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Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722747
03/19/18 07:30 PM
03/19/18 07:30 PM
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Planet Earth, System of Sol, M...
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
... how does that disprove my assertion that notation has significant shortcomings?

It doesn't. You're right, John.

Sheet music has its benefits, and I'd be the last person destroy sheet music. It can, as some people have pointed out here, be very useful.

However...

I am asserting that it is misused. Fast-track foisting sheet music upon beginner students may seem to help them initially, but it insidiously works agains them in the long run.

Originally Posted by JohnSprung
They move and sing because of the knowledge and experience they bring to the information on the paper.

Precisely correct.

Originally Posted by JohnSprung
There's more to music than can be contained in notation.

Right again.

Originally Posted by JohnSprung
The misunderstanding here is that notation is capable of nuance.

I don't misunderstand this.

I know a man with hundreds of songs in his repertoire, he plays by ear, and performs songs and plays. He remarked, that, “A lot of readers I know don't have any ‘feel’. That’s one of the reasons I'm so in demand... I'm one of those people who can read through sheet music.”

I've encountered many of these players. People who can immediately hammer away when presented with a score, who sound bad.

It might sound like I’m anti-reading. I’m really pro-reading. Being fully literate is amazing. But nearly all readers nowadays are not truly literate, because they can’t get emotionally affected when looking at an unfamiliar score without decoding and getting their instrument to produce sounds. A lot of them learn to do it really quickly - but - if you can’t take in and comprehend what’s on the page silently, you’re not actually reading.

Here's a relevant analogy: Growing up in Canada, my classmates and I were subjected to one hour per day of French classes throughout elementary and high school. We never conversed in these classes, other than Madame’s “Bonjour class, comment ça va?!”,

(… to which we’d reply, in unison, “Ça va bien, merci, et vous?”)

Then Madame would say “Très bien, merci,” and begin the lesson.

… Which consisted of memorizing a bunch of somewhat-related words, and conjugating verbs like être and avoir:

Je suis, tu es, il est, elle est, nous sommes, vous êtes, ils sont, elles sont.

(Which means, “I am, you are, he is, she is, we are,” and so on.)

I can’t remember a time in my life when, in English, to prove a point, I was required to assert, in such a verbose way, that “everyone is”.

It’d be neurotic.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that my classmates and I never became fluent, let alone conversant. I did, however, stand out, My mom wanted top marks from me in French, and so I’d shamelessly go for top marks in the “sight reading” portion of our French class, doing the best French accent I possibly could muster, when lined up in front of the chalkboard, reading passages from French books.

Madame would exclaim, in English, “Thomas, your accent is beautiful! It’s like a breath of fresh air when I hear it!”

Yet - I had zero idea what I was saying. I could have been dictating instructions to you on when, where, and how shove me off a cliff (as I'm sure Vid & Mark_C want to do wink )... yet I wouldn’t know it.

You could say that I couldn’t read “through” it.

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Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722751
03/19/18 07:42 PM
03/19/18 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Farago

Originally Posted by Carey
The GREAT classical composers who lived prior to 1900 and who performed GREAT feats of improvisation are PRIMARILY remembered and appreciated today for what they actually committed to paper - usually by themselves, whether they were adept at reading a score or not.

Precisely - but - their improvisations were said to be far greater than what was committed to paper.


Where on Earth (or Mars) did you get this idea??

To get some idea of how great composers improvised, you only have to look at their cadenzas for various concertos. Bach wrote a long one for his Brandenburg Concerto No.5. Mozart wrote several cadenzas for his piano concertos (not least K488, and almost everybody plays his cadenzas), Beethoven wrote several for his. Are they great music??

No, they consist of a lot of note-spinning on various themes from the body of the music itself - which indeed is great music. Music which had been thoroughly worked over, and developed. Compared to which, the cadenzas are mere flashy note-spinning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY8ekoCj2MI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH8dI962Iqg


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: bennevis] #2722753
03/19/18 07:52 PM
03/19/18 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Farago
their improvisations were said to be far greater than what was committed to paper.
Where on Earth (or Mars) did you get this idea??

BACH and TUNING By Johnny Reinhard © 2009

Originally Posted by Johnny Reinhard
In Werckmeister’s estimation, Gioseffe Zarlino’s Renaissance rules simply didn’t work
for serious improvisers because they were too “complicated and obscure that one cannot easily in
a moment recall them. Our rules, however, derive from the chords, where below and above a
third is always placed, and thus cannot fail” (Dodds, p. 15).21 Werckmeister promoted the need
to “not think” while improvising, so Zarlino’s time worn methods were expendable. The
Werckmeister circle of fifths completely shattered the Zarlino paradigm of chromatics as mere
ornaments to “adorn the diatonic.”

George Buelow describes Bach’s uncle Johann Christoph Bach’s organ preludes as
quintessentially “written-down improvisations” (Buelow, “Johann Sebastian Bach,” New Grove,
p. 306). The removal of improvisation constraints effectively liberated the keyboard into full
modulation participation. Werckmeister wrote of the superiority of improvisation to much of
written music. “Legitimate musicians get more from creating something on the clavier ex
tempore than by depending too much on the tablature.”22

Forkel reported a half century after J.S. Bach died on the superiority of Bach’s
improvisations, particularly as compared with Bach’s written pieces. Speaking of Bach’s
“extemporare fantasies” at the keyboard, Forkel estimated that they were frequently more “free,
brilliant, and expressive” than written compositions (Forkel, Bach Reader, p. 436).
In trying to imagine how someone improvised in the past it is valuable to study certain
pieces of music that that may have been described as a “frozen” improvisation, seemingly made
“plastic” through notation. In improvisation, Bach could let himself go, fueled by the energy
inherent to circular well temperament tuning.

It was only through improvisation that Bach could tickle the ears of his listeners with a
larger palette of musical interval contrasts. For “even to the best musician, at a first hearing, a
Bach fugue seems chaos; while even to the ordinary musician this chaos becomes clear after
repeated hearings, when the great lucid lines come out” (Schweitzer I:213).
Karl Geiringer vividly portrayed C.P.E. Bach’s report of his father’s intensity when he
would improvise upon his Silbermann clavichord:23

Various contemporaries have given us enthusiastic reports on these improvisations, and they all
leave in our mind the picture of a person possessed. ‘In his free phantasies he was quite unique
and inexhaustible. For hours he would lose himself in his ideas and in an ocean of modulations.
His soul seemed to be far removed, the eyes swam as though in some ravishing dream, the lower
lip drooped over his chin, his face and form bowed almost inanimately over the instrument’
(Geiringer, The Bach Family, p. 348).24


Also, it seems like you missed my post here! I go over how Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, etc. all revered improvisation.

You know, Chopin would constantly eagerly ask people if they improvised.

Originally Posted by Farago
Though [Chopin] performed publicly, he let only a small circle of select friends hear him improvise, including his close friend, and partner, the writer George Sand, who felt that Chopin’s compositions were “but pale shadows of his improvisations” - a remark echoed by the rest of Chopin's social circle, who he would play for at receptions until dawn, enthralling them for hours on end with heaven-inspired improvisations. These people concurred with Sand - asserting the superiority of sheer beauty and imagination of the improvisations as compared to the compositions that Chopin painstakingly committed to paper. Chopin lamented, “The pen burns my fingers,” and it was excruciatingly difficult for him to put down on paper the melodies that filled his mind. George Sand recounted that during their walks near her country home in Nohant, for example, Chopin would hum a new melody, then later struggle at home to write it in coherent form.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722754
03/19/18 07:53 PM
03/19/18 07:53 PM
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Mark_C Online content
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Originally Posted by Farago
Surely the content of my writing weighs more heavily than a 150 x 150 pixel image?

It hasn't yet, including because that's a pretty steep hill to climb, but mainly because you just haven't offered anything that seems close to justifying this doubting of the value of being able to read music.

Quote
Maybe it's a sign that your tolerance for healthy debate is low?

Nice try, but.....you don't know me real well.
Can't fault you too much for it. We haven't come across each other before, and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I look forward to more.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722755
03/19/18 08:02 PM
03/19/18 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Farago
Originally Posted by Carey
Are we still having fun?

Yes indeed, birthday boy! (Happy birthday once again!)
thumb
Originally Posted by Carey
The GREAT classical composers who lived prior to 1900 and who performed GREAT feats of improvisation are PRIMARILY remembered and appreciated today for what they actually committed to paper - usually by themselves, whether they were adept at reading a score or not.
Originally Posted by Farago
Precisely - but - their improvisations were said to be far greater than what was committed to paper.
Perhaps in some instances, but this certainly doesn't apply to their orchestral works, chamber music, choral works etc.
Originally Posted by Carey
Well rounded classical musicians should be able to read music in addition to all the other creative stuff they do. The more versatile you are, the better.
Originally Posted by Farago
But a lot of classical musicians aren't creative! They're repeating what's already been written. There are things that could have been done to stoke their genius. Slowly forcing them into interpretership isn't one of them.
Can't they be creative interpreters? And what's wrong with repeating what's already been written? Many folks (myself included) get great satisfaction from playing those works themselves and don't feel the need to try to create new works on their own. Everyone should be able to participate in making music however they wish..
Originally Posted by Farago
As a certain Piano World user wrote ten years ago:
Originally Posted by Zom
People today have succumbed to the modern thought disease of ignoring all techniques which involve intuition and immediate feedback as a way of making choices. This includes economics, health, music and even science. Very few composers improvise anymore, and those who do consciously restrain their creativity to be within a very small subset of musical possibilities. If more people would realize that unadulterated freedom at the instrument is why all the composers of the past were great (most of them anyway), we would DEFINITELY have great composers today following in their footsteps.

So - for how many more decades will the quintessential 'Western classical tradition' teacher be allowed to continue their business practice? Sheet music decoding is the perfect pretext for the continuation of lessons that don't foster creativity. Nearly all students end up quitting.
Why is that? The dogmatic thinking predominant today has already been around since the 1930s. Will it ever be quashed it once and for all?
I doubt most students quit because they feel their creativity isn't being stifled. Some just aren't interested, don't have an aptitude for it, or simply don't want to put the work in to get better. Somehow we still manage to produce hundreds and hundreds of music school and conservatory grads each year who hope to make music (piano specifically) their profession. Competition is fierce, and the career opportunities just aren't there.
Originally Posted by Carey
As far as pianists go - the ability to read a score is essential for anyone seeking a career as an accompanist or chamber musician.
Originally Posted by farrago
I don't disagree, but also... this video comes to mind (relevance begins at 0:35).
ha Well at least they aren't starving. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta play the musical creations of others. If they didn't enjoy it - they probably would be doing something else.


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Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Mark_C] #2722756
03/19/18 08:03 PM
03/19/18 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
you just haven't offered anything that seems close to justifying this doubting of the value of being able to read music.

Are you reading everything? Seems like you're skipping over the most salient points.

As I said:

Originally Posted by Farago
Foisting sheet music upon beginners is foisting a detrimental crutch upon them (akin to paint by numbers being foisted upon hopeful young painting students). Fast-tracking students into codependence on scores stymies the ability to truly play by ear, which is a requisite skill to segue into musical creativity.

And:

Originally Posted by Farago
It might sound like I’m anti-reading. I’m really pro-reading. Being fully literate is amazing. But nearly all readers nowadays are not truly literate, because they can’t get emotionally affected when looking at an unfamiliar score without decoding and getting their instrument to produce sounds. A lot of them learn to do it really quickly - but - if you can’t take in and comprehend what’s on the page silently, you’re not actually reading.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722757
03/19/18 08:10 PM
03/19/18 08:10 PM
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Farago - you're silently editing your posts and then asking people if they read them.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: BruceD] #2722759
03/19/18 08:15 PM
03/19/18 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
The question that this approach to learning "Clair de lune," and to "learning" a piece of classical music in general by this method, is: How accurate is the learning? I would find it hard to imagine that the person who learned "Clair de lune" in this manner had it down note-perfect unless s/he were a musical prodigy of some sort. Perhaps it sounded almost right, but is it known whether a given chord or arpeggio was in the right inversion, or was it just an approximation of what was heard or what the person thought s/he heard? To many, an approximation would be just that, but it wouldn't be "Clair de lune."


You made a very good point. Forget about "it is necessary" to learn to read music for a moment. We are talking about a man who has personal issues including drug & other substance abuse that I wouldn't get into. I feel that his resistance to reading music more psychological than anything else. He had taken piano lessons years ago and now retired in his 70s. He has no interest learning to play many pieces of music or take lessons with a teacher because of the need to read. Every time I would bring up the subject there was terror on his face (like a phobia). At the same time, he feels that he lacks the ability to acquire foreign languages and notations to him is like a foreign language. If we already know what a C sounds like by ear, how difficult is it to learn to recognize the position of a C on a Staff? Reading music isn't rocket science and can be mastered in a short time like learning the alphabet.

The only reason he got into "Clair de Lune" a year ago was in memory of his father who had a college degree in music and used to play it in the house. While many of us would talk about playing 40 pieces a year as a goal, he is only interested in perfecting the 1 piece that has been very much part of his childhood. Haven't spoke to him for a while. The last time we were at piano store he played the piece with mistakes but convincingly enough people around him noticed. A lot of people who would learn by notations alone tend to play more like trial & error. They don't know what a piece should sound like and would make mistakes. The ones who learn completely by imitation (listening & finger sequences) would take much longer. At least if someone has a tune in his head, he/she would be able to filter out the wrong notes more easily. For most intermediate players like myself, learning a song by ear or by notations, we also make mistakes in the learning process. What about counting beats & dynamics? Can these be mastered by listening alone? Sidetrack for a minute to the Suzuki approach to learning: in the first year they made students imitate recordings on the Book1 CD & a teacher's hand positions before repeating the same songs to learn to actual notations. They do learn to read but the listening part comes first. When it comes to playing a complicated piece, the best approach is to do both: read the score and listen to a recording of a performance.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Carey] #2722761
03/19/18 08:24 PM
03/19/18 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey
thumb

thumb

Originally Posted by Carey
Perhaps in some instances, but this certainly doesn't apply to their orchestral works, chamber music, choral works etc.

Perhaps their universal affinity for keyboard instruments stemmed from the fact that it is the most 'able' instrument in the sense that it can 'simulate' orchestral works, chamber music, and choral works better than any other instrument can.

Bach, Handel and Mozart all wrote music with the intention of pure intonation, particularly vocal music. Their instrumental music was intended for intonation as pure as the instruments could achieve. Handel, as we know, performed on a split-key instrument, and Bach would often retune the clavichord between pieces. It is clear that musicians of the 17th and 18th centuries adored pure intonation harmony.

(The ubiquitous tuning system used today is called “equal temperament”, meaning that the distance/relationship between each the twelve tones of the chromatic scale the twelfth root of two, the ‘justness’ or ‘pureness’ of intonation - that is - tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by ratios of small whole numbers - is sacrificed.)

I can certainly see them coming up with material via improvisation, followed by writing it down. I can also easily see them all bypassing the keyboard altogether, and progressing straight to pen and pad. But... I assert that improvisatory facility is a prerequisite for writing down compelling music that can stand the test of time.

Today's teachers foist decoding of what's on the page, fostering codependence on the score. There are a lot of people who are completely useless unless they have a score.

Originally Posted by Carey
Can't they be creative interpreters?

Sure. But they're far more likely to earn a fantastic living if they make great, universally-loved original music.

Originally Posted by Carey
And what's wrong with repeating what's already been written?

The problem is the pervasive ideology which promotes that that's all there is.

Originally Posted by Carey
Many folks (myself included) get great satisfaction from playing those works themselves and don't feel the need to try to create new works on their own.

I would argue that, if you developed the skill of making your own music, that it has the potential to enthrall you far more than playing the music of others does.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: David Farley] #2722762
03/19/18 08:26 PM
03/19/18 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by David Farley
Farago - you're silently editing your posts and then asking people if they read them.

Yep! I'm editing them for typos and other small mistakes.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722763
03/19/18 08:31 PM
03/19/18 08:31 PM
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I've only skimmed the thread, but the basic idea behind your point that I think most can eventually agree on is the necessity of the ear to coordinate a performance. It's certainly been noted in the past even by noted "classical" pedagogues (or at least one particularly unconventional one):

Quote

The two fundamental factors in acquiring musical skill are the auditory image (what the pupil actually hears in his mind) and the feeling of rhythm. With beginners a long period of rote learning will enable the ears to register tone more easily. Pantomime may be used to enable the body to feel the exhilarating rhythm of the music. When the physical processes are perfectly coordinated and fused with the emotional expression of the music, the teacher will observe the ease and freedom that one finds in the movement of a fine skater or acrobat. Jazz players are always right if they have not been taught. They have a tune in their ears and a rhythm in their bodies. They embellish the melody, but they never disturb the rhythm. Their amazing facility is based on the coordination of all the factors of producing music. Nearly all of them play by ear, although they can read notes when they wish to. They choose a tune that has an alluring rhythm and evolve a complex musical setting without ever losing the directness of impulse and physical control with which they began. The application of this fact to teaching can be illustrated from personal experience.

A former pupil of mine, a well-known popular composer and conductor, returns every now and then. He wants to check up on his problem of listening to too many tones, thereby allowing the rhythm of form to become insufficiently compelling to create the proper balance between a fully coordinated body and the aural image. At one of these check-ups I asked him to improvise a mazurka and then read a Chopin Mazurka. He understood that the goal was to carry over into playing from the printed page the physical rhythm inherent in improvisation. His improvised mazurka was completely sensitive, rhythmic, and delightful. His Chopin Mazurka did not have these qualities. Twice he failed to make a successful transition from the improvising to reading. The third time he was successful, and the result was a completely delightful performance of the Chopin Mazurka. Then, looking a bit puzzled, he said: "But you know it went so fast I didn't hear it." In other words, the first two times the printed page caused him to listen for the pitch of each note symbol for tone. His body was forced to attend to the playing of each tone, and the rhythm of the musical idea as a whole was not expressed. The result was an unmusical performance. When the form-rhythm was maintained as it was in the improvisation the music almost seemed to play itself. There were no interruptions, time lags, or any of the other snags that beset the performer who is conditioned to notewise listening.

In an improvisation you have an idea to complete, and you play ahead towards the completion of phrases and of combinations of phrases. In reading someone else's music you tend to concentrate on written notes rather than on complete ideas. The pitch of individual notes becomes so important in the mind that the ear seeks for particular tones. Often the tone that is so emphasized is not the proper one to make the phrase in which it occurs sound sensitive and well balanced. The pupil should be helped to play with physical directness, as direct as a glissando. Continuity in the use of the power that is tone producing, that flows through like a rhythmic current underneath the separate movements, is all-important.

Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing: Indispensables of Piano Playing and Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays



Reading music is certainly important, but it's generally learned "too fast". Faster than students are generally capable of actually getting fluent at audiation or at least elegantly coordinating a performance with it.

However, I believe your error lies in how you don't fully understand the full power of staff notation in allowing us to store and manipulate aural information when it is understood and used to its maximum potential.

Peter Westergaard does a lecture in in 464 lines of rhyming quatrains and sestets defending the aural information that is stored in in staff notation (as opposed theorists who obsess over pitch-space geometries). I've excerpted a brief portion here, and the last two pages are very relevant:

https://imgur.com/a/mGBMg

The very nature of staff notation actually facilitates our ear when it is not abused as "mere instructions". It allows us to to conquer the human limitations of how we experience time forward, bit by bit, as well as our short term memory.

One of the main reasons this is not fully understood is that people tend to have too much of a "concrete" or "literal" relationship with music and the various means of its endcoding. Once we understand that music fundamentally, takes place in the spiritual (or "cognitive") realm of our imagination, it becomes easy to reconcile and unite the various ways it manifests instead of opposing them.

Reading music, active listening (not passive and or the type listening that treats music as "consumptive" sort of activity rather than as "creative"), composing, improvising, arranging, performing, and even analysis* (when done correctly!) all fundamentally become the same "act"!

*An example of the type of analysis I'm talking about that is the same "sort-of-activity" as the other acts of music:

https://komponisto.tumblr.com/post/169347283479/o-holy-night-the-greatest-christmas-carol

Note how much of it takes place in "staff notation". One caveat: There's a prerequisite where it's just understood that you're supposed to "hear" notation in your mind as you read it and even freely "manipulate it". If this isn't easy, then that suggests that something has gone awry in one's training.



Last edited by anamnesis; 03/19/18 08:57 PM.
Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722766
03/19/18 08:45 PM
03/19/18 08:45 PM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by Farago
Originally Posted by cmb13
OMG too long.

Leave G*d outta this! wink

Originally Posted by cmb13
For a 'bogus' thread it sure got a lot of responses quickly.

How's it bogus? Numerous people have agreed that it's a valid question.

Originally Posted by cmb13
It seems like the OP is just stirring the pot, or playing devils advocate, but it does raise interesting questions and discussion.

Yay. Thank-you.

Originally Posted by cmb13
I tried to play guitar forever without proper lessons and largely failed.

That's a long time, heh. How did you try?

Originally Posted by cmb13
As an adult beginner in piano I wanted to do it the 'right way' and I'm glad I did.

What's the 'right way'?

Originally Posted by cmb13
My goals though are to develop a new skill and for enhanced cognitive training.

But why? You weren't aiming to express yourself musically?



Wow do you like quotes!!!

Not bogus, poor choice....spam? Intentionally provoking a response amongst a known audience?

My guitar playing was largely without lessons. The right way this time is with lessons and imo with learning to read sheet. Proper scales, arpeggios, cadences, chords, dynamics. No.....I'm no thanks in it for self expression. I'm just not that creative and possibly too reserved, artistically. I don't have that kind of flair or talent but do have intelligence and perseverance. Beginning in my mid 40s and having a way more than full time job and a wife and 2.3 kids will limit my time but as above, I'm in it for the cognitive benefits (I call it 'dementia prevention') and for the love of music.

Anyway I see your point and probably could learn to play jazz without reading much, with the right teacher, but I feel the avenue for me to achieve more at this time is through classical music and sheet reading. In fact it's taking me farther than I expected to go already and I'm only scratching the surface.


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Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: anamnesis] #2722769
03/19/18 08:59 PM
03/19/18 08:59 PM
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Farago Offline OP
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Originally Posted by anamnesis
one particularly unconventional one

Abby Whiteside was great. She was one of the first Hanon detractors. But that's for the "But: Is training technique *absolutely* necessary?!" thread. wink

Originally Posted by anamnesis
Reading music is certainly important, but it's generally learned "too fast"...

Yes.

Originally Posted by anamnesis
... Faster than students are generally capable of actually getting fluent at audiation or at least elegantly coordinating a performance with it.

I agree, although 'audiation' seems rather loosely defined, but I get what this site is saying. How do you define 'audiation'?

(It ties in with this talk's 6-minute-mark point. Even though the external stimuli coming in through the ears doesn't change, hearing the unedited version fully generates new "perceptive predictions".)

Originally Posted by anamnesis
However, I believe your error lies in how you don't fully understand the full power of staff notation in allowing us to store and manipulate aural information when it is understood and used to its maximum potential.

I think that most teachers don't get this. This is one of the reasons why I stopped teaching years ago; I figured that the best bet is to have people surrounded by great music, great instruments, and freedom to figure the music out by ear. Then, invention naturally comes along, as does the ability to truly read sheet music.

However, there are a lot of people who seem to think that rapid intervention that foists a weird non-creative programmatic skill is the law.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: cmb13] #2722772
03/19/18 09:11 PM
03/19/18 09:11 PM
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Farago Offline OP
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Originally Posted by cmb13
spam? Intentionally provoking a response amongst a known audience?

Social gadfly, not "concern troll" (a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the troll claims to hold).

Originally Posted by cmb13
I'm no thanks in it for self expression.

What do you mean?

Originally Posted by cmb13
I don't have that kind of flair or talent

You think. I ask this: how on Earth can you recognize flair and talent then?

Originally Posted by cmb13
I'm in it for the cognitive benefits (I call it 'dementia prevention')

Hah! grin

Originally Posted by cmb13
and for the love of music.

I'd argue that there's something heterodox you can do that'll blow your mind and develop true genius-level musical improvisatory facility. Something far more rewarding than playing "proper scales, arpeggios, cadences, chords" at "proper dynamics".

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722774
03/19/18 09:15 PM
03/19/18 09:15 PM
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cmb13 Online confused

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Ok social gadfly then. That was a typo - should read 'not in it for self expression' - that's what you get for typing on an iPhone.


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"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: cmb13] #2722780
03/19/18 09:31 PM
03/19/18 09:31 PM
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Farago Offline OP
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Ok social gadfly then.

Cheers! wink

Originally Posted by cmb13
I'm not in it for self expression.

No matter, I'd still argue that a heterodox approach capable of developing true genius-level musical improvisatory facility is available, yet it remains widely undiscovered.

It's far more rewarding than mindlessly (or determinedly) playing out-of-context "proper scales, arpeggios, cadences, and chords" at "proper dynamics", which is what the vast majority of music teachers would have (and already have) burdened you with.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: anamnesis] #2722782
03/19/18 09:35 PM
03/19/18 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by anamnesis
Reading music is certainly important, but it's generally learned "too fast". Faster than students are generally capable of actually getting fluent at audiation or at least elegantly coordinating a performance with it.


Maybe the thing to do is teach by ear until the student complains of the difficulty of remembering all this stuff. Then you can offer notation as a welcome solution to the problem rather than an imposition. Notation introduced later like that would be less likely to be perceived as containing everything you need, more looked on as a tool that's not quite universal. One problem with that is to keep them out of the habit of looking at their hands. Playing without sheet music, there's not much else in the room that might be interesting to look at.




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Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: JohnSprung] #2722785
03/19/18 09:40 PM
03/19/18 09:40 PM
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Farago Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Maybe the thing to do is teach by ear

How exactly would this be done?

Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Playing without sheet music, there's not much else in the room that might be interesting to look at.

Not true.

My father once showed me a television special about an up-and-coming Canadian pianist by the name of Jan Lisiecki. Dubbed “The Reluctant Prodigy” because Jan himself said, “I really dislike being called a prodigy or a genius.”

I thought, “This guy seems cool,” so I decided to catch him at his next concert. He was performing in London, Ontario, and so I took the train to London with just enough money to cover a meal and the return ticket. With no plan on where I’d stay, I convinced myself that it I’d just call aunt and uncle, out of the blue, and ask them if I could crash at their place. They lived in Woodstock, forty minutes outside of London.

After I arrived and took my seat in the audience at the performance center, I struck up a conversation with an elderly couple to my left. They were shocked to hear that I traveled for four hours by myself from north of Toronto to hear Jan play, and stunned to hear that I had just assumed that I’d be able to get in touch with my relatives.

I explained that I was an aspiring pianist, that I was there to ask Jan some questions, and I told them not to worry. After he finished his (fantastic) performance, I waited last in the long lineup to talk to him. In what was a very entertaining conversation, he said that he didn’t care for technical exercises and found them boring, only playing them sparingly. He grew up listening to the music his parents played on their stereo system, and began piano lessons when he was five. When I asked him how much he focused on his hands, wrists, and arms while playing, he said, “Not at all.”

He said, “I just stare out this window that’s next to my piano. Not that there’s anything particularly interesting or compelling to see out there - I just get lost daydreaming while looking at the landscape. It lets my imagination wander freely.”

He thanked me again for traveling so far to hear him play, graciously gave me his personal email address, and told me to keep in touch.

When I tried to call my aunt and uncle on a payphone, I didn’t get an answer. The elderly couple noticed, and they let me stay at their place for the night. My first 'AirFreenB'.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: Farago] #2722786
03/19/18 09:42 PM
03/19/18 09:42 PM
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David Farley Offline
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Originally Posted by Farago
Originally Posted by David Farley
Farago - you're silently editing your posts and then asking people if they read them.

Yep! I'm editing them for typos and other small mistakes.

You added quite a bit to one of them from the first time I read it to the second time. A great way to bolster your argument, as long as nobody notices. You seem to have some kind of agenda I'm certainly not qualified to understand. Good luck.

Re: ... But: Is reading *absolutely* necessary?! [Re: David Farley] #2722787
03/19/18 09:46 PM
03/19/18 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by David Farley
You added quite a bit to one of them from the first time I read it to the second time.

Which?

Originally Posted by David Farley
You seem to have some kind of agenda I'm certainly not qualified to understand.

Hah! All questions of qualifications aside, it seems like your curiosity is dead.

... Shall I call in a qualified mortician?

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