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Old 08-16-2019, 08:38 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Goldreap View Post
But I'm probably missing your thrust, I know nothing about programming.

And just generally, I quite like the diversity of for example Triangle or Maj or Mj for the same reasons I like hand written charts. It's charming, human etc.
This thread fundamentally is a technology discussion. Artists are not going to "get it". When the piano was invented as a technological improvement- you can bet everyone on harpsichord thought the idea was ridiculous and that the harpsichord was "charming" (even though it was limited in terms of music it could produce, and today, no one except rare specialists will play a harpsichord) A similar story probably could be said for guitar- a newer design which threatened the violinist.. because holding an instrument against the neck resulting in spinal problems and possible deafness in one ear is fine because the violin is "charming".

It is good to get the feedback & opinion, but yes, "it's charming" is not really a sufficient reason to keep a system which is so broken that most amateur musicians do not even bother to learn it because it seems incomprehensible or worthless, and those dedicated musicians who want to learn it must spend about 2 years of serious study at it. Meanwhile when jazz itself came along to be seriously studied (not so long ago, because the elite academics until fairly recently shrugged the entire art form off as undesirable "folk music"), the musical additions & complexity of jazz resulted in a long list of exceptions in the music system which only apply to jazz, but not classical.

Some people like to drive old cars like a VW bus. It has a lot of broken things compared to today's technology. Still, rare people find them charming...even though they only go about 50 mph max.. they're archaic historical artifacts. They aren't made anymore, they're outdated.

The fundamental purposes of notation are these-

1. Historic preservation of music in its most exact, unambiguous description.

the Church insisted on this- so that their god's music could be perfectly reproduced in the most holy way possible.

today, we should all want a perfect & fully reproducible notion, because we want to capture the played performances perfectly in transcription, in order to learn them and really study "wow, what was it that player was playing that sounded so smoking hot?" Not spend hours comparing various notes to approximate what we assume was being played (and then three years later, discover, oh, we've been playing it wrong, this entire time, because "it goes like this, not like that").

2. Music study and re-composition

For new, original work ("serious" work, not strumming around and calling it "a song"), the progressions, and melodies over the progressions of great works are studied in fine written detail, for those of us who aren't geniuses with absolute perfect pitch and perfect aural-imagination (i.e. everyone on the planet except those guys like Bach or Mozart or Miles Davis).

The written works are continually reviewed even by experts in order to discover subtle ways notes are mixed & matched, to learn the combinations, and either use those directly again when writing new music, or alter them slightly with varying rules to come up with something unique. New theories about how Bach did this or that are still being proposed today. New theories about how Coltraine came up with the licks he did, are still being written about in jazz publications. The purpose is to inform today's musicians in order to continually write and play new music, break new ground.

3. Learning new music quickly without excessive training

Someone learning music should not be burdened with excessive confusions like "what's this ambiguous notation mean? how do I approach playing this? Should this be called a sharp or a flat in this chord? When use a triangle instead of Maj? Why is the 7th degree called G# instead of Ab in the scale of A? Why is this chord written like this, but really I play no five?" when the purpose is learning the system. A system is broken if it has too many exceptions and too many vague aspects.

Regardless of the system, you can always play what you want, and call it "interpretation". If the system is flawed, then you play what you want, and it doesn't approach what someone else intended (even yourself, when you forget the previous musical intent of your own 3-year-old chart). You could be close, or you could be wildly off base. You're still playing something differently than what's written. You might not even know how far off you are playing from the intention, if the system creates vagueness, like it does now. If the system is more perfect, then you can still play what you want, but you know with intent that you are creatively varying from the original.

Originally Posted by adXok View Post

I am sure that a skillful musician could learn and play the piece by spending some time listening to the piece (that was how I learned many songs myself), but we are talking about notating a music piece and not... and not interpreting it. I hope the OP was obviously clear about that.
That is exactly right, the primary #1 purpose of notation is historic preservation of a piece of music when the author is not around. This could be because they are dead like Bach, or it could be because they are a busy composer and the player has to learn the part in private rehearsal before joining the orchestra/band with the musician author (conductor or band leader).

But still, during interpretation, someone playing improvisationally should always know where they are going, and be playing deliberately. Otherwise they are just wanking and assuming or hoping that the change fits. Knowing where you are going in a solo or in harmony means knowing where you are supposed to go, and then deviating from that with artistic intent. And later, the new interpretation should be easy to write down if desired, showing a clear distinction between the new version and the classic version. Good notation would highlight the difference easily and obviously.

There are nonstop arguments in music regarding how to properly play classical pieces made before the age of recordings. Some of the proposed differences are very important for the feel of the music and the fundamental interpretation of the music. Some of the arguments are about how and where to improvise- because history says the original players improvised the classical pieces- but there are no accurate records notating what was played. There is no way to learn how the song was interpreted by those now-lost players because the notation system is flawed and does not describe how or when the improvisation occurred.

In jazz there are nonstop comparisons between different improvisational solos played over the same song, even two solos played by the same player. Some players never play the same way twice. Without accurate representation of what was played, there is no way to compare these solos to each other. Musicians are forced to listen by ear for the differences, which is archaic. Written symbols exist so that the physical universe can be studied on paper, not by ear. is offline   Reply With Quote