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Jane

Is theory really necessary?

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The practical side is wonderful but how much theory of music do I need to know? I'm slowly understanding things like minor thirds, cadences and resolution, but do I need to understand more in order to understand what I am doing practically.

I also love listening to music and would some more understanding of the theory help me to understand pieces more?

I have found an Open University course and am thinking of signing up for this (starts in Feb 2001) called "discovering music" http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?C01A214 Would this fill my knowledge gap?

Jane

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Theory is very important. It makes you understand the ideas more clearly. The course seems to be an interesting one, but I think it covers too much. If you have a good background in music, I doubt that you get much useful information. If you don't think you have good understanding in different structures and styles of music, then this might be an interesting course.

[This message has been edited by illuminatus (edited 08-10-2000).]

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Does playing the violin give you a better appreciation of great violinists ? If you've tried fingered octaves, and then hear them played, your respect is greater.

When you understand music theory, your appreciation for the composer will be enhanced. Your ability to do what the composer intended will also be increased.

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It can help your playing as well. My teacher stresses theory to the point where I absolutely loathed it at first. But with his advanced understanding of theory he can sight read much better and pieces generally come more quickly to him than if he was just going by technique alone.

Using the theory that he has taught me, he points out simlarities in the music that make it easier to play. It has helped me greatly.

DM

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Sightreading and theory are easy for a talented young player to neglect. Ultimately, such people (myself included) will regret this, as it creates a barrier to quick apprehension of new pieces and isolates you from other musicians.

Rat

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Seems like a unanimous yes to this. This course is the first year of a two part Diploma in Music, so if I do it I may be spurred on to do the second year. My only worry is the time I will have to put in. I have a full time job, and a part time job, and my violin practice to fit in already.

Anyway I don't have to make a decision until Feb 2001.

Jane

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HKV

Maybe you can feel it but not know why or what it's called? Perhaps it doesn't matter if you are just listening to music to know why you feel it, but the more I get into playing it I realise I need to understand why.

I've sent for the stuff on the course now and have a place reserved.

Jane

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I find that theory is important. It gives you an idea of how music "works".

When I started violin, I knew nothing of "theory". However upon starting of piano, I get it more. I think the piano really helps with theory, since every song has chords plainly written out.

Plus my piano teacher really concentrates on theory, knowing that I play the violin.

Good luck with your course

Diana smile.gif

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It's not so much that theory itself is vital to playing, it's the study of theory that will help your playing. The only reason you practice or study anything is to train your body to respond without conscious thought. That leaves you free to concentrate on making music. By studying theory and doing boring things like practicing scales, you will be exposing yourself to things that will then manifest themselves in your playing.

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Hi, Jane! The more I learn about theory, the easier reading and hearing music becomes. Definitely true--works for me and will for you.

The time factor: there's the rub. But time management is what we're all up against. I do think study of theory in the long run is worth the sacrifice of time because you'll be paid back in spades.

Take good notes--and make sure you ask questions to someone knowledgeable about anything you don't understand, particularly someone well-versed in theory who also understands strings.

Hoping it works out for you,

Theresa

[This message has been edited by Theresa (edited 08-13-2000).]

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