Music Theory

Discussion in 'Production' started by JamesZero, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. JamesZero

    JamesZero aka Zero Beats

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    How much music Theory do you know? and how much do you think it helps towards producing electronic music.

    I know the basics when it comes to chords and scales and things like that.

    I was talking to a friend who went to a music college about acapellas and knowing which notes will work with them.

    I was saying about loading up an acapella in Melodyne and using that to work out a good start to writing a fitting melody.
    He recommended learning about the Circle of fifths to help with this kind of thing.

    Anyway its more of a general question about what you know and has it helped?
    I have read High Contrast and the Brookes Brothers are classically trained and I'm sure that shines through on a lot of there tracks.
     
  2. Dan M

    Dan M hard gay northern bear

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    yeah as far as production goes i'm nigh on self taught and know nothing of scales etc, so everything av made is off the cuff for want of a better phrase.

    but am so busy at work to take the time out to do a music tech course so i guess al jus keep producing for fun in ma spare time.
     
  3. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    nothing im pretty sure. im really un-musical when it comes to playing notes and scales and so forth. im very musical when it comes to putting a tune together though with the bass and the beats
     
  4. Reactor Grits

    Reactor Grits lick a shot

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    If you can already hear the music in your head and disect it for sequencing, I don't need to know what key it is in or even the names of the notes being used. This is a must I think when you write music for acoustic instruments (classical notation) since you need to know the toneranges of the instruments and how they harmonize with the rest.
    In electronic music a lot of people who make tonal music can't read a single note (roni size springs to mind) and still make melodies that leaves classically trained producers with their mouths open. On the other hand, any knowledge concerning musical theory can benefit as long as it supports your creative goals.
    I tried to take up a musical course at uni (notation) but it went so fast it went over my head so I let it go (or learn it some other time over a longer timespan). Even conservatory trained students I know said they learned the theory I got in 8 weeks they got in 4 years, heh.
    But just like uncle Log can make beautiful (oldskool!) chords but not knowing what the fucking key he's writing in is not an issue for him or me since they're standing and making sense, and above all, are communicating to listeners in a sensible way.
     
  5. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    Knowing stuff isn't ever going to hurt.
     
  6. Dan M

    Dan M hard gay northern bear

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    if your in a machine where people ask you questions and if you get them right they stick knives in you then knowing stuff can hurt
     
  7. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    if I knew the answer, and knew that i'd get a knife stuck in me if i said the right answer, i'd say something else and so never get stabbed. if you guessed randomly, you might get stabbed if you got it right by accident.
     
  8. Dan M

    Dan M hard gay northern bear

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    lets jus pray this machine never gets made.
     
  9. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    HAH! your statement has been proven false innovine
     
  10. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    I think most of the people saying you don't need theory, or that there are no rules, are lazy, unable or afraid of learning. They tend to hang out on forums and reinforce their own beliefs by jumping on theory threads and denouncing the value of theory.
     
  11. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    No it hasn't.
     
  12. JamesZero

    JamesZero aka Zero Beats

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    Yeah, I know what you mean. I have never really gone out of my way to learn any music theory, just picked up the odd bit here and there.
    I have sometimes thought about taking it futher, but then its weighing up the time it takes to the benefit you get from it.

    I think I would probably get more from sticking to learning as much as I can about synthesis.
     
  13. Dan M

    Dan M hard gay northern bear

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    i only admitted defeat, so am guessin this aint aimed at me......i hope.

    but your going down a slippery slope which leads to logikz puttin you in a knife machine
     
  14. KEMZ

    KEMZ Blatant Royal Status

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    i would say it helps to keep your tracks in key for sure, but you by no means have any real advantage by having the knowledge, esp when it comes to beats n bass driven music like dnb. its all about knowing your gear really and utilizing its capabilitys, getting the best out of what you got! TWEAKING

    on the other hand if you play an instrument, then you may have an advantage of some sort, but how often will you use that Guitar, trumpet, flute, in a tune? maybe a hand full of times. we learnt how to use all that score stuff in cuebase at college and i have never personally found a use for it lol

    you dont need a musical ear to know what a sick b line sounds like do ya!
     
  15. KEMZ

    KEMZ Blatant Royal Status

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    thats a two sided sword there really - some of the best songs ive ever heard are people who cant play or know all the theory. i wouldnt denounce its value though as it clearly has it, what im saying is its not completely neccessary to create something good.
     
  16. logikz

    logikz I Am Not The King Staff Member

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    you talk all you want now, but strawman reasoning wont cut it with the knifemachine innovine.
     
  17. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    I dont mind, music theory's made me knifeproof.
     
  18. Sammy_Dodger

    Sammy_Dodger Mr Ed

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    Went to music college every saturday for 7 years!
     
  19. Reactor Grits

    Reactor Grits lick a shot

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    If you want to make electronic music and get the most out of it, start out indeed by knowing all, or as much as you can about any piece of hard-and/or software you have to make this with.
    If you want to make proper chamber music, get as much classical music theory you can.
    Consider something like 4 Hero, they started out with big jungle techno/dnb and then integrated it years later with live new jazz, a style which definitely requires some knowledge of classical music theory to put it down right.
    So I think it's about what you want to bake in the first place really. Any knowledge of any musical theory here enforces your capabilities as a musician, that goes without saying. Programming synths is a sort of musical theory too, I'd even argue!
     
  20. KEMZ

    KEMZ Blatant Royal Status

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    well said!