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Hello. I wonder how many people here are musicians?

By that, I mean they know how to read music, understand music theory, and love music.

I play both jazz, having played in a big jazz band for 13 years, and classical music as well.

It would be a special interest to connect with other dedicated musicians.

"To play a wrong note is insignificant, to play without feeling, is unforgivable"..

Bob4Health 5 May 20

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Some of the worst musicians l have played with could read and knew theory. Some of the best couldn't read a lick. I've played behind Willie Nelson, Leon Russell, and Johnny Gimble in front of 50,000 people. The ability to read has nothing to do with dedication. While it is necessary for the music you play, it is not necessary for all genres of music. ☺

You played with Leon Russell? Holy shit! That guy is one of the most underrated artists ever in my opinion. I'm an amateur songwriter, but he's one of my influences.

@Piece2YourPuzzle I was lucky. We had just come off a tour with Willie and we were on the bill for Willie's Picnic. I was backstage When Willie can me out to play by himself. Poodle. Willie's stage Mgr, saw me and our bass player and waved at us to play and Leon and Johnny joined us. It was great, a little scary, but pretty cool.

I'm sorry, I'm glad you enjoy Willie Nelson, but understand, he may be an entertainer. You may well enjoy his social stances. I like his advocacy for cannabis. But musically, really, he plays diatonic chords of a key. They did that in the 1400s and before the Greeks.

Let's just say, he's not a musician in the sense of a Miles Davis, Jacos Pastorius, or a Yo Yo Ma.or an accomplished, knowledgeable musician. He writes cute lyrics. Who cares how many people watch him? Since TV came out the musical abilities of the American Public have degraded as have pop music.

Popular Music used to feather great musicians, people like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, than TV came out and people went brain dead. That was followed with three chord rock and roll, some simple folk music, and the death of classical music as a whole.

I have played in some of the finest concert halls in the world, with some great musicians. I assure you, no real musician would consider Willie Nelson anything but a pop star.


I'm a singer (trained in musical theatre, classical, and opera), but I've tried to learn to sight read on four separate occasions and it has never stuck. I learn every song by ear.


Well if that’s your definition I might barely count lol. I can read music but it’s a long laborious process. I learn most of my instruments/songs by ear.

Ditto, with some theory. Don't believe it's a fair criteria of a "musician".

@nvrnuff yeah it helps to be classically trained in piano brass or winds if you wanna play classical n jazz but if folk roots and blues rock are your thing, playin by ear will get you close enough for jazz. Er skiffle. ***edit: until you try to play skynyrds piano parts. Classical training would help there too lol

@nvrnuff I am saying I'm interested in communicating with people that have actually studied music. It's like saying I'm a literature major, and I would like to communicate with people that have actually learning to write in a language, and read and understand great works in the field. That is the kind of people I would wish to meet.


Hmmm...I read music and have a basic grasp on music theory and I love, love, love music right down to classical and opera, klezmer, throat singing on and on! I don't know if that makes me a musician, though. My son has a great ear for music. My talents run more through art and writing. Nice post!

thanks you. music and the arts are so important.


I read music, but don't ever do so — not since childhood, really. I much prefer to play from ear.


I play music (5-string electric bass)I read music, understand music theory, created my own music theory (which of course I think is better than all existing music theories LOL), and have loved music for as long as I can remember.

it's all about loving music. I love low notes.

To paraphrase Michelle Obama: when they go high, I go low! 🙂

Can you tell me about your theory book?

It's not a book yet, but I have written a paper on it, to be published in Journal of New Music Research. What I did was connect different modes of different scales using accidentals. In doing so, I was able to map every mode of every scale to each other and uncover novel mathematical and musical characteristics.

Below is a link to a pdf version of the paper if you'd like to read more. In particular, I would read the first section to get used to my nomenclature and then look at the "pretty pictures". Honestly, it's all about the "pretty pictures". LOL


@TheMiddleWay Someone with something interesting to write. I have downloaded that, as I can't read the tiny print. To be honest, I really have found this site generally boring, lacking in original thinking. I was dubious when I saw your comment, but when I looked at your work, it's fascinating.

Are you aware of the work of Joseph Schillinger, the musician, and mathematician who analyzed the mathematics of music? His students included people like Gershwin, Glenn Miller and the like until he died. His work became Berklee College of Music.

A pleasure to meet you. I'm so tired of people that listen to the equivalent of having Superman comic books read to them think they understand literature, acting like they are the experts on music because they know what they like.

I did come across him in my early investigations. I don't profess to know much about his system to be honest but I do carry a strong prejudice against most attempts at melding math with music. This is because most of the time people try to fit the old box of music theory into the new box of a certain math and that is always an ill fit. While presumptuous AF, my system does not rely on any old music theory, relies on the latest advances in math (category and group theory) and in the process, organizes and, to me, explains a lot of what we saw in old music theory.

In short, because I have my theory and it's so "tight", it's hard for me to take any other math-based music theory seriously. Again, I realize there is strong presumption in that statement, but such is my confidence that my theory explores music in a way never before seen and uncovers elements never before heard.

@TheMiddleWay Well, let me introduce Joseph Scillinger to you. He was both a great musician and a great mathematician, a genius at both.

He analyzed the mathematics of music and created the Schillenger house of music.

His students were like the Who's Who of the 30s and 40s. As I said, his students
Included Gershwin, Bernstein, Glenn Miller, Bennie Goodman, Larence Berk, Thomie Dorsey and the like.

After he dies, his wife wanted huge royalties, so the faculty of the Shillinger house translated Schillinger's work into traditional music notation, as it really can do anything, hired a lawyer, Lawrence Berk, whose son's name was Lee, and created Berklee College of Music.
The original faculty were the instructors from the Schillinger School of Music.

Recently, I found a rare piece he wrote. It is currently may favorite piece of music, completely
leaving tonality and yet, to a musician, it all makes sense.

I have not found a single person that was not a musician that liked this, yet
every musician I know found this interesting at the last, or compelling and incredible.
Perhaps you might like it.


Another piece of his.

Unfortunately, that is par for the course with my experience with mathematical musicians: their works just don't sound good. Maybe this is due to many of the most mathematical being in classical and being constrained by that style, I don't know.

Here is an early study I composed using my system. All I did was "travel the outside pyramid" by choosing chords that fit each mode (so a minor mode for the dorian mode, a diminished chord for locrian, etc) in first inversion and then using the second inversion on the second pass and the third inversion on the third and last pass. The letters are the root note chosen for each chord which, you will note, connect to their nearest neighbor in intervals of a perfect fourth or fifth (depending on which way you travel. In the first half (about 1.5 min), I create a progression (in perfect fourths); in the second, I create a retrogression (in perfect fifths). I also changed the style a bit for the parts.

The Airphonic piece wasn't too bad. Reminded me a bit of Phillip Glass, of whom I'm a HUGE fan.

@TheMiddleWay I'd love to see that written in traditional music notation. That would be interesting to see how you played the transitions. That is cool. Of course, computerized music is not at all human, devoid of feeling, passion, and such. It's a demonstration that I would like to play with. You really should develop this with dynamics and add a human element to it. It has lots of interesting ideas.


Never took a lesson.
Play drums, bass, bit of guitar, keys, harmonica, sing, write, record..
Decades in bands and theater.


Professional here.


I'm a complete hack, can't read music, have to transcribe it in to abc etc, but I love it, played guitar in several bands, sing and can make a noise with a few other instruments.
I'm not dedicated, just enthusiastic.


You seem strung up on this one

yes a strung up my guitars and basses? Oh, you meant because I'm interested in meeting people that have an understanding and love of music. as someone that has spent my entire life living and loving music, for much of my life used it to earn my living?

It takes a lot of work, more work, practice, and love.

@Bob4Health It was a pun


Can't read music,didn't know it had a theory,but i played sidedrum in a pipe band & drums now a blues band.

Coldo Level 8 May 21, 2018

Well, if the ability to read music and understand theory is a prerequisite for being a musician...

Interesting thing: just about any classical musician or vocalist I've ever met gets seriously stressed if you ask them to go without the music. It's weird — like someone getting anxious because you've taken away a picture book and asked them to tell the story of Cinderella from memory.

@DaveMania Yup. That's because it's always about sight-reading, understanding the new musical language on the paper, and rehearsing the sight-reading without looking at the instrument.

Well I've been reading music and playing without music all my life. reading music is a great way to communicate musical ideas, just like literature is a way to communicate ideas.

there is no way stravinsky writes the rite of spring for an orchestra, my favorite piece if he can't write for an entire orchestra, hear this unique, world changing symphony in his head.

and, yet, I'm a jazz musician, and am quite comfortable with or without music, as are most serious jazz musicians? do you think Louis armstrong, bird, duke ellington, or the like couldn't read music? the best musicians in the world and history knew how to read and write music.

that's how we learn and communicate.

people who can only read music, and not understand it, are simply reading dots on a page, and that's not about feeling or ideas.

I can not think of a musician that changed the world that could not read music.Pop stars that got famous for words do not count.


@DaveMania People unable to function without music are not really musician. A musician should be well rounded, able to read the language of music, understand it, and make music without looking at the music. No musician should have the need to look at their hands.

I for example, play jazz, classical, Latino, read shows, and if I have to, rock or pop. I love to learn from great composers when I play classical, and I can sit down at a piano and just make stuff up.

Most musicians can. If you knew someone that just could read music, they certainly were using music as a crutch and not complete musicians.

Do you think for example, Duke Ellington could not read music, or play without music?

How about Yo-Yo M> He reads music, but loves to play original improvisation music with Edgar Myers and Mark Oconners or others.

The only really great living musician I know that can't read music would be Stevie Wonder, and he gets a pass, but he learned from all the great musicians, that all understood how to read music, and a solid basis in music theory.,


Read music, know a bit of theory. Play a few instruments and sing a little. Have some orchestra experience, some bluegrass jam experience, some sight-singing experience, led hymns at a church, write poems--hope to one day write songs.


I mostly qualify, but I just dabble when I need to vent. I'm always listening to various types of music, but I don't play much and quit writing a long time ago.


Once a folksinger, I played several instruments (note the past tense). Dad was a successful songwriter and I worked with him and learned from him. Composed music and wrote lyrics. Still do as more of an occasional hobby. Sight read of course, but the voice has wandered away and gotten lost. The fingers no longer work and the wind is somewhere off in the willows.


I'm a musician too. I've been playing since I was a kid, cello, spanish guitar, classical guiter even metal because it's a lot of fun. I can read music, but I almost never do. At an early age i realized that I had a good knack for playing by ear and it stuck with me over the years. I have a bunch of stuff on youtube, and I'll be posting some here and there if you are interested.


Here's a link to the group 🙂


There is a musicians should join 🙂

I didn't know that.


There's a musicians' group here at "Godless Musicians" Group -- come join us over there! And by the way, you don't have to understand music theory or read music to be welcome in the group. For my part, I play tuba, fiddle, and a tiny bit of guitar (been working on that last one), and yes I can read music and have a pretty good understanding of theory.


I just like to listen to music. I'm not talented in playing any instruments.


I used to be able to read music for the piano.

I gave it up long ago. I couldn't pick it up again because it's so difficult.

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