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minor chords attract teenagers - what else ?

Member for

21 years
Some great topics happening here.

I've been told that teenagers seem to like songs with minor chords. When I think back, I think I was like that too. Maybe these are the years we start thinking about life more. Minor chords have a mystery to them... yes?

Are there other interesting sounds or progressions that are either age or gender related ?

Comments

Member for

15 years 4 months

dementedchord Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:02
gee...

my first reaction is ... if you have to ask you'll never understand the answer....

my second.... havent actually read any theory have you???

and third.... the problem is a lotta people just wont accept the definition... as some of their favs may not meet the criteria... ie: some rap contains no melody and hence does not technically qualify....

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Thu, 02/22/2007 - 13:14
IIRs wrote: As a matter of fact I studied classical music for about 10 years as a youth. If I had stuck with that I would be unable to improvise today...
:wink:

Why?

I've studied classical music for nearly 30 years and I can still (and often do) improvise. In fact, my advanced theory classes only helped further.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Thu, 02/22/2007 - 13:19
IIRs wrote: It seems to me that if music theory was as important as some here seem to think it would by now have answered the basic question "what is music?"

????

Even those who know nothing of theory and sell millions of discs APPLY the theory of which they have no knowledge.

In most cases, the producers, songwriters and engineers KNOW their theory and the talent merely sings, plays...whatever.

Think of it like this -
Many people who drive have no idea how a rack and pinion system works. However, they understand the simple concept that "if I turn this doo-hickey right, my car also turns right." Therefore, they understand the most rudimentary theory behind the functioning of that system.

Such is also true in music.

Hmmm...If I play this chord made up of a C, E, and G, it sounds good. If I add this F, it also sounds good, but adds a little....suspense. Hmmm..., now when I add this Db (minor 9, not minor 2), I get even MORE suspense. And now, when I add this B to the whole mix....I get CRAP.

Well...maybe Bach didn't tell them this, but they certainly understand it.

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 02/22/2007 - 17:26
IIRs wrote ?
It seems to me that if music theory was as important as some here seem to think it would by now have answered the basic question "what is music?"

I can't discribe it but I know it when I hear it. :lol:


That old question :
Do you you read music ? - Not enough to hurt my playing.

Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Thu, 02/22/2007 - 18:06
As a matter of fact I studied classical music for about 10 years as a youth. If I had stuck with that I would be unable to improvise today...

I doubt that, and I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. I'm not sure where you make the connection that learning music inhibits improvisation. NOT true at all. What IS true, of course is that one can learn either one without the other.... It's kind've like being blind but having great hearing, or deaf but with great drawing abilities. Both seem to be missing something, IMHO.

Yes, of course, one can learn riffs, reels, jigs and improvise your brains out, without ever cracking a book, and still make it sound fresh and original. That's called playing by rote, or by ear/memory. Add to that the intangible "gift" that many of our heroes - from the Beatles to Louis Armstrong and beyond - had, that's one way its done.

You can also learn to read notes off the page perfectly, and sight read like a m*th*rf*cker, all in real time, but still be unable to play with a jam band. That's unfortunate (and there are MANY out there like that) but either approach is inherently deficient, as far as I'm concerned.

I have about the same opinion of a high-end classical player who can't sit down and jam with his kids or buddies as I do for an ear-only player who can't read a chart. I feel bad for either one, but I respect the abilities they DO have.

Call me a snob if you want, but I'm proud of the fact that I can do both....and I know many who can sit down and jam - in any key - with anyone who wants to challenge them. I KNOW my classical/formal training wasn't a detriment to learning to play live, extemoraneously. I did both - making a living reading charts or playing by ear in bands from about age 15 to 40 or so... I got the gigs others couldn't cut because I knew both.

D'ya think Ishtaak Perelman or Joshua Bell is a wimp because he plays classical fiddle? Get REAL....just TRY and cut some of the riffs THEY play every day, some by rote, some off the page.

I do not believe for one second they are mutually exclusive abilities. EVERY tiny bit of knowledge and training can be beneficial, if you process it properly.

Member for

15 years

Scoobie Thu, 02/22/2007 - 19:05
I took piano lessons as a young'in from my mother.
Played trumpet and french horn and tuba in school band. Got good(not great) at all three. And I couldn't read sheet music in my life dependent on it. That's why I never got great at either of them I guess, but My high school band teacher died when he found out I couldn't read the sheets. He always said I was his best brass player.

I hung up the piano and horns in 77 and picked up the guitar after my father.


In Nashville most use the numbers system, no chords or notes. Just numbers. Some of the best session players ever, couldn't read music either. I used to watch them listen to a song and write a bunch of numbers down and was ready to go. Dosen't matter what key, the numbers stay the same.

My wife site reads(piano) and it kills me to watch her. I wish I could do it. But when I play my guitar with her on a song that she knows I have never heard. She will say, I wish I could do that.

What I'm saying is , people have differnt musical ability. It's what their gifted with I guess.

Peace............Scoobie

Member for

15 years 10 months

IIRs Fri, 02/23/2007 - 00:36
Cucco wrote:
Think of it like this -
Many people who drive have no idea how a rack and pinion system works. However, they understand the simple concept that "if I turn this doo-hickey right, my car also turns right." Therefore, they understand the most rudimentary theory behind the functioning of that system.

Well ok then, if you broaden your definition of "music theory" to include the blues scale your mate showed you, or the trick for getting a killer kick sound that you picked up from a forum, fair enough. But a large chunk of the "music theory" I learnt in my youth was simply Italian terms for concepts such as "play loud". :lol:

Frankly I got closer to the real essence of music by studying mathematics...

Member for

15 years 10 months

IIRs Fri, 02/23/2007 - 00:52
JoeH wrote:
I doubt that, and I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. I'm not sure where you make the connection that learning music inhibits improvisation.

But that's not what I said: my own particular classical training may not have stunted my ability to improvise, but it certainly didn't develop it at all.

Most of my family are classical musicians, and none of them are capable of improvising at all, so it seems this is a common consequence of a traditional musical training.... which seems odd because improvising was a big part of the classical music tradition until fairly recently.

Perhaps I would have got there in the end anyway, but the classical culture I grew up in rather encouraged the belief that all the great music had been written a hundred years ago or more, and all that was left to do was to 'interpret' it... it wasn't until I had a few lessons from a jazz player when I was about 14 that I realised improvising was a skill that could be conciously developed, rather than being some amazing magical god-given gift (which is kind of how my mum sees it!)

Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Fri, 02/23/2007 - 02:58
I do hear what you're saying, IIRs, and it's indeed a shame that far too many "serious" players passed that idea along that the ONLY way to play was notes on the page.

You're absolutely correct in that it's only been recent that this straight-jacket approach to "Serious" Music took hold. There was indeed a time when players improvised over a ground bass, (following the rules of counterpoint and even-tempered tuning) or soloists took incredible and wonderful risks with their big moments - usually the improvised cadenza's - in performances with the big ensembles.

It was a GiVEN that the major artists of the day would be routinely able to pull this stuff off and dazzle their audiences. (Some cadenzas become so popular and impressive that they began to be written down and repeated by others - which could be argued as the beginning of the rot setting in, eh?)

I've recorded many concerts - even recently - where the violinist, or horn player, etc., did indeed improvise and wow their 21st century audiences. (Can't recall exact names, but i KNOW there are a few famous ones out there, as we speak, doing exactly that.)

Mozart himself took part in many an improvising (or as Jazzers would call it: "cutting") session of his era. It was common parlor entertainment at the time. It's indeed a shame that gets lost in the search for absolute perfection in some genres. Once you know both, you realize that there's basically no difference at the core, just different ways to get there.

One is harder - or easier - than the other, depending on your perspective, I guess...

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Fri, 02/23/2007 - 07:26
IIRs wrote: [quote=Cucco]
Think of it like this -
Many people who drive have no idea how a rack and pinion system works. However, they understand the simple concept that "if I turn this doo-hickey right, my car also turns right." Therefore, they understand the most rudimentary theory behind the functioning of that system.

Well ok then, if you broaden your definition of "music theory" to include the blues scale your mate showed you, or the trick for getting a killer kick sound that you picked up from a forum, fair enough. But a large chunk of the "music theory" I learnt in my youth was simply Italian terms for concepts such as "play loud". :lol:

Oh, but my definition of music theory DOES indeed cover the blues scale and furthermore the principles of acoustics! I mean no disrespect to any musician when I say this, but to be truly a well-rounded, good classical musician, one must study ALL aspects of music - jazz, avante garde, Cage, Cowell, Mozart, Bach, Miles Davis. You don't have to LIKE the music (I don't like much of Cowell's stuff, nor do I like much Hovannes (sp?)), but I appreciate it.

As part of my musical career, I have studied jazz, classical (all eras) and 20th century music. In fact, I have actually played horn in jazz and rock ensembles!

The funny thing - it only makes my classical playing better!

I think it's an absolute shame that you are correct..., but most classical training is conducted with a VERY stiff upper lip and avoids, maybe even abhors, instruction in other methods including improv.

You know...one of the best things that I learn from jazz and apply back to classical is the ability to listen...truly listen to your neighbors and fellow musicians.

I play in several ensembles in the area currently and one of the BIGGEST problems (often in the upper strings) is that no one listens to each other. They're all in their own little bubble. Sure, they may be playing accurately and with relatively good pitch, but factor in that there are 20+ violins and they're playing their own thing...it's quite disturbing. In any section where I'm principal horn- if one of my horn players doesn't pay attention and does their own thing - they're not asked back. If I do the same in one of my colleagues' sections, I would expect the same.

To me, it seems as though the push right now in classical training is for:
1 - technical perfection
2 - soloistic performance
To me, this is counterintuitive to the orchestral process. Soloistic playing does not belong in an orchestra unless you are in fact the soloist. Technical perfection is meaningless without the pathos behind it. Listen to Cleveland under Szell. There are missed notes and some funky intonations, but god dang those are some inspiring performances!

Listen to Cincinatti today and they are technically perfect on the recording, but it's like listening to a movie soundtrack. It's dull and lifeless. The recording may be great, but the sound of the orchestra is....welll......boring.

The reason that classical musicians are taking such a strong "head in the sand" approach to music with thoughts that "only music composed prior to 1937 is any good" is a knee-jerk reaction to the systematic destruction of the orchestra today. Concert attendance is low, orchestras are folding left and right so idealist classical players are digging in harder! The funny thing is, their inability or lack of desire to adapt is in fact the silver bullet which is killing them!

On another note...(ha...yes, pun intended) - I just received this quarter's issue of the Horn Call (the International Horn Society's quarterly publication.) There's a several-page article in this quarter's issue dealing with improvising duets with a duet partner. There's even instructions and hints on how to do it!

This doesn't sound like an industry that is afraid of change on the whole, it just needs to be introduced the right way.

Cheers!

Jeremy

PS - (directed at everyone and anyone reading this far)
Go see/hear an orchestra perform ASAP. If you haven't before, it's a nearly religious experience. If you have before, do it again and support your local orchestra!

Member for

16 years 6 months

TuBlairy Fri, 02/23/2007 - 07:50
aqualand666 wrote:
beethoven did use minor tonalities. bach didn't.
.

Astounding. Now that is solid comedy.


aqualand666 wrote:
how did pythagoreas do this, i thought fixed tuning instruments were barely around by the medieval period? .

Was Pythagoreos Medieval? I thought he was an ancient Greek. Weird.

aqualand666 wrote:
quite interesting the mathematical representation of the tones. and the development of accidentals thereof. i'm sure you're aware that further solidification of accidentals were created out of avoidance for the tritone in gregorian church music. .

Oh … I get it! You’re a lecturer, aren’t you? Royal Academy? Juliard?

aqualand666 wrote:
cucco, when i ask questions its not like you just asked this one. you want to prove you know a thing or two about music theory? then reflect it on an instrument. too many big music theory buffs can express so little of what they know on their instrument that its not even funny. .

It is as well know fact that theoreticians, who also happen to be tuba players, are very expressive on their instruments and, in fact, quite funny. This is because they sound like they are, in fact, farting as they play. In the vast orchestral literature, there is little more comical than their nasty B-flatulance.

aqualand666 wrote:
besides its not even as if the historical aspects of the development of music theory are any more than looking up a quick little fact sheet like this guy just did.

Well, no, he read that in a book, or a number of books, not in a fact sheet that one’s ancestors had hopefully read, which stated, “never, ever drink this substance, especially during pregnancy.”

aqualand666 wrote:
sorry about being wrong about what keys bach used. like i said i think of minuet in G and light and fluffy baroque music when i think of him.
.

If you’re thinking of the one from the Anna Magdalena handbook, he wrote that for his little kid. To mention a few, not-so-fluffy ones, you may want to listen to the "Great G minor" Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 542 or if you're a guitarist you might enjoy BWV 1000. I could play it at one time - its a b*tch. (Well, it was written for the lute.) Oh yea, and there's also the 2nd Prelude in C minor, from the Well-Tempered Klavier. Anyway, I would guess over 50% of Bach's music is written in the "minor" key, though one of his clever little tricks was this thing called modulation where you start in one key and then go to another, major OR minor key... But don't worry, you come back again. (Then some of the later, classical composers started NOT coming back to the same key. That's just RUDE… And as Romanticism gradually declined into atonality,…God, quick, I pry’thee, send me the dulcet tones of Paganini Caprice No.5 to liberate me from all that is vile.)

As for the original topic: teens and minor chords, required listening:
Stravinky's L'Sacre de Pretemps
Berlioz's Final Movement, Witches’ Sabbath, from Symphony Fantasique (No.5)
Listen to the above LOUDLY enough to piss-off your parents.




"In the beginning... there was Rhythm”

Paul Hindemith

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Fri, 02/23/2007 - 08:08
TuBlairy wrote: As for the original topic: teens and minor chords, required listening:
Stravinky's L'Sacre de Pretemps
Berlioz's Final Movement, Witches’ Sabbath, from Symphony Fantasique (No.5)
Listen to the above LOUDLY enough to piss-off your parents.

Let's not forget Shostakovich 5, 7 and 9, Mahler 2 and 6, Bruckner 4 and 5, and of course Firebird (Infernal Dance)!

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Fri, 02/23/2007 - 08:29
audiokid wrote: TuBlairy,
this thing called modulation where you start in one key and then go to another, major OR minor key... But don't worry, you come back again.

Was this where "The circle of 5ths" came from?

Not really. In fact, it was not all that popular to modulate in 5ths during the baroque era.

Member for

15 years 10 months

IIRs Fri, 02/23/2007 - 08:31
Cucco wrote:
Oh, but my definition of music theory DOES indeed cover the blues scale and furthermore the principles of acoustics! I mean no disrespect to any musician when I say this, but to be truly a well-rounded, good classical musician, one must study ALL aspects of music - jazz, avante garde, Cage, Cowell, Mozart, Bach, Miles Davis. You don't have to LIKE the music (I don't like much of Cowell's stuff, nor do I like much Hovannes (sp?)), but I appreciate it.

You say "all aspects of music" and then go on to name a rather limited selection in my opinion. Where is the folk music in that list, or the country or the blues? What about reggae? Minimalist techno? You don't have to LIKE the music... ;)

The important thing is that you continue to develop as a musician, not that you study any specific "music theory". Nobody could ever really study "all aspects of music", so personally I will settle for "as many aspects as I can cram into my all-too-human skull" and if that happens not to include any more of the "theory" that you refer to than I osmosed as a child, thats fine by me.

My maths lessons equiped me to understand microtonal tunings better than my music lessons did, as an example. Thats another thing that classical musicians have all but done away with, in the west at least!

I see you specified classical musician. Your list will probably do fine in that case... :roll:

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