Cool interview with Tony Anderson

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  dpwaveheavy 9 months ago.

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  • #15396 Reply

    Rob (Cruciform)

    I’d love to be able to read and write music. But it hasn’t stopped me. If you want something enough, all obstacles can be overcome. When it involves live players, I use an orchestrator.

    #15397 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    For most composers in this day and age, it’s more useful to be able to read a piano roll well than to be a great sight reader.

    #15398 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    For most composers in this day and age, it’s more useful to be able to read a piano roll well than to be a great sight reader.

    For the anti-DAW crowd, you are referring to a window in a DAW that displays notes and midi data in “piano roll fashion…correct?

    #15399 Reply

    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    yeah – the squares and rectangles placed on a vertical keyboard. Unless you do a lot of preparing and reading parts, getting fluent with the piano roll is probably more useful.

    #15401 Reply

    Rob (Cruciform)

    Agreed. I can read the piano scroll the way others read staff.

    #15402 Reply

    woodsdenis
    Participant

    yeah – the squares and rectangles placed on a vertical keyboard. Unless you do a lot of preparing and reading parts, getting fluent with the piano roll is probably more useful.

    As we already mentioned Hans Zimmer does not read music but reads a piano roll brilliantly. In this day and age probably a skill equally as valuable as music notation.

    #24157 Reply

    Philtunes
    Participant

    I feel it is essential to be able to understand music notation if you are composing orchestral based music. It makes life much easier if you know how orchestral music works and even to study a score from from great composers from the past. This certainly helps in learning how instruments and there timbre work. Eg how a brass section works with the woodwind or the instruments range… It will not sound good in certain types of music if chords move in parallel motion eg 5ths and octaves…. Great in rock music eg power chord progressions… Not so in a classical style piece. Sometimes a brief may call for such a style. So I believe if you are intending to compose for orchestra it would be useful even essential to be able to understand the rules of harmony.

    #24159 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    I don’t do orchestral, but would agree that being able to understand music notation is essential for any style. Not only notation, but theory like chord structures (spelling), chord scales, and guide tone writing.

    Now don’t get me started on guitar players and tablature! 🙂

    #24161 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I think it’s a good thing to compose from your ‘inner feeling’.
    Painters and sculptors want to connect to their inner child. To see things as a child (fresh mind) But in music the wheel is invented many times. Years of evolution made the music we hear today. Having knowledge of music theory/reading notes speeds up a lot of things! I’m curious, not to be an ass….but.. How far do you guys go with music theory? And one more interesting question:
    Would your game change if you could read notes?
    And: How would the trained theory masters write if they didn’t have the knowledge anymore?

    (Sorry for my english)

    #24168 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    >How far do you guys go with music theory?<

    Real world example: Today I’m working on a Tango piece. I have a violin melody I want to harmonize with my Gypsy Jazz acoustic guitar. So I write the violin melody out on staff paper (in concert pitch) and put the chord changes above. I use that to easily write out my guitar harmony part. It takes away a lot of trial and error. Another example is background vocal harmonies. I do the same thing, write out the lead vocal line along with the changes and use that to write harmonies to. I usually do a three part background vocal, the lead plus two harmonies. Lets see – I use theory to quickly create guide tone lines. I put the chord changes on staff paper and write a line that makes sense based on theory. There must be many more examples. Oh – simple theory knowledge helps when using loops. If you’re writing in G minor you know you can try a loop that is in Bb major. Things like that.

    >And: How would the trained theory masters write if they didn’t have the knowledge anymore?<

    I don’t know. I mean if they’re writing from their heart or “inner feeling” as you say, it probably wouldn’t make a difference. If they have a deadline looming and are stuck somehow creating music for a client, theory knowledge can save the day.

    #24171 Reply

    Peter

    Well, I’ve been learning composition and arranging from a classical view, and I can say that having come from a self taught, write what I feel and hear in my head scenario to having knowledge of what I am doing has been the difference between black and white. I find my harmonies aren’t second guessed and they sound wonderful when looked at in detail. When writing for strings and other sections I’m not scratching my head but have a clear idea now of how to approach those situations. Now it certainly takes me longer to write a piece but that will speed up in time. Also, studying other composers is like christmas. The techniques and inspiration is awesome. But, I do understand that this is not for everyone but for me it’s what I need to compose the music I love and hear in my head.

    #24172 Reply

    Philtunes
    Participant

    To answer all questions relating to notation always go with your ears. If it sounds good then go with it … For example in art..Picasso created his own language he must have studied the painting of those who went before but then so did Stravinsky … There where riots in the auditorium when the Rite of Spring was perforformed in the early 20 th Century. Much of the music is very rhythmic and exciting. But why? What was it that made the music so vibrant at least to the modern ear? So if one wants to progress at least as an orchestral influenced composer it would be useful to study such scores and learn. I feel this is the advantage of a composer interested in wanting to compose for orchestral soundtracks! If you don’t, well maybe you just will not command respect when you have to realise what you have written in front of a live ensemble .ok you can always commission an orchestration specialist to produce the music for you…. These people do earn mega bucks!!!

    #24173 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    +1 to everything Peter said.

    Painters and sculptors want to connect to their inner child. To see things as a child (fresh mind)

    It would be a mistake to assume that. For centuries, master painters and sculptors have been students of previous masters and teachers themselves.

    For example http://www.michelangelo-gallery.com/students.aspx

    The problem is that if you don’t study, you won’t know what you don’t know. You might assume the indigenous people just play what they “feel,” but non-western music is full of rules and intricate scales that require study to use with any authenticity.

    Imagine trying to read a novel by someone who didn’t know the meanings of words, spelling, or punctuation.

    #24174 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    @tunesmithy touches upon a valuable point. If you step away from your DAW or whatever and have to communicate your music to other musicians,
    notes, or some form of graphic (Cage and many others have experimented)
    are required.

    Even in the word of improvisational jazz, there are rules understood by the players and built the knowledge of those who came before.

    That, of course, is not to say that there haven’t been successes among composers referred to as “hummers,” who sing melodies and rely upon orchestrators to do the rest.

    #24175 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    It would be a mistake to assume that. For centuries, master painters and sculptors have been students of previous masters and teachers themselves.

    That’s totally true. But that has nothing to do with connecting to your blank mind. They school themselves, do the hard work. But when they make their art they want to throw it all overboard. Trying to look to things as a child.
    I’m schooled myself. And lately I’m finding out that everything is really subjective. Of course you need a basic professional level. But after that it’s all subjective. It helps to be less over critical about your own stuff 😉

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