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Do you read music?


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I can read music..... but it's never really helped me. It's just helping me take a music theory class in college in this quarter. :D Oh well, so actually it helps me, I guess. But, I wonder if it'll help me in the real world. I could write a score, but now, I can take my computer anywhere. To write a score, all I have to do is paly a VST instrument live and record it in logic. Even though I read music fine, I really don't think this will help me a lot. Do you read music? :cool:
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Yes I read music. When I was a working musician (Depended on my ability to work as a musician for my food, rent, etc.)...being able to read was essential. Yeah I could have just played Country or Rock by ear and got a lot of gigs but that's a good way to starve and end up living in your car. For gigs that paid $$$...I was expected to be a fast accurate reader about 8 out of 10 times. Has that changed with the times? Maybe...I don't really know but I doubt it.
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I am able to read...but I don't generally sight read. I could work at improving my chops in that direction, but, for my goals, I don't think it would help me personally that much. Oh yeah, it wouldn't hurt, but, I think the cost/benefit ratio is rather low...speaking strictly for myself...of course.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Yeap... I read music and play Trombone. I really have to be able to read music or I'd never be able to do what I do... I work with a lot of classical clients and if you can't read music: A) They have ZERO respect for you B) You can't figure out which E flat in which measure they're talking about when they want to edit. You really have to be able to read a full score for what I'm doing most of the time. Valky

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Never could read music..still play completely by ear...I record a track at a time (2 Kurzweils) and just layer .... We have had problems with "classically" trained musicans,,,, whom simply could not play without sheet music...the word "jamming" never entered their world... cjogo http://fp2k.redshift.com/cjogo/crystalrecording.htm
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Yeah, I can read, to the best of my ability. I tought myself starting about a year ago. I got all I needed out of that book (How to Read Music), and basically went from there. Doubt I'll ever need the ability to sight read, as I just play around with the idea of even being in a band (I play the bass), much less getting gigs. Anywho, I can write full scale comps and all that, I just don't figure I'll ever really need to sight read.
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I used to be able to sight read simple bass and piano parts. I still know the notation, and if you twisted my arm I could sit down and figure out a notated piece, though there would be much cursing and counting and claping out loud(1 e an a, no, that not it, etc.)
I really don't know what to put here.
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I started piano and voice lessons last year (after a forty year recess), so I'm relearning to read music. I started on piano then went to Bb trumpet, then to Baritone horn, both of which I could sight read. I also know guitar tab, but not quick enough to sight read. In a way, all these variations tended to confuse me. I had a lot of trouble with bass clef when I started my recent lessons. I'm sure that some of the world's premier popular musicians never knew how to read music - just as early literature was all oral repitition - but it is a way of communicating musician to musician or composer to musician that doesn't require an audio track. It does help me keep my eyes off the keyboard and fretboard, which gives me a better view of my bandmates, jammers, or an audience. Or all three.

He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.

 

...Bob Dylan

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Yes, I read; I play jazz sax (small combos and big band) so I play by ear AND read at the appropriate times. Also like Valky I have a very steady classical client and absolutely must be able to read a score to do edits and communicate intelligently. Reading and writing music makes communicating with other able musicians go very quickly when learning new tunes and showing them arrangements. Great tool- just like a computer.. Bruce Boege Limin Music
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Long ago, back in the day... I played Sousaphone & some trombone in a band & was in choir for a while too. Music was a required course in my little red school house in the dell....or is that dale...& reading was part & parcel of that. I really should get back at it. It really is a good tool, and would be for me again, were I to re learn.

 

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I have been a very basic and rudimentary reader for years; never could sight-read. This year I finally decided that I should and took a class in sight-singing and basic musicianship, and I'm now taking a class called "Sight Reading Workout" where each week they throw 6 or seven tunes in front of us and we read them (or try to) at nasty tempos. I am embarrassing myself weekly but I don't care, and I am far better at reading than I was seven weeks ago. Besides the skill itself, it helps me immensely in thinking about music, recognizing patterns and symmetries and all kinds of great stuff...
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Hmm...I guess if I sit down with a notated sheet and look it over, I can figure out what`s going on...unfortunately I haven`t worked at it enough to be really fluent. During the years when I had a regular teacher we worked on a number of notated pieces. I`ve worked quite a bit by being able to take a lead sheet and a tape of the song. There`s no arguing that it`s worth being able to do-that`s just a fact. It`s a matter of whether you can make the time to get really good at it, cause it can sure get tedious. one of my favorite methods is to listen to a piece of music and read the score at the same time. Invariably I go `oh, well of course that`s what it`s doing`. now if I could only do that without listening to it...
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Yes, I read music and even if I go a year or 2 without having to read a chart, I know the next reading gig is only a phone call away. I can't think of a reason for not to being able to read standard notation. Maybe someone will enlighten me on the virtues of not being able to read music. I guess I should be grateful more cats don't read, their inability to read keeps me working.
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Yes I sight read, and yes I think that it is an important skill to have. Notation like many other things is just another skill I can fall back on in a tight situation. I can also play with a pick (I play bass) and while I dont prefer to use them I forced myself to learn anyway. Why? Because IMO the more stuff you can pack away in your bag of tricks makes you a better musician. Versatility is the key in many situations. By no means am I saying that anyone is less of a musician because they do not know standard notation. Just my two cents. Iaian

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I don't read music anymore, but I'm only an engineer anyway. My partner - the Song writer, also doesn't read music.But she has a perfect hearing!! I think if you are a musician - it might help in getting gigs playing other people music (espcialy covers) but if you're into writting music and play what you feel it's not nacassary. might even be in the way. If you don't know the rules - it much easier to be origenal!! :D

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Doesn't it really depend on the context in which you play or produce music? It's just a communication tool. - If you play by yourself or in a band working out parts by jamming ... it may not be useful at all. - If you plan to score anything or play from a score (in a large ensemble or orchestra) then you absolutely need it. Everything else appears to be in between those extremes. I read and find it useful, personally. I had to choose, I'd take a trained ear over a trained eye. Of course it's nice to have both. Regards, Jerry
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Originally posted by Hank the Cave Peanut: [quote] Originally posted by tnb: I can't think of a reason for not to being able to read standard notation. Maybe someone will enlighten me on the virtues of not being able to read music. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I can think of three reasons: * Paul McCartney * Brian Wilson * Stevie Wonder These guys do it by ear... The results are good enough for me [/quote]OK, let's see, 3 geniuses...and then there are the rest of us. I don't think of reading music as a cure all. There are plenty of folks who read and suck. The reverse is also true. Maybe it is because I play in such diverse musical situations (a great thing). Reading does not replace being able to hear, it absolutely does not replace feel, it will not make you more creative, it will not fight germs that cause bad breath. It will provide you with another means of communication (as pointed out by Tusker). This business is tough, I am not going to show up at work without all of my tools.
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Yup, I read. Valky, my main beef with PT is that they STILL (in the just announced Pro Tools 6) do not have a notation view for MIDI tracks - just that stupid piano roll metaphor. Drives me nuts. One great thing about notation is that time and pitch are all located at one easily seen "point" - with the piano rolls, you have to look at the "bar" to see the "note" length, and at the "piano keyboard" on the left side of the screen for the pitch. Drives me nuts. But I agree with you regarding classical musicians - if you can't read, a lot of them don't really consider you to be a musician...
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Yep. About a year or so ago I decided to concentrate on some music theory - thanks to some folks on this board - I got pointed in the right direction. The sight reading skill are not what I'd like them to be but I'm getting there.

RobT

 

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At the time I began working with a band my music studies practically ceased. I regret that for a couple of reasons. First, while I managed to work as a musician for 20+ years, I never actually advanced my skills beyond the performances our bands were emulating. Second, had I continued, no matter how haltingly, I would be levels beyond where I am now. I admit that for most of the writing I do now I do not need to read music. But without a doubt, having that skill would expand my versatility and give me wider options when it comes to using tones in more complex and variable ways. But I have been taking keyboard lessons now for a year and a half and I am learning all of the time. Just doing some small thing that might be considered "academic" with music is bound to make you a better musician. I don't care how good your ear is or how nimble your fingers, reading, theory, harmony, counter point, all aspects of music that you [b](and I mean me most of all!)[/b] don't understand or haven't been exposed to, are aspects of being a musician that you are missing. Studying them, just a little bit, will have rewards you could never imagine.

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I started playing piano, clarinet and sax in elem. and middle school. So I learned to read music for them. Then I bought a guitar and taught myself by looking at the chord pictures and by ear. So reading for guitar is sooo painfully slow for me. The most useful thing for me has been taking music theory. Mainly to communicate my ideas to other musicians. When you can just say to the rest of the band, "Go to the five for two bars and down chromatically to the 3." it saves a lot of time.
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Yeah, I can read music. Not as well as I would like to. I have always been able to learn things by ear, so even with a chart in front of me I am picking it up by ear as well. The main reason that I wish that I read better is because it would help me study and learn things. It is very hard to learn a Charlie Parker solo by ear alone, at least for me. Ear, good. Ear and read, better.

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I started out playing by ear, and that's always been much easier for me. I can read music, but I can't sightread very well. As a pianist/keyboardist, it's even more complicated because you're not reading just one note at a time. So I can learn a piece from music - but it'll take some time. Fortunately, I understand basic theory and I can read music, so that really helps in some situations.
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My sight reading skills are extremely poor and somewhat limited. I was denied lessons during my youth, thanks to the church pastor's wife telling my mother that I had God gifted talent that she refused to take away from me when my mother inquired about her giving me piano lessons. My mother accepted the teachers' knowledge in music and her opinion as GOLD and never pursued any further instruction for me; regardless of my desires. I learned as much as I could while enrolled in my high school A Capella for 2 years, and then pursued private theory lessons in a continuing education program offered at a local University about 5 five years after graduating H.S. While enrolled at the University; I grew extremely frustrated with the Professor that was teaching the course one on one with me. His fascination of my lyric writing abilities conflicted with his focus in teaching me composition skills. He asked that I assist him in writing a musical for the college theatrical department; of course, the pieces were written using his skill in musical arrangements combined with my application of lyrics. We finished two complete songs that we copyrighted together; soon the collaboration began to bleed over into MY PAID FOR private lessons. Being somewhat meek in vocalizing my dissatisfaction in his dedication as a hired teacher, I eventually vacated the interest after one term. I aced the grades, but I did not feel that I had learned much. I hired a professional classically trained studio musician to play the music composition that I had written myself for a grade, just to hear what it REALLY sounded like. Once the studio musician started playing the scores that I had written accompanied by the chord progressions that I had applied; I was in complete awe. I actually asked him in amazement, "I wrote THAT?" His reply was, "That is what is on the paper!" When I played this piece with my under educated ability, it sounded like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" compared to his trained improvisational skills that made the same sheet music sound like "The Star Spangled Banner." After our session, I explained to him WHY I had hired him; I felt uncomfortable about what I was learning in college and wanted to know if the Professor was just handing me a grade without merit. He chuckled and said, "Well, there's only one thing I see wrong and that's the fact that your stems are upside down. :D " When he found out that I had only had six One Hour lessons, again this guy told me that I had God gifted talent (mimicking what the pastor's wife had said during my early youth.) It is EXTREMELY frustrating for me to try to learn the RIGHT WAY, for again I enrolled in another classical piano course at a Junior College(a full class of people this time) and I began to cringe when we had to start dissecting the compositions to hear certain tones. I found that I was listening to the augmented / diminished / whole tones / half notes / and all the rest rather than listening to music for enjoyment and relaxation. I felt my creativity being CONDITIONED to sound like everyone else. Bach, Brahams, Beethoven, Chopin, and all the other great composers throughout time were CREATORS and not IMITATORS. Most importantly, some of the things that I DID learn while taking music courses, is there are certain things that make life easier when striving to keep the movement smooth and easy to play. Finger positioning is critical, and using an up/down flow allows you to know exactly where to pick up and leave off for the next chord. The music does not sound choppy with some knowledge of theory. The ever so popular group "Chicago" never knew the meaning of "Cadence" during their early days and their songs just went ON, and ON, and ON until the recording engineer faded the repetition out; these monotonous endings cease to exist with trained musicianship. I would love to work with a classically trained composer who appreciates and respects trained writers. With my EAR knowledge in music, I can play a mean synthesizer, but I have the UTMOST respect and appreciation for highly educated composers. I would love to be able to sight read and play instruments as symphonic levels... but I'm more the lyricist than the composer. Anyone interested in collaborating?

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[quote]If you don't know the rules - it much easier to be origenal!![/quote]We've talked it to death on these forums so I'll just say I think that is a totally ridiculous notion. FWIW...I've started writing to paper again in the last month...eliminating the ears altogether and just writing what plays in my mind. Being able to recognize what's going on musically with your ears is very important...especially in an improvisational situation but the really creative/"original" stuff is just bouncing around in your head waiting for you to convert it to sound. Knowing music theory and notation is still the best road to capturing those ideas IMO.
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