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Old 08-10-2008, 09:28 PM
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DestinationDrumming DestinationDrumming is offline
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Default Re: It's official...you don't need to read music

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
My point was that in considering the wider subject of music, understanding of the written 'language' of musical instruments is but one facet. Musicology/history could fairly be included within the subject's wider remit. Is reading necessary there? No, although i'm sure a good number of musicologists are also musicians who can read.
So at least we have some agreement. I totally agree that music notation shoulod not comprise all the content of a GCSE but it should be included and it should be a significant part of the exam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
The point I'm also making is that the GCSE isn't really an academic test. Sure, you get a grade and a certificate out of it - but the GCSE's don't really constitute towards anything at the end of the day.
I beg to differ. GCSE's are an academic exercise...nothing else! Not designed to make musicians or the future of music but simply an academic exercise in the Theoretical Knowledge of music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescrusher View Post
I can't see why the subject is obliged to focus on something like sightreading ; the study of music doesn't need to involve it at all. Sightreading making up 20% of the mark actually seems like a fairly balanced weight, for this level of attainment.
This country really needs to stop dismissing the achievements of exam-takers every Summer.
I agree although I would put the level at about 1/3. Sightreading is invaluable if you have to work in a studio and get it right without months to practice.

The reason the focus in this country (UK) is on school leavers each year is because the examining bodies have successively reduced the required level of attainment of our young people. This has led to our youngsters being less equipped in the workplace and especially on a world stage. The attainment of our young is steadily increasing year on year (according to GCSE's and A levels) yet the cognitive ability of our young people is on the decline. I think one of the reasons why people don't get passionate about education in the UK is because it is a free service and because you don't pay people don't mind what the quality is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Let's take the example of The Beatles again - some great theory going on there, particularly with their use of harmonies and the way that the harmonies underpinned the melody so effectively. Did any of them 'understand' the language of music? No. And I agree, that reading music and understanding theory can make life easier for the jobbing musician - I'd be crazy to suggest otherwise.

But it simply is the case that a lot of artists meeting with great success do NOT read music. Why is that? Is the question we should be asking.
Let's not take the Beatles let's use a different example. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sydney Philharmonic, The Halle, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and so many other Orchestra's around the world. Not to mention Big Bands, Brass Bands, Concert Bands etc etc etc.

Just because 4/5 lucky lads from Liverpool were in the right place at the right time doesn't make their way gospel....and not a Ringo bash in sight!
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