Argument with Guitarist over time signature

STXBob

Gold Member
Referring to 'those who' as 'douchey' (your words) means in a sense you ARE naming THEM as 'douches'. It's just not a decent way to get on with people.
If a person is being a jerk, there is no shame in calling that person a jerk. Or a genius. Or any other adjective you care to name. That's my opinion, anyway. YMMV, of course. ;-)

/hijack

I think Bretton's notation comparison of an identical rhythm in different time signatures is a brilliant settlement to the argument. No matter how you slice it, it's still bread, no?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Clearly, I read it differently. Perception is subjective. You read it one way, I read it another.


I didn't call anyone anything. I gave a behavior a name, because I think certain behaviors should be condemned.
Referring to 'those who' as 'douchey' (your words) means in a sense you ARE naming THEM as 'douches'. It's just not a decent way to get on with people.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
she is repeating what she hears exactly ... nothing more
That's not what I said.

rhythm is primal my friend and has absolutely nothing to do with music theory
I put it to you that right there is a false statement. ;) Rhythm may be innate, primal, and communicated by someone who, like your toddler, knows precisely bupkus about theory. But "absolutely nothing to do with" is categorically false. Rhythm can be, and often is, communicated by notation (for which theory is necessary) and analyzed using theoretical means. Necessary? Nope. But hardly "absolutely nothing to do with".

music theory was created to scientifically break down rhythms and tones .... but rhythm is not theory .... rhythm is as natural as the blood in our veins

....and as a player and fully educated musician with a degree who makes his living solely by playing and teaching music .... I can confidently say that theory is not 100% necessary to make a living
Herein is the crux of the argument. It appears that every art form/medium has various camps: Those who advocate one approach or another war with those of the other camp(s). In the media with which I am most familiar - music and fiction writing - the camps can be loosely delineated into the "seat of the pants" crowd and the "scientific" crowd. Sadly, dedicated adherents of either camp presume the approaches are mutually exclusive.

I'm not accusing you of that, necessarily. As I wrote above, you can make outstanding music with no theoretical background whatever. What I am saying is that having a grounding in theory is an advantage, another part of your instrument.


were they handing out charts in the tribes of Africa ?.... or were they just repeating what they heard since birth...... yeah the latter
Such mutual exclusivity is arbitrary and needless.

???? I don't think anybody on DW derides theory, and that wasn't the debate at all. You've got it all twisted.
Clearly, I read it differently. Perception is subjective. You read it one way, I read it another.

You've turned it sour, now a sort of low brow name-calling, by wrongly referring to debaters as a former application for feminine hygiene.
I didn't call anyone anything. I gave a behavior a name, because I think certain behaviors should be condemned. [shrug] I also stated that deliberately discarding things that are part of music is stupid. Because it is stupid - it's cutting off your nose to spite your face. To insist that others do so is a move which can easily be described with the hygienic pejorative above referenced. (NB: I well note no one in this thread has actually done that; therefore no name-calling took place.)

Finally, if a thing or behavior is demonstrably stupid, there is in my opinion no moral imperative to avoid calling it out as such. There is in fact a duty to call it out. To pretend otherwise is folly, even to spare feelings. Since you were kind enough to refer to me a book - which I shall seriously investigate - I return the favor in this context: The Emperor's New Clothes. =)

People are a basically just saying you can know and play a rhythm naturally.
With which I have clearly and wholeheartedly agreed.

Damn, Tony... You just got totally schooled on music notation! Always good to learn new stuff, right?
Sarcasm noted. =) Seriously, if I've given offense, I'm truly sorry. I was trying to explain my stance on the subject as clearly and succinctly as possible. If that was wrong, or I slipped into Pedant Mode (which often happens), I apologize.
 

kristy

Member
Re: Arguement with Guitarist over time signature

If it's a binary system, that would be 8th/16th etc., if it's ternary - the triplet version.
I believe binary is a system of 0's and 1's. For computers which processes it as either on or off.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Ok, clearly I wasn't directing what I said towards babies or animals or nature. I'm not going to get in a debate about a babies psychological comprehension of rhythm. Yes, they're born with heart beats meaning they know rhythm, and they mimic everything around them. Not my point so I'm not going to argue over it, my point was directed towards drummers and the need of simple theory. You don't just sit down and "jam" without even understanding a 4/4 time whether you know it or not. What are you gonna do? Sit there and hit things hoping everything turns out well? Non musicians know 4/4, you all know 4/4, the guitarists know 4/4 subconsciously or not everyone knows "feels" or understands 4/4. Simple Theory. But really my main point was about the use of theory. "And as laid back as that is, music theory is here for a reason, to correctly structure and organize music." Obviously I was just pointing out that theory is a useful tool of knowledge. You're all treating theory how religious people treat science.
So then before someone actually sat down and figured out theory, songs had no structure?

People do things all the time with out knowing what they are doing. I use AutoCAD and REVIT. Do I have any idea what the computer is doing? No. I sure can design you a building or whatever you want though. People can fire a gun and hit their target without knowing anything about ballistics. People drive cars, yet how many understand the physics behind why the car works and is able to move? Knowledge can be gained by doing. We don't have to break everything down to its simplest form and gain an understanding of why it is things work like they do. Theory is useful, but not mandatory.
 

Nour Ayasso

Senior Member
Ok, clearly I wasn't directing what I said towards babies or animals or nature. I'm not going to get in a debate about a babies psychological comprehension of rhythm. Yes, they're born with heart beats meaning they know rhythm, and they mimic everything around them. Not my point so I'm not going to argue over it, my point was directed towards drummers and the need of simple theory. You don't just sit down and "jam" without even understanding a 4/4 time whether you know it or not. What are you gonna do? Sit there and hit things hoping everything turns out well? Non musicians know 4/4, you all know 4/4, the guitarists know 4/4 subconsciously or not everyone knows "feels" or understands 4/4. Simple Theory. But really my main point was about the use of theory. "And as laid back as that is, music theory is here for a reason, to correctly structure and organize music." Obviously I was just pointing out that theory is a useful tool of knowledge. You're all treating theory how religious people treat science.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You're right. I thought you were talking about the inherent ability or lack thereof for music in people.

Wouldn't listening alone create musical knowledge, though? I know it does for me. Not exactly sure what the measuring stick for "get more out of it" is, though...
I think listening does create musical knowledge for sure. I know I have picked up some things through listening that I probably would have never figured out on my own.

The measuring stick may be short, but I think the difference is between people who say "I like that part in that song" versus the people who say "I like how they added a sweep in that part of the song", or something along those lines. It might not mean much to most people, but it sure means something to me. I appreciate the little nuances that musicians do that gets lost in the shuffle for the average listener.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I think we are talking about two different things here. I don't know anyone who doesn't like music, but most of the people I know don't understand it from a technical standpoint. They don't have to in order to be able to enjoy it. But in order to get more out of it than from just listening alone, one must have some form of musical knowledge.
You're right. I thought you were talking about the inherent ability or lack thereof for music in people.

Wouldn't listening alone create musical knowledge, though? I know it does for me. Not exactly sure what the measuring stick for "get more out of it" is, though...
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The solar system doesn't understand that the rhythms of it's workings dictate our sense of time and relativity on earth, it just is. For that matter, there's a lot of people walking around right now on the street who don't really "understand" the concept of the rhythm in their step. Without it, we'd fall hopelessly... But to them, it's just a matter of a sequence of events ending in forward movement. Doesn't matter. It's a part of us. There's rhythms dictating our existence in the womb, and for that matter, probably some marvin gaye dictating our placement in said womb.

I love music because it engages every part of my person and brain. Babies who have no concept of "dancing", or even music as a concept are easily swayed, lulled, or excited by music. We are creatures of habit, pattern, and repetition. We typically feel most comfortable in the presence of order and pattern. I still think it's built right in. If not from the start, over time.
I think we are talking about two different things here. I don't know anyone who doesn't like music, but most of the people I know don't understand it from a technical standpoint. They don't have to in order to be able to enjoy it. But in order to get more out of it than from just listening alone, one must have some form of musical knowledge.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I agree with what you are saying completely about rhythm being everywhere, an intrinsic part of the universe if you will. But a toddler does not know or understand that, they just know what they see others doing.
The solar system doesn't understand that the rhythms of it's workings dictate our sense of time and relativity on earth, it just is. For that matter, there's a lot of people walking around right now on the street who don't really "understand" the concept of the rhythm in their step. Without it, we'd fall hopelessly... But to them, it's just a matter of a sequence of events ending in forward movement. Doesn't matter. It's a part of us. There's rhythms dictating our existence in the womb, and for that matter, probably some marvin gaye dictating our placement in said womb.

I love music because it engages every part of my person and brain. Babies who have no concept of "dancing", or even music as a concept are easily swayed, lulled, or excited by music. We are creatures of habit, pattern, and repetition. We typically feel most comfortable in the presence of order and pattern. I still think it's built right in. If not from the start, over time.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
"Semantic Fights - April 2014"
2 drummers enter...one drummer leaves...

Subconcious
Inate
Theory
Understanding
Civility

<<ding>>
FIGHT!!!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This I'll be a tad more serious about. I disagree. Rhythm is a fundamental part of the universe. It's in all of us, it's part of life, and it's completely built-into all living things. From our heart-beat to the natural rhythms of ourselves, the animals and elements around us, it's not something we can escape. If it were simply a learned behavior, I just don't think that music and musical rhythm would be a part of literally every human civilization ever discovered, and even some other species.
I agree with what you are saying completely about rhythm being everywhere, an intrinsic part of the universe if you will. But a toddler does not know or understand that, they just know what they see others doing. Being completely surrounded by something does not give one a complete understanding. It is through learning that we understand how rhythm encompasses just about everything, from our heartbeat, to crickets chirping, to my washing machine. Only then can we theorize about it. My nephew can pound out a 4/4 beat all day long, but if you were to ask him what he just did he will reply "play drums", because no one has taught him otherwise.
 
M

Mike_In_KC

Guest
I'm so teaching my kids that every color is red. That just sounds like a fun half hour till their mom whacks me over the head.
My mom used to tell my brother and I that smoke stacks were cloud factories....
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Nah. Tony's 10 month old daughter is in the mimic stage. All children do this, it is how they learn. Try to teach a toddler colors and shapes and you will see what I mean. They learn to say red. You show them blue, orange, and green. To the child, it is just a color. They are all red, because the child does not understand the difference in the colors, only that it is a color, and red is a color, so all colors must be red. They don't start to differentiate the difference in colors until they fully understand what color really is. This is why toddlers are so entertaining, they do something that they saw someone else do, and it gets a response, so they repeat it. They don't start to properly use what they have learned until they understand its meaning.
I'm so teaching my kids that every color is red. That just sounds like a fun half hour till their mom whacks me over the head.

Toddlers don't know what rhythm is, they just know they like it because they see their parents enjoying it.
This I'll be a tad more serious about. I disagree. Rhythm is a fundamental part of the universe. It's in all of us, it's part of life, and it's completely built-into all living things. From our heart-beat to the natural rhythms of ourselves, the animals and elements around us, it's not something we can escape. If it were simply a learned behavior, I just don't think that music and musical rhythm would be a part of literally every human civilization ever discovered, and even some other species.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
As others have noted, notation is merely another language in which music can be expressed. It is portable - you can carry the score to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in your briefcase, but if you need to "learn it by ear" you need 80 people, their instruments, and a concert hall. It is also universal - an eighth note on the G line on the first beat of a measure in 4/4 time at 120 beats per minute is not subjective, whether you're in Des Moines or Prague. It has a specific note in frequency and duration in time. (NB: If it's marked "piano", yes, that's subjective. But dynamics are in my experience the only way in which noted music is subjective.) It's the same if you speak English or Czech or Somali. It's a way for me to express a practice regime to a student without relying on the student's memory for the patterns I've assigned her to practice.
Damn, Tony... You just got totally schooled on music notation! Always good to learn new stuff, right?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If I understood Bob correctly what he is saying Tony is that your ten month old has a subconscious understanding of rhythm in order to play back the taps that you play for her in a rhythmic way - if she did not play back what you tapped for her or if she was way off in replicating what you did she would not have that subconscious understanding. I think I buy that....

MM
Nah. Tony's 10 month old daughter is in the mimic stage. All children do this, it is how they learn. Try to teach a toddler colors and shapes and you will see what I mean. They learn to say red. You show them blue, orange, and green. To the child, it is just a color. They are all red, because the child does not understand the difference in the colors, only that it is a color, and red is a color, so all colors must be red. They don't start to differentiate the difference in colors until they fully understand what color really is. This is why toddlers are so entertaining, they do something that they saw someone else do, and it gets a response, so they repeat it. They don't start to properly use what they have learned until they understand its meaning. Toddlers don't know what rhythm is, they just know they like it because they see their parents enjoying it.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Those who deride musical theory are as unwise (and douchey) as those who deride musicians who have no theory.
???? I don't think anybody on DW derides theory, and that wasn't the debate at all. You've got it all twisted.

You've turned it sour, now a sort of low brow name-calling, by wrongly referring to debaters as a former application for feminine hygiene.

People are a basically just saying you can know and play a rhythm naturally.

Have a read of Levitins' This is Your Brain on Music".
 
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