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Musicians need to take charge of music composition

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I love the interaction I have on the internet. But, it is becoming more apparent that the people who study music (musicians) are not creating music on really important sites. One of my biggest “pet peeves” is a non-musician (a person who just uses technology to compose) is creating music or worse yet, teaching composition. It is so simple to throw loops together and call it music. This is music, but a trained ear can immediately hear problems. I teach students how to use loops and compose a meaningful composition. When my students hear some of these songs on these sites, they laugh!

Anyone that knows me, I am extremely positive person, but now I have a mission. To weed out these sites and replace them with musicians or someone with a music background. As music teachers, we strive to be taken seriously, but we don’t stand up and say, “Let me be in charge of this!”

I recently received an email from a music teacher distressed about having to teach “writing across the curriculum.” My heart when out to her. “Music across the curriculum” is going to be much more important than “writing across the curriculum;” Students are going to have to create music, with movies and pictures. Presentation of one’s self (performance) is taking over written resumes. So, “music across the curriculum” is already here. Music has four dimensions: length, width, height, and time. Some even push it further to the fifth dimension of feeling. No movie, dance, even the news, can be without music.

As musicians, we have worked hard to understand how music works. It has rules and forms that we all understand. Specific keys connect with specific moods, just like specific chords. Music theory is just that, the study of how music works. We need to get more on these sites and be a voice within the techie world.

Finally, those techie people who really want to use music in a meaningful way should take some music theory classes. They are offered at so many schools, you would amaze yourself as to how easy it is to understand how music really works.

Well, I tried to be positive and upbeat, I hope I haven’t gotten any techies mad at me concerning this problem within the techie world.

In the words of August Rush “Music is all around, all you have to do is listen.” Musicians: let’s listen, help, and teach.

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  1. BobNo Gravatar

    The Internet and technology is changing everything. I am in the middle of the road on this issue. I do understand musician’s concerns, however, this new changing world is pushing all levels of expertise. Music has evolved over the years as did other disciplines. My daughter and I have this disagreement all the time. She is a well trained musician and can play beautifully from sheet music. I know where the notes are on a piano and with a few .tab and .crd files I can create music using all the different instruments in Apple’s GB.
    Music as other discplines can evolve as it should with the help of educators like you.

  2. Brava!!! I just left a comment on Amy Burns’s blog about GarageBand and loops. Even my most advanced students write their own loops on top of loops on top of loops. Hey, it has it’s place but… Remember that commercial, “Where’s the beef”? I ask my students, “Where’s the melody”? I just went through this with a VERY talented junior. He submitted a piece to the MENC National Electronic Music Talent Search. Well, actually, I made him submit it as a final exam! I told him he needed at least 2 minutes of music and not 16 bars of loops. It needed an actual melody. Hey, how about a B section? Counter melody? Harmonies going… where? This kid has major ears and serious skills. P.S. He came in second place nationally. He was stunned. I wasn’t. Now, instead of thinking about what recording/music technology schools he’s going to apply to for college, he’s seriously thinking about being a composition major. There’s more out there than “phat beats”!

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