did any of you think I was trying to impress anybody?? Hopefully not…

Well, show this post to a 2nd grader and he/she might claim that I’m trying to sound technical.
Actually i've just noticed how true this point is.
I notice that whenever i start to talk about things in a philosophical context i usually fall into this writing style where i tend to use words i don't normally use in every day conversation. It's not a conscious thing, it's just a certain guise my writing takes on when i need to be accurate and integral in what i say.
Similarly, when i'm writing music, my writing seems to take on what is necessary for the context of a song, or how i feel at that moment.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 07:13 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sands of the seas
I'm just curious as to how much music theory fans of Spastic Ink, Watchtower and technical music in general possess. Is it because you have knowledge in music theory that you can appreciate bands like this so much, or do you just find the music pleasant to listen to, without knowing anything about theory?
What about playing an instrument? Do you think the ability to play a particular instrument gives you some sort of insight into the music that allows you to enjoy it more than the average listener perhaps?
Or are there fans here who know neither any music theory nor how to play an instrument?
For me it's quite simple: I find technical music very appealing and pleasant (not kidding) to listen to. I don't have to go into music theory to enjoy technical stuff. I actually don't know much music theory (if any), aside from some very general stuff (major and minor scale and that's basically it). Oh wait, I'm pretty firm in signatures and all the rythmic stuff, but back to my point.
Most of the time I don't know what those guys are doing but I definitely appreciate their skills and knowledge AND I truly enjoy the music. No analysis, just how the music feels.

OK, OK, I play the bass, so that makes me a musician of sorts and it should give me a little more insight than the average listener has, but I don't care about HOW music is written/performed, I just care about the finished product.
Thus, I don't think it's that important to "get" the music. It can enhance the experience, of course, but it is not a must, IMO.

And writing complex pieces of music does not necessarily require expert knowledge in theory. I used to be in a fusion jazz band and all of us weren't that big in theory, except for one of us, but we were all equally involved in the writing process. So we just did things that sounded good and worried about theory later. We did a LOT of playing by ear and it somehow worked out. Oh and we just improvised the solos, otherwise we had fully written parts.

I'm not saying that theory is not important but it should be a tool in accomplishing things, not the only reason to write a song. Music is not about what you CAN do, but what you SHOULD do to express yourself.

Am I making any sense here?
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Old March 11th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Definately agreed!

Like I said, I don't think in terms of theory, when listening or writing....apart from to fill in gaps when writing when I just can't work out what should go where. I enjoy technical music because it offers something different to listen to, there is more to be heard generally than bog standard stuff. Unfortunately, that bog standard stuff is all that most people are ever exposed to and unless you gradually work your way up, I would imagine it would be hard to appreciate some of the more complex and different stuff.....like earlier I saw some peopl ediscussing meshuggah online. One called it crap..another said that he had thought the exact same thing when he first heard it...he just 'wasn't ready for it'
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Old March 12th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I agree with you Gildamere as far as composing goes. I was just wondering about listening to complex stuff in relation to the amount of listeners.
I think feeling is much more important in composing than thinking about trying to be complex, or even trying to be simple.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I don't think anyone would ever disagree with that, unless that person is desperate to be different or something.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 11:11 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Quote:
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like earlier I saw some peopl ediscussing meshuggah online. One called it crap..another said that he had thought the exact same thing when he first heard it...he just 'wasn't ready for it'
Well, I think None, DEI and Chaosphere are godly. Nothing is disappointing/predictable/boring and I is crappy.

But again, that's me hehe.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 02:58 AM   #45 (permalink)
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but whether you like it or not, it would be hard to not respect it if you supposedly like' intelligent music' there are lots of bands who I don't particuarly like, or would choose to listen to, but I still respect what they are doing
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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:46 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Well, if I, as that guy, had only heard I I would be hard-pressed to respect it. Of course, the tale doesn't tell WHAT he heard, hehe. Otherwise you are of course right. Back when I first heard Meshuggah in 1994 or something, I didn't like it at first either.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taedium Vitae
Well, if I, as that guy, had only heard I I would be hard-pressed to respect it. Of course, the tale doesn't tell WHAT he heard, hehe. Otherwise you are of course right. Back when I first heard Meshuggah in 1994 or something, I didn't like it at first either.

So all the other albums are way better than "I"? Because "I" is the only one of their albums I know. And "I" kept me from ever wanting to hear anything else by Meshuggah. Maybe I should reconsider...
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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:47 AM   #48 (permalink)
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From the sound of things a lot of people have trouble getting into them to start with...and what is 'better' may be tough to define, it's all going to come down to what you most enjoy
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Old March 15th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Gildamere: Correct. If you haven't heard Destroy Erase Improve or Chaosphere, you haven't heard Meshuggah. Still, many people need to listen to them a bunch of times before realizing how goddamn groovy it is (unless it's clearly not something for them). If it matters (shouldn't really) I seem to recall Bobby J. once saying that Chaosphere is his favourite album.

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Old March 19th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I have a pretty limited knowledge of theory, but I eat it up when I get a chance to learn. It bores a lot of people, but I love theory.

Like Taedium Vitae said, I don't think in 4/4. All the music I write is all over the place. My current favorite is 9/16.
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