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Topic: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

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  1. #1
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    Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Obviously , I'm asking cuz I don't know how to...

    just wondering what odds I'm against here....


    *While you guys were sitting there with your piano teacher I was getting high and surfing.... Hmmm? and I even had a piano all growing up. No interest.


    KID-

  2. #2

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    I suspect that more and more up and coming composers won't know how to read music. Thanks to QLSO, VSL, and computers, who needs to read notation to compose fantastic scores? I think lots of successful producers and pop stars probably don't know how to read music already, I'm sure film composers are just a few years behind on the trend.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I know this up and coming LA based composer called Kid Surf....
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  3. #3
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    Talking Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Quote Originally Posted by kid-surf

    *While you guys were sitting there with your piano teacher I was getting high and surfing....

    KID-

    But surely you still are Kid? Huh?

    If it worries you, LEARN dear boy, LEARN! Get a book and do an hour a day.

    The Beatles could never read music and as far as I remember, never had any interest in doing so. George Martin did all that sort of thing for them, when any necessary orchestrions needed to be written.

    PR

  4. #4

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Lionel Bart, who wrote Oliver , used to just whistle the tunes to whoever notated and scored for him. He couldn't read a note of music, apparently.
    Trev Parks

  5. #5

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    As far as I'm aware,Hans Zimmer has got by on the minimum of formal musical education.One week's piano lessons,he claims.So there IS hope.

  6. #6

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Irving Berlin couldn't read or write music. He was also not very accomplished on the piano - he could only play in one key! Because of this he used an invention called a transposing piano that had pedals that would change the pitch of all of the strings (btw this is what I've always read and I'm pretty sure it's not an urban myth).

    Anyway why spend time worrying about not being able to read when you could be learning how to?

    Andy.

  7. #7

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Quote Originally Posted by kid-surf
    Obviously , I'm asking cuz I don't know how to...

    just wondering what odds I'm against here....


    *While you guys were sitting there with your piano teacher I was getting high and surfing.... Hmmm? and I even had a piano all growing up. No interest.


    KID-
    The advantage of reading music is that you have a language under your belt that's universal and gives you an entre to a bigger world of ideas and concepts that can't always be whistled.

    You made an investment in yourself to get the gear. Will you make an investment in yourself to learn the art and craft that will really sustain you when the electricity is off?
    Peter L. Alexander
    www.professionalorchestration.com
    www.alexanderpublishing.com
    Learn it right the first time.

  8. #8

    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    well...I'm just trying to improve my reading skill (thats low) because I'm afraid that if I would talk to a conductor or a musician, i had some trouble telling him:

    - "well, i prefer that passage with a subtle crescendo"....
    - "which passage?"...
    - "oh..the one that does: Na na Naaaaaa naaa na na"

    I feel ridicolous only thinking about it .

  9. #9
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    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Thanks guys!

    And thanks midphase for the nice comment...



    See the thing is, I often wonder if it's too late for me. Like, I'm already caught up in a sense. I've already started doing jobs and lately I've started "going out" to more established people (through my wife who works in the industry). I guess I was a bit intimidated to show my stuff to people on that level, but so far the response has been very positive (a little bit to my surprise -- I'm confident to a point). So it wouldn't surprise me if I land a decent gig soon... (by that I mean decent 'for me'... something below 5 mil)

    At the same time, I wonder what if any traps I may fall into not knowing how to read? I'm torn between just charging ahead with writing and looking for bigger opportunities, or whether or not I should add learning how to read in there somewhere.

    Peter --- you say, make the investment. What do you think it would do for me on a practical level, like day to day? I'm not against it, I'm interested - the reason I asked - but how would you say it helps you in your day to day writing? Also, now that we are so 'computer', will the "electricity" ever get "turned off" so to speak?

    And finally, what's good book for dummies?


    Thanks gang!


    KID-

  10. #10
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    Re: Is there any successful composer that 'doesn't' know how to read music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lux
    well...I'm just trying to improve my reading skill (thats low) because I'm afraid that if I would talk to a conductor or a musician, i had some trouble telling him:

    - "well, i prefer that passage with a subtle crescendo"....
    - "which passage?"...
    - "oh..the one that does: Na na Naaaaaa naaa na na"

    I feel ridicolous only thinking about it .
    Ha...

    Yeah, that's what I'm think'n too.... too funny!

    But yeah, that's what I meant about falling into a trap. I guess that could slow things down a bit... ya know, tying to figure out where "Na na Naaaaaa naaa na na" comes in.



    KID-

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