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Reading music and elitism

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

  1. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007

    has some good notation examples. keep in mind though that the notation only provides the 'skeleton' of the form. depending on the instrument and the context, musicians will elaborate and ornament the basic melody. 'proper' elaboration is something learned by doing, it cannot be read from a book. the javanese only really use this notation for documentation, for the most part forms are learned by memory.

    part of why you couldn't use western notation for javanese music is that there is no standardization of pitch. one gamelan's slendro (pentatonic scale) may be completely different than another gamelan's slendro, not only in the frequency of the tonic but in the relative position of all pitches.
  2. I know LOTS of people who share an elitist mentality because they can read music. Some of them have even gone as far as to bully kids learning to play an instrument off tabs.
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Why am I having a hard time picturing the band geek kids bullying the rocker kids?
  4. Because if you're a kid from the Northern suburbs of Sydney studying music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music then you're obviously better than everyone else and are entitled to picking on the rocker kids playing on those cheap Asian Ibanez "bass guitars". Plus, mummy and daddy can afford to buy you a new Sadowsky every couple months to boost your "muso cred" at school.
  5. Somebody sounds like they may have some issues that need to be resolved.

    Live your own life dude.
  6. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Easy there big fella, you ever been to Oz? I think there are some class issues in Australia that are hard for us North Americans to completely wrap our minds around.

    A friend and former roommate of mine is a jazz guitarist who used to teach at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He was from a real blue collar working class family and told me about his own father giving him a seriously hard time about being better than "the rest of us" now that he was a "professor" at the university. He was just giving private lessons there.

    On the other hand if a working class surfer kid can teach himself to read (and my friend Ray can read flypoopie at a 50 paces) there's not much excuse for any other kid too poor to attend the Conservatorium not learn to read.
  7. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    "Hey, kid! Pssst! Come read some of this staff with us - it's really good *&*%!"

    "No, my parents said I don't have to do that if I don't want to! Leave me alone! Waahhhhh!!!!"

  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I hope you're exaggerating here.:meh:
    I'll take your word that things are different over there, but it's hard for me to picture that happening in the USA. You may get picked on and beat up for all kinds of reasons, but as far as I know, not for being unable to read standard musical notation.

    As has been mentioned though, this particular thing isn't really associated with money or class. It's not too hard to teach yourself to read music, and I got a pretty good musical education, including reading music, in public schools. Public schools now are getting all their music funding cut, yet both my kids (10 and 13) are learning to read quite well. It just takes the desire and a little bit of time.
  9. basetard


    Jun 8, 2012
    Jersey Shore
    It's a lot of work learning to read, but after you put in your time its a great feeling to look at a piece of music and own the notes. You may not be able to sight read it to the instrument on first pass, but in no time its sounds good. And once you can read no one can take it from you, if you play on a regular basis.

    I'm trying bass just now to see if my reading ability can be transfered from piano to bass.
  10. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
  11. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Growing up in Texas in the 70s I can't wrap my head around this.
    "Hey guys! Let's all take our parts from Carmina Burana and our instruments and go intimidate the guys on the Football Team!"
    Nope, not gonna happen! LOL :D
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Damn right I can.

    Wait a sec....HEY!!!


    Well I certainly don't think I said anything rude or self righteous or put words in anyone's mouths. This time, anyway. And I certainly didn't deserve that barrage of sarcasm. This time, anyway.

    So hey Cnbc, you were the one who came into this thread looking for an argument about how our current notational system sucks. I merely gave you one. But rather than a good argument back, you went right to calling my points a "horrible argument" and "Mr. High And Might SVT Boy" with nothing else of substance behind it. If you got nothing to come back with other than that, don't blame it on me. Now Jeff and I go back 15 years so I'll take it from him with a laugh. I don't even know you.
  13. Joke...
    Q. How do you keep a guitarist quiet?
    A. Put sheet music in front of him. ;)

    Having taught and worked in a music store, I have to say there are some people who just don't understand it or cannot remember reading music.... maybe only 5% of people. 25% really struggle but will eventually get it (though never get proficient at it).

    So I'd say Jimmy is mostly right. :)
  14. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    t-shirt? :D
  15. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    This is an interesting read. I could read music when I played violin back in grade school, but most of that ability has been lost. When I picked up the bass about 5 years later, my friends who were playing instruments all used TAB, and no one knew how to read music. I can fumble my way through sometimes, but I usually use TAB. The stuff that gets left out of the notation leaves me room to discover things. That feeling of exploration is one of the reasons I love playing...if it was all spelled out for me I'm not sure if I'd enjoy it as much as I do. MHO.

    I don't feel like being able to read standard notation is an elitist thing any more than anything else is. It's another tool to add to your box. Some people can still build great things without it, and people can build great things with it.

    Some people are just jerks about things so they can be jerks.
  16. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    Good point. Its not an issue with reading music vs. reading tab.

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