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Topic: Last About Rules!

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Last About Rules!

    FINALLY I SUMMARIZE:

    In Music "rules" (with punishment of deviations... ) don't exist.

    In Music "STYLE" does exist! Rules, or better principles, are tools for identification and analysis of a Style.

    NOBODY force you to Compose in a precise Style:
    but if for some reason you want or need writing in a style, you MUST follow the rules and principles of the style.
    (e.g. in a School Class, if you write a 4 voices Choral in the style of Bach, only exceptions used by Bach are accepted. You CAN'T create your own exception, or you are inventing your own 4 voices Choral style ).

    WHEN YOU COMPOSE, NO RULES EXIST, BUT what you want and what you need.
    Composing YOUR music, you MUST create your own Style!
    (or you will be just a poor follower, even if it CAN be a rewarding activity, from a money commercial point of view )

    I SAY. (full stop )

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: Last About Rules!

    ....BUT:

    DIDACTIC DOES EXIST TOO:
    - during last century, a "reader-digest" of crazy rules has been distilled in several schools and books of school professor, where a kind of universal "harmony and counterpoint" has been collected from a patchwork of different sources (renaissance and baroque counterpoint manual, classical music forms, and romantic harmonic language).

    It's quite easy to understand that this "style" is artificial and has never existed in the real world. It has been considered just an educational gym for young composition students of late '800 and '900 conservatorios or accademias.

    To consider in the 21st century this method still valid is a frequent mistake of superficial teacher and most amateurish students. The mistake is still frequent, due to the large diffusion ( but acritic acceptance) of old books and old study programs.

    AVOID IT! If you don't have the right teacher, and you don't study the history of music, you WONT understand, NEVER understand the meaning of the Harmony and Counterpoint rules of this old books.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Last About Rules!

    Hm, and I ponder ...
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Last About Rules!

    Agreed, but:

    just as an example: no matter how you turn it, parallel fifths sound worse - so I avoid them... :-)

    Seb

  5. #5

    Re: Last About Rules!

    Is this a rule to end this discussion about rules?

    Or merely a 'recommendation?'


  6. #6

    Re: Last About Rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio
    ....BUT:

    DIDACTIC DOES EXIST TOO:
    - during last century, a "reader-digest" of crazy rules has been distilled in several schools and books of school professor, where a kind of universal "harmony and counterpoint" has been collected from a patchwork of different sources (renaissance and baroque counterpoint manual, classical music forms, and romantic harmonic language).
    I'm going to disagree with this comment, but only minimally...
    I think it is quite wrong to paint it as a problem with the last century.

    I think that the "rule" books from the last hundred years have an advantage over the older ones: they have a certain objectivity (notice the choice of words... a "certain" objectivity, so please no flames) brought about by the simple fact that we have more historical context.

    There were MANY didactic works written in the preceding 200 years, and sadly they did NOT enjoy the advantage of historical perspective. The worst cases of "reader's digest crazy quilt" rule book writing date from the mid-romantic period (come on, some writers were arguing that the word "fugue" originated from the german "Fug" - rule).

    _____________________

    But with all these threads on "the rules", I still fail to understand why there is such an uproar! There are "rules" of harmony that are applied to certain types of harmonic writing. Rules = guidelines. Where's the problem? Once you thoroughly understand the rules about how things are supposed to be, you can then happily go about breaking all those rules and making music! Whence comes this drama spewing from the depths of Garritan-land thread-dom?

    I'd like one simple answer, from someone who has finished their musical training, on WHY there's all this drama about "rules"! If you're in a high-school music class, or in the middle of a bachelors of science with a minor in music, please, don't answer!

    WHAT
    IS
    THE
    PROBLEM
    WITH
    RULES?????

  7. #7

    Re: Last About Rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by qccowboy
    But with all these threads on "the rules", I still fail to understand why there is such an uproar! There are "rules" of harmony that are applied to certain types of harmonic writing. Rules = guidelines. Where's the problem?
    The uproar comes from mostly from people who are afraid to break what they perceive to be a rule as well as from people who have already done so and feel the need to defend their action. To those who need it, I hereby grant permission to write any notes you want, and in any order.

    On the other hand, learning the rules is the very best training for your ear and your analytical mind. It probably doesn't matter much which rules you are learning, whether they be 2- and 3-part Renaissance Counterpoint, 12-tone method, Indian Ragas, or Harry Partch's 43-note-per-octave tonalities. In fact, I'd say learn as many different rule sets as you can; they all will benefit what you ultimately write.

    But believing that the rules are fixed for music in general is like believing a painting can only contain a certain set of colors.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  8. #8

    Smile Re: Last About Rules!

    The drama is when some friend get worried about parallel fifth or octaves, and start a debate if it's right or not to follw the rule to make good music!

    My answer is, "if you make this question, you had a bad teacher..."

    It has been considered offensive, and a long discussion started.

    In the Italian Conservatorio and in European academies, we study the style, and also some old fashioned artificial exercise in Classical counterpoint or romantic harmony, but the teacher tell the student that it's not a real musical style, but just a "gym training" before the match, the real historical style composition, or free contemporary composition.

    So nobody has any doubt about the sense of "parallel fifth" or similar rules.

    But in the Forum frequently it happens, and I'm

    - wondering why

    - explaining the possible solution to the "strange ancient rules" enigma!

    Just to add confusion, somebody propose to avoid study of composition, because to write music it's enough to transcribe what the free fantasy suggest. Nice point....

    Probably in the new media world of pop ethnic and newage composer it can be true. In the history of music BTW it has never been true.

    The future will give us an answer, today I have just some opinions to share.

  9. #9

    Re: Last About Rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw

    But believing that the rules are fixed for music in general is like believing a painting can only contain a certain set of colors.
    Agreed.
    3 colours, from which all others are combinations and derivations.

    As for the historical perspective of discussion about rules, it's worth throwing in Ego, Pedantry, Vanity, One's own desire to be different, One's own desire to be the same, etc. Musicologists, composers, and orchestrators were, and are, just as prone to be desirous of fame, historical significance, and fortune as anyone else.
    (Beethoven asked more than once how well Mozart's music was received.)

    To wish to make a mark in history is not confined to meglamaniacal politicians and dictators, and as such, many rules, recommendations, guidelines, etc, are tainted by the personal aspirations of the writer. There are few textbooks that escape this in any craft, and music is no different. And competition plays a part in this too, as one wishes to outwrite the other, and pontificate in their own unique way, so respectability may just be their legacy. There are however 'some common structures' that define to a degree our perception of what may, or may not, be defined as music.

    Just two roubles worth from one mere soul who has been fortunate enough to enjoy a lifetime of near total immersion in the study, performance, and creation of music, both rule based and otherwise.

    Regards,

    Alex.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Last About Rules!

    Still, without the initial “rules” there’s chaos. Some were made to be followed, some were made to be broken or changed, some were made to be refined, and some should not have been made at all. Bottom line, in our world today without the initial rules of any sort for any aspect of our existence up to and including music, would only lead to total disarray.
    Styxx

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