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off the wall

Discussion in 'Ask David Overthrow' started by fdeeptone, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. fdeeptone


    Mar 26, 2009
    Newark Ohio
    Just curoius as to your thoughts on the following.
    Music theory itself is a history or an accumulation of what humans over the years have discovered to sound good together. Its not written in stone as some may believe.
    Do you think that by following these theories musicians and budding musicians have closed the box per say to new and different approaches outside of the theory that has been used for so long?
    I understand theory and I have played bass for a long time
    I just can't helpo but wonder if we have trained our ears to
    only accept music within these bounderies and could there be
    whole other universerses unexplored and myabe never ventured due to the accepted language and theories that have been put in place?

    I am interested in any and all opinions but sinced this is your
    forum I am curious as to has this ever crossed your mind?
    Or have you ventured outside the musical standards?
    I know this is really off the wall but it often crosses my mind.

    Thanks and looko forward to your reply.
  2. You bring up a valid question and point. keep in mind that many theory books and "rules" are written after the fact. The innovators of any craft, in this case music, and also in any genre of music, don't necessarily follow the rules. They follow their own way of thinking and create great works that often are not accepted at first but then many years after the fact are praised for being a pioneer. Theory books are were written to document what someone already did. Writing the rules after they were done and it is ever evolving.

    This is the same with players. For instance, Charlie Parker played a way in which no one before him did. Music is subjective and believe it or not, many thought what bird was playing was noise other than the musicians trying to play it. After the music was understood and played by a larger number of musicians the music was more accepted. How about Ornette Coleman. What do you think of him play harmonically free? Some think it is trash while others respect the beauty in how the music is created, by fewer rules and more interaction. Take Jaco, many thought he played too busy and that was not "bass" he was playing but rather too many notes. But not long after he was hailed as one of the most, if not the most, significant figure to change the way the instrument was played and perceived.

    Now, there are some things that do not change. If you hit three minor seconds together on the piano, not supported by any root or support notes in the left hand, some would say this is a cool three note cluster voicing, but most would say ewwwwwww and not good sounding at all. Although music is subjective there are some things that do sound , well, bad. Some things make sense to the ears and others don't.

    Music theory is a road map in which to help navigate your musical journey. Along with your musical ear, theory supplies roads to aid you in getting the sounds you want and if they are not found, you explore some dirt roads off the beaten path and see what is out there. Some would say there is no such wrong note. It depends what comes before and where it resolves too however, some things will always sound bad to 99% of us.

    I believe that there is no wrong note, but ust depends where you put it.

  3. fdeeptone


    Mar 26, 2009
    Newark Ohio
    Great explanation. Thank you;) I am one to agree that there is no such thing as a wrong note although to some it may not dound acceptable. Back to the old saying though beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in this case the ear lol. You make a good point as to the pioneering and ever evolving changes in music. it reminds me of how my parents hated the music i loved and how i dislike alot of the music my kids listen too.
    I can only guess this will go on for generations to come. I play in 2 cover bands now and i also write my own music as well and I can't help at times i feel limited in the choices i have to work with to stay in synch with the other instruments in the band but that could be just a sign of my mental health as well lol. One of the bands I play with are very open to my mental illness and we have added some very cool inserts to some of the cover tunes that take the songs in a totally different direction and back again which as you stated it seems to always have to have a resolve lol.
    Thanks for your great reply. I enjoy your forum threads.
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