Re: [Harp-L] learning to read music

Whether or not to read music should be no more contentious than your favorite 
color - who can argue about that?

But it's more than a preference - it's a tool, plain and simple. Some tools are 
good for particular tasks but not all tasks. Reading music is less helpful for 
music that is transmitted orally, and very helpful for music that has 
complexities that are not easily picked up by ear or remembered without looking 
at a detailed map.

Reading music tells you the results - what the listener ends up hearing. It 
doesn't tell you how to get those results on your instrument - what key to 
press, what string to pluck, what hole to blow or draw.

So learning to read has two distinct elements:

-- Learning what all the  symbols mean and what results they convey
-- Relating that to the physical actions of playing your instrument

You can learn them both together, or separately. The advantage of learning them 
separately is that you understanding of notation does not get welded to one 
instrument or one tuning or type within your instrument. 

My book, Harmonica For Dummies, does not depend on notation but does both 
explain and use it, along with some basic chord theory.

Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
Harmonica instructor, The Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance
Resident expert,

From: christopher lee <khalifa30@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Harpl list <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sat, January 29, 2011 6:15:18 AM
Subject: [Harp-L] learning to read music

Howdy Folks,

I am a newbie who is learning to play harmonica (with a teacher) after
carrying one around for over twenty years.  I have little-to-no
musical background, and am interested in learning to read music while
I am learning harp.  I realize -- having done a search of the Harp-l
archives -- that whether or not to learn music is somewhat
contentious.  I realize that it is not necessary, but I am interested
in learning, and was wondering if anyone had advice about books or
ways to learn music while simultaneously studying harp.

Many thanks in advance for your advice,



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