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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST, Tom Bliss No such thing as a B-sharp (566* d) RE: No such thing as a B-sharp 29 Mar 11

Not going to comment on the existence or otherwise of B sharp (because it all depends on who wants to know, when and why). It's only a convention anyway, a compromise, not a physical law.

But I would like to pick josepp up on this:

"I don't know why anyone would argue that [being able to read] is not a required ability. You're always a better musician for knowing it--always."

I'll agree that it's better to be able to read than not, because writing and reading is a great way to communicate music quickly and reliably, but there are two things you might like to consider which your posts suggest you have not.

Some people - specially certified dyslexics like me - are physically incapable of reading music (I've known all the theory all my life, and I can write it, but not read it back). People still seem to think I'm a decent composer, arranger and player. (Writing a 2 hour musical on commission at the moment, as it happens).

But much more importantly, is it CRUCIAL that people, specially children, are taught to play by ear FIRST - just as we all do with language. Those who learn aurally first usually have no problem learning to read music later (again, just as we do with language). But those taught to go straight from dot to finger, bypassing the ear (and often, sadly, the heart) often never learn to improvise, to compose, to harmonise - to pick out solos by ear -in short to be able to do what music is really all about; play by soul. (And they often can't play from memory either).

So if the teacher told the child there was no B sharp because at that stage he just didn't need to know the detail yet then he did the right thing.

I still work on the old Newtonian physics. My son is doing A level physics and he can do quarks - but we can both pick up a pint of beer ok.


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