Studying Music 2.0

It's only cool if no one's heard of it.

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darthdidious
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:15 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby darthdidious » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:25 am UTC

Hey there. Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I thought I'd use it as an opportunity to formally introduce myself to the XKCD forums.

I'm a musician. I play the piano, and have been for over a decade now. I'm not an exceptionally talented pianist, but I get by. My main interests have less to do with music performance than music theory. I've just finished my Bachelor of Music degree and will be starting my Master of Music degree in the fall.

Like I said, I'm really into music theory. I'm especially interested in Schenkerian analysis, phrase-rhythm analysis, and musical meaning. My two favourite composers (from both an intellectual standpoint and an emotional standpoint--they are actually one and the same for me) are Schubert and Shostakovich.

Anyway, here I am. I don't think I have time to contribute to these forums on a regular basis, but I'll pop in every once in a while.

Dirk
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby Dirk » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

darthdidious wrote:Like I said, I'm really into music theory. I'm especially interested in Schenkerian analysis, phrase-rhythm analysis, and musical meaning. My two favourite composers (from both an intellectual standpoint and an emotional standpoint--they are actually one and the same for me) are Schubert and Shostakovich.


Then you sir, might enjoy this forum: http://musicis.ipbfree.com/index.php?act=idx

soban
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:06 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby soban » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Thanks...
it's very nice post.

Lioness
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:35 pm UTC
Location: Australia

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby Lioness » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:21 am UTC

I study music at high school: nothing very advanced, but it's great fun.

We pretty much just do four-part vocal harmonising, and theory up to about grade 5-6 AMEB.

Aldarion
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:00 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby Aldarion » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

I never studied music, unfortunately... and now I regret it very much, because I really want to play the piano. I am trying to teach myself to at the very least read notes (and I am making progress), but every time I think of the years and years I should spend practicing to be any good I just want to abandon the whole idea.
I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right.

darthdidious
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:15 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby darthdidious » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:17 am UTC

Aldarion wrote:I never studied music, unfortunately... and now I regret it very much, because I really want to play the piano. I am trying to teach myself to at the very least read notes (and I am making progress), but every time I think of the years and years I should spend practicing to be any good I just want to abandon the whole idea.


It's the years of hard work that makes it worth it. In a world obsessed with instant gratification, it's important to recognize that some of the best things take time.

Yea, it's cliche, but it's true.

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Dream
WINNING
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Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby Dream » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:34 am UTC

I disagree. You only have to get good enough to achieve your own goals. I've been composing electronic music for a decade, and I know people far more talented than I am who've been at it for several decades, and who've only recently taken it up. It doesn't discourage me that in my decade I haven't gotten as good as they have, because I've gotten good enough for what I'm trying to do myself. Objectively, they're better than me, and I should work harder for longer to be as good as they are. Subjectively, all of us are successfully making the music we want to make, and that means we are all a success.

Lots of people take up instruments late in life and do very well with them. You don't have to become a slave to the instrument, nor do you have to accept that somehow because you haven't done it yet you'll never do it at all. Just go do it and enjoy it. It's supposed to be about having fun and making art, not about being the best, or even being the best you can be.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

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Various Varieties
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Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby Various Varieties » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Dream wrote:I disagree. You only have to get good enough to achieve your own goals.
...
You don't have to become a slave to the instrument, nor do you have to accept that somehow because you haven't done it yet you'll never do it at all. Just go do it and enjoy it. It's supposed to be about having fun and making art, not about being the best, or even being the best you can be.

Yeah. I get annoyed by guitarists who learn everything they want to play by ear, and who then have a dismissive attitude towards anyone who only plays things they can learn from printed sheet music or online tabs.

Yes, I've no doubt that it's definitely beneficial to anyone's guitar playing to dedicate some time to ear training, and I admit it would be cool to be good enough to be able to quickly pick up the chord sequence of whatever song's currently playing on the radio. So maybe in the future I will follow a more structured practice routine that involves a fair amount of ear training.

But I know what my own personal aims are with learning the instrument, and I know how much time I personally want to (and can afford to) dedicate to practising it, and I'm currently quite happy spending that time learning mainly from sheet music I get out of the library.

darthdidious
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:15 pm UTC

Re: Studying Music 2.0

Postby darthdidious » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:37 am UTC

Dream wrote:I disagree.


I'm not sure if here you are disagreeing with me. To clarify, when I said "it's important to recognize that some of the best things take time," I wasn't talking about always meeting some "objective" (whatever the hell that means in this context) standard of skill. Of course I agree that "you only have to get good enough to achieve your own goals," but people need to understand that if they want a high degree of skill (an "objectively" high degree of skill) then a high degree of effort and dedication is absolutely required.

I've been studying the piano for well over a decade now. I started in my early teens, which is a lot later than most others do, but I've worked very hard and practiced for hours (though I certainly could have worked harder and practiced more had I the motivation and time), and as a result I've acheived a fairly high level of skill. But this is only when compared to an average person; compared to most of the other pianists I know (virtually all of whom started younger, worked harder, and are more talented than me) I'm nothing special. Maybe I'm "good enough", at least in the sense that playing the piano and performing is not central to my work as a musician, but I always strive to be better.

When learning an instrument, as with most things, I believe you get out of it only what you put in. Sure, there's always the "natural/god-given talent" factor, but even talented people that want to reach a truly exceptional level should know they need to work their asses off (because there's lots of talented people out there).

Maybe my position comes off as "elitist" to some people. I certainly do resent those who resent the demand for high standards. But I don't mean to be discouraging, in fact I mean to be the exact opposite. I'm just self-conscious of how much contemporary culture is obsessed with getting maximum results for minimum effort (in a lot of other areas besides music).


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