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Reading music and elitism

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JimmyM, May 3, 2012.

  1. I'm not looking for reading material, I have more than enough to keep 10 people busy for 10 lifetimes with all the instruments I perform on.

    What I want is specific charts to current tunes without the tab on every line. Time is money and taking the time to transcribe every chart is a time killer.
  2. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    I am diligently trying to become a good site reader. I suck at it, but I keep trying. I will get this dammit. My personal problem is focusing on the written part. My ear pulls me away from it and I want to follow it more than I do the notation. I must focus. I will do this.
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The first step is to repeat after me:

    "sight reader" not "site reader"

    Okay, return to your regularly scheduled program. :D
  4. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Well, this IS the interwebz. We ARE reading web sites. :p. :D
  5. I can't disagree with any of that.

    The analogy of TAB:SN::text:StandardEnglish is far from perfect. For one thing, the written forms found in most texts are by and large a subset of the forms of standard English (most texts are not simply "omg *** lol" despite the stereotypes that are out there) - that is not true when it comes to TAB, which is an entirely different system than SN with little relationship to it, other than that they can both be used to convey information about the same musical source.

    So as interesting as the discussion of texting is, perhaps we've said all that can be said about it in relation to this thread.
  6. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Alright, you caught me. I work in an architectural firm! Give a guy a break! :D
  7. edking


    Jan 1, 2007
    I make my entire living reading music. If it were not for this skill my income would not be as steady and reliable as it is! Nuf Said!!
  8. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Musical notation isn't a language, and that's why it hasn't been able to change much. With a proper language, you can use unfamiliar words with someone and still get your meaning across. Musical notation is so low level that changing one part of it makes it almost unrecognizable; there's hardly room for the slow shifts in usage that languages see. That was a terrible argument to make.

    Speaking of terrible arguments,
    That statement falls under the heading of "not even wrong"
    Hell's bells I'm actually speechless that people actually think this

    It seems that you're operating under a false impression here: I am not saying that tablature will dethrone musical notation. I said that tablature and western european musical notation have coexisted for centuries, so tablature isn't causing any brain drain or something. I never said that tabs mean anything to instruments other than that which they were written for. You are putting words in my mouth.

    I;m not even saying that having a standard musical notation is bad. I'm saying we have already made something better and that the only reason we haven't widely embraced chromatic staff notation, for one, is that people are too entrenched in what they're used to. Nobody wants to translate the several centuries worth of music we have into some new standard, they'd rather just use what they learned early on.

    Current musical notation is inaccessible relative to tablature where a beginning player can, if his fingers are coordinated enough, be playing a song without needing to learn any new symbols. It is also inaccessible relative to chromatic staff notation where you don't need to worry about key signatures or accidentals because every note has it's own place.

    I don't know why you're being so hostile to me; as far as I'm aware I didn't violate the gospel of JimmyM by saying that the Ampeg SVT isn't God's perfect gift to mankind.
  9. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Chromatic staff notation makes note recognition more simple but it still uses the same system of denoting values mastery of which is the major hurdle in reading standard notation. Because it's not a huge improvement in terms of ease of use is why it hasn't been adopted.

    If you want to be shown respect show it yourself regardless of how you perceive you're being treated. Stooping to these kinds of stabs is hypocritical in the extreme.
  10. Written music is a means of recording. It doesn't originate or evolve because it still effectively records all the data necessary to reproduce any piece of music you care to write down. Any new musical thought can be written out using current notation techniques - even slang terms. If you don't write it correctly it won't be performed correctly. It effectively works on most instruments and musical forms that I am aware of, even the new stuff that was invented long after notation was invented.
  11. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Maybe I'm unusual, but values (I'm assuming you mean the time value?) were never an issue for me. Either way, chromatic staff notation does away with something that really shouldn't have been there in the first place.

    I answered very respectfully, and quite patiently. I didn't ask that JimmyM not make stabs, I asked that he not put words in my mouth, so there was no hypocrisy involved. A lot of white knighting for the high priest seems to be coming in, though.

    [DEL]You may be able to write out microtonal music, but that doesn't mean that the people reading it will get the basic idea of it, which is what I was getting at.[/DEL]
    Let me put this a better way: I agree with this. However, you can write any computer program you want in a Turing tarpit, but that's no reason to eschew a simpler method
  12. What percentage of music/concert/recordings performed are microtonal?

    If it was a thing the people were using, there would be a need for a change. But honestly, as a working musician for over 25 years, I have never encountered micro tonal music. Not in the bar, the arena, the recital hall or the concert stage. It exists and I could see a need for a specialized notation if it would be too complicated to perform from in standard notation, but is there a need?

    This sounds like a different form of the arguments against reading and learning theory because (insert famous musician who doesn't/didn't do it) is way more famous than you will ever be. It may be true, but what has that got to do with the reality of being a working musician?
  13. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Boy are you missing the point with that bit of sour sarcasm. I'm not defending Jimmy...he can be a self-righteous prick. I was talking to you about you.
  14. CnB77, I see you edited as I was posting.

    True, simple is generally better, but not if it omits basic needed information.

    For the record, when issued music, the first thing I do is go at it with an eraser. I'll look at what was written by previous performers and evaluate it, then, unless it was an error correction, it gets removed. Too much information is a hindrance to performing too.
  15. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm not convinced that's actually an advantage.
  16. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I don't think a chromatic staff is superior to the standard staff, because the standard staff more efficiently encodes diatonic scales and chords, which are the foundation of western musicality. Once understood, the use of key signatures and accidentals actually has the overall effect of reducing the amount of information we need to process as we read. Thus, for most music we practically encounter, it really is more efficient.
  17. mbeall


    Jun 25, 2003
    I can't believe I'm still spending time reading this thread.
  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Absolutely. Otherwise, why not have all white keys on the piano? Why not rename the notes A-L and get rid of sharps and flats? Because it doesn't make sense in a tonal music context.
  19. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    phew this thread has gotten ridiculously big

    worldwide, a substantial amount.

    western notation has been fully adopted into arab and turkish art musics. before this transition there was no indigenous form of notation, or even tab...all music was learned and transmitted by ear. modern arab notation includes half flats (a "b" with a crossed stem) and half sharps (a "#" but minus a vertical stroke); the system of keys or circle of fifths does not exist, so flats/half flats/sharps/half sharps can coexist in the same 'signature.' modern turkish notation is more specific...there are multiple half flats, notated as a mirrored "b" with a small number next to it. in both traditions only treble clef is used. i play this music all the time...all things considered this notation isn't any harder to use than it's western counterpart.

    there are however forms of microtonal music (traditional or modern) for which western notation is not practical or accurate. javanese music, for instance, represents pitches as numbers and places them in a sort of time-grid.
  20. Do you have a link so I could look at some of this? It sounds interesting.

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