Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

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stringtapper
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by stringtapper » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:05 pm

Buleriachk wrote:If I did a modulation from C major to B Major, it would be in the context of
(B Flamenco Phrygian Mode) |Em-> | D-> | B-> | C | or,
alternatively in the progression |C -> B -> | C -> B | (Thie is the "key" for the palo of Granadinas)

Here the B acts as a "question" and the C acts as an "answer" in a repetive progression (Like F and E for E Phrygian).
That doesn't sound like modulation to me. Sounds more like a progression or vamp that simply has the chords B major and C major in it.

Very different from establishing a key and then moving away from it by some means, into another key, which is then itself established as the new key area through tonicization. I'm talking about being in one key for several (10s to 100s of) measures and then moving to another key that then also lasts for some time before (perhaps) going back to the original key. Over long spans of musical material. Not single progressions or vamps.
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Buleriachk
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:09 pm

It depends whether you're writing music for royalty or churches, or whether you're jamming with gypsies - or Mississippi John Hurt, come to think of it ....

Not only that, but I couldn't find ANYTHING about that progression ("The Andalusian Cadence" in Walter Piston - that's why I quit bothering with it.

I like "Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler..

That (or similar) progression is common throughout Western music (Greek, Italian, Turkish, Middle Eastern...) In fact, think about the "turnaround" in 12-Bar blues when playing in E Major... |C->B| -> E (or Em - resolution) -> B7 preparing for next 12-bar progression
Last edited by Buleriachk on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

LKB3rd
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by LKB3rd » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:12 pm

Music theory isn't necessary for making any kind of music. Lots of great musicians play by ear and make beautiful music. It does come in handy however if you know it.
Music theory to music making is sort of like grammar is to speaking. Children and many adults speak without knowing any grammar rules. Some are able to write poetry, or tell stories. But. if you know grammar, you may be able to do things with words that those who don't know it can't. This is not a perfect example, but hopefully the point comes across.

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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:23 pm

It is said (by someone, somewhere, not me or anyone I know) that Flamenco began with a street gypsy in 1705 sitting on a street corner in Jerez; sliding a chord up and down one fret and thinking "Hey, this sounds pretty good. Maybe I can make something out of this...."

stringtapper
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by stringtapper » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:29 pm

Buleriachk wrote:It depends whether you're writing music for royalty or churches, or whether you're jamming with gypsies - or Mississippi John Hurt, come to think of it ....
Some people do both. They're called professional musicians who make a living at it any way they can instead of being tied to a single style or genre. :wink:

Buleriachk wrote:In fact, think about the "turnaround" in 12-Bar blues when playing in E Major... |C->B| -> E (or Em - resolution) -> B7 preparing for next 12-bar progression
What about it? It's not modulation if that's what you're thinking.

And I think of the blues turnaround more in terms of the chromatic bass lines that are so often used:

Bars 11–12 Ascending:

| E-G#-A-A# | B (-C#-D-D#) |

Bars 11-12 Descedning:

| E-D-Db-C | B (-A-G-F#) |
Last edited by stringtapper on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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stringtapper
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by stringtapper » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:30 pm

Buleriachk wrote:It is said (by someone, somewhere, not me or anyone I know) that Flamenco began with a street gypsy in 1705 sitting on a street corner in Jerez; sliding a chord up and down one fret and thinking "Hey, this sounds pretty good. Maybe I can make something out of this...."
Folk/Pop music is great. I love and play lots of different types.

But some of us need more…
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:48 pm

stringtapper wrote: Folk/Pop music is great. I love and play lots of different types.
But some of us need more…
Gosh, good for you, and I am delighted that the musical world can accommodate itself to your needs. (For me, Walter Piston is not one of my needs, but I did perform the Bach Prelude in D Minor on the guitar at one time, because I really liked it...)

I sang folk songs for years in coffee houses before they went away... Not only that, but I can sing "Gunga Din" while accompanying myself on the guitar. In between my recitations of "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", finishing off with "La Guitarra" by Garcia Lorca.

And hung out extensively in a Local Greek Restaurant, where I got exposed to all sorts of Greek and ME music, and even learned a lot of Greek dances because I thought it would impress one of the dancers I was in love with (it didn't...)

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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by stringtapper » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:08 pm

Buleriachk wrote:
stringtapper wrote: Folk/Pop music is great. I love and play lots of different types.
But some of us need more…
Gosh, good for you, and I am delighted that the musical world can accommodate itself to your needs.
You know what you're right! It is good for me gosh darn it! :mrgreen:

:|

Buleriachk wrote:(For me, Walter Piston is not one of my needs, but I did perform the Bach Prelude in D Minor on the guitar at one time, because I really liked it...)
I'll let you in on a little secret: the Piston probably hasn't been used as part of any reputable university music theory curriculum for at least 30 years. Its derision among music theorists is notorious.
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Buleriachk
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:24 pm

Well, my degree was in Math and Philosophy (UCSB, 1968), and I was in physics grad school when I left for Spain to study Flamenco. But I learned about Walter Piston when I was hired as a music instructor in Montreal, and had to cram what I thought was a classical treatise (1974 or so), recommended by a professor at a university there.

It certainly didn't square with my music experience (I had no university music training), but I did make an effort to contact the Music Dept. at UCSB about Flamenco long ago, before any YouTube or Internet resources were available, and got a profound yawn.... I have no idea what they or anyone else are doing these days; in fact, I am scared to ask....

I did go to a couple of "concerts for freight train and sparrow", of which I am reminded often by my current experience with EDM (except EDM is all duple meter) .....

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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:49 pm

FYI:

In the progression (C->B) -> E or Em is expressed as: (C7 -> B7) -> E,Em (as it often is), the Bb in the C7 chord is the "Blues note" for that progression, and, of course, is applied to the scale in other melodic contexts,.... It emphasizes the "turnaround" as a passing chord ("modulation" or not)

With Blues, as in Flamenco, the scale/mode often changes on each chord in the progression, unless the context is "cooking" on a phrase, like a bass player....

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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Dr Dub » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:57 pm

Back to Topic:

i think a little bit musical theory is not per se needed but helps a lot:

-if you are stuck with a track
-if you want to produce a different style of Music
-to make your Tracks less boring/more interesting
-to be faster producing
-to finish tracks instead of Loops
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Dr Dub » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:59 pm

doghouse wrote:Most people misunderstand what music theory actually is.

Academics talk about "standard musical practice"...what did Bach do, what did Mozart do, etc. and have broken that down into formulas for "correct" melody, harmony and rhythm. Still, there are plenty of examples of composers like Bach and Mozart "breaking the rules" here and there. So there really are no rules beyond "does it sound good" yet on the other hand if it does sound good, why it sounds good can easily be explained through theory.

OK, let's look at why you might want to learn basic musical theory (major and minor scales, diatonic harmony, compound rhythms).

--Ever come up with a melody but can't seem to figure out chords or a bass line that work with it?

--Ever come up with a chord progression but can't seem to figure out a melody that works with it?

--Ever come up with a verse but can't seem to compose a chorus that works with it?

--Ever hear some inspiring music but can't figure out why it sounds like it does?

--Ever mash together two samples and wonder why it sounds like total shit?

These are the kind of problems that a basic understanding of theory gives you the tools to solve.
and this is a great Post which explains the potential benefits of Theory much better than mine!
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:11 pm

The argument is precisely that: EDM ("music") right now is limited by the musical tools used - duple meter and various qualities of accompanying instruments (more often squeaks, or farts) limited to "InKey". Granted, that is probably all a dance club needs besides a glitter ball, laser lights, and possible drug dealing on the side (well, ok, in a bedroom communicating with one's friends online).

That said, "InKey" can be considered a start of sorts to creating melody.....

For an experienced musician (as opposed to sound/noise technician), playing to a sophisticated audience (like a jazz scene, or good rock n' roll, or even in one of the better gospel choirs) it is an extremely limited context.

Nevertheless, it is hard not to argue that the former context is where most of this new form of "music" is listened to, and where most of the available money is. There will always be serious music, but it is becoming harder and harder to find in live performance, but it will never be lost thanks to YouTube and Wikipedia and the internet.

So if that is all one does, I applaud their being delighted within your limitations....

What the hell, at least its not mass murder (well, ok, so some listeners are a little too sensitive..... :)
Dr Dub wrote:Back to Topic:

i think a little bit musical theory is not per se needed but helps a lot:

-if you are stuck with a track
-if you want to produce a different style of Music
-to make your Tracks less boring/more interesting
-to be faster producing
-to finish tracks instead of Loops

stringtapper
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by stringtapper » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:51 pm

Buleriachk wrote:FYI:

In the progression (C->B) -> E or Em is expressed as: (C7 -> B7) -> E,Em (as it often is), the Bb in the C7 chord is the "Blues note" for that progression, and, of course, is applied to the scale in other melodic contexts,.... It emphasizes the "turnaround" as a passing chord ("modulation" or not)

With Blues, as in Flamenco, the scale/mode often changes on each chord in the progression, unless the context is "cooking" on a phrase, like a bass player....
Are we talking standard blues, jazz blues, Bird blues…? There are many variations.

The C7->B7 resolution is called a tritone substitution.
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Re: Does musical theory is needed in electronic music ?

Post by Buleriachk » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:01 pm

Cool, I'll tell all the Blues players I know about that; I'm sure they'll be excited..
(at least the guys who play blues notes....)

That said, it seems to me to be a desperate attempt by "classical" music theorists to shoehorn a diatonic theory (V7 -> I) where the "question-answer" tension is augmented by the half-step of the 7th to the third of the I chord to a progression that doesn't fit neatly into that isomorphism between major and minor key (e.g. Andalusian Cadence "Final/Tonic" quotes intended).

It is better to treat the half-step progression (C -> B) as a "question-answer" (tension-resolution (Flamenco) or just augmentation (Blues Turnaround) as a progression in its own right.

But if "classical" theorists want to get all warm and fuzzy about German Sixths (especially if it will get them gigs), I have no objection.

It is just more clear to beginning musicians if the musical contexts and the practical application are relevant to the genre they are working in. ("Blues Turnaround" is a LOT clearer than "German Sixth" to someone learning Blues guitar)...

(Even German Flamenco players don't think of the music that way, at least the one I know of .... :)
stringtapper wrote:
Are we talking standard blues, jazz blues, Bird blues…? There are many variations.

The C7->B7 resolution is called a tritone substitution.
Last edited by Buleriachk on Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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