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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by nubassplayer, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. nubassplayer


    Mar 26, 2001
    I'm a new player, so bear with me. Everyone says that I should learn theory. Are there any good websites that teach it? Thanx
  2. bloumy2


    Dec 10, 2000
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

  4. Not to interrupt the information giving, but why is it called "Theory"? I mean, don't they KNOW what a minor 3rd is??? It's not a THEORY is it?
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Here's my guess, after searching numerous theory web sites and failing to turn up an outright reason why it is called music theory.

    The theory part comes from the way sound frequencies and pitches are organized for Western music (as opposed to Middle Eastern or Asian) into a chromatic scale of twelve notes, then further broken down into chords, scales, keys, modes, chord progressions, harmony, dissonance, etc.

    The idea of organizing all that "sound" into a structure that can be taught, passed on to others, played the same way by others, played years or centuries later by others...all involves a theoretcial construct of what is musical and what is not.

    And the theory of music theory is also involved with what makes sounds musical and separates them from random sounds...such as at a construction site or in a factory, which are not inherently musical, but are what we call noise.

    When all this massive organization and nomenclature is taken into consideration, one can see that a considerable amount of theory actually has been established, just as in the way laws of physics and biology and geology have been established. But in the end, who says it is right?

    It seems to work well for Western music, but maybe some genius will come along with a totally different way to organize sound, one that puts "musical" sound on a continuum with non-musical sound...or whatever.

    If you doubt a heck of a lot of theory is involved in structuring sound, check one of the scholarly music theory web sites at which music theorists lovingly discuss, for example, chords, in scholarly, esoteric, and multisyllabic phraseology that would make the most ivory tower reasearcher in physics or math proud.

    These same folks even have scholarly journals in which they discuss the most minute facets of music theory that you can imagine. Read one of their articles and you will see why it is called theory.

  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The above explanation would be incomplete without a link to one of the scholarly music theory sites that demonstarte particularly well the deep theory in music theory. (I hope this link works.)


    You just have to read this article for a clear understanding of "temperment and tuning" to have agrasp of why "it" is called music theory.


    (OK, I'm having trouble with that link, unfortunately. I'll see how I can fix it.)

    You may also want to check the Just Temperment Network web site.

  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    From Webster's:

    n., pl. the·o·ries.

    Systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, especially a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena.

    Such knowledge or such a system.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    You know Gruffpuppy, I see so many people posting that they can't/won't get a teacher, I thought I'd try subtle innuendo. Good to know that it's working. Besides which, theory is REALLY hard to learn from just a book/website.

  10. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    And here is WHY theory is hard to learn from a book or web site. After you learn it, you don't know how to APPLY it. That's what a teacher can do...give you perspective and tell you what the theory is for.


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