Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
bluehen
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Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by bluehen » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:21 am

So I've been learning music theory, relative and perfect pitch, etc. in order to give me a solid musical basis for my production. But today I just discovered the scale and chord functions, and all of a sudden I can create all these wicked chords--the very reason for my interest in music theory. I know I'm playing devil's advocate here, but if Ableton can virtually lay out my melodies, harmonies, and basslines for me all in whatever key I want, why should I continue to learn music theory?

cacti
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by cacti » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:25 am

Are you being serious?

Those things are great tools sometimes but they are in no way a substitute for music theory. No matter what plugins you have, you cant replace the creativity of the human brain. And do you really want the computer creating the music for you, then whats the point making music at all?


and you cant learn perfect pitch.

3dot...
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by 3dot... » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:53 am

you need to understand theory ..
otherwise the MIDI devices don't make much sense ..

learning theory is great knowledge that will help you along the way ..
it's in no way a must ...in this day and age..
one can make certain types of music without ..

I recommended you learn it..
it will help you in your craft
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jestermgee
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by jestermgee » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:24 am

:lol:

Must.... Refrain.... From... Posting... obligitoary....Comment.... :wink:

Why do I need to learn maths when I have no plans of being a mathematician?
Why should I learn to swim when I don't go to the beach?
Why should I learn to cook when I have a wife that does that for me?

Picture if you will...

You are a small time hobbyist. You create a couple of killer tracks that are picked up by a company and they love what you can do, love your style and want you to do their music work, but want you to work with their in-house production team on Pro Tools because that suites their workflow. They are offering you 5 digit figures for a months work and assure you they have the VST software and plugins you need, all you have to do is come up with the chord arrangements for them.

Completey blinded by the money you will be making you rock up, get set in front of a great system and then remember "shit, Pro Tools doesn't have that same chord function that Ableton had. Mumma Mia I wish I had of learned music theory to get me out of this jam... Oh Ableton why did you have to make things so easy... Whyyyyyy....

Well, no, probably won't happen but don't you think it would just feel great to know how to produce that sound without the plugin doing the work?

Choice is yourse I guess tho. If it works for you then who will ever know what you did.... Unless the above situation ever crops up.

Bagatell
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by Bagatell » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:28 am

bluehen wrote:I'm playing devil's advocate here, but if Ableton can virtually lay out my melodies, harmonies, and basslines for me all in whatever key I want, why should I continue to learn music theory?

Ableton won't do that for you. It will provide you with the tools to do that though. Perhaps the musical aspect of "production" isn't your cup of tea? Maybe you'd be happier in the marketing or accountancy departments?

UnCL0NED
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by UnCL0NED » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:14 am

:roll:
... Stop learning it then!
I don't remember anybody here on this forum telling you to start learning music theory in the first place.
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chapelier fou
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by chapelier fou » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:16 am

yeah another theory thread !
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iMac 27" Retina i5 3,2 GHz OS 10.11.3 L10.0.1 M4L.

massenmedium
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by massenmedium » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:41 am

Related : why do you need to make music when you can just download an mp3 or turn the radio on?

habeeb24
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by habeeb24 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:53 am

With out Scale and chord we cannot compose a music. If you need to compose a music it is required.

massenmedium
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by massenmedium » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:59 am

that's wrong in several ways.

he's talking about the midi devices 'scale' and 'chord'.

and anyway that's just wrong. john cage, for one, will kick you in the goolies. not to make an appeal to authority or anything, it's pretty obvious.

perplex
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by perplex » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:17 am

its because you will forever be a slave to the structure of those effects.

When you have a "melody" in your head, and you want to make a song out of it. music theory is good to put it down really quick, then create additional variations that can carry your track all the way to the end.

Hermanus
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by Hermanus » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:46 pm

Those devices such as scale, arpeggiator or chord are great but limited if you don't got theory.

Funny thing, sometimes when I use some of these devices it pushes me to (re)open a book or another to confirm an idea or simply fill my brain.

Piplodocus
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by Piplodocus » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:19 pm

Why do you need a car when you have legs? 8O

bluehen
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by bluehen » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:15 pm

These are all valid points and I thank you for them--even the stinging ones, ha. But I know that many of today's producers don't know much about music theory. I asked Markus Schulz in person and he said he took one music theory tutor class and quit--but still makes beautiful, epic trance leads and melodies....

AceLuby
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Re: Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?

Post by AceLuby » Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:26 pm

bluehen wrote:These are all valid points and I thank you for them--even the stinging ones, ha. But I know that many of today's producers don't know much about music theory. I asked Markus Schulz in person and he said he took one music theory tutor class and quit--but still makes beautiful, epic trance leads and melodies....
Many people do that, but there's something to be said for knowing why those tunes are beautiful and epic.
levimoniz wrote:yes i'm a hypocrite and not intelligent

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