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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
How big a part does theory play in electro?
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deadpixelmusic



Joined: Mar 14, 2013
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: How big a part does theory play in electro? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So for the past year I've started making electronic music without any real knowledge of music theory (stupid idea I know). Up until now I just poked around the piano roll of ableton until a riff sounded good. Now I'm starting to want to learn theory, but I'm afraid everything I've made up until now is just garbage as everything is probably put of key and not in any scales or anything. These are the only two songs I'm worried about as the rest sucks anyway.
https://soundcloud.com/the_deadpixel/deadpixel-mutual-weirdness
https://soundcloud.com/the_deadpixel/xaphan
So is everything I've made till now basically ruined?
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome to electro-music.com!

The likes you've gotten on soundcloud disagrees with you!

Do you like or hate what you have done yourself? If you don't like it, you now know how to make stuff that you don't like, and if you try different approaches, maybe that will produce some nice stuff.

Music is often about repeating yourself, keeping at it until you feel you're going somewhere. Trying out stuff in Live is a great way to get started. If you feel it's time to check out some theory it's time to check out some theory. Don't just shrug off your old stuff, once you know some more about what's going on and how to do stuff, compare it with your old stuff, find the parts that you liked but don't agree with the theory. That might be your own unique angle on things.

I'd say you have some fun stuff going on in your soundcloud tracks.

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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have always found it useful to take a piece of theory with which I have no working familiarity and use it to drive a practice session, or an improv, or a composition. (Those three things are one thing in most ways.) I don't do that out of obligation, I do it because it stretches me and helps me hear new things. Sometimes it is music theory, sometimes signal processing theory, sometimes computing theory, sometimes grammar or math theory. Theories serve as a set of exploration tools. study
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Cynosure



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For the most part, if something sounds good to your ears then there is probably some theory that explains why it sounds good. If it sounds bad or out of key then there is theory to explain that too. Since you are likely always trying to create music that sounds good, you probably aren't going to find many instances where your music conflicts with theory.

Think of theory more as guidelines that help direct your creative process. For example, it is a lot easier to create a song that remains in key when you know what notes are in the key you are playing because the number of available notes are limited.

In the end, whether using theory or not, just go with what your ears tell you.

I have never taken music lessons, but often I read about some theory or have someone explain something to me and I discover that I have been using the theory for years without ever knowing why or giving it a name. It is funny when jamming with someone who has taken lessons their entire life and they start talking about some complex theory that they are impressed to hear me using. My response is to shrug and say, "it just sounds good." Smile
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A E J O T Z



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ditto what Cynosure said.

I'm almost entirely self-taught but I've picked up a little theory over the years; some from deliberate reading and some from musicians I've worked with.

I don't think theory "rules" have ever influenced what I've written. I always just play what sounds good to me. I'm aware when there is a dissonance. If I don't like it I remove it. If I like it, it stays. Dissonance has been used deliberately since late Classical music. Garage rock often contains naive dissonance; but sometimes it sounds right. So, what's the difference?

Sometimes too many rules or too many things to think about just complicates things.

I think it was Chuang Tzu who wrote about the centipede who was asked how he kept all his legs from tangling together when he walked. The centipede started to concsiously think about walking and stumbled into a ditch.

I think the best contribution rules make is that they are fun to challenge.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If we wrote music which was entirely based on theoretical rules, it would all sound good,.......in theory. Smile
And anything which deviated from those rules would sound less good,......in theory. Laughing

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