Re: [Harp-L] Reading music
Yes theory can get in the way if it is one's only guide to making music.
> I agree with your general points but (since the subject is music theory)
> have one minor quibble. The "a-men" plagal cadence is IV-I The V-I
> cadence is called "perfect authentic" Most tonal pieces end with the
> perfect authentic cadence which is the most final sounding.
> Although music came first, notation and theory rules make it easier to
> teach and to learn. If you know the rules, it is easier to recognize and
> to consciously use the exceptions.
> On Jan 31, 2011, at 9:08 AM, The Iceman wrote:
>> Learning theory/reading music creates "mental block" in a lot of people.
>> Sort of a frozen fear of the unknown.
>> It helps to remember that music came first. The theory/reading came
>> later to try to quantify the music. Theory is not set in stone, as so
>> much of what you learn theory wise you also learn the exceptions to the
>> Don't approach it as a monumental task. There are music appreciation
>> courses on CD and at community colleges that can introduce you to this
>> arena (mostly through classical music) with a minimum of anxiety. It
>> becomes big fun as you start to develop a sense of ability to hear
>> "inside" the music and understand what is going on from an
>> emotional/intellectual combination.
>> To me, music is all about tension/release. I learned Shanker Layer
>> Analysis of music in college. By backing up layer by layer, almost all
>> great symphonies can be analyzed as a V-I progression, the ultimate
>> simplified tension/release musical state. (V-I sounds like "A-men" - the
>> religious musical endings many of us are familiar with. The tension is
>> produced by singing the "A" part, which doesn't release the tension or
>> resolve till you sing "men").
>> This is a good place to start.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Aongus Mac Cana <amaccana@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 6:32 am
>> Subject: [Harp-L] Reading music
>> I agree with those who say it is worthwhile to learn to read music and I
>> aspire to do so. However at age 74 I have cut it a bit fine.
>> In the loose group of musicians I sometimes try to play Irish trad with,
>> they dish out sheet music of the tunes we are playing to all who require
>> I notice that the youngsters who have received some formal music
>> all seem to need the written music and in fact seem almost lost without
>> I on the other hand take the sheet music, but only use it "for forensic
>> dissection of the bar or two I can't get by ear, in the privacy of my
>> A few years ago I picked up a seriously cheap book called "The Right Way
>> Read Music" in a bookshop in Clifden, Co. Galway. This book I found to
>> be a
>> very accessible source of all the musical theory "I needed to know". I
>> it is still available "for buttons" new and secondhand from Amazon and
>> There is a world of difference however in knowing what the notes are and
>> being able to sight read fast enough to play what you see.
>> In my fifties I learned how to touch type from a cheap and cheerful
>> instruction programme. I hoped, on my retirement that I would be able to
>> apply the same methodology to learning music reading, but alas have not
>> succeeded so far. However some very helpful prominent harp-l listers
>> volunteered me useful tips off line, for which I am very grateful. I
>> express my gratitude by not naming them - I reckon they have troubles
>> already without being deluged with requests for enlightenment.
>> Aongus Mac Cana
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