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Has learning theory ever made listening to music less enjoyable?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bardolph, May 14, 2006.

  1. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Does anybody have this problem of constantly analyzing everything they hear in music? I studied jazz pretty seriously throughout high school and learned how to recognize different chords and their place in a song (the V chord, VI chord etc.). I don't say this out of bragging, but I've always had a good ear in music and since I've learned the structures of chords and extensions whenever I listen to music I'm just constantly thinking of what chord is being played. I know it's good ear training, and on some songs I'll be able to call out the chords as they're being played, but the thing is I can't just stop and enjoy the music anymore. It's kind of a strange irony- while I can listen to jazz and appreciate it more and more as I learn more things, it's almost like learning the theory behind it is a spoiler, like finding out how some amazing magic trick works. Back when I didn't know any theory behind the music, I'd just listen to jazz and hear all these crazy chords and solos and just think it was the neatest sound ever (well, still do). Now I might hear a chord and think ok, that's just a *so-and-so* chord. Now I'm not saying in any way that now I have jazz "figured out" or anything, I know that what I've learned is just a tiny tip of the iceburg and for every musical nuance I pick up on there are a million others I didn't. It's just that the more I learn and the more I train my ear to recognize certain elements of music, it's getting harder and harder to just listen.
  2. DaemonBass


    Mar 29, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    Maybe try doing something else while listening.. housework, dishes, laundry, schoolwork,ect, Or focus on the rythmic aspects instead of the theory side.
  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I know what you mean. It's almost impossible for me to listen to music without analyzing it. But, I just try to enjoy analyzing it if I can't shut off my analytical side. ;)
  4. Yeah, I've found myself doing that as well, but its something I learn to live with. As a bassist, I think we are all naturally drawn to listening to the bass part alone, whice makes listening to music different, but knowing theory, my brain naturally runs through the music and suddenly I think, well, hey, hes arpeggiating over a Cmaj7 chord, cool. Its just the nature of the beast:ninja: :bag: .........
  5. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    i studied alot of theory growing up... i was in the same boat as you. the music i loved just didn't mean anything anymore!
    one thing i did which helped was getting a healthy dose of really simple music. like, trance or early beatles or green day or, in a way, P-Funk. (not always the simplest thing, P-Funk.... but there's such an importance placed on pure groove.)

    also, the person who said something about listening to the rhyhmic elements more.... that's kinda like where i'm going with all this. i just listen to music that concentrates mostly on rhythm, along with the crazy weird stuff i'm also into. like penderecki, or john cage.

    listen to P-Funk. it'll help, if you can dig it.


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