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No such thing as a B-sharp

josepp 27 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 01:34 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 11 - 01:35 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 01:43 PM
pavane 27 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM
Dave MacKenzie 27 Mar 11 - 02:08 PM
gnu 27 Mar 11 - 02:12 PM
kendall 27 Mar 11 - 02:17 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 02:39 PM
Noreen 27 Mar 11 - 02:48 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 02:52 PM
Ebbie 27 Mar 11 - 02:56 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,henryp 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM
Noreen 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,999 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 03:46 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 03:58 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 11 - 04:04 PM
Mark Ross 27 Mar 11 - 04:07 PM
Tootler 27 Mar 11 - 04:08 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 04:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 27 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM
The Sandman 27 Mar 11 - 04:20 PM
PHJim 27 Mar 11 - 04:28 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Mar 11 - 04:51 PM
gnu 27 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM
Smokey. 27 Mar 11 - 06:00 PM
Noreen 27 Mar 11 - 06:05 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM
Will Fly 27 Mar 11 - 06:21 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Mar 11 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Gerry 27 Mar 11 - 06:50 PM
jacko@nz 27 Mar 11 - 06:57 PM
Dave MacKenzie 27 Mar 11 - 06:58 PM
Gurney 27 Mar 11 - 07:08 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Mar 11 - 07:11 PM
kendall 27 Mar 11 - 07:45 PM
Don Firth 27 Mar 11 - 07:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Mar 11 - 08:07 PM
Smokey. 27 Mar 11 - 09:01 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Richard from Liverpool 27 Mar 11 - 10:54 PM
Crowhugger 27 Mar 11 - 11:31 PM
josepp 27 Mar 11 - 11:37 PM
Crowhugger 27 Mar 11 - 11:47 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Mar 11 - 12:11 AM
Don Firth 28 Mar 11 - 12:46 AM
nager 28 Mar 11 - 12:54 AM
Tim Leaning 28 Mar 11 - 01:40 AM
Darowyn 28 Mar 11 - 04:03 AM
Will Fly 28 Mar 11 - 04:22 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 11 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 05:11 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Mar 11 - 05:18 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 28 Mar 11 - 05:20 AM
Zen 28 Mar 11 - 05:22 AM
pavane 28 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 11 - 05:32 AM
treewind 28 Mar 11 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM
SPB-Cooperator 28 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM
Max Johnson 28 Mar 11 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Mar 11 - 05:58 AM
Will Fly 28 Mar 11 - 06:02 AM
Lox 28 Mar 11 - 06:08 AM
Rob Naylor 28 Mar 11 - 06:14 AM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 06:16 AM
SPB-Cooperator 28 Mar 11 - 06:33 AM
Lox 28 Mar 11 - 07:09 AM
Nigel Parsons 28 Mar 11 - 07:30 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Mar 11 - 07:32 AM
The Sandman 28 Mar 11 - 07:37 AM
s&r 28 Mar 11 - 07:40 AM
Dave MacKenzie 28 Mar 11 - 07:42 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Mar 11 - 07:44 AM
kendall 28 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM
The Sandman 28 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Mar 11 - 08:51 AM
Mr Happy 28 Mar 11 - 09:03 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM
treewind 28 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM
Crowhugger 28 Mar 11 - 01:54 PM
Crowhugger 28 Mar 11 - 02:05 PM
PoppaGator 28 Mar 11 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM
Stanron 28 Mar 11 - 02:58 PM
C-flat 28 Mar 11 - 03:01 PM
mandomad 28 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM
Don Firth 28 Mar 11 - 03:33 PM
HiHo_Silver 28 Mar 11 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 28 Mar 11 - 04:18 PM
Smokey. 28 Mar 11 - 04:33 PM
Don Firth 28 Mar 11 - 04:56 PM
Gurney 28 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM
Gurney 28 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 05:06 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 05:10 PM
The Sandman 28 Mar 11 - 05:23 PM
Smokey. 28 Mar 11 - 05:27 PM
Noreen 28 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 05:32 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 05:33 PM
mandomad 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM
Noreen 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM
Noreen 28 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 11 - 06:55 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 11 - 07:00 PM
Crowhugger 28 Mar 11 - 07:09 PM
John P 28 Mar 11 - 07:12 PM
kendall 28 Mar 11 - 07:52 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 11 - 08:00 PM
Dave MacKenzie 28 Mar 11 - 08:15 PM
gnu 28 Mar 11 - 08:18 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 11 - 08:26 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 08:29 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 11 - 08:41 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 08:46 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 08:48 PM
Lox 28 Mar 11 - 08:49 PM
josepp 28 Mar 11 - 08:55 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 11 - 09:32 PM
andrew e 28 Mar 11 - 10:08 PM
Smokey. 28 Mar 11 - 10:16 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 11 - 10:48 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 11 - 10:51 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 28 Mar 11 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 11:03 PM
Mooh 28 Mar 11 - 11:12 PM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 04:38 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 04:54 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 04:55 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 04:59 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 05:04 AM
Will Fly 29 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 05:24 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 05:29 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Mar 11 - 05:33 AM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 05:36 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM
harmonic miner 29 Mar 11 - 05:46 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM
harmonic miner 29 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 06:04 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 06:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 06:16 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 06:22 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 29 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 06:44 AM
MGM·Lion 29 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 06:58 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 07:13 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 07:19 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 07:21 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM
Howard Jones 29 Mar 11 - 07:39 AM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 07:47 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 07:51 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 07:52 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 07:55 AM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 07:56 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Mar 11 - 08:01 AM
johncharles 29 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 08:10 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 08:16 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 29 Mar 11 - 08:20 AM
Mooh 29 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 08:37 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 08:39 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 29 Mar 11 - 08:52 AM
Mr Happy 29 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM
DrugCrazed 29 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,999 29 Mar 11 - 09:24 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 09:57 AM
harmonic miner 29 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 29 Mar 11 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 Mar 11 - 10:55 AM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 11:23 AM
Stringsinger 29 Mar 11 - 11:48 AM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 12:18 PM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 12:22 PM
Will Fly 29 Mar 11 - 12:27 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 29 Mar 11 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,999 29 Mar 11 - 12:58 PM
Will Fly 29 Mar 11 - 01:14 PM
PoppaGator 29 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM
johncharles 29 Mar 11 - 02:38 PM
johncharles 29 Mar 11 - 03:28 PM
John P 29 Mar 11 - 03:30 PM
Smokey. 29 Mar 11 - 03:36 PM
Tootler 29 Mar 11 - 03:50 PM
Smokey. 29 Mar 11 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,chinacat 29 Mar 11 - 05:07 PM
PoppaGator 29 Mar 11 - 05:26 PM
Don Firth 29 Mar 11 - 05:33 PM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 06:28 PM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 06:35 PM
John P 29 Mar 11 - 07:10 PM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 07:22 PM
Lox 29 Mar 11 - 08:08 PM
Don Firth 29 Mar 11 - 09:26 PM
Noreen 29 Mar 11 - 09:30 PM
GUEST,999 29 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM
josepp 29 Mar 11 - 10:04 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Mar 11 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,999 29 Mar 11 - 10:34 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Mar 11 - 12:02 AM
Smokey. 30 Mar 11 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,999 30 Mar 11 - 02:17 AM
Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,999 30 Mar 11 - 04:23 AM
Lox 30 Mar 11 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,999 30 Mar 11 - 04:38 AM
Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 04:42 AM
The Sandman 30 Mar 11 - 06:02 AM
Rob Naylor 30 Mar 11 - 06:04 AM
John P 30 Mar 11 - 10:48 AM
josepp 30 Mar 11 - 12:26 PM
josepp 30 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM
The Sandman 30 Mar 11 - 12:39 PM
John P 30 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM
Jack Campin 30 Mar 11 - 01:55 PM
Don Firth 30 Mar 11 - 02:56 PM
PoppaGator 30 Mar 11 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,999 30 Mar 11 - 04:22 PM
josepp 30 Mar 11 - 05:07 PM
Lox 30 Mar 11 - 05:11 PM
josepp 30 Mar 11 - 05:36 PM
PoppaGator 30 Mar 11 - 05:51 PM
Lox 30 Mar 11 - 06:03 PM
Don Firth 30 Mar 11 - 07:46 PM
Smokey. 30 Mar 11 - 09:43 PM
johncharles 31 Mar 11 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,999 31 Mar 11 - 08:31 AM
John P 31 Mar 11 - 10:06 AM
Mr Happy 31 Mar 11 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,999 31 Mar 11 - 10:28 AM
Smokey. 31 Mar 11 - 12:49 PM
Richard from Liverpool 31 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM
The Sandman 31 Mar 11 - 01:13 PM
The Sandman 31 Mar 11 - 01:22 PM
Will Fly 31 Mar 11 - 01:42 PM
Don Firth 31 Mar 11 - 03:10 PM
John P 31 Mar 11 - 04:31 PM
josepp 31 Mar 11 - 05:01 PM
PoppaGator 31 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM
josepp 31 Mar 11 - 05:19 PM
Bert 31 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM
PoppaGator 31 Mar 11 - 06:03 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 31 Mar 11 - 06:04 PM
Lox 31 Mar 11 - 06:10 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 31 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 11 - 07:04 PM
GUEST 31 Mar 11 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 31 Mar 11 - 09:13 PM
Lox 31 Mar 11 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Mar 11 - 09:35 PM
Smokey. 31 Mar 11 - 10:26 PM
Smokey. 31 Mar 11 - 10:42 PM
Mr Happy 01 Apr 11 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,999 01 Apr 11 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 01 Apr 11 - 09:48 AM
Mysha 01 Apr 11 - 01:30 PM
John P 01 Apr 11 - 01:42 PM
johncharles 01 Apr 11 - 02:07 PM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM
Lox 01 Apr 11 - 02:39 PM
Tootler 01 Apr 11 - 06:14 PM
Smokey. 01 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM
PHJim 01 Apr 11 - 08:04 PM
PHJim 01 Apr 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,entropy 01 Apr 11 - 10:21 PM
Crowhugger 01 Apr 11 - 11:07 PM
Bert 01 Apr 11 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 01 Apr 11 - 11:33 PM
Crowhugger 01 Apr 11 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,Razor 02 Apr 11 - 02:11 AM
Lox 02 Apr 11 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 02 Apr 11 - 09:22 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 02 Apr 11 - 10:15 AM
John P 02 Apr 11 - 10:37 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 02 Apr 11 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 12:12 PM
josepp 02 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 12:51 PM
josepp 02 Apr 11 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 01:18 PM
josepp 02 Apr 11 - 02:02 PM
Bert 02 Apr 11 - 02:39 PM
Smokey. 02 Apr 11 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 02:45 PM
Jeri 02 Apr 11 - 03:03 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 02 Apr 11 - 03:08 PM
Smokey. 02 Apr 11 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,999 02 Apr 11 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 02 Apr 11 - 08:10 PM
Don Firth 02 Apr 11 - 08:40 PM
squeezyjohn 02 Apr 11 - 09:01 PM
squeezyjohn 02 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM
josepp 02 Apr 11 - 09:40 PM
Smokey. 02 Apr 11 - 09:54 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Apr 11 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,999 03 Apr 11 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Apr 11 - 01:14 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Apr 11 - 04:00 AM
Will Fly 03 Apr 11 - 05:28 AM
Lox 03 Apr 11 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Accordians ? 03 Apr 11 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 03 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM
Will Fly 03 Apr 11 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 11:13 AM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM
Will Fly 03 Apr 11 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 03 Apr 11 - 12:02 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 12:10 PM
Lox 03 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM
PHJim 03 Apr 11 - 01:10 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 03 Apr 11 - 05:30 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 05:33 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Apr 11 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,999 03 Apr 11 - 08:48 PM
Lox 03 Apr 11 - 08:54 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,999 03 Apr 11 - 09:09 PM
Jeri 03 Apr 11 - 09:26 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 09:35 PM
Melissa 03 Apr 11 - 09:58 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 11:00 PM
josepp 03 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM
Jeri 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM
Jeri 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM
Jeri 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM
Jeri 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM
Smokey. 03 Apr 11 - 11:30 PM
Don Firth 04 Apr 11 - 01:46 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 04 Apr 11 - 04:57 AM
johncharles 04 Apr 11 - 08:28 AM
josepp 04 Apr 11 - 12:14 PM
josepp 04 Apr 11 - 12:19 PM
Stringsinger 04 Apr 11 - 01:12 PM
GUEST 04 Apr 11 - 01:34 PM
Bert 04 Apr 11 - 02:18 PM
josepp 04 Apr 11 - 04:59 PM
Smokey. 04 Apr 11 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 04 Apr 11 - 05:40 PM
josepp 04 Apr 11 - 10:58 PM
Smokey. 05 Apr 11 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 05 Apr 11 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 11 - 06:34 PM
Don Firth 05 Apr 11 - 06:49 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 11 - 06:51 PM
Lox 05 Apr 11 - 06:59 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Apr 11 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM
Smokey. 05 Apr 11 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 11 - 09:40 PM
Smokey. 05 Apr 11 - 10:15 PM
Smokey. 05 Apr 11 - 10:58 PM
Lox 06 Apr 11 - 05:34 AM
Smokey. 06 Apr 11 - 11:09 AM
josepp 06 Apr 11 - 12:37 PM
Lox 06 Apr 11 - 01:35 PM
Smokey. 06 Apr 11 - 04:56 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 11 - 05:46 PM
Lox 06 Apr 11 - 05:51 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Apr 11 - 06:14 PM
Smokey. 06 Apr 11 - 06:21 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Apr 11 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 07 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM
Don Firth 07 Apr 11 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 07 Apr 11 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,josepp 08 Apr 11 - 04:49 PM
Jack Campin 08 Apr 11 - 05:06 PM
Smokey. 08 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM
PoppaGator 08 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM
josepp 09 Apr 11 - 12:16 AM
Smokey. 09 Apr 11 - 12:22 AM
Jeri 09 Apr 11 - 12:30 AM
Mr Happy 09 Apr 11 - 05:24 AM
s&r 09 Apr 11 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 AM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,999 The Final Frontier 09 Apr 11 - 07:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Apr 11 - 07:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Apr 11 - 07:59 AM
Jack Campin 09 Apr 11 - 08:46 AM
Dave MacKenzie 09 Apr 11 - 10:40 AM
josepp 09 Apr 11 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 12:36 PM
Smokey. 09 Apr 11 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 04:07 PM
Smokey. 09 Apr 11 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,999 09 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM
Don Firth 09 Apr 11 - 08:04 PM
Smokey. 10 Apr 11 - 10:28 PM
Mr Happy 11 Apr 11 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,GUEST 11 Apr 11 - 07:14 AM
Dave MacKenzie 11 Apr 11 - 07:35 AM
Mr Happy 11 Apr 11 - 07:48 AM
Dave MacKenzie 11 Apr 11 - 07:55 AM
Mr Happy 11 Apr 11 - 08:05 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 11 - 08:11 AM
Dave MacKenzie 11 Apr 11 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 11 Apr 11 - 12:48 PM
Don Firth 11 Apr 11 - 02:53 PM
Smokey. 11 Apr 11 - 06:40 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM
Smokey. 11 Apr 11 - 08:51 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 11 - 11:20 PM
Smokey. 11 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM
Smokey. 12 Apr 11 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,999 12 Apr 11 - 02:41 AM
GUEST,999 12 Apr 11 - 02:43 AM
Smokey. 12 Apr 11 - 11:43 AM
josepp 12 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM
Lox 12 Apr 11 - 07:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 11 - 07:31 PM
Don Firth 12 Apr 11 - 07:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 11 - 07:55 PM
Smokey. 12 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM
Lox 12 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Lox 12 Apr 11 - 08:21 PM
Don Firth 12 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM
Smokey. 12 Apr 11 - 09:05 PM
Smokey. 12 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 13 Apr 11 - 02:25 AM
Mr Happy 13 Apr 11 - 08:20 AM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 09:49 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Apr 11 - 01:47 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 04:41 PM
Jack Campin 13 Apr 11 - 05:12 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Apr 11 - 05:21 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 11 - 07:00 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 11 - 07:03 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Apr 11 - 07:18 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 07:55 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 11 - 08:24 PM
Don Firth 13 Apr 11 - 08:26 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 10:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Apr 11 - 10:33 PM
Smokey. 13 Apr 11 - 10:40 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 11 - 12:57 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Apr 11 - 03:59 AM
s&r 14 Apr 11 - 05:08 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Apr 11 - 05:41 AM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 12:31 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 12:46 PM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 02:27 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 11 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 14 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 04:38 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 06:58 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:30 PM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 07:32 PM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,999 14 Apr 11 - 07:37 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:39 PM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Apr 11 - 07:44 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:45 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:46 PM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Apr 11 - 07:48 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 07:50 PM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:00 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:07 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:13 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:19 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 14 Apr 11 - 08:22 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:25 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 08:54 PM
Lox 14 Apr 11 - 09:09 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 09:41 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 09:47 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 09:59 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 10:52 PM
Smokey. 14 Apr 11 - 11:05 PM
Don Firth 14 Apr 11 - 11:58 PM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 12:02 AM
Don Firth 15 Apr 11 - 02:49 AM
Dave MacKenzie 15 Apr 11 - 03:32 AM
Lox 15 Apr 11 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,999 Sorry again! 15 Apr 11 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,999--darned memory 15 Apr 11 - 09:00 AM
gnu 15 Apr 11 - 09:43 AM
Tattie Bogle 15 Apr 11 - 09:53 AM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Apr 11 - 11:36 AM
Don Firth 15 Apr 11 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM
Don Firth 15 Apr 11 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Apr 11 - 04:39 PM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 05:06 PM
Jack Campin 15 Apr 11 - 05:24 PM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 15 Apr 11 - 05:48 PM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 06:00 PM
Tootler 15 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM
Dave Hanson 15 Apr 11 - 06:49 PM
Tootler 15 Apr 11 - 06:51 PM
Don Firth 15 Apr 11 - 07:04 PM
Smokey. 15 Apr 11 - 07:19 PM
Jack Campin 15 Apr 11 - 07:47 PM
Don Firth 15 Apr 11 - 09:42 PM
Smokey. 16 Apr 11 - 05:27 PM
Tootler 16 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM
Don Firth 16 Apr 11 - 06:09 PM
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Subject: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM

I heard a guy tell someone that last night. "I've studied guitar for three years and my instructor says there's no such thing as a B-sharp. It's a C."

So either the teacher is an idiot who shouldn't be in that job or the guy misunderstood him.

For those who don't know, yes, there damned well is such a thing as a B-sharp and yes it is also called a C. One is an enharmonic equivalent of the other.

What bothers me, though, is the guy said he's been studying for three years. That's kind of long time to still be carrying around this misconception and that leads me to believe that his instructor actually has taught him that there is no such thing as a B-sharp.

The misconception occurs probably because, if one looks at a keyboard, one notices there is no black key between B and C nor between E and F. The black key represents a sharp or a flat, e.g. the black key between F and G can be called F-sharp or G-flat depending on the case. Since there is no black key between B and C, then there is no B-sharp or C-flat. Seems logical but it is wrong. B-sharp is C and C-flat is B. For that matter, you can call C a D-double flat or a G and F-double sharp.

Shouldn't there be some kind of qualification for teaching music? We require mechanics to be ASE certified so that we can rest assured that the guy knows the back end of a car from the front before he touches yours. We require an engineer to be licensed so that if he designs a bridge, it will not collapse when you're driving over it--that might be important if your future plans include living.

So, if your child is taking music lessons, wouldn't you want to make sure your teacher is qualified to teach music? All I know is, if my kid has been studying for 3 years and then one day says that his instructor says there's no such thing as a B-sharp, me and that instructor are going to have a little talk.

It seems kind of indicative of things these days. When I took drum lessons, I learned from a guy who was college-educated in the drums. I'm learning the double bass right now from a guy who is university educated and studied under a principal bassist of two major symphonies. When my uncle used to play double bass bog bands in the 40s and in a jazz band back in the early 50s, he and every member of the band were college-educated and held degrees in music.

Now we seem to hire people that played guitar is 5 rock bands over the last 10 years and so he's qualified. Seems to me our standards are slipping. So, in case you didn't know, you can't play a B-sharp on your guitar because there's no B-sharp fret.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:34 PM

Sorry, I meant to say my uncle played in big bands in the 40s not bog bands. He never played in one of those.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:35 PM

play the music enjoy it, and when you judge a teacher judge him on how good his pupils are and.... has he enthused his pupils with a love of music, not on whether he called something bs harp or c


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:43 PM

No, I disagree. Music theory is music theory and part of his job is to teach it and teach it correctly. I believe when you learn an instrument, you need to learn to read music. Tabs are ok for a quick and dirty but you should know real music and not just tabs. A guy who says there's no such thing as a B-sharp cannot know how to read music or otherwise what's he going to play when he runs across a B-sharp? For that matter, he can't have looked at much sheet music over the last 3 years to even make such a statement.

When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture. It's not a case of "As long as you're enjoying yourself..." No way. Study is study and you have to devote time to it. I enjoy doing that but it's still a lot of work and a big commitment. If you're going to learn it, learn it right. And if you're going to teach it, teach it right.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: pavane
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 01:44 PM

The reason to call it B# instead of C is that it will be displayed differently on sheet music.

A note of B (equivalent to middle C) will be displayed as a B, not a C, therefore just above the A line in the Bass clef, and the # will be implied by the key signature (I hope).

If the key is C, the note will be displayed with a horizontal line through it.

But in reality it doesn't make much difference.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:08 PM

And of course, they're only the same in Equal Temperament.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: gnu
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:12 PM

I be sharp.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: kendall
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:17 PM

Conversation between a student and an old time banjo player.
Student. "Can you read music"?
Old timer, "Not enough to hurt my playing."

Another quote, "Hell, there aint no notes on a banjo, you just play the damn thing."


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:29 PM

///The reason to call it B# instead of C is that it will be displayed differently on sheet music.

A note of B (equivalent to middle C) will be displayed as a B, not a C, therefore just above the A line in the Bass clef, and the # will be implied by the key signature (I hope).

If the key is C, the note will be displayed with a horizontal line through it.

But in reality it doesn't make much difference.///

It makes a big difference if you don't know there's such a thing as B-sharp.

If you're playing in A major where C is sharped from the key signature then anytime you run across a C, you play it sharp unless it has a natural next to it, then you play it natural. So if there's no such thing as a B-sharp and it's all C then every C that's a B-sharp has to have a natural sign next to it. That presents problems with notation in a key as A major such as when a C-natural is played, every C in that measure is natural unless notated otherwise. If want to C to return to sharp in that measure, you have to put a sharp sign next to it. Whereas if you use a B-sharp for C-natural, you can get around all this confusing notation trying to differentiate between C-natural and C-sharp. The C note will remain sharp by notating C-natural as B-sharp. That's much easier to read. But not if you're taught there's no such thing as a B-sharp.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM

"So either the teacher is an idiot who shouldn't be in that job or the guy misunderstood him".
he may or may not be an idiot , but he may be a good teacher who inspires his pupils, I would not dismiss someone as a bad teacher because they said what he said, who cares a feck what its called, in equal temperament its the same thing.
josepp, youare talking shite, music is about enjoyment , many people can play very well but cannot read music, I can read music, I also spend a lot of time practising.
I find your atttitude intolerant, I think it is incredible, that you can make a value judgement on someone as a teacher , because they called b sharp c, or said b sharp doesn@t exist, or whatever , what the feck has that got to do with inspiring someone to play music.
if yu hadnt noticed most of the modern music is in equal temperament where in effect b sharp is c.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:39 PM

////Conversation between a student and an old time banjo player.
Student. "Can you read music"?
Old timer, "Not enough to hurt my playing."

Another quote, "Hell, there aint no notes on a banjo, you just play the damn thing."////

So, there's no such thing as banjo sheet music?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:48 PM

When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture

I have known many, many wonderful musicians that I respect greatly and I could never hold a candle to them as musicians, yet they could not read a note of sheet music. You would say that they 'damage our culture' (whatever that means!)?

I do read music but I can't say that I have regularly come across B# written down. I would think that what the guitar teacher meant was that there isn't a separate note called B#, but in effect it is the same as the note commonly referred to as C. To take issue with this and to say he therefore doesn't understand music theory is taking it a bit far.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:52 PM

///he may or may not be an idiot , but he may be a good teacher who inspires his pupils, I would not dismiss someone as a bad teacher because they said what he said, who cares a feck what its called, in equal temperament its the same thing.///

Because he's wrong, you fool. And you're wrong too. It makes a difference.

////josepp, youare talking shite, music is about enjoyment , many people can play very well but cannot read music, I can read music, I also spend a lot of time practising.
I find your atttitude intolerant////

I could care less what you think. You're wrong and you know you're wrong. And if you really knew how to read music, which i very much doubt, you wouldn't say it makes no difference.

////I think it is incredible, that you can make a value judgement on someone as a teacher , because they called b sharp c, or said b sharp doesn@t exist, or whatever , what the feck has that got to do with inspiring someone to play music.////

Okay, say your 12-year-old kid comes home from school and you notice on his homework: "Jak drove the kar to the klub at 5 o'klok." And you ask him why is spelling it that way and he says, "My teacher says there is no such thing as a hard C and that we should just use k. It sounds the same. And I really, really like this teacher." What would you do?

////if yu hadnt noticed most of the modern music is in equal temperament where in effect b sharp is c.////

Yes, B-sharp is C. That's totally different from saying there is no such thing as B-sharp. Who taught you to read music?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 02:56 PM

gnu, you be sharp, I be square.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:09 PM

////I have known many, many wonderful musicians that I respect greatly and I could never hold a candle to them as musicians, yet they could not read a note of sheet music.////

The best guitarist I ever played with can't read. What has that got to do with anything??? I'm talking about someone who is being paid to teach music and is apparently teaching it wrong. Undoubtedly the guy is good on guitar to have students but he shouldn't be teaching. That's not the same as somebody hearing him on a recording and being inspired by him to take up guitar. It's about him being paid to teach music and he is doing it wrong but his students buy into it because he's their teacher.

///You would say that they 'damage our culture' (whatever that means!)?///

The point of playing an instrument is not just for enjoyment. If you're any good, it is possible somebody may want you to teach them. If you teach them wrong, they too will teach others wrong and so on. That is damaging to our culture.

What generally happens is that people like the ones attacking me right now encounter these people and laugh at them for being ignorant and asking how good could their teacher have been if he taught theory this badly? Imagine an entire school of violin being taught with erroneous musical theory behind it--imagine that.

When you leave behind a legacy, it has to be right because posterity is a harsh judge. And, like it or not, when you take it on yourself to teach, you are leaving behind a legacy.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM

"The Concert Harp; In the top position no pegs are in contact with the string and all notes are flat; thus the harp's native tuning is to the scale of C-flat major."


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM

The best guitarist I ever played with can't read. What has that got to do with anything???

Because you said (and I quote again):
When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture

The quote from your post, put those two sentences together- did you not mean that? Sounded very like it to me.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:21 PM

josepp: there are chords that use double sharps and flats. The fact that someone knows or doesn`t know that is not sufficient reason to go off your rag.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:46 PM

///josepp: there are chords that use double sharps and flats. The fact that someone knows or doesn`t know that is not sufficient reason to go off your rag.////

Once again, read this: When you are BEING PAID TO TEACH MUSIC, you are obliged to teach it correctly. When you tell people there is no such thing as a B-sharp, you are NOT teaching it correctly. It's no different than teaching someone that there is no E-string on a guitar. "So what's this one?" the person asks plucking the E. "Oh, that's the F-flat string." Is that teaching the guitar correctly in your opinion? Would you pay someone to teach you that? And do you think that student should, in turn, teach others that same line?


/////Because you said (and I quote again):
When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture

The quote from your post, put those two sentences together- did you not mean that? Sounded very like it to me./////

If we had no musicians in this country that could read music and read it well, our culture would be a shit heap. Listening to the Beatles is all well and good and the fact that they can't read music is all well and good. But if every musician was like that, it would NOT be all well and good. The guitarist I spoke of is great, but he can't teach anyone to play what he does. At best, he can hope someone will just pick it up like he did. In fact, I stopped using him for jam sessions because I need him to read and he can't read. Great guitar-player but I can't use him.

I might have great aptitude as an engineer but if I never went to college and got a degree in engineering, would you hire me to build a bridge? Especially if the math I use is not exactly correct?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 03:58 PM

////"The Concert Harp; In the top position no pegs are in contact with the string and all notes are flat; thus the harp's native tuning is to the scale of C-flat major."////

Why, that can't be right!!!! There's no such thing as C-flat, only B!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:04 PM

you seem to be obsessed with people being correct, and using correct terminology, none of which has anything to do with being a good teacher.
A person may have all the correct qualifications, Possess a degree, be very knowledgeable, may understand that in other temperaments other than equal.. b sharp is different from c ... but still be a useless teacher.
playing and teaching music is not just about correct terminology , if it was we could programme a robot to teach it


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mark Ross
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:07 PM

Pete Seeger once asked his father Charles, the composer and musicologist, when should someone learn to read music. Charles Seefer replied, 'When the know what kind of music they want to play."

I once heard Itzhak Perlman on NPR demonstrate the difference between B, Bsharp, Cflat, and C. Even a cheap radio I could hear the difference in the tones. In classical music I guess it makes a difference, but read Woody Guthrie on the distinction between a sliding finger fiddler and one who can drop his digit on the precise note.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:08 PM

Josepp is right, there is such a thing as B# and he is also right to criticise his friend's guitar teacher for not knowing the difference, or at least not pointing it out.

Of course it's always possible that his friend has mis-reported (or misunderstood) what his guitar teacher actually said. I suspect that may well be the case and before criticising the guitar teacher, that needs to be checked.

I agree that in most practical situations, there is no difference in sounding pitch between B# and C, nevertheless knowing that there is a difference does matter in a practical sense, especially if you play from written music at all because you might see it written down and you need to know what to play. I play recorder in a classical music ensemble and I come across B# from time to time. It's not particularly common but it is not by any means rare. If Josepp's friend is interested in playing classical guitar at all or ever becomes interested then it is essential that he knows what B# is.

To anticipate the other question that often comes up, namely "Why not write it as C?". It's all to do with the harmony in written music. If you are wanting to write a chord of G#maj, for example, you would write it as G# B# D# (ie a semitone above Gmaj). You could equally write Ab C Eb but that is an Ab chord and not G#. True, when both were played, they would sound the same, but which you would choose would depend on the harmonic progression. Whichever way you expressed that chord, writing it as G# C D# would not make sense as it would muddy the harmonic progression for someone looking at the score.

There are situations where B# and C are not the same. If you play a G#(Ab) chord on a keyboard tuned 1/4 comma meantone, believe me, it sounds horrible! In meantone temperaments, the enharmonic "equivalents" are not equivalent and you actually need different keys for both B# & C and also for Eb and D# so that you could get sweet sounding chords. This has been attempted in the past but the result was never really satisfactory so has not persisted.

If you play purely by ear, then of course all this is purely academic but if you play music in a situation where the norm is to play from written music then it is definitely of practical importance.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:09 PM

////you seem to be obsessed with people being correct, and using correct terminology, none of which has anything to do with being a good teacher.////

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:17 PM

There is also B half-sharp. In the Arab system it both is and isn't "equivalent" to C half-flat!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:20 PM

"If you play purely by ear, then of course all this is purely academic but if you play music in a situation where the norm is to play from written music then it is definitely of practical importance."

since most music is in equal temperament it is not of practical importance, it is of importance in some forms of classical harmony writing, as regards correct protocol,
it is important in other temperaments other than equal, but it bears no relationship to whether someone is a good teacher.
But since the guitar is an equal tempered instrument, the guitar teacher would have been correct in f he had said that on the guitar b sharp and c occupy the same fret, as do g# and a flat, so what you call them whilst you are playing is not important, because they are in effect the same bloody note, this is probably what he meant.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:28 PM

If someone has been taking lessons for three years, it might be confusing to indicate the idea of B#. I doubt a guitar player of three years is going to be reading music with B#s in it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 04:51 PM

Quite obviously, josepp learned his music in the manner of a religion, and believes that only the "true faith" may be taught, and that everyone must know and believe his faith.

To explain economics to a graduate student, he would start the lesson with the explanation that the elasticicy of the supply-demand curve is the partial derivative of the quantity demanded by the market with respect to the price set by the supply, just as Dr. Samuelson did on the first chapter of his widely acclaimed Economics textbook.

This "method" simply ignores that since the graduate student majored in philosopy and English literature, what (s)he really needs to know is "there are one hundred pennies in a dollar" since the immediate functional need is to be able to make change at the pub/tavern where the student finally found a first job. (The teacher must also recognize, in this cse, that the student is probably anticipating the opportunity to move out of his parents' home - at age 39 - and may not be thinking too clearly.)

Any decent "teacher" has the task of presenting new information in terms that the student can relate to something that the student already understands; and the teacher must avoid the attempt to teach technicalities incomprehensible in the context of the studen'ts existing understanding before the student is prepared for, and capable of understanding, the new information. The lesson must fit the student's needs.

This does occasionally lead to incomplete understanding by the student, and an occasional technical error.

A proper response to the student's statement would have been the simple reply that "technically there is a C# that is the enharmonic equivalent of the second semitone above C♭ on equal-tempered instruments." Then, after you've brought the student up to understanding of enharmonic substitutions, you might be able to demonstrate the mathematices of derivation of the numerical value of the coma so that student will comprehend when the equivalences are inappropriate and how much (or little) it matters in the kinds of performance of interest to that student.

Since a conversation of this sort, unless with one of person's own students, is unlikely to occur other than in a pub/tavern, understanding will demand (many?) more than one pint each, for both student and instructor. Depending on the quality of the brew, by the time the lesson ends they either will reach the point of believing they have achieved true understanding or there will be a pub riot, either of which - in some circles - is deemed part of a satisfactory lesson plan.

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: gnu
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM

Ebbie... perhaps somewhat square but you got you got some well rounded edges.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:00 PM

So either the teacher is an idiot who shouldn't be in that job or the guy misunderstood him.

I know where I'd place my bet.. Pupils are often less knowledgeable than their teachers, in fact it's a fairly common phenomenon. Why make unfair assumptions about a teacher you've never met, based on hearsay from a pupil who is obviously of relatively little learning? Could it perhaps be that you just wanted to show off your own knowledge?

The proof of quality musicianship lies in practical demonstration, not in knowledge of musical theory. Which came first - music or the theoretical description of it? Which is ultimately more important?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:05 PM

JohnInKansas- a most excellent post.

I would like to nominate it for the Mudcat Post of the Year, if you will accept the honour.



Or I could buy you a pint, if I ever get the chance!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM

On the concert harp, B# is a very different animal from C natural, and you can play them both at once if you want to, which is kind of fun. Likewise Cb & B natural, E# & F natural, Fb & E natural. You can do this with all the enharmonics.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:21 PM

There is actually a subtle difference between, say, Eb and D#.

"What?" I hear you say, "how can this be?"

Well, I've heard it demonstrated on a violin. In certain tunes the intonation sounds more accurate sharpened or flattened ever so slightly to fit the key and the melody. Technically, there's no difference - in reality, there is.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:36 PM

I remember a viola player in college saying that too.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:50 PM

The only music lesson my father ever gave me came one day when the sidewalks were iced over and I was going out and he said to me, C-sharp or you'll B-flat.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: jacko@nz
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:57 PM

I second Noreen's accolade for JohninKansas.

I'm almost ashamed to have wasted so much time on this rot but John's summation made it worthwhile.

Jack


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:58 PM

"the guitar is an equal tempered instrument"

Not if you play it properly.

A double-bass player I know said recently when asked what is the difference between Ab and G# said "on my instrument, an inch and a half".


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 07:08 PM

Never mind the guitar, nor the concert harp, I want one of those BS harps that GSSchweik spoke of at the top there.
Just suit my playing style.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 07:11 PM

I've watched this merry go round run before. I think I'll mostly sit out this ride, and just throw peanuts at the riders as they coame past ...

QUOTE
Any decent "teacher" has the task of presenting new information in terms that the student can relate to something that the student already understands; and the teacher must avoid the attempt to teach technicalities incomprehensible in the context of the student's existing understanding before the student is prepared for, and capable of understanding, the new information. The lesson must fit the student's needs.

This does occasionally lead to incomplete understanding by the student, and an occasional technical error.
UNQUOTE

This is called the "Lies to Children" Educational Method.

QUOTE
"Quite obviously, josepp learned his music in the manner of a religion, and believes that only the "true faith" may be taught, and that everyone must know and believe his faith."

"I know where I'd place my bet.. Pupils are often less knowledgeable than their teachers, in fact it's a fairly common phenomenon. Why make unfair assumptions about a teacher you've never met, based on hearsay from a pupil who is obviously of relatively little learning? Could it perhaps be that you just wanted to show off your own {limited} knowledge? "
UNQUOTE

Yep, this is why they are called 'Trolls'... Truly, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing... and empty vessels make most sound.

QUOTE
////you seem to be obsessed with people being correct, and using correct terminology, none of which has anything to do with being a good teacher.////

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
UNQUOTE

Q. E. D.

:-)

I'll be back - ran out of peanuts.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: kendall
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 07:45 PM

Pointing out a teacher's mistake is ok; calling a fellow Mudcatter a fool is not.Especially when your own grammar is less than perfect. "Different than" is improper. It is "Different FROM".


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 07:47 PM

In principle I agree with Josepp (and how often does THAT happen!??).

However, the chances that very many people who frequent this forum—or, for that matter, the vast majority of symphony orchestra musicians or classical soloists—are ever going to be called on to make a distinction between C natural and B# are rare indeed.

In fact, one can have a perfectly stupendous career as a world famous singer or instrumentalist without ever encountering a situation where the matter would make a difference. Distinctions between enharmonic notes (one tone that can be written a couple of different ways) has to do with reading music, not playing it.

For example, one of the greatest—and best known—basses/bass-baritones of all time, is the late Ezio Pinza (Ombra Mai Fu from Handel's "Xerxes"), perhaps best remembered for "Some Enchanted Evening" in "South Pacific." Pinza never learned to read music expertly. He could read in a very rudimentary manner, but he could not pick up a piece of music and sight read. He knew—and sang—dozens of full-length operas, oratorios, and concert programs, which he memorized by having someone play the score for him on the piano. He had a very precise and retentive ear!

So memorizing and singing a fairly large repertoire of folk songs and ballads without being able to read music is, compared to Pinza's repertoire, a stroll through the park on a summer day!

By the way, if Ezio Pinza "damaged our culture," someone's going to have to explain, in detail, just exactly how.

I became interested in singing when I was in my late teens and began taking some singing lessons from Edna Bianchi, a rich-sounding soprano who had retired from a successful singing career in the 1920s to the 1940s, which included singing at the Metropolitan Opera. Vocal technique (breath support, placement, etc.), lots of scales and exercises, and into some fairly simple songs. I learned enough about reading music to be able to dope out the melodies of the songs she had me singing, but we never made an issue of reading music. And God knows, she was a more than qualified teacher!

A few years later I became actively interested in folk music, bought myself an inexpensive guitar, and had my girlfriend at the time teach me some chords. She knew how to read music, but we didn't even get into that. No, she did not claim to be a music teacher, she was just showing me chord positions. Later, I took some guitar lessons from a singer of folk songs who had a television show at the time. We never talked about reading music, beyond the fact that he had me learning songs out of a couple of song books, and by then I could puzzle out single line melodies without much difficulty.

I went on to take classical guitar lessons from a couple of different teachers, and since I had decided to make a career of singing traditional songs (this was before the Kingston Trio, so at the time, not everybody and his pet chicken was trying to do it), I took more voice lessons from George Hotchkiss Street, another retired opera singer. His voice as bass, similar to mine.

I also changed my college major to Music, studied at the University of Washington for three years, then moved to the Cornish School of the Arts, a conservatory, where I studied for another two years. I also took private music theory and composition lessons from Mildred Hunt Harris.

All of this is by way of assuring Josepp that I'm not just talking through my hat. I know whereof I speak.

I have had a fairly successful career as a singer of folk songs. Although not all that well known beyond the Pacific Northwest, I've done television, mostly educational television, sung many concerts in the area, sung at folk festivals, at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, and if not singing somewhere else, I had a regular gig in a local coffeehouse that paid me a fairly decent salary, not just a tip-basket. AND, during the weekdays and evenings, I taught guitar, both folk and beginners in classic, as well as classes of ten or a dozen students a couple of evenings a week.

And yes, I did teach some basic music theory. I don't remember any occasion when the matter of drawing a distinction between B# and C ever arose. As a teacher, I felt that there were things far more important than this sort of esoterica that it was important to get across to my pupils.

As to whether or not I am a competent teacher, I have quite a number of students who went on to perform professionally and some of them went on to teach as well.

I do not agree with the viewpoint that singers of folk songs should avoid musical training lest they lose their free and natural approach to folk music. That's just plain silly. Getting some musical training, including learning music theory, does not "limit you with a bunch of arbitrary rules" as I had some folkies try to warn me early on. It frees you by showing you what is possible! And being able to read music is an invaluable aid. I have a whole bookshelf full of song books and ballad collections that I can draw on for songs while many folk song enthusiasts I know who never learned to read music are limited to learning songs that they can listen to, either sung by other people, or from recordings.

But—

To declare someone an incompetent teacher because they somehow neglected to explain the delicate but earth-shaking distinction between B# and C natural, then march him out in the middle of the parade ground before the rest of the regiment, break his guitar across your knee, cut the buttons off his uniform, and march him around the compound in disgrace before drumming him out of the corps—or sending the lovely, sweet-voiced Claire to the guillotine for not explaining it to me when she was first showing me how to finger G, C, and D7 on my cheap little plywood guitar back in 1952—is, perhaps, a bit excessive!

Don Firth

P. S. C# or Bb


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 08:07 PM

Even more esoterically, it is theoretically possible in certain circumstances, in Western European Music Theory, to have 'triple sharps' and 'triple flats'. If you want to challenge that, you really don't know as much Music Theory as you think you do.

But I also agree with Don, most of the time of simple music making, that is irrelevant., and I agree totally with Don's 'excessive' line.. :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 09:01 PM

'triple sharps' and 'triple flats'

Mark my words, laddy, go too far down that road and you'll end up silly in the head..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 10:20 PM

////In principle I agree with Josepp (and how often does THAT happen!??).////

No, you don't. You're here to try and pick a fight as usual.

Folks, I'll say this one more time:

I'm not talking about performance. If you're good, you're good--everybody knows that. I'm talking about accepting money to teach something that you are not qualified to teach.

If you teach 500 people music theory wrong and some of them, in turn, teach this to others--you are damaging our culture. There is only one right way to teach music theory. You can't pick and choose and it is not a matter of faith. In Western music theory, there IS such a thing as a B-sharp whether in equal temperament or any other. If you teach people that there isn't, you are wrong. It's as simple as that.

Just because you're good on guitar or a great opera vocalist that does not automatically qualify you to teach music theory. What qualifies you is knowing your music theory.

It's not about making music fun. If you have to have music made fun for you before you learn it, you're not going to make it as a musician. It involves study and it involves practice and it involves lots of both. There's no way around it. You have to take your lessons home and practice them. And if you come back and you're not playing them correctly, your teacher has to know that and he has to tell you that it's not right. He can't do that if he doesn't know how to read music. Sorry, but that's the truth.

And if you're taking lessons from anyone who is skipping the music-reading part and only focusing on performance, I would recommend finding another teacher immediately. You need both. The idea that music theory is going to hurt you is pure stupidity. I've never known anyone whose musical abilities suffered because they knew their music theory. I've known people whose careers never got off the ground beause they didn't know it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Richard from Liverpool
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 10:54 PM

Not to disagree with your first and most basic premise (of course there's such a thing as B sharp), and not to denigrate music theory (I received a good musical education, thank you very much)

But your "damaging our culture" ideas seem strange, given where we are?

You are aware that one of the basic ideas which motivated the collection of folk music was that culture wasn't just in the hands of people who could read music and discuss the technicalities of music theory? That culture was something that was in the hands of living people going about their everyday lives - and that the music they used as they lived those lives was worth collecting and learning?

Isn't traditional music part of the foundation of our culture? And that music was often transmitted among people with none of the basics of music theory that you talk about! They may not have been able to read key signatures. Surely they were building up our culture, not damaging it!

If you're implying that culture can only survive in a context of technical education, then surely that torpedoes much of the culture that many of us here love, study, and learn to sing or play?


(To recap: absolutely there's such a thing as B-sharp, absolutely learn your music theory if you have the opportunity - BUT I think you've got a pretty distored idea of culture. "Western culture" is not in the hands of only the technically educated, and "western music" is not in the hands of those who have studied music theory. To say otherwise is to deny the contribution to the history of music of those who were not educated in music theory. Which is bonkers, and downright perverse in a community of those who listen to and play traditional music!)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 11:31 PM

»»"the guitar is an equal tempered instrument"
»»Not if you play it properly.

Dave MacKenzie,
I have always had an ear for the pure intervals and find fretted instruments, and all fixed-intonation instruments, to be very frustrating in this regard.
Best I can figure, to play guitar in a meantone or any untempered scale would require tweaking an open tuning to the intervals used in the desired scale, then changing chords using only pure barres, never any other fingering. But this isn't what most people would call playing "properly" with the exception of slide guitar. But I'm talking about just plain old regular chording, maybe some fingerpicking or plucking, definitely some strumming.
If there's another way to play guitar in meantone or just intonation, it would make my day to know what it is!

Thanks in advance!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 11:37 PM

////But your "damaging our culture" ideas seem strange, given where we are?////

A little bit of explanation, please.

////You are aware that one of the basic ideas which motivated the collection of folk music was that culture wasn't just in the hands of people who could read music and discuss the technicalities of music theory? That culture was something that was in the hands of living people going about their everyday lives - and that the music they used as they lived those lives was worth collecting and learning?/////

But if nobody writes it down, how do you transmit it to others, how do you preserve it. Think of the Nag Hammadi Library. If nobody wrote those books down and buried them in the desert far away from marauding Roman soliders and monks, we wouldn't have any Gnostic writings and wouldn't know of all the amazing competing views there were at that time in that area of the world.

Another guy was Charlemagne. He used to have monks write down all kinds of music he heard. People could come to see him and perform for him and if he liked it, he had it written down. He collected hundreds or thousands of these songs. When his son, Louis the Pious, took over after Charlemagne's death, he believed secular and profane music was a sin and had this library burned. As a result, we know virtually nothing about the music of the Dark Ages or the era just after it. It would have been a priceless collection and definitely dealt a blow to culture when we lost it. How much written music was lost when the Christians burned down the Libaray of Alexandria? Probably thousands of pieces--think if we had them now.

And your statement that preserving folk music was achieved by taking it out of the hands of the theoriticians makes me wince. It smacks of the old rightwing distrust of intellectuals.

////(To recap: absolutely there's such a thing as B-sharp, absolutely learn your music theory if you have the opportunity - BUT I think you've got a pretty distored idea of culture. "Western culture" is not in the hands of only the technically educated, and "western music" is not in the hands of those who have studied music theory. To say otherwise is to deny the contribution to the history of music of those who were not educated in music theory. Which is bonkers, and downright perverse in a community of those who listen to and play traditional music!)/////

I totally disagree. We have the Beatles' music today because some eggheads invented the tape recorder which preserved their music for us because they didn't have the theory to do it themselves. If the Beatles had lived in the 18th century, no one would know who they are today. Another example is Louis Chauvin--a brilliant pianist. Only three pieces of his music survive today? Why? Because three people who knew their music theory--Scott Joplin being one of them--wrote those songs down. Without them, all we'd have is a story. What if Bach or Beethoven didn't know how to read and write music?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 11:47 PM

Without written music our musical culture would be shared only by demonstration and imitation. In which case it would be the norm to spend enough time to memorize it, then we would spend our lives repeating it, i.e. practising, so it wouldn't be forgotten. If that had been the norm in Bach's time, he would likely have spent more time repeating his already-composed pieces for others to learn, and less time composing new stuff. Considering how much he plagiarized himself, I don't imagine we'd have suffered any great loss of original thought. Further I imagine he would've been well aware of what was groundbreaking in his work and would have ensured its survival.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 12:11 AM

Crowhugger--

If there's another way to play guitar in meantone or just intonation, it would make my day to know what it is!

John Schneider, I believed, developed a just intonation guitar to play such pieces as Partch's "Barstow". Without his special fingerboard, however, you're probably out of luck! See starting at 4:36:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OH0WgLgaAM

see also
http://www.otherminds.org/shtml/Schneider.shtml


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 12:46 AM

"No, you don't. You're here to try and pick a fight as usual."

No, Josepp, YOU'RE the one who is here spoiling for a fight, as you do in every thread you open. I have no interest whatsoever in fighting with you. You obviously have an incredible amount of time to waste, judging from the time you spend here. And you're one of these entities who invariably starts out a thread by taking an extreme position with the full intention of stirring up an argument.

In fact, that is obviously your whole purpose here, as is typical of your species.

Nighty night.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: nager
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 12:54 AM

Who cares? Most folkies play and sing out of tune anyway!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 01:40 AM

Been trying to learn a little theory got a book..
I too was laboring under the misapprehension that there was no B sharp
it make writing out some scales a bit awkward if you cant put a B sharp now and then.
Also I found that the face/ even good bras don't fit aide memoirs have caused me problems when putting the dots in..
Hopefully the errant blasphemer will read mudcat and discover the true way.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Darowyn
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:03 AM

I don't suppose Josepp has considered the idea that maybe the reported comment of the teacher actually included something like the phrase,
" In the key of C major......."
In most keys there is no B sharp. I make it two out of twenty four.
So if the teacher was teaching scales, he or she was mostly correct, and it would be particularly applicable to the usual keys that a guitar player uses.
When did you last start a tune in F sharp or E flat minor without a capo?
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:22 AM

Don Firth: at the time, not everybody and his pet chicken was trying to do it

Don, I would dearly love to have heard these chickens. Were they yokels?

Incidentally, Josepp, the person who is really qualified to teach music theory is the person who knows how to teach. No amount of knowledge, theoretical and/or practical, is of any use if the person putting it across is a poor teacher. My violin teacher - adept at both classical and traditional playing - is a wonderful teacher, capable of explaining concepts with clarity and, at the same time, always looking for the positive in one's playing.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:03 AM

But the real question is:

How is the B# in the Pythagorean Tempered Scale different from that in the Werckmeister III Temper, vs the Vallotti, vs the Kirnberger III Temper, vs the Young Temper vs the Kellner Tempered scales?

And why is there a difference between the Mean Tone Tempered E♭ scale and the Mean Tone Tempered D♯ sufficient for Korg to indicate tunings separately for each (along with each of the above) on their OT-120 Tuner?

Of course every competent music theory teacher will know the answers, and be able instantly to explain to every student.

AND ALL STUDENTS MUST KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS OR THEIR TEACHER IS CONDEMNED TO LISTEN TO ACCORDIONS (PLAYED BADLY) IN ETERNAL HELL!

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:11 AM

Sounds about right, John.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:18 AM

I suggest we call an Extraordinary Special Meeting to discuss all this at D♭ House.

〠♩﹟Michael ♪♭〠


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:20 AM

LOL !!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Zen
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:22 AM

It's not about making music fun. If you have to have music made fun for you before you learn it, you're not going to make it as a musician. It involves study and it involves practice and it involves lots of both. There's no way around it. You have to take your lessons home and practice them. And if you come back and you're not playing them correctly, your teacher has to know that and he has to tell you that it's not right. He can't do that if he doesn't know how to read music. Sorry, but that's the truth.

No.... it's not the truth, it's your opinion.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: pavane
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM

I think there has not been sufficient attention given to two important facts.

First, that sheet music is for the purpose of communication between musicians, who may be separated in space or time. (As pointed out above, you don't have to read to be able to play). So the rules for a notation must be fixed.

Secondly, and mainly important for chordal instruments, the type of chord can easily be seen by the SHAPE it makes on the staff. Check, for example, a dominant 7th - it will ALWAYS look the same, however much you transpose keys - it just moves up or down on the staff. This is one of the lesser-known beauties of the notation, and makes sight-reading easier than it would otherwise be.

If you now decide to write a B# on the staff as C, then in the chord of G# as mentioned above, ITS SHAPE WILL BE CHANGED, and the chord will no longer look as it should.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:25 AM

Much of the controversy above, BTW, re the theoreticians v. what the folk would actually have known, reminds me of the story of Cecil Sharp's friend looking at one of his transcriptions and saying, "No, you must have taken this down wrong, Cecil. You surely are not trying to tell me that a simple uneducated countryman could sing faultlessly in the Dorian Mode."

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:32 AM

John wrote:
A proper response to the student's statement would have been the simple reply that "technically there is a C# that is the enharmonic equivalent of the second semitone above C♭ on equal-tempered instruments."

From the practical point of view, a teacher who is teaching their student to read music should at least do this, so that if/when the student encounters a B# or C flat etc. in printed music, they understand how to play it. To start with, they may not need fully to understand WHY it's printed that way.

If a teacher says there is no such note, how do they deal with music that has that note in it?

A piece in the key of C sharp major has a B sharp in the time signature, and though it's unusual, it's valid.
More commonly, a piece in C sharp minor (only four sharps in the key signature) will have B sharps as accidentals.

Same goes for E sharp for music in F# major or minor.

C flat major is possible as a key too (seven flats) and contains an F flat, and G flat (a perfectly vlid and commonly found key) contains C flat as part of the scale.

If you are not teaching playing from music, you might as well not give the notes names at all...

---

The issue of equal tempered vs. mean tone and the rest is a quite unrelated, though it does have some bearing on how notes are played. It doesn't only apply to flat/sharp/natural enharmonics either. In scales other than equal temperament, an E may be different in A major from an E in C major, for example.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: treewind
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:34 AM

Sorry, GUEST posting two up is me, not having noticed loss of cookie...
Anahata


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM

I once said to a parent, "I'll believe 10% of what happens at home if you believe 10% of what happens in class."


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM

"When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture"

This presupposed that music in our culture was composed and entered into the tradition via a written down form.

Sheet music can only be a snapshot of how one person has documented another persons playing, and by taking this as definitive loses everything that makes it part of the culture. How can one tell what the person who made a song or tune intended from a third party documentation.

What sheet music cannot capture are the nuances that the musician/performer adds to the notes - subtle (or not so subtle)improvisations, variations, the warmth of the tone - things that a skilled musician can do which cannot be documented.

I think it was Leonard Berstein who said that it is easy to tell the difference between a person playing or a machine. The machine is note and meter perfect and totally lacking any aesthetic value, whereby a person's imperfection is what makes music pleasing.

In my opinion, the greatest musicians are those who have the ability to interpret music - if you listen to a recording of them playing, and you know their work, you can tell who it is in an instant.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Max Johnson
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:50 AM

Please, Please...This is ANARCHY!!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 AM

What's an archy?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:58 AM

nine nine nine

a cockroach who befriended a cat called mehitabel and typed her entirely lower-case letters coz he couldn't reach the shift key

dont you know from nothing


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:02 AM

a person's imperfection is what makes music pleasing

So that's why I'm so popular! :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:08 AM

You can play, and you can teach how to play, without ever referring to music notation or theory.

Misinforming people about aspects of theory, or making money out of presenting yourself as an authourity on theory when you actually don't understand it at all, is fraudulent.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:14 AM

Josepp said: The best guitarist I ever played with can't read. What has that got to do with anything??? I'm talking about someone who is being paid to teach music and is apparently teaching it wrong.

What it "has to do with anything" is that EARLIER you said:

Josepp said: When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture.

You made no mention of teaching music there...you quite clearly stated, in black and white, that every musician (NOT teacher) that you respect can read music and that musicians who can't damage our culture. So presumably the "best guitarist you ever played with" is someone you don't actually respect and who you believe is damaging our culture! It's there. You said it. I can't see any other way to read it?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:16 AM

Some realities are crimes. Others are recriminations.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:33 AM

I've just spent the last half hout playing ascending and descending minor scales when I should be working!!!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:09 AM

SPB - I am very glad to hear it!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:30 AM

Let's simplify this.
The key of C major comprises the following notes:
C
C##
C####
C#####
C#######
C#########
C###########
C############ (or just C)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:32 AM

Is that a game of Lotto {or Housey-Housey}?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:37 AM

GOOD SOLDIER SCHWEIK never mentioned a harp, sorry to harp on about it, but that is one fact that is true on this thread.
I would likie to nominate kansas johns post too, excellent.I have just spent the last hour and a half painting my House ., WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYING MUSIC.
SORRY,but i am out of here this is a complete waste of time


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: s&r
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:40 AM

Is Hsharp the same as C in Germany?

Stu


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:42 AM

On a piano, yes.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:44 AM

Well, you had all better B#, that's what I say...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: kendall
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM

Anyone remember an awful Sci Fi movie called The Gamma People?   Gamma radiation screwed up a group of people and made them like Zombies.
One of them turned out to be a genius named Hugo. He was instructing a little girl as she played piano. He was brow beating her with statements such as, "Music should be a precise configuration, not a sentimental noise."

When it comes to music theory, I feel like a clam digger at a MENSA convention.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:03 AM

LOIUS ARMSTRONGS HOARSE.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:51 AM

As a self taught guitarist with very bad Osteo Arthritic fingeers who can't physically managed certain chords, I'm amazed how many songs on chord web sites have what I consider far too many chords, yes ok if you're a serious musician or learning formally, or have healthy fingers, then of course you want to play ALL the chords. Yet most of my repertoire, much of which originally had quite complicated chords, I've found or devised much simpler chords for, and from listening to others basically sound just as good, I'm sure all the serious misicians might be horrified, but is it really neccessary to play ALL the chords given?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 09:03 AM

No, I generally sing over any stuff I can't do or don't feel necessary


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 09:11 AM

In actual fact, about 5 months after I was told that I was a saxophonist (at age 13), my band director expressed an interest in a particular piece of music and asked if I might be able to play it.

(It was a Beethoven piece.)

The only dots I could find for the piece was an arrangement for piano in A♭ minor. (signature on the score C♭ major)

When I played it for him, straight from the dots, he affirmed that it sounded fine but complained that it would be a lot of work for him to rewrite the piano part for an accompaniment for my B♭ saxophone.

So I kicked it up two semitones and played it for him in what was B♭ minor (C♯ major) for my instrument, so he'd be able to play from the original score in A♭ minor (C♭ major).

Then he looked at the sheet music and discovered he'd be playing 7 flats (while I played 7 sharps) and decided he wasn't really as interested as he thought he'd been.

I never did bother to look up whether that sheet music really was the key that Beethoven used when he wrote the piece.

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: treewind
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM

If you'd only gone up another semitone you'd have been in B minor (2 sharps) and the piano would have been in A minor (no key sig at all)...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 01:54 PM

GSS at 8:03 a.m. today: ROTFL...And for quite a few minutes! Thank you.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 02:05 PM

GUEST unnamed, 5:32 a.m. today said: The issue of equal tempered vs. mean tone and the rest is a quite unrelated, though it does have some bearing on how notes are played.

In musical life, music theory and proper chord spellings are important because they represent something we do. Yet when we "do" B# and C in equal temperament, there is no difference between their sounds. It's not until we "do" these notes in meantone and justly intoned scales that they sound different from each other. So I would say that the issue of which type of scale cuts directly to the heart of the question.

The a cappella ensembles in which I sing strive to interpret dots using intervals based on the physics of sound (mostly 3-limit just intonation, yet I doubt our singers know it's called that), which approach allows overtones to ring out freely. For us, the difference between B# and C surely does matter.

Just intonation sounds bright and alive next to the comparatively duller, non-ringing sound that results when our singers sometimes revert to the compromise versions of intervals known as equal temperament, which predominates in life.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 02:52 PM

I thought this was a FOLK music forum...

I'm not one of those "opposed" to musical literacy ~ I recognize that additional knowledge is just about always a positive thing ~ but I do contend that most music (including ALL folk music, and virtually all vocal music) comes first from the heart and the imagination, and that transcription of musical creations in written form is secondary ~ it occurs afterwards.

Hell, I feel pretty sure that even orchestral arrangements are "heard" in the composer's mind before (s)he writes the "dots" down on paper.

I feel ambivalent about posting my comment, about participating in this discussion at all, because too much time and thought has already been wasted upon an utterly meaningless argument. Couldn't resist the temptation, sad to say...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 02:57 PM

"C Sharp on BBC radio 4"

THAT is a thread title. Notice the thread starter said C Sharp, NOT D Flat.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Stanron
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 02:58 PM

I've enjoyed all the waste and utterly meaningless arguement. Keep it coming.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 03:01 PM

"Why, that can't be right!!!! There's no such thing as C-flat, only B!

Hmmmm. To B, or not to B.....

C-flat. (am I real?)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: mandomad
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 03:06 PM

Too effin' technical for me, I've never found a B~Sharp on my mandolins, or the need for one. Just play...



      mandomad


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 03:33 PM

Exactly so, mandomad.

I'm all for knowing all about everything. But—

One does not have to have a degree in Electrical Engineering in order to flip on a light switch.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 03:49 PM

Just to start a little further discussion: As an old folk musician, I once purchased a button accordion which apparently came from Germany and which I though was in F Major. After inspecting it some time after I had it, I discovered the Key was stamped on the bottom end as E#. Accompiment seemed to be fine using F Major on other instruments. Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:18 PM

I'm sure it's already been said above, but B# certainly exists and is needed - for example as the the "tee" ( as in "lah, tee, do") - in the scale of C# minor.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:33 PM

I learnt my theory as a child alongside classical piano lessons, but I've always followed the very basic rule that if a note's got a # on it, you just play the next note up. It seems to work quite satisfactorily. I don't believe any teacher would actually make the claim that B# doesn't exist, but nevertheless anyone already capable of reading a 'B' could work out how to interpret a B#, should they encounter one, without a great deal of thinking, special training or knowledge.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:56 PM

HiHo (if I may be so informal as to address you by your first name), if you can find out when the accordion was made, that could provide a clue as to what's going on. An international conference in 1939 established Standard or Concert Pitch as A=440 hertz (cycles per second). Prior to that it had been all over the map, as low as 423 and as high as 455.

I'm just guessing, but that may have something to do with it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM

GSSchweik, sorry, but you did mention a harp, in your first post. A bs harp, specifically, as I said.
It tickled me, as some typo's do.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM

100


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:06 PM

I was kinda hoping josepp would link to some of his own music. I'd love to hear it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:10 PM

The argument that one need not have an electrical degree to turn on a light switch is meaningless. Having been an electrician, I can do all my own electrical work. I don't have to call someone to do it for me. Same with my car. No, you don't have to be a mechanic to drive a car but it sure is nice to fix your car's problems yourself for next to nothing instead of paying $200 to some guy to replace a couple of bushings that cost $1.75 at Murray's. It's nice that if I write a song, I can jot it down myself without needing someone to do it for me.

As for folk music coming more from the heart, I think that's more myth than truth. I recently found a sheet music version of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" that has a very nice guitar solo that I have since lifted for my own version. I've done the song for years per Lead Belly but this solo really fleshes it out tremendously. I couldn't have learned it by ear. No way I would have figured it all out. But having the music in front of me, I got it down. I learned to play blues the same way--looking at sheet music in books.

I don't know why anyone would argue that it's not a required ability. You're always a better musician for knowing it--always.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:23 PM

#As for folk music coming more from the heart, I think that's more myth than truth.#quote
more cods wallop, all music should come from the heart, music is not a mathematical exercise it is about expressing and interpreting feeling. I dont believe you can play music at all, maybe you can play the troll under the bridge, or the 3 billy goats gruffhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaoxI1DO6Sk


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:27 PM

Some people learn purely by ear, occasionally with stunning results. Between those extremes there's a lot of ground. The proof of the pudding is in the eating - let us hear what results your approach to music produces - it might lend some credibility to your opinion.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM

YOU may be a better musician for knowing it, josepp, but YOU are not EVERYBODY.

There are people who could have learned that solo by ear; just because you couldn't, doesn't mean nobody could. People are different and learn in different ways; some, like you, learn better from the written word or note, others learn best by hearing, and a good teacher knows this.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:32 PM

////I dont believe you can play music at all////

I don't care what you think.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:33 PM

/////YOU may be a better musician for knowing it, josepp, but YOU are not EVERYBODY./////

That's where you're wrong. I am everybody. That's exactly who I am.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: mandomad
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM

Nuff said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:52 PM

hmmmm.....


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:53 PM

No, josepp, you're definitely not me.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:55 PM

"'triple sharps' and 'triple flats'

Mark my words, laddy, go too far down that road and you'll end up silly in the head.. "

Sorry ate the whole bag of peanuts while waiting for the merry go round to slow down again....

A guitarist will often play in 'triple sharp mode' maybe even quadruple or quintuple sharp mode....


... or am I just too sharp for you lot who use capos.... :-P


What do you mean 'end up' - I was BORN this way ... :-p


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:00 PM

"That's where you're wrong. I am everybody. That's exactly who I am. "

You're right Don ... just another Troll, but one who frequents the Music threads for a change ...... :-)

Now, where did the peanut vendor go ....


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:09 PM

The peanut cart guy says he'll be back around in a jiffy. Just in time to stock up for the next hundred.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:12 PM

I've been a professional musician for 40 years, starting with rock and blues and ending up for the last 25 years in traditional folk music. I'm not a theory nerd, but I have a VERY good understanding of the theory used in all the types of music I've played.

I can state positively that folk music has no B#. Most folk music is only loosely notated, if at all, and 90% of it is diatonic and in the keys of D, G, A, F, C, and relative minors. No B#s anywhere. No need to even consider the concept. Neither rock music nor the blues has a B#, either.

I don't do a lot of teaching, but when I do it is because there is someone who wants to learn what I do. This NEVER includes a detailed lesson in esoteric classical music theory. It does include a complete understanding of the applicable theory. This doesn't mean that I'm a bad teacher or a fraud. It just means that a B# is only pertinent to a very small group of musicians. The rest of us (maybe 99% of the musicians in the world??) simply have no use for it and no reason to learn about it.

If the teacher in question was supposed to be teaching detailed classical music theory or high level classical performing, then, yes, he should be teaching the B#. If he's supposed to be teaching guitar, he really should be teaching guitar.

Lastly, josepp, aren't you the one who keeps prattling on about how you don't "believe" in evolution, and think Creationism makes more sense? And you are bitching about someone else's lack of academic rigor?????? Your beliefs are a MUCH bigger threat to our culture than a music teacher who doesn't go into all the details, and is highly insulting besides. If you are going to be a pedant, you might want to consider getting a better general education before you start typing. Someone who spreads the level of misinformed twattle you do should be more cautious about calling a kettle black.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: kendall
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 07:52 PM

Even if I could read music I could never play my favorite music; for example, Beethoven's Violin concerto in D.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:00 PM

Kendall, the fact that you don't play the violin should not stop you (it certainly never stops people with far less talent than you!) - I have a wonderful 'music teaching' book that show kiddies 'in a fun way' how to play and appreciate 'great music'.

One of the early pieces (before learning how to play too many of those annoying black notes on the keyboard) is the famous 'Air in G'.

Want a Good Laugh?

It is set in the Key of F Major ....

:-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:15 PM

Air in G? Is that the Air on a G String? It's actually an adaptation by August Wilhelmj of the Air, the second movement from Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068.

The original orchestral suite was written by Bach for his patron Prince Leopold of Anhalt sometime between the years 1717 and 1723.

The title comes from violinist August Wilhelmj's late 19th century arrangement of the piece for violin and piano. By transposing the key of the piece from its original D major to C major and transposing the melody down an octave, Wilhelmj was able to play the piece on only one string of his violin, the G string.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: gnu
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:18 PM

Who knew such a "technicality" could provide so many interesting, complex and humourous posts. What a great thread!

Ahhh, sorry... my post is none of the above. Perhaps encouragment for more of the above?... I hope.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:26 PM

That's it Dave. Thanks for the info I didn't know about the history of that piece, an even better laugh then ... :-)

I think I shall learn it on the Piano Accordion in B# Major now, inspired by this thread.

I like to take up challenges...

For years they laughed at me when I said I could play the Piano Accordion.

They're still laughing ...

Ah gnu - even Trolls have their uses for the learned and intelligent! :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:29 PM

///No, josepp, you're definitely not me.////

I am you. You're just not me.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE
"///No, josepp, you're definitely not me.////

I am you. You're just not me. "
UNQUOTE

What? lost your Dick now josepp?

Sorry Spaw, I beat you to it, yer gettin' old... :-P


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:46 PM

///I've been a professional musician for 40 years, starting with rock and blues and ending up for the last 25 years in traditional folk music. I'm not a theory nerd, but I have a VERY good understanding of the theory used in all the types of music I've played.

I can state positively that folk music has no B#.////

Now, that was stupid, wasn't it? You know you're going to get proven wrong. I'm looking at sheet music for a song called "You Don't Know My Mind" and in the 4th measure--lo and behold!--a B-sharp.

And even if you were right, it has no earing on the discussion. I'll refresh it for you: It's about the fact that B-sharp exists not whether you've ever ecncountered in your music.

Are we stright now?

///Most folk music is only loosely notated, if at all, and 90% of it is diatonic and in the keys of D, G, A, F, C, and relative minors. No B#s anywhere. No need to even consider the concept. Neither rock music nor the blues has a B#, either.////

Well, I just proved you wrong so that's neither here nor there.

///I don't do a lot of teaching,///

That's good.

///Lastly, josepp, aren't you the one who keeps prattling on about how you don't "believe" in evolution, and think Creationism makes more sense?////

I did??? Could you quote me that, please?

///And you are bitching about someone else's lack of academic rigor??????////

Since you're already wrong, let's go here, okay?

Psst! I'm NOT a Christian! I wasn't even born one!!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:48 PM

///What? lost your Dick now josepp?

Sorry Spaw, I beat you to it, yer gettin' old... :-P///

I'm sorry, I don't understand what this means, could you explain it, please?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:49 PM

Well to play a song in the key of C#, you just play the same as if it was in C, but with every note sharp.

Regardless of whether its Folk or not.

So if your song in the key of C has a B in it, then the same song in the key of C# would have a B# in it.

Its the simplest and most practical way of getting the point across.

I hate it when both people who can read and people who can't read treat it like some kind of mysterious secret academic language.


Don, you talk about flicking the light switch.

I prefer to compare it to driving a car.

Some people are passengers, some know how to make it go from A to B and some know why that clunking noise means you need to pull over right now.

Passengers - listen to music.
Drivers    - play music.
Engineers - understand how music works.


Knowing how something works helps you use it better.

There's no mystery.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:55 PM

////Knowing how something works helps you use it better.

There's no mystery.////

It's seems to be a gigantic mystery to some people.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 09:32 PM

Given that the assignment of A B C ... etc to notes is entirely arbitrary, the entire debate is complete sophistry.

THERE IS NO specific pitch that is always "correctly" any particular note or that is accurately described by that terminology.

That particular terminology is simply a "shorthand" for the correct description of a note by giving its "interval" from some arbitrarily chosen "base note" within the context of a specifically declared tonal scale structure and in a correctly delineated modal shift.

A "real music theorist," if striving for accuracy and if communicating with other theorists who have a need to understand the fine points and who want to understand the important specifics of a musical composition would probably use something closer to the "Nashville Notation" and would completely ignore the triviality of any particular "key" or any "note names."

Only the intervals really matter.

From the beginning, there is no "A" that has any specific meaning. It's whatever note the concertmaster plays when the ochestra tunes up.

The ABC scale notation is baby talk, and apparently josepp speaks it well. It is perfectly and completely adequate for most uses of interest to the majority of people in common situations, but it's still NOT the language of the most competent musicians or music theorests.

There's no "k" in classic Spanish either, but Spanish speakers do use it quite a lot. No big deal.

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: andrew e
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 10:08 PM

Well I looked at my keyboard and I can't see a B# or an E#.

Can't see a C flat or an F flat either.

They must be hiding inside somewhere.

Someone told me a D double flat was the same as a B#
That can't be right, or maybe it is!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 10:16 PM

"all music should come from the heart, music is not a mathematical exercise it is about expressing and interpreting feeling"

Well said, Mr Schweik, and audiences generally know the difference, even if they aren't consciously aware of it. Knowledge of theory can undoubtedy enhance musical ability, but only if that ability is there in the first place. As for the music teacher, I don't believe he ever said what was claimed.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 10:48 PM

Someone told me a D double flat was the same as a B#

Unfortunately, not a good guess.

A flat must be "attached to" a note. ("Associated with a note" is another way of saying it.)

A flat means "play the note one semitone lower."

A double flat means "play the not two semitones lower."

D♭♭ is E.

There are "character glyphs" commonly used to call for double sharps and double flats in music notation (and others less commonly used), but unfortunately those characters are not defined in the Unicode "Music Characters" section, so even if you have them it's not a good idea to try to post them here.

Using the note that's enharmonic (at the same pitch) with the double sharped or flatted note will be recognized by competent players, and will be played with the inflections in pitch and tonality appropriate to the scale and mode of the piece it appears in, so the symbols are actually quite rarely used except in notation of "artifacts" or by people named Igor or Darius (both of whom sometimes used "additional invented symbols" that require explanation even for the well educated theorists since they're unique to individual pieces and to the rather erratic moods of those composers).

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 10:51 PM

Oops.

D- double flatted is C

(unless one has very fat fingers)

John


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 11:00 PM

I'm going to have to disagree with JohnInKansas about the arbitrary nature of note name assignments. They're not arbitrary. They were intentionally assigned by a sadistic SOB. Why else would five of the seven letters used sound so much alike?

Common scene at a session in a noisy pub:
"What key is this next tune in?"
"B minor."
"I couldn't hear you. Was that E minor or D minor?"
"B."
"Okay, D."
"No, B! Aw, fuck it! Let's play something in F."

Anyone with any consideration for his fellow humans would have used words that didn't sound the same. Like "Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet." If someone were to tell you a tune's in "Orange minor" you'd never wonder about whether he said "Orange" or "Indigo".


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 11:03 PM

Uh, what key? Door hinge what?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 11:12 PM

Instructors run the risk of having their lessons taken out of context. I routinely say something to the effect of "Yes, there is such a thing as a B#, but for now, while you're still playing in C, G, D, F, you don't need to worry about it." followed by a quick description of when a B# may happen (if I think the student will get it). Or, "If you're naming the piano keys with basic note names, then you'd only call a C B# in certain circumstances." Etc. An instructor should be careful not to say something as definite as "there's no such thing" if he really has no such knowledge. The problem with those who have no such knowledge is they don't know they have no such knowledge.

Just today I had a private music student swear to me that his high school guitar class teacher taught the class that a C/G chord was a C major and G major chord combined. I hope the teacher was misquoted, but I wrote a definition/description of the chord for the student anyway. It's not the first such report, and not likely the last, so I try to be careful to debunk this nonsense when I hear it.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 04:38 AM

Joesepp, you are incorrect. The job of a guitar teacher is to teach guitar. The job of a music theory teacher is to teach theory.

I remember when learning trombone that the teacher played a game which involved enharmonics. That doesn't actually mess with you, and I have a friend with perfect pitch who says "Yes, they are technically different. However, for the purposes of learning you can use the enharmonic equivalent seeing as you'll naturally switch to the right note when playing. Ish."

I'm of the opinion that we should be writing out folk songs seeing as I think we might lose them next generation, but the point is I don't like playing from music if I can avoid it. Makes me feel like I'm cheating somehow.

Essentially, troll = incorrect.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 04:54 AM

Sorry, but the following is not anything like as clever as it purports to be.

"Given that the assignment of A B C ... etc to notes is entirely arbitrary, the entire debate is complete sophistry."

The same thing can be said about the letters and words you use to indicate the ideas you are trying to convey.

Thankfully, noone disputes the usefulness of reading words so you are able to explain your misunderstanding clearly and I am able to correct you without us ever hhaving to meet.

In addition, being able to read and write is useful in helping people to understand concepts more clearly, which is why taking notes and writing essays are useful skills.

The same applies in music. Being able to read it and write it are extremely useful skills that assist not just in communication, but in the visualization of theoretical ideas and concepts.


The subject matter is communication and if you are misinformed about the meaning of words ot the sound of letters, you will end up confusing yourself and others.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 04:55 AM

"Someone told me a D double flat was the same as a B#
That can't be right, or maybe it is!"

Its silly, but 100% correct.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 04:59 AM

Sorry John - I'm not picking on you on purpose ...


Yes ... D double flat is enharmonically the same as C ...

... but B# is also enharmonically the same as C


... so I'm afraid that D double flat is indeed the same as B#


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:04 AM

"all music should come from the heart, music is not a mathematical exercise it is about expressing and interpreting feeling"


If I write down a poem, lots of people who I might never meet could see it and then they would know just what a horrendous poet I am.


Before literacy was commonplace, there were those who saw it as the work of the devil - mysterious inscriptions that contained some kind of weird power.

Here I read about written music as being some kind of impossible abstract exercise.

It isn't.

When you can't read, the written medium is intimidating.

Suspicion of writing and reading is medieval.

Reminds me of Bill Hicks being asked by the waitress in a texan waffle house: "so ... you're a reader".

It isn't the middle ages folks.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:09 AM

I mentioned this point much earlier in the thread, but it does seem to be pertinent.

When I'm playing the violin, one thing which is crucial to the overall sound of the piece is intonation. To me, the violin is the most complex of all instruments (and I play several, in many different styles). Depending on the melodic lines of the piece that's being played, there is a tiny but significant difference in intonation between two notes which, on paper, look the same. For example, a note may be written as C on the staff but, when you come to play it, the subtlety of intonation might demand that it's actually played slightly flat - more akin to a "B#" than a full-bodied C. Only the ear can distinguish this tiny difference - it can't be notated in real terms, but it does exist. My violin lessons, with an excellent teacher, demonstrated it beyond any doubt.


(The violin teacher, by the way, is classically trained but also plays her own compositions, old-time, folk ,jazz,blues beautifully - and is an encouraging and inspiring teacher. All three necessary ingredients: (a) she understands theory (b) she can play well (c) she can teach it).


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:24 AM

If we're honest, the harmony in play means that each note is different dependant on the chord. We could argue that we should write something different for each possible combination of note and underlying chord.

That's stupidity. The aim of written music is to give you the basic idea. Your musicality should do the rest - no matter what genre you're in. The fun thing that you can imagine is that those without music tend to be much more harmonically pleasing because they aren't thinking "must play/sing C".


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:29 AM

"I'm sorry, I don't understand what this means, could you explain it, please? "

No, I could NOT explain it - it's sort of a 'you had to have been there' joke.

You're new here. :-)


Trolls don't know everything... :-P


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:33 AM

Sorry, my earlier post was incoplete:
Let's simplify this.
The key of C major comprises the following notes:
C
C##
C####
C#####
C#######
C#########
C###########
C############ (or just C)


Those are, of course, the notes in a rising scale. When playing a falling scale from Top C the notes should be:
C
Cb
Cbbb
Cbbbbb
Cbbbbbbb
Cbbbbbbbb
Cbbbbbbbbbb
Cbbbbbbbbbbbb (or just C)

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:35 AM

But Fooles, trolls are the Death and Taxes of the internet! They must be right!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:36 AM

No so DrugCrazed,

That is why you have key signatures.

If a song is in the key of Gmajor, it will have an F# in it.

Instead of putting in the sharp every time you get to an F, you just put the # att the beginning of the stave.

Someone who can read sees one sharp and knows to play the tune in the key of G.

The music on the stave will have no sharps or flats in it unless it goes into a different key.

Most folk is in one key and the chords are all in that key, so the nightmare you have imagined wouldn't happen.

In complex music like Jazz, you will find more sharps and flats written, but you need to start with basic literacy before moving n to tat stuff.

Its all about familiarity.

When a child learns to read, they read out loud without giving the words any feeling. After years of reading, they can read in their heads and "hear" the book vividly.

Actors can look at a script and as they read it they hear the voice of the character and are able to give the words feeling and depth.

Music is EXACTLY the same.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:38 AM

Sorry drugcrazed - crossposted.


I was responding to your previous post.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: harmonic miner
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:46 AM

Not sure if a degree in music is intrinsically of any use whatsoever to PERFORM music. You can have one and still not be a good musician. Regarding the TEACHING of music, it all depends. The best traditional musicians often have learned from other great traditional musicians and this has continued for centuries without a degree anywhere along the line. Also without reference to music thoery or sheet music.

There's no way I can agree with the above statement on sheet music, "...they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture" Who's culture?

If I were choosing a teacher I'd want to (a) hear them play, (b) see them teach and possibly (c) hear their pupils play. I wouldn't necessarily rule out hiring someone who had played guitar in 5 rock bands over the last 10 years, without a formal qualification.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM

Mooh

Depending on how its written, C over G could be either a slash chord or a polychord.

C/G with a diagonal slash would be read as C major in second inversion. (slash chord)

C over G written like a numerical fraction over a horizontal line can mean the 'polychord' of C major triad superimposed on top of G major Triad.

In the case of a polychord, you would see the chord on the bottom as the root, and the chord on top as the extensions.

The result for C over G would be a Gmaj6 (add 11). Not a pretty chord but perfectly possible.

The other way around (G over C) would be Cmaj9 - an altogether more useful chord.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: harmonic miner
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:54 AM

To clarify, sheet music may well be intrinsic to some musical 'cultures' but not all of them.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:04 AM

"Actors can look at a script and as they read it they hear the voice of the character and are able to give the words feeling and depth."

I'm going to transform the merrygoround into the Ghost Train ...

When I was involved in Theatre, the stage manager contacted me at work and said, "The lead actor can' be here tonight, I don't want to cancel, can you read it?" I'm not excellent actor, but do 'know the ropes' in theatre and although I have a nightmare getting words down rapidly, with the words, it's MUCH easier.... :-)

'Reading' is when someone who has not been involved as an actor in a production steps in at the last minute. He/she carries the script, because it cannot be expected to get the words in a short time, but the audience is informed beforehand. Most theatre goers would not DREAM of asking for their money back, as this is a wonderful insight into live theatre, and watching how the 'sucker' handles things is enlightening anyway. I know of one case where the lead had a heart attack on stage (he recovered and lived many years) during act 1 - someone from the audience stepped in and read the show, and took over the role for the rest of the run, reading for a few nights till he got the words off.

Now, as you said, 'reading' allows full expression of other things not on the page. As the lighting and sound expert of the group, I had watched a few rehearsals and read the play to 'do' the lighting (another skill, but that's a long story itself how one does that). I asked for the cast to 'give me a walkthru' to get the stage positions of each of the other actors relative to me. Some of the actors who had never done this trick before were not all that cooperative, but I got my walkthru.

On the night, it is not immodest to say that I stole the show - wasn't hard, was a style of comedy that I loved, and they were not really all that experienced theatre or comedy people, anyway. BTW, that guy never 'called in sick' again ... :-)

The script is like 'the dots' in music. One CAN remember it, but I like the quote by Sean Connery in a Indiana Jones movie

"I wrote it down so I WOULDN'T HAVE TO remember it!"


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:10 AM

"To clarify, sheet music may well be intrinsic to some musical 'cultures' but not all of them."

If you can hear it, you can write it down ...

... unless you don't feel like it in which case thats fine.

Its just a form of recording - like a photo, or a CD.

Except that the written page helps the person with a weak ear to know what they have to do.

Music is about sounds with meaning. (just like language)

Sheet music is about writing them down and reading them out. (just like language)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:16 AM

"If you can hear it, you can write it down ..."

Unless you are Cecil Sharpe... then what others read you have written down may not be quite what they think they thought they heard... :-)

Your own musical background will subtly modify what you think you hear... :-)

Time for more peanuts ....


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:22 AM

But then Cecil Sharp is not renouned for being a great musician, just as being a collector of anthropological oddities.

A musician with a good ear who can read and write will have better luck.

I don't think there is such a thing as a musical stenographer, but most Jazz musicians learn sooner or later that the most efficient way of getting inside the head of musician they like and working out what he's up to is ti transcribe his work and work out whats going on phrase by phrase.

As with everything, Practise makes perfect.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:41 AM

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.

Tom


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:44 AM

Just found this ...

"The ABC scale notation is baby talk, and apparently josepp speaks it well. It is perfectly and completely adequate for most uses of interest to the majority of people in common situations, but it's still NOT the language of the most competent musicians or music theorests."

Sorry Pal, but this is nonsense.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM

===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).===

,,,,
Probably a good general principle; but not invariable ~~ think of Mozart!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:51 AM

"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."

Not entirely fair I don't think.

Josepp is getting ragged for saying that he knew a guy who was misinformed by a charlatan posing as a music teacher.

The "teacher" accepted money in exchange for false information, not knowing whether that information was true or not.

It would be like me accepting money from someone for telling them that there is definitely only one law of motion.


PS - my reading, like yours, is painfully slow - but knowing how opened up many doors.

You wouldn't say to a dyslexic person that they shouldn't bother learning to read books - and the same principle applies in music.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:58 AM

One more thing ...

Every night since my daughter was able to focus her eyes on something, she and i hhave sat every night and read a book.

I didn't wait for her to learn to speak first, I just pointed at things on pages and made appropriate sounds ...

at first, this meant pointing at pictures and saying "bus" or "dog"

Later, as she grew older, this moved on to "A" an "B" etc

Here's the point ...

... she doesn't need to look at a book if she wants to talk to me.

She is fully capable of improvising sentences on her own without loking aat a page.

The idea that being able to read means you cant' speak, or in musical terms, play without dots, is simply not true.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:13 AM

Is it a huge, vital advantage to know of the existence of B# ?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:19 AM

"Is it a huge, vital advantage to know of the existence of B# ? "

Actually, yes.

But in this thread it is more important to acknowledge that pretending to know there isn't such a thing, and collecting cash for it, is fraudulent.

This could have been agreed a long time ago, but Josepp has been subjected to ridicule for bringing it up.

In this case the mob have incorrectly identified the troll, and might have done bettter to listen and think.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:21 AM

Why is it so important to know this?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:29 AM

Ok, it exists, explanatin from Wiki-p here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_sharp

aka C!!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:39 AM

I don't understand why people find this so difficult to grasp. No one has difficulty understanding that, for example, A sharp and B flat are different ways of describing the same note, so why the difficulty with B# and C?

It's important if you want to understand music because some key signatures show B#. Whether you need to use this knowledge is another matter - if you only play in "folk keys" then you won't use it. But understanding it helps you to understand how scales work and how notes are described.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:47 AM

Lox, I think you misunderstand my position. I'm not saying that B# doesn't exist or that it's worthless. More the fact that arguing semantics over a enharmonic equivalent is a bit of a waste of time.

I'm a programmer, and one of the things you're taught about straight away is to hide complexity. You don't need to know about how I caught that exception you threw, you just need to know that I did and thus you need to check the input. However, if you were to learn programming you would need to know.

In this context, B# is an unhandled exception. We don't need to know how to catch it, only what to do if it happens. My point is that if you are using music as a hard and fast way to learn, you will be missing the point. When people drop a key by accident you don't continue singing in the original key because that doesn't work.

f you use a B# you're (in theory) using a note which is slightly sharper than a C. I don't know anyone who goes "Ah, a B#! I must adjust the note slightly". I, along with many others go "Ah, a B#! That is a C" and our minds automatically adjust to fit the chord. That's what being a musician is about.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:51 AM

Mr Happy.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and accept that you are actually interested and not just raising a glass to ignorance.


Here are the notes of the key of C#



----------------------------------------------------------------------
      
----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       #0
-------------------------------------------------#0-------------------
                                          #0
-----------------------------------#0---------------------------------
                            #0
---------------------#0-----------------------------------------------
               #0
       #-0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#



As you can see, the scale looks the way it sounds - one note following another.

Likewise, if you were to see a melody written in C#, you would have a good idea of its shae and sound by just glancing at it.

Conceptually this is a very useful way of visualizing music in your head.

Until I learned this stuff, I used to visualize things in terms of a guitar fretboard, which is prbably the single most confusing and inefficient way to visualize music in your mind.


In practice, yopu would put all the sharps in the key signature at the start of the stave so that you don't have to write them in front of each note as follows.

#
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#   
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#                                                       0
#------------------------------------------------0-------------------
#                                        0
-----------------------------------0---------------------------------
                            0
---------------------0-----------------------------------------------
               0
       -0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#


That way, the melody is even easier to read and any sharps or flats added to the tune to give it of spice stand out more.


But Mr Happy, trying to argue this point from an ignorant standpoint will only make you come across like a "wise" old skeptic warning about the dangers of linguistic literacy.

As with anything, to make a salient point or criticism, you have to first find something out about your subject.

I suggest, if you are genuinely interested in understanding the answers to your questons, that you take the time to learn about it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:52 AM

"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)."

In my case this is wrong... sorry... :-p

But being a (once - fallen out of practice somewhat) brilliant sight reader - even conductor scores, I'm very lazy at 'from memory'... all the others are not a problem...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:55 AM

Ah bollocks

the type face on the thread is different to the type face on the message box.


I'll try again.


Fig 1

----------------------------------------------------------------------
      
----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                #0
-------------------------------------------------#0-------------------
                                                   #0
-----------------------------------#0---------------------------------
                                     #0
---------------------#0-----------------------------------------------
                         #0
       #-0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#



fig 2

#
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#   
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#                                                                0
#------------------------------------------------0-------------------
#                                                 0
-----------------------------------0---------------------------------
                                     0
---------------------0-----------------------------------------------
                         0
       -0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#


Hope this works.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:56 AM

On the subject of playing from memory, I try to play from memory as much as possible. It can give you a whole lot of freedom that you don't expect.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM

Nearly

one more go ...



Fig 1

----------------------------------------------------------------------
      
----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   #0
-------------------------------------------------#0-------------------
                                                    #0
-----------------------------------#0---------------------------------
                                  #0
---------------------#0-----------------------------------------------
                      #0
       #-0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#



fig 2

#
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#   
#---------------------------------------------------------------------
#                                                                   0
#------------------------------------------------0-------------------
#                                                 0
-----------------------------------0---------------------------------
                                  0
---------------------0-----------------------------------------------
                      0
       -0-


          C#    D#    E#    F#    G#    A#    B#      C#


Here goes ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:59 AM

"But in this thread it is more important to acknowledge that pretending to know there isn't such a thing, and collecting cash for it, is fraudulent.

This could have been agreed a long time ago, but Josepp has been subjected to ridicule for bringing it up.

In this case the mob have incorrectly identified the troll, and might have done bettter to listen and think. "



Actually, you have that back to front. Being a good hearted person with apparently little experience of those like him, you take his post at face value as a true and valid account.

In the context of his other rantings here (in which he often claims to be an expert, better than the rest of us), he has often proved himself to be but an ignorant loud mouth troll.

And you are taking his account at face value, which many posters have also seen thru.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:01 AM

"I'm not saying that B# doesn't exist or that it's worthless. More the fact that arguing semantics over a enharmonic equivalent is a bit of a waste of time."

It is narrowmindledly only that in modern 12 note equal temperament, which JiK will soon give the exact correct name of, I'm sure ... ;-) If you REALLY know your Music Theory History (Internationally), that statement reveals a severe lack of breadth of knowledge and experience.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM

we have a few new fiddlers at our club. Despite reading the dots, it appears that for them, neither B sharp nor C exist as they always seem to end up somewhere between the two.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:10 AM

Lox,

Thanks for your input.

Nevertheless, I don't feel deprived nor advantaged by the knowledge of the existance of this key/ note.

I've played tunes, songs on a variety of instruments for many years, either solo or with others in sessions & for a big part of the time only needed to know the key of the melody, but without consciously knowing each individual note being played


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:16 AM

"Nevertheless, I don't feel deprived nor advantaged by the knowledge of the existance of this key/ note."

Fine, maybe you don't need it.

As for the advantage aspect, if i gave you a screwdriver and told you it was useful, but you had never seen a screw, much less know what it does, you might think it useless.

If you were building something though that a nail could not accomplish, you might suddenly discover how useful screws are and then you might be inspired to discover the world of cross heads, flatheds, allen keys etc.

Seek and ye shall find.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:20 AM

Lox - this is from the OP: "heard a guy tell someone that last night. "I've studied guitar for three years and my instructor says there's no such thing as a B-sharp. It's a C." So either the teacher is an idiot who shouldn't be in that job or the guy misunderstood him. "

josepp is reporting hearsay. We have no idea what the teacher actually said, or why. It may have been wrong to suggest this, or the teacher may have merely been trying to simplify things to show where to place a finger on the fretboard, or - as stated, the pupil may have merely misunderstood, or josepp may have misunderstood. We don't know.

It is josepp's statements in subsequent posts, which appear to suggest that being able to read music and understand the more complex conventions of written music theory is necessary, (and failure to do so verging on cultural criminality), that have brought out so many opposite views.

Telling someone there is no such thing as B sharp is not a crime - because they can find out for themselves later on, IF they need to, when and why we decide to use this name for that note in certain, fairly rare, cases.

It's a concept that does not really crop up at all in trad folk and very seldom in contemp folk (joespp's example song "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" is of course VERY firmly in the latter category ;-). A rock guitarist who does not know about B sharp is not going to be very handicapped - it just doesn't occur in rock music conventions (which, actually, tend to be even more aural/show-and-tell than folk music conventions, as it happens).

Trying to explain too early, to someone who may be struggling with the terminology, and who may never need to know anyway is not necessarily good teaching. Could be very bad teaching, actually.

Mozart almost certainly learned to play by ear first. I could pick out a tune with chords on the piano at the age of two and started on the violin (1/8th sise, got for the family by Clara Schumann) at the age of three. Both my sisters and both my children could, like me, also read simple words at two (my daughter could recite the alphabet backwards at 2) - but we ALL mastered speaking before reading. Everyone always does.

I did not say people should not try to read music, or did I? No, I see I said that it was an advantage, and so it is. I did say, however, it was not always necessary, or possible, and could even be a hindrance if taught too early and/or too rigidly.

"The idea that being able to read means you cant' speak is not true"

I did not say that either. I would have been even stupider than usual if I had.

"or in musical terms, play without dots."

Ah - but there I beg to differ. I have met hundreds of people who have been musically damaged by being taught book-music without ear/heart-music. I actually believe it verges on abuse when inflicted on small children.

Tom


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mooh
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:23 AM

Lox...Perhaps I could have been more clear. It was a beginner guitar class and it was definately C/G (slash chord) in guitar nomenclature a C chord with a G in the bass and was notated as 332010 in the tab and as such in the standard notation. The student was adamant that what he saw wasn't what the teacher described, so he was quite confused. It looks to both of us that his teacher isn't a guitarist, and not much of a musician, teaching out of his subject area.

I'm well aware of the other things you describe. Let's get back to B#.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:37 AM

Furthermore, I've many's the time seen people wanting to join sesshes but couldn't because they could only play anything from dots


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:39 AM

Well tom, I guess that in music, as in speech, it is important to be taught the meanings of words as well as how to spell them.

The myth I like to dispel is that Reading and improvisation are somehow mutually exclusive.

If they are both experienced and taught together then that is when the most complete musicians are made.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:52 AM

"The myth I like to dispel is that Reading and improvisation are somehow mutually exclusive."

Yes. I would like to dispel that myth - if there is one - too. It is patently not the case.

Learning to play by ear before learning to read is benign. Leaning to read before learning to play by ear is not - and can be a major inhibitor of thinks like improv. It may only be a small minority who suffer (we don't have stats, I don't think), but the precautionary principle demands that we routinely teach beginners to listen and copy first, THEN show them the convenience of writing it down.

Big clue: You don't need a book to listen to music.

Tom


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:55 AM

Tom,

'Big clue: You don't need a book to listen to music.'

Brilliant!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:13 AM

I don't think I ever said that B# IS a C. Just that I think of it as such to reduce my note count.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:24 AM

Well, I will say this about B sharp. Knowing it's there makes me want to write a jingle for the Gillette Razor company.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:57 AM

"Big clue: You don't need a book to listen to music."

True, but you can say the same thing about stories poems and news.

On the other hand, a proficient reader can "hear the page" when they read a musical score.

These days most people get their stories off youtube and the TV and they get their music from mp3s and the radio.

You and I can, if we want, convey concepts to each other in words.

Musical notation, theory, literacy etc allow musicians to do the same thing wityh music without having to write reams and reams of cumbersome descriptive words like the ones you and I are using now.

If you want to learn to speak chinese, it makes sense to learn some characters at the same time so you can write to your chinese friends etc.

I think the problems you describe are due to a non creative education not down to whether kids are able to read.

When kids experience of music is to only play (say) exactly what they are told, it means they get no practise being creative or developing their ear.

Sad indeed, but not the fault of theory or notation.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: harmonic miner
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:03 AM

I'm very surprised no-one mentioned the Be Sharps by the way

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer's_Barbershop_Quartet


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:35 AM

Lox, you may be right about the lack of creative education, but now has been I think well proven that teaching people what is essentially a mechanical process, involving eye to brain to finger (dot on page straight to keyboard or recorder or whatever) bypasses the part of the brain that needs to be developed to interpret music fully (the auditory cortex, is it?).

This does not mean that everyone who learns this way will be unable to hear or interpret music, or be unable to improvise, play from memory etc, but it may mean that some people will not develop as fully as they would have done if music had been learned the other way round.

Obviously you can do the theory/written stuff as you go along, but the priority always needs to be sound/listening/making noises first - which is not how most UK kids are taught, sadly.

It;s not only the music teachers who have got this wrong.

The BBC - an audio medium managed to contrive language courses which used books as the primary reference, with just a little cassette tucked into the back cover for pronunciation.

As any fule kno, the best way to lear a language is to go to where they talk it and join in (just as toddlers do). Then catch up with the spelling and grammar afterwards.

Tom


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:55 AM

If B sharp exists - how come its not got its own house - like C Sharp?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 11:23 AM

Tom - a fair comparison for what you describe would be the job of touch typist.

Many touch typists say that they have no idea what they have typed up, the information they process goes straight from eye to finger and they are able in many cases to chat away about unrelated subjects as they type.

That however is not an argument against reading.

And I agree that it is not a way of developing an understanding of music.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 11:48 AM

There are people who write with intelligence and prescience. Some are literate, some are not.

I prefer to read the articles or books of people who are literate because they, in the course of having to acquire literacy, had more experience of a broader scale which means they can make more qualitative choices about their ideas, but not always.

There are many musicians who don't read music and know theory, great players, great feelers,expressive, communicate, and satisfy a musical experience.

Many of them have the humility not to make pronouncements about that with which they are unacquainted.

B sharp is the seventh note of a C# major scale. There are few instances where a folk performer would care or think about a C# scale and it isn't essential to some forms of music making. However, B# exists in many compositions by composers.

When it comes to musical composition, I think it's better to be sharp than to be flat.

If you are a brass player, than I must qualify that last statement.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 12:18 PM

/////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)./////

Sorry but you're disabled and you have to accept it. You can't do things most people can do. Sorry about that. But I'm not changing my opinion to suit you. You have your way because you have no choice. I do have the choice so I use it.

Sorry.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 12:22 PM

///Big clue: You don't need a book to listen to music.////

And you don't need a telescope to look at the moon. Does that mean you shouldn't do it?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 12:27 PM

Josepp, every time you start a thread you sound as though you're spoiling for a fight. According to you, things aren't regulated enough...

YouTube commenting behaviour is disgusting and should be thoroughly policed, goddammit!

People who pick up a musical instrument should read music, goddammit!

(Poor old Django - couldn't read a sodding note - and him with just a thumb and two useful fingers as well - goddammit!)

Why not try opening up a topic with something positive - nay, even benign - for a change? Relax - chill - have a good time - make music.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 12:30 PM

err - actually within that analogy; you were suggesting that people should ONLY look at the moon through a telescope, and not to do so was to risk cultural damage.

I don't have a telescope but think the moon looks nice through tress, or riding on clouds, or reflected on water.

I believe people should be free to look or not as suits them - but my warning was this: if you train people only look at the moon through a telescope you may deny them these beautiful images.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 12:58 PM

Tom, Bruce M here. Congratulations on the commission.

josepp is a mediocre singer/guitar player compared to you, and I've heard both of you. You with your 'do it by ear' (same way I do it) works, and that is what really matters. I too never got the hang of reading music. I too understand the theory, and given the notation, I'm capable of working it out, but I have never done it enough to become adept at it. Dyslexia is a cast-iron sob to deal with. You have done so by developing a great memory for tunes and chords. Good on ya!

josepp, you seem to have no compassion for other people. It's all about joseep. Give it a fuckin' rest. You appear to be the south end of a horse goin' north.

Will Fly, it seems I agree with you although I lack your eloquence.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 01:14 PM

I lack your eloquence.

Oh I don't know. "You appear to be the south end of a horse goin' north" sounds pretty eloquent to me! :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 02:36 PM

Music is sound.

Musical notation is a way to describe and record musical sound. It is, necessarily, less than perfect, and therefore involves all kinds of complicated subtleties in cases where an effort is being made to "write" musical sound with the utmost precision. Hence the current controversy.

This is NOT a case of "the chicken or the egg," where there is any possible doubt about "which came first." Music came first, and is absolutely primary; musical notation is secondary.

Not to denigrate music theory or musical literacy, which are as important in their own roles as reading-and-writing literacy. But reading and writing are not more important than the thoughts and ideas that they express, and certainly no more critical than spoken language.

Teaching and learning the craft of playing a musical instrument (including the voice) is not the same as a study of theory. As a student becomes more adept and advanced, different aspects of theory will occasionally come up and need to be explored. But the first and most basic effort should always be a concern with how to make a sound, the right sound, with the highest possible degree of musicality.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 02:38 PM

Folk tunes have typically been passed aurally from player to player over a number of years. Transcriptions are only interpretations of the tunes; many players embellish the tunes as they play.
Myself and a couple of friends when leading a tune session sometimes meet people who have just learnt the tune from a score and will suggest we are playing the wrong notes. Our usual response is, this is how we like to play it, we like the way it sounds. Music theory is OK as long as it doesn't get in the way of actually making live music.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:28 PM

Dear josepp, put your money where you're mouth is and place some of your playing on youtube, we will then be able to see the benefits of an extensive theoretical background in music which many of us lack. Something with a B sharp in it would be nice.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:30 PM

josepp says: Now, that was stupid, wasn't it? You know you're going to get proven wrong. I'm looking at sheet music for a song called "You Don't Know My Mind" and in the 4th measure--lo and behold!--a B-sharp.

Since you clearly didn't understand a thing of what I was talking about, it's hard for me to feel proved wrong. I'd normally enjoy making myself more clear to you, but you'd have to be a lot less of a jerk to make me want to.

I'll refresh it for you: It's about the fact that B-sharp exists not whether you've ever ecncountered in your music. Are we stright now?

No, it's about whether or not a teacher was a fraud and a danger to our culture because you heard second hand that he said that B# and C are the same note or something. And it has become about whether or not someone can be a good musician if they don't ever consider the concept of a B#.

Of course everyone here knows that B# exists, if you happen to be reading music in C#. Everyone also knows that, in equal temperment for most instruments, B# and C are the same note, the only difference being that it is more convenient to write one or the other depending on what key you're in.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:36 PM

You appear to be the south end of a horse goin' north.

Would that be Armstrong's horse?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 03:50 PM

If B sharp exists - how come its not got its own house - like C Sharp?

Ah! didn't you know it has? It's next door to C sharp and they are both across the road from B natural and C natural.

In case you ask about the flats; they're all in a block at the end of the road.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 04:01 PM

200


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,chinacat
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:07 PM

OK take it easy, this is my first MudCat post:

I'd just like to say, as the B# issue has been done to death, that I have been playing stringed instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, mountain zither) constantly since age 8 and am now 21. I took 2 or 3 years of lessons once a week and learned to interpret written music at a basic level. Although I know it would be much much much easier to learn Bach's lute pieces (my favorite) by sheet music, I end up listening to them if I want to learn. By the same token, I don't speak Old French but after listening to Les Menestriers for an hour I can sing "La Rond du Jaloux" and in a couple hours of listening I can sing Congolese folk songs with moderate fidelity (time makes it better)- and by the way, Congolese traditional songs are incredibly tough to learn I'll wager for a westerner even with professional training. I don't know what differentiates a Gsus from a Gsus9 and I don't know the difference between the absolute minor and the relative minor. Over the years I have heard lots of folks pull out a lot of terms I don't know. If I hum an A and the song makes harmony with it, then as far as I'm concerned the song is in the key of A. I use relative tuning. I have been known to sing harmonies using, occasionally, what I understand to be called "microtonals". The funniest thing to me is that I will hear a song, play it a hundred times the way I remember it, and then when I hear it again it sounds foreign to me; as though I had earlier listened to a completely different song. I am not against theory-in a way I envy those who master it (like Bach), but for all the faults of human memory and perception their error allows for advancement and evolution the same way that an error in DNA duplication has certainly lead to incredible advantages for the human race. If we had the Modern Language Association (MLA) in Jesus' time, well we would still be speaking Latin wouldn't we? With art as with humanity - if we(it) stop(s) evolving, we(it) die(s).

Just my opinion, I am by no means a music scholar. I am an education major though, and for the folks talking about learning to play the instrument before reading music, we call it "sound before symbol" and it is universally accepted among educators   :)

ANYHOO I guess my point is that I just take umbridge with the bashing of non-sight-readers


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:26 PM

Very nice, especially for a "first Mudcat post." Couldn't have said it any better myself ~ and I've tried!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 05:33 PM

Just a comment to Josepp about the learning of the Lead Belly song:

Too bad, josepp, that you are tethered to the sheet music. That must severely limit the songs you can learn to what you can find in books and sheet music. I feel fortunate that not only can I read music quite adeptly, but I seem to have a pretty good, retentive ear as well. A couple of times through and I usually have the tune in my head. Very handy!

In addition to the song and ballad collections on my bookshelves accumulated over the years, from which I have learned many songs, I have a very large library of records, tapes, and CDs from which I have also learned many songs—by ear. And I generally take my own approach to a song and I work out my own arrangements, but if there is something unique and appropriate to a particular song, I will often adopt it.

For example, I learned that particular Lead Belly song ("Where Did You Sleep Last Night"—originally known, before people became all nervous about political correctness, as "Black Girl") in the mid-1950s, from one of his Folkways Records. I've never seen sheet music for the song, nor have I run across it in a song book.

Were you aware that Lead Belly's starting and ending chord on that song is an A7 chord? Most unusual! I picked that up by ear from the record. And in a conversation with a singer-guitarist friend of mine who had heard, and seen, Lead Belly at one of the Swarthmore folk festivals in the late 1940s, he verified it.

What does your vast store of knowledge about notation and music theory tell you about that?

Onward.

My particular complaint with Josepp's initial rant is not about the factual nature of B# and C being enharmonic notes (on a fixed-pitch instrument such as a piano or guitar, the same pitch written two different ways in order to preserve the consistency of the way in which the scale is written, a matter more of "musical grammar" than of actual tones), my quibble is with his draconian reaction to the teacher's making a minuscule error in explaining scale structure to his pupil (if, indeed, that is what the teacher said).

I have known many teachers who are excellent at imparting technique, and more importantly, teaching musicianship in general and a general love of music, whose knowledge of some of the more obscure minutiae of music theory is, perhaps, a bit shaky. But oftentimes the specific subject never even comes up.

In addition to this, most at least semi-serious music students take from more than one teacher. I have had lessons from two folk guitarists, one who didn't even read music, three classical guitarists, both of which could, and one genuine flamenco guitarist, who not only could not read music, he couldn't speak English (and I don't speak Spanish; we sat face to face with our guitars and he would demonstrate slowly, then I would try to do what he did. We'd repeat the ritual until I got it, and it worked) ; and three different voice teachers, each of whom covered much of the same ground, but each had a somewhat different emphasis, all of which proved valuable to me.

A serious student seeking a career in music may attend one or more music schools or conservatories, where they will encounter dozens of teachers in various specialties. One of the teachers I had at Cornish was a fine pianist, but she mainly taught sight-singing and ear-training, including the finer points of music notation. The matter was also covered in a music calligraphy (writing and transcribing music manuscripts) class that I also took at Cornish. If one teacher misses something, one of the others will probably pick it up.

Even if ALL of the teachers miss the same tiny bit of esoterica, the student may >u>still enjoy a marvelously successful career in music without ever encountering a situation in which the missing knowledge of this tiny detail will ever raise its head. I sincerely feel that a teacher's failure to impart this small detail—that on a fixed pitch instrument, a B# and a C are the same tone, although written differently to maintain the consistency of the scale structure—is hardly just grounds for calling the community together, dragging the teacher out onto the stage of a large music hall or arena before a vast audience, and subject him or her to being drawn and quartered before the multitudes as an example to all other music teachers.

A bit . . . excessive, perhaps. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:28 PM

////Josepp, every time you start a thread you sound as though you're spoiling for a fight. According to you, things aren't regulated enough.../////

I don't think my opening statement sounded anything like I was picking a fight. But it doesn't matter. It generates a more animated discussion than the usual tripe here.

///YouTube commenting behaviour is disgusting and should be thoroughly policed, goddammit!////

Hey, I agree!

////People who pick up a musical instrument should read music, goddammit!///

And I agree with that too!

////(Poor old Django - couldn't read a sodding note - and him with just a thumb and two useful fingers as well - goddammit!)///

But he wasn't teaching music theory to people, either, was he?

////Why not try opening up a topic with something positive - nay, even benign - for a change? Relax - chill - have a good time - make music.////

I do it they way I want to do it. I don't care who gets pissed off.

///Too bad, josepp, that you are tethered to the sheet music.////

Oh, yes, so sad--boo hoo.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 06:35 PM

And for those who don't llike my threads--leave and go argue about the merits of Obama's campaign in Libya. Or whine about the all the radiation in Japan that you can't do a thing about. Or stay here and get your 2 cents in about the ups and downs of music theory--at least somebody gave you that option.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:10 PM

Can anyone tell me how an Irish reel would be notated? Or a Boda polska from Sweden?

The reason I ask is that many folk tunes need the "feel" of the rhythm. Even if you could notate it accurately, which I doubt, the best music reader in the world wouldn't be able to make it sound right without first knowing the playing style.

All the notation I've ever seen for a reel involves straight eighth and sixteenth notes. Boda polskas are usually written with quarter note triplets over the first two beats of the measure. Playing them the way they are written would be the exact reason so many trad players don't really like classical violinists who learn the tunes from the notes. There's nothing wrong with playing a tune that way, of course, unless you think you're making them sound like Irish or Swedish tunes.

This is not to say that reading isn't important. It is. But there are many things in music that don't show up in the notation. I've always thought the notation for traditional music is like a road map. It is very useful for learning the route, but when you are actually driving you should have your eyes on the road.

This isn't just true of traditional music. I'm deeply familiar with Led Zeppelin's music and I've seen a lot of their songs written out. The notation doesn't even come close to capturing the feel of the music. It doesn't even get the rhythmic nuances.

Music scholarship is great, but it's only tangential to the main event.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 07:22 PM

It would depend who's doing it. I once had a Beatles songbook where it looked like a piano player notated it because the chords were bizarre. Nothing like a guitarist would do. I was looking at songs I can play in my sleep and laughing at how the guy botched it up. They were written for guitar but they weren't guitar chords!

As for rhythms, you're going to lose that. But so what? Make your own. Look at all the blues songs that have the same lyrics in them. Same with sailor chanteys. Just make your own. Take what's there and make it yours. Who wants to be a carbon copy?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 08:08 PM

"////(Poor old Django - couldn't read a sodding note - and him with just a thumb and two useful fingers as well - goddammit!)///

But he wasn't teaching music theory to people, either, was he?"


Ooof!!!!!


I think - even more than performing whilst disabled - Djangos biggest achievement is that despite his young death he is still teaching aspiring virtuosos to this day.


Having said that, I am curious and very skeptical about the idea that he "couldn't" read music.

He played with Louis Armstrong, with Coleman Hawkins, with Dizzy Gillespie ... to name just three out of a list of great musical innovators.

The stuff they were doing requires a solid grounding in basic chord theory.

So even if its true that he didn't read, his knowledge of theory was comprehensive. Every time he picked up a guitar, he would describe, in his solos, every element of Jazz theory as it stood at that time - solos as harmonically explicit as his do not happen by accident. He was aware of new key centres and he was able to anticipate their arrival in the true tradition of jazz improvisation.

You can hear in his playing that He fully understood II-V-I cadences, and that he understood the notion of superimposing alterations on the V, whether by using the harmonic minor or the diminished scale.

He may not have used these terms, but he was 100% clear in his mind about how the concepts worked.

Any idea that he just played magic notes that came to him from the universe is one that discredits him, just as it discredits geniuses like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Of course his ear was great - in fact it was awesome - but there is no jazz without some kind of theoretical understanding, whether learned as an apprentice or as a student.

There isn't much info on Django education and I doubt he got his Theoretical knowledge from his early romani mentors - it would have come from the musicians he admired and loved in America.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:26 PM

"As for rhythms, you're going to lose that. But so what? Make your own."쳌

No go with that one, Josepp! Rhythm is the underlying superstructure of a piece of music, especially of the kind of music(s) that John is speaking of. A polka without the correct rhythm wouldn't be a polka. Nor would a waltz. Or a minuet. Or a schottische. Or the second act of Swan Lake. How about a halyard chantey or a track-lining song, where the whole purpose is to keep people in rhythm? The fact that you include sea chanteys in your litany of songs that can do without rhythm or can be done in any old rhythm whatsoever" seems to demonstrate a certain level of cluelessness. Somehow singing "The Wreck of the Old 97"쳌 in the same relatively free rhythm as "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" strikes me as, well, kinda weird. Old 97 would have run out of steam before it even got out of the station. Whereas, doing a driving rhythm with "Black is the Color" I'm not quite sure how to go about that. Nor would I want to.

There is a difference between doing something new and creative and just being bloody inept!

Before I met Antonio Zori, one of the flamenco guitarists who was accompanying that dancers at the Spanish Village at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, I had acquired a simple beginners’ book for flamenco guitar by a fellow named Jack Buckingham. And later, a more comprehensive one by Ivor Morantz. Plus a series of articles in "The Guitar Review," a magazine put out by the Classic Guitar Society of New York on various aspects of flamenco and how to play it, along with a lot of written music. And a folio by guitarist Vincente Gomez. I got all the notes right, and I got what I thought was the rhythm, at least according to the notation. But I couldn't make the Alegrias or Soleares or Farruca sound like the ones I heard on the recordings of Mario Escudero or Carlos Montoya or Sabicas.

Antonio started me on an Alegrias which he said (in Spanish and managed, conveyed to me by another fellow who was taking the lesson with me and could manage a bit of high-school Spanish) as a basic rhythm for several of the (now get this!) dance forms.

You see, although flamenco guitar became popular in concerts several decades back, it was used prior to that primarily for dance accompaniment. laying down usually fairly complex but set rhythm, with the "falsettas" or flashy scale runs and such giving the guitarist a chance to show off a bit while the dancers were catching their breath or a quick beer.

In the sheet music, the basic rhythmic unit of the Alegrias appeared four measures of 3/4. But it didn’t sound like it at all. I turns out, as Antonio explained it and demonstrated it, twelve beats with specific beats emphasized. Not

1 - 2 - 3, 1 - 2 - 3, 1 - 2 - 3, 1 - 2 - 3. No.

The beat for the Alegrias is as follows:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

The last two beats are sort if "throw away"쳌before the next phrase. The "faslettas" or "fancy stuff"쳌follows the same rhythm.

Once I heard Antonio's actually fairly simple explanation, the whole tangled knot came unraveled. It was like the sun coming up!

Is rhythm important? Damn straight it's important!

If I had not looked at the attempts to notate flamenco rhythms, I might very well have been able to pick them up just by listening instead of getting myself all confused by trying to jam in into conventional expectations.

I have since seen a far better attempt at using standard notation for the correct rhythms for the various flamenco forms than had first been presented to me, but it requires a couple of introductory paragraphs to explain which notes to stress and how essential they are. Just presenting the notes, even with the stress marks, usually won't adequately convey how important they are.

About a year later, I had a chance to be at a party after a concert in Seattle by the "Ballet Basque de Biarritz."쳌 The dancers were listening to a little American folk music from a couple of us, when I started fiddling a bit with a Farruca. One of the girls in the troupe was adept at flamenco and she jumped up and started in. She and I had one helluva good time as I played the guitar and she stomped the crap out of the floor!!

Man, what a snort!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Noreen
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:30 PM

Tootler- :)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 09:57 PM

"Just my opinion, I am by no means a music scholar. I am an education major though, and for the folks talking about learning to play the instrument before reading music, we call it "sound before symbol" and it is universally accepted among educators   :)"

I was an educator--well, that's what my degree says. I wish you success with your calling. It's important work, and you should be very proud of yourself--but let other people tell you that. Good to meet you.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:04 PM

///Having said that, I am curious and very skeptical about the idea that he "couldn't" read music.

He played with Louis Armstrong, with Coleman Hawkins, with Dizzy Gillespie ... to name just three out of a list of great musical innovators.////


And Sir Duke--Django played with him. Something tells me Duke might have known a thing or two about reading music. And Louis was one of the best sight-readers in jazz--possibly that ever lived. He was always good but Lil Hardin really got him going because she was highly trained. Lil played with a lot of jazz musicians who could not read but some of these guys did eventually learn to read because it was a necessity if they wanted to lead a band. Kid Ory, for example, learned to read music by studying the sax, which he was rather adept on. In fact, he wrote "Savoy Blues" with a sax. The only bandleader I know of that didn't read or even play was Kay Kyser. He got the gig because it was college corn band that needed a leader so he took them on.

////The stuff they were doing requires a solid grounding in basic chord theory.////

I don't think you could get a job with King Oliver or Jelly Roll Morton if you couldn't read. Especially Jelly Roll because it would have irked him something fierce to know you couldn't comprehend his beautiful notes of genius gracing the page.

////There isn't much info on Django education and I doubt he got his Theoretical knowledge from his early romani mentors - it would have come from the musicians he admired and loved in America.////

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the other Roma in his life. Roma were to Europe what blacks were to America in terms of musical contributions. Hard to say. He was such an unusual cat. Once he missed a show because he wouldn't get out of bed. He missed another show once when he decided to go for a walk and smell the flowers. He was impoverished his entire life. The suits you see him in were borrowed. He died with no money--which was also how he lived. Les Paul bought him a gravestone because he was very close to Django and both of them loved Eddie Lang (whose real name I believe was Salvatore Massaro).


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:33 PM

A teacher who truly understands the significance of and difference between B# and C is not necessarily a better teacher than any other given teacher. There are obviously many factors. However, in my opinion, the same teacher with the knowledge is better than the version of him/herself without the knowledge. For Josepp, not knowing it is a deal-breaker. For many here, given the specific instrument, genre, and goals, it is not.

In Western music, the B#/C distinction is not trivial or esoteric. It may not be necessary knowledge for many or most performers in a particular genre, but that does not take away from its importance. It's significance goes beyond writing/reading or labeling. It relates to a feature of many types of Western music (and beyond) that plays a role even if the performers are not consciously aware of it. They do not have to be consciously aware of it to perform. Most intuit it and learn through enculturation.

"Folk" musicians and people who don't read music notation have as much music "theory" as anyone else. It's ingenuous to pretend one is being more natural or practical because they aren't well versed in common practice Western music theory. Music is not just sound. It is sound organized by humans, and that organization occurs, to one degree or another, according to certain "rules." Performers in a given musical system subscribe to those rules. Theory describes or, in some cases, prescribes those rules. The B#/C distinction is one result of an attempt to describe the rules.

Josepp may come off as abrasive and rigid in his opinions, but to argue back by discounting the significance of the B#/C distinction is, in my opinion, misguided. Musical truth and understanding shouldn't suffer because one doesn't agree with Josepp's assessment of this one particular situation.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 10:34 PM

"And for those who don't llike my threads"

josepp, I think your threads are wonderful. Truly. You are an amazingly smart man. But you insult people just because you can. I'm from a different part of town, and where I'm from that kind of insulting is a quick trip to where no one really wants to go. Before you tell me you don't care, allow me to tell you that that don't matter. What matters is the things you say and the things you do. So far ya ain't said nothin' that recognizes the intelligence of the people with whom you speak.

This being a forum for opinion, you have a right to think of the threads you start as being yours. But it's kinda like having to take a piss. Yes you have the right, but there are times and places. In the local department store is not the place, and until after closing it ain't the time. Might scare the horses.

The reality you may or may never come to see: One of the people you have dissed is a revered musician and writer, Don Firth. Another is an excellent composer, Smokey. Another is Will Fly: Talk about a sense of humour. And Tom Bliss was and is a man whose departure from making music in the real public forum made me cry. I will never tell anyone who you are, but I'll know. And you'd best know also that it sometimes takes more than being cute to impress people. Manners always are better. Please develop some. I won't insult your beard or ragtime singing and playing; you please do not insult my friends.

Bruce Murdoch

PS When you look me up, that scar on my face was the result of a really stupid decision on my part. I have no idea what the scar on your heart is from. If you ever feel you want to speak about it, message me. I'm easy enough to find.

I am sorry to the many people on this thread I haven't named. Please write it off to old age and a failing mammary. (I see tits in the distance and I miss the Rocky Mountains.)

B


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:02 AM

"But there are many things in music that don't show up in the notation. I've always thought the notation for traditional music is like a road map. It is very useful for learning the route, but when you are actually driving you should have your eyes on the road."

Rules are for guidance of the wise and blind obedience by fools.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:57 AM

Thanks, Bruce, that means a lot to me.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:17 AM

Smokey, it's really simple: you are a musical giant, imo, and this world is lucky to have you. Truly. Your feel for music brings me to tears, and someday, I'll be able to tell you that in person.

BM


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:19 AM

Bruce - my feel for my own music often brings me to tears - the wrong sort... :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:23 AM

Oh, bro, do I know about that. Had my own dog yelping at one point. Man's best friend my ass!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:32 AM

To confirm my earlier post,

After a quick spot of reading, it appears that Django actually learned Jazz with Coleman Hawkins as an accompanist.

It was in this capacity and from this foundation that he learned the harmonic movement stuff that allowed him to develop as a jazz soloist.

This confirms my earlier comments.

Roma have a wonderful, rich and highly developed musical culture. Their music does not move between key centres in the way that Jazz does though, and Django would have found the sounds associated with that both elusive and fascinating.

As an accompanist in a Jazz band he would most certainly have had to play from a chart, as a jazz guitarosts bread and butter has been, from the very beginning, to chop out the chords at short notice.

Even if he didn't sight read, his knowledge of voice leading, an absolute must for the jazz accompanist, shows that he had a clear understanding of written music.

hose bands did not sit around like we might and play each other songs a hundred times till they had all learned it, they just got up and played.

To do this, you need to have twpo things - a great ear and a great understanding of Jazz theory.

Thats why Jazz is hard.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:38 AM

Pentatonic scales, Lox. Not really necessary to read, just know, I think.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:42 AM

Lox (and others) - you're absolutely right about Django and music, of course. I was just using a little irony in my post to Josepp, but there's water, and then there the backs of ducks.

Having played jazz for some years (I even played a bit last night), I can honestly say that there's no end to the twists and turns in a musical path. But, to get down that path, you have to imbibe - either through the ears or through the eyes or both - knowledge of harmonic progressions and the possibilities within them, and have some idea of the directions you're taking when you go through those progressions. Every note is a decision.

To me, the crucial bit is being able to translate what you hear in your head directly on to the instrument - 40 years later I'm still working on it!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 06:02 AM

"I don't think you could get a job with King Oliver or Jelly Roll Morton if you couldn't read"
more ignorance about king oliver from josepp.
Oliver, Joe 'King'

"Cornetist Joe Oliver blew the blues through brass, and helped bring bottom-up swing to New Orleans at the turn of the century. He played a key part in turning that city's band music into what we now call jazz.

Like many early Louisiana musicians who came off the plantation, which Oliver almost certainly did, he had little formal musical education, nor did he show great musical promise in his youth."
while Oliver later learned to read music, his approach was one that copied Buddy Bolden.
"Oliver soon began to play weekends at the Eagle Saloon on Rampart Street with one of New Orleans' preeminent bands, the Eagle Band. Again he had a rough start; at first, the band sent him home because "he played so loud and so bad."

There was a reason: the Eagle Band musicians had played with the legendary cornetist Buddy Bolden before his mental breakdown. They continued Bolden's unleashed, bottom-up musical approach which depended not on reading or formalities, but on guts."


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 06:04 AM

Josepp: "But he wasn't teaching music theory to people, either, was he?"

I've said it above, and I'll say it again: You've actually MORPHED your argument. You're now saying that sight-reading ability is only *critical* in the case of people who are going to teach music. However, your initial point above was:

Josepp: When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture.

Following which you stated that one of the best guitarists you'd ever played with couldn't read a note. So presumably, although he was one of the best guitarists you've ever played with, you were unable to respect him and felt that his mere exitence was damaging our culture?

Sorry to keep harping on at this, but it seems that you changed your tune significantly on this part-way through the thread, and I think you should clarify whether the above statement applies (as it seemed to originally) to *all* musicians or just to those who terach others?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 10:48 AM

Josepp: When I watch musicians that I respect play, they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture.

And then, when I asked about the accuracy of the notation for some traditional folk dance styles:

As for rhythms, you're going to lose that. But so what? Make your own.

Josepp, you're making this up as you go along. How do you get from "That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture" to "you're going to lose that. But so what?"

Either music reading is the only way to go, or it is simply not possible in some circumstances. Which is it? You can't have it both ways. "Make your own" rhythms don't work for dancers or for musicians who actually want to play in a particular style.

Lox, I'm also interested in your comment:
If you can hear it, you can write it down ...

I ask again, how do you notate an Irish reel or a Swedish Boda polska so that someone who's never heard one will be able to play it?

Please believe that I'm not against reading music. I read music all the time. It's a very important skill. But it is clear to me that our notational system has a lot of holes in it when it comes to accuracy.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:26 PM

////"Just my opinion, I am by no means a music scholar. I am an education major though, and for the folks talking about learning to play the instrument before reading music, we call it "sound before symbol" and it is universally accepted among educators   :)"////

Overall, I'm going to have to disagree with this. It would depend on the instrument. Guitar I'm completely self-taught. Never took a lesson. Taught myself to read the music.

Drums I took lessons and am much better for it than I would have been without it. But I could have learned drums ok.

Bass guitar, same as guitar, but having seen what my instructor can do with a bass guitar, I have to rethink my position that I play well for being self-taught. He makes a bass do things I never heard anyone do. He makes beautiful full chords--really pretty sounding. So I may take lessons from him for that but GOD all these years of bad technique I'll have to undo.

That brings me to my point: to play an instrument without knowing what you're doing can be damaging because you incorporate bad techniques that become so ingrained that it becomes a huge struggle trying to get rid of them to play properly.

I was teaching myself the double bass for a while and I was getting to be fairly proficient but I started taking lessons and thank god I did before I went too much longer. My techniques were SO bad that I never could have progressed much farther than I already had. And I had no idea how to use the bow at all. This instrument is so full of secrets that you're not going to learn them all if you aren't properly initiated and even then...Few people could figure it out without help.

The other thing is that I want to learn these techniques because they are handed down from Europe from over a century ago from Franz Simandl--the foremost bass pedagogue. I want to carry on his tradition. I'm not interested in blazing my own path because it would have been a dreadfully short one. I'll walk Simandl's path because it will take me far then maybe I can think about blazing my own path. But for now, I want to do it his way. He knews what he's talking about, I don't. I was groping and sinking. But at least I knew it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:31 PM

///Like many early Louisiana musicians who came off the plantation, which Oliver almost certainly did, he had little formal musical education, nor did he show great musical promise in his youth."
while Oliver later learned to read music, his approach was one that copied Buddy Bolden.///

The part you quote to disprove me just disproved you.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:39 PM

josepp, stop talking bollox, he was rejected by boldens band until he could learn to play with guts, boldens band were not interested in musically literate automatons they wanted people who played with guts, SOUL and feeling


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 01:31 PM

That brings me to my point: to play an instrument without knowing what you're doing can be damaging because you incorporate bad techniques that become so ingrained that it becomes a huge struggle trying to get rid of them to play properly.

Uh . . . what's the point again? Do you really think anyone disagrees with you about this? What's this have to do with whether or not a teacher is a fraud or whether musicians that can't read music fluidly are damaging our culture?

I'm still curious about how you explain the seemingly contradictory statements you've made in this discussion.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 01:55 PM

Just to start a little further discussion: As an old folk musician, I once purchased a button accordion which apparently came from Germany and which I though was in F Major. After inspecting it some time after I had it, I discovered the Key was stamped on the bottom end as E#. Accompiment seemed to be fine using F Major on other instruments. Any thoughts?

More likely what was stamped there was "Es", the usual German way of writing E flat. An E flat button accordion would sorta work for accompanying tunes in F, up to a point.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 02:56 PM

Bruce, thank you for the kind words.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:20 PM

Every time I've checked the forum over the past couple of days, I've been kinda dismayed to see this thread back up near the top. I've been finding it hard to believe that people continue to beat this dead horse! Sort of a "guilty pleasure," I suppose ~ and I'm as guilty as anyone.

I'm less angry about this topic than I was when I first encountered it, but still can't seem to resist wallowing in it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:22 PM

Just telling the truth, Don. But, you are more than welcome.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 05:07 PM

////josepp, stop talking bollox, he was rejected by boldens band until he could learn to play with guts, boldens band were not interested in musically literate automatons they wanted people who played with guts, SOUL and feeling////

Buddy Bolden NEVER played with another cornetist--not ever. Bunk Johnson claimed he played in that band but it was disproven because everybody who saw Bolden's band all stated he NEVER played with another cornetist. So your story, as usual, is bullshit. King Oliver was the teacher of Louis Armstrong and Louis was one of the best sight-readers ever. A lot of that was due to Lil Hardin but Louis was already reading by the time he met her. King Oliver had Joplin's sheet music bound together into a volume at a time when Joplin was nearly forgotten because Oliver loved playing Joplin's rags. I know a lot about early jass. And I know King Bolden never played with another cornetist.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 05:11 PM

"I ask again, how do you notate an Irish reel or a Swedish Boda polska so that someone who's never heard one will be able to play it?"

With care and attention to detail.

If you go and watch a poetry reading by Benjamin Zephaniah, you can write down the words.

If you write it down in dictionary perfect English, you will have the poem right, but you will lose some of the character.

It is possible to write with a bit more phonetic sensitivity and get close to the original.

When you read it out, it probably won't sound like Benjamin Zephaniah regardless of how well his nuances are captured on the page.

But if you listen and try to copy, it is still unlikely that you will get it perfect as you are a different person.

If someone who had never heard BZ speak were to read a well transcribed poem of his, they would probably get a good sense of its lilt.

Music historians are able to get an idea of the lilt of Medieval speech and music without having heard it.

In light of all the above statements, it can bew said that the written form of passing music on has its shortcomings, but so does the aural form.

Each musician has their own character.

At least with the written form there is less chance of generational chinese whispers diluting the music and a better chance of preserving older forms.

To say tat the Aural way is better, or the written way is better is a petty facile argument.

But what I said, that if you can hear it you can write it down, is 100% correct.

There are ways.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 05:36 PM

///Who cares? Most folkies play and sing out of tune anyway!! ////

Haha! You're right

///I'm less angry about this topic than I was when I first encountered it, but still can't seem to resist wallowing in it. ///

Thanks for admitting it. Although I get a kick from the ones who act condescending and make asses of themselves: "Oh, I'm too good and aloof to hang around on this stupid thread--give me a break" and yet there they are posting every two or three days. They can't resist and they can't admit it either. It's a fun thread, just admit it.

///Uh . . . what's the point again? Do you really think anyone disagrees with you about this?////

Yes.

///What's this have to do with whether or not a teacher is a fraud///

Because someone who claimed to ba an "educator" said that hands-on before study was a better way to go and that this was apparently unanimously championed by "educators." I doubt this is a good way with certain instruments. Let's face it--guitar isn't that hard. If the slugs in this forum can play one, how hard can it be? But almost none play double bass because it is definitely a lot harder and I really wouldn't recommend too much hands-on because the proper techniques are counter-intuitive--or sure seem that way to me. I doubt most people would figure them out without a qualified instructor. I wouldn't have, at any rate.

///or whether musicians that can't read music fluidly are damaging our culture?///

Sorry but it's true. What if nobody could play music off the sheet? It would not be a good situation. Other countries have amazing music programs for kids. As with everything else, we're getting left behind. I want to strangle the next kid who tries to justify not learning to read music by saying, "Well, John Lennon couldn't read music and it didn't hurt him."

Sorry to say this (and I like the Beatles as much as anyone) but Lennon did a disservice by not learning to read music. He gave birth to generations of lazy kids who think all they have to do is play and everything will come to them. When it doesn't, they abandon it. They put no real investment into their music. Well, if you put nothing in, what do you expect to come out? John Lennon was John Lennon and there will never be another. Times have changed far too much for that to ever happen again. Lennon has hurt culture as much as he helped it. Sorry to say it but...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 05:51 PM

"Sorry to say this (and I like the Beatles as much as anyone) but Lennon did a disservice by not learning to read music. He gave birth to generations of lazy kids who think all they have to do is play and everything will come to them. When it doesn't, they abandon it."

Sorry ~ isn't our main focus hereabouts supposedly FOLK music? While folk music in our post-modern/post-recording-technology age is certainly played (replicated, actually) by many varieties of musicians, including the classically-trained and the ultra-literate, the "source musicians" we're ostensibly emulating were much more likely to be utterly unfamiliar with standard notation.

Sure, the best players among them had a thorough (but often more intuitive than didactic) understanding of harmonic theory. But I'd wager that very few could sight-read from "dots," and fewer still (by far!) knew, or could possibly care, about the existence of B-sharp.

Not just John Lennon ~ hundreds, even thousands, of the anonymous players and singers who have left us centuries worth of folk tradition have had little or no facility with written musical notation. So what?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 06:03 PM

The notion of the Raw uneducated Jazz player is a myth that needs to be dispelled.

The early Jazz musicians learned european Harmony in Brass bands and Jazz happened when they took that knowledge home and mixed it with the blues and the african rhythms that they were already singing and playing at home.

Buddy Bolden was an exception - not because he didn't have a musical education - but because he emerged from the string bands who played for private dances and parties in new orleans.

These bands were generally made up of "creoles of colour" (to use the terminology of the day), and could play anything from arias from french operas to the latest ragtime tunes.

They were musically literate, that being a matter of great cultural pride and importance to them.

Before segregation happened in 1894, black creoles had enjoyed many of the same privileges as white creoles, and that included a solid grounding in western music theory and literacy.

Boldens style of play was distinctive in that he would paraphrase, embellish and decorate melodies. He wasn't quite an improvisor, but his creativity and bluesiness opened the door for people like Armstrong and Bechet to walk through.


King Oliver, according to New Grove, began to "study music as a trombonist" and from about the age of 22 was playing in brass bands, dance bands and in various small groups in new orleans bars and cabarets.


It needs to be clarified that all these bands, and the musicians in them, knew and understood counterpoint and played it well. That kind of knowledge is learned from a mentor either as an apprentice or as a student.

Either way, to survive in a band like that you needed knowledge of harmonic movement, chords, voice leading, guide tones etc and that type of harmonic understanding comes from knowledge of the european classical tradition which is not learned by osmosis, but needs to be taught one way or another.

When Jazz finally took off as an art form, the whole band would improvise - not just the soloist - and Jazz is the same today - you take a minimum of information and you flesh it out together. Its intelligent teamwork and that was how they did it, with discipline and knowledge.

These guys were clever and knew what they were doing, and propagating and reinforcing myths about how they just blew the fecking trumpet from the heart like noble savages does them a great disservice.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 07:46 PM

"Let's face it--guitar isn't that hard. If the slugs in this forum can play one, how hard can it be?"쳌

Well, Josepp, maybe THIS hard. Or THIS. Or perhaps THIS? Let's see you do something like THIS on your double bass!

When someone with a chip on his shoulder comes on this forum, claims to be an expert in absolutely everything, makes ridiculous, extreme statements, and treats everyone with contempt, it makes me wonder if--

Well, let me put it this way:

Can you actually pick anything other than your nose?

Don Firth

P. S.   At first you were kind of amusing, but now, Josepp, you're starting to become boring.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 09:43 PM

Josepp, feel free to write me off as a 'slug' by all means, that doesn't bother me since you know nothing about me, but bear in mind some of the other people you are insulting here have been there, done it, got the teashirt, and have more musicality in one wet fart than you could produce in a lifetime with your heartless approach and frankly obnoxious attitude. If you know so much and you're so damn good, prove it. Meanwhile, stop insulting your betters and try to learn something about humility.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:24 AM

Calm down folks. As far as I can see Josepp has tried drums, guitar, bass guitar and double bass; some self taught some with a teacher. His ability to explain the B sharp does not seem to have produced a musical prodigy.
knowing the theory doesn't in my experience provide a whole lot of help when you step in front of an audience and play.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:31 AM

Why hold back, Smokey? Say what you really mean . . .

I ditto your post.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 10:06 AM

Ah, josepp, I see that you are one of the Mudcat debaters who makes contentious comments and then refuses to answer the rebuttals. This makes you a complete waste of time as a debating partner. Just in case, I'll try for the third time:

How do you get from "That is how it should be. Anything less damages our culture" to "you're going to lose that. But so what?"

Either music reading is the only way to go, or it is simply not possible in some circumstances. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 10:21 AM

What's these hard & fast rules for culture?

Who invented them, how are they qualified?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 10:28 AM

I would love to be able to sight-read music notation. I can't. Canadian culture has not fallen apart because of that. Is being able to read a good thing? DOH, yes! Absolutely necessary? No.

The purpose of notation is to preserve the music or allow people who share no language in common to play together. But the oral tradition has done that quite well. It would have been better, imo, had many societies that had or have no written tradition actually had one. Here I'm thinking of the Cree or Inuit, and what's left of the old days has been passed on orally. Most of our way-back ancestors didn't know how to either read or write. We have lost so much. Then people went out with their tape recorders--not just their memories--and indeed did some permanent preservations. That's a good thing, imo.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 12:49 PM

There are some things that are impossible to write down, regardless of Josepp's somewhat odd claim to the contrary. I don't think he understands or recognises those aspects of music, and that comes out as a lack of respect, as he puts it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 01:02 PM

What I don't understand is how someone who holds non-written methods of transmission in such contempt can wind up on a folk music forum.

I learned the lullabys I sing to my kid from my mother, father, and uncle, they didn't write them out on manuscript paper or make me learn the key signature. They just sang them to me. If you're going to say that's not real music, or not real culture, then you're just making an idiot of yourself.

I look through the list of songs I sing (I almost always sing unaccompanied) and the majority of them are songs that I've learned from hearing them.

And before anybody takes this as a sign of musical illiteracy, I've studied piano for many years, I am very glad I can read the notes Byrd or Beethoven or Bartok put on the page, and was educated as a Cathedral chorister, learning to read both gregorian chant and modern notation, singing mass and three evensongs a week for 3 years. So I understand written transmisison perfectly well.

It's just respect and understand non-written transmission. And I know that there are aspects of music that you'll never get just by looking at blobs on a page. The aspects that I learned hearing songs sung to me by my parents, or, for that matter, by singers in a pub.

If you think that's somehow damaging culture because nobody bothered to look down to check what was on the page, then I feel very sorry for you.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 01:13 PM

"If you're going to say that's not real music, or not real culture, then you're just making an idiot of yourself."
I agree


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 01:22 PM

Bix Beiderbecke, some information
The group was hired for a gig in December 1920, but a complaint was lodged with the American Federation of Musicians, Local 67, that the boys did not have union cards. In an audition before a union executive, Beiderbecke was forced to sight read and failed. He did not earn his card.
Bix, a native of Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke taught himself to play cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard fingering that some critics have connected to his original sound.
Of course if we were to listen to idiots like josepp and lox, we would dismiss bix beiderbecke because his music reading was poor


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 01:42 PM

Indeed, Dick - Beiderbecke was a true genius. A most wonderful and inventive cornet player, and an interesting composer for the piano ("In A Mist", etc.). Could hardly read a note.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 03:10 PM

In my post of 30 Mar 11 - 07:46 p.m. above, take another look at the fourth "THIS" link. That's flamenco guitarist Vincente Gomez. He's playing a Farruca dance form complete with enough "falsettas" to turn it from a straight dance accompaniment to a fairly spectacular guitar solo.

Gomez lived in Los Angeles and supplied guitar sound tracks for several movies back around the 1940s. "Blood and Sand," with Tyrone Power as a matador and Linda Darnell as his sweetheart, was one of them, and "The Fighter," a Jack London story about a young Mexican boxer was another. Entire soundtrack was Gomez on the guitar. Very evocative in both movies.

Gomez also taught guitar in the Los Angeles area and put out a couple of folios of guitar music, mostly flamenco. I bought (and still have) the sheet music for that Farruca back in the mid-1950s. It's pages are black with notes!

I LEARNED the damned thing! Took me awhile! But I don't know if I could play it any more. I was young and full of vitamins back then.

I puzzled out several pieces in Gomez's folio and every now and then I would toss one of these, or a classic guitar piece, into a coffeehouse set. I was no Segovia and I was no Gomez, but I could play them reasonably well. And after showing off a bit, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing some people in the audience muttering, "Good Lord, he can really play that thing!"

The above brag is not to brag, it's just to illustrate that I've been there, done that, and still have the T-shirt stuffed in a drawer someplace. The point is (points are) the following:

1. Learning a folk song or ballad out of a song book is pretty simple, assuming that you can read music. Much simpler than reading other kinds of music (single melody line, maybe chord symbols). But with something like a folk song or ballad, unless you've been at it for a while, it does help to hear someone who knows what they're doing sing it, someone raised in the tradition, or who is thoroughly familiar with it. Not to imitate, but to give a sort of "anchor point."

2. Learning a classic guitar piece is just about the same as learning a classic piece on, say, the piano. But with the added complication that you can find the same note several different places on the fingerboard, and where you would play it depends on several factors. All the details can be put into the sheet music, from the notes to dynamics (mezzo forte, molto allegro, etc.), although you have to be able to interpret just how molto the allegro should be. There too, it helps a student to pull out a record and listen to the piece played by some virtuoso like Christopher Parkening or Eduardo Fernandez.

3. Trying to learn essentially improvisational music such as flamenco or jazz—or various species of folk music—from sheet music can be hell on wheels. With something like jazz, the sheet music is only the starting point. The musicians take it from there, AND it may never be played twice the same way.

And there are stylistic idiosyncrasies in certain genres, such as unconventional rhythmic structures. Let me illustrate. During a music theory lesson with Mildred Hunt Harris some decades back, we were playing around a bit with a calypso song. I got the rhythm on the guitar okay, but she was trying to figure it out on the piano, and she just couldn't get the hang of it. Now, Mrs. Harris knew about all there was to know about music theory (among other things, she was a composer) and she was a fine pianist as well. But after struggling with it a bit and still not getting the shifting beat quite right, she said, "Well, I guess my daughter is right. When I try to play this sort of thing, I just can't seem to make it 'swing!'" So for once, I was able to explain something to her.

Make no mistake. Being able to read music is a wondrous asset and a definite advantage to a musician of any genre. It opens whole warehouses full of music to you. Recommended unreservedly. But the DOTS are NOT THE MUSIC! Not any more than the blueprints are the building or the card in your recipe box is the succulent, perfectly prepared chateaubriand.

And one can get through a life of making positively brilliant music quite nicely, thank you, without ever having to deal with the fact that (and yes, it IS a fact—for what it's worth) that on a fixed pitch instrument, B# and C are the same musical tone.

However, it's effect on the stock market is negligible.

Thus endeth the sermon for today.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 04:31 PM

Thank you Don.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:01 PM

////Sorry ~ isn't our main focus hereabouts supposedly FOLK music?////

What music isn't folk? And all the people I know who identify as folkies can all read. Many are teachers.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:05 PM

Many (long-since-dead) people who you DON'T know, and who ORIGINATED a lot of folk music, did not read music.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:19 PM

I'm pretty sure I said earlier that lots of great musicians can't read music. That doesn't detract from their performance abilities. It detracts from their ability to write down what they played. It detracted from their ability to teach others. Inspire others? Sure. Teach others? Pretty limited. Beiderbecke would have been a far better musician if he could read because how much did he come up that he never had the chance to play for anyone that he could have written down but now we'll never hear it?

You can be a great storyteller but if you can't write your stories down, all you can hope is that they get retold exactly as you told them and that isn't going to happen. By the fifth retelling, there's not likely to be much of anything of your original story left.

It's always better to be able to read and write--whether music or words. It's always better.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bert
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 05:29 PM

'Music theory is music theory and part of his job is to teach it and teach it correctly.'

Yes. Very true.

--------------------------

'they can all play straight off sheet music. That is how it should be'

No. Not true. Fortunately, musicians were playing for thousands of years BEFORE musical notation was invented.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:03 PM

"Beiderbecke would have been a far better musician if he could read..."

Maybe, maybe not. One thing we can be a bit more sure of: if he did not use unconventional technique (in violation of the "rules" an "educated" teacher would have enforced), he would never have played some of his most original licks.

Another similar case: Rev. Gary Davis. Like many other unschooled blues artists, he used his left thumb to fret the low E string on the guitar, which is absolutely verboten in the classical/conventional context ~ and which is the only possible way to play certain phrases.

Also consider the many great blind blues originators; they certainly assimilated a lot of theory, in some form or another, but undoubtedly did not read sheet music.

The ability to transcribe music in standard notation may once have been the only way to "record" music for posterity ~ but (in case you haven't noticed) we now have the ability to actually record sound, and have had that resource available since at least a half-century or more before any of us were born.

A recording doesn't show you how to play a piece as well as sheet music (nor as well as tablature, which is actually better than standard notation for showing how a piece is played on instruments like the guitar), but it certainly conveys how the piece sounds ~ exactly how it sounds ~ far better than does any written or printed transcription.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:04 PM

A general comment for the open-minded posters here

Bear in mind that you can obtain an excellent knowledge of music theory without being able to read a score, and without necessarily being able to express it the way that they do in music colleges. Theory and reading are interlinked but separate skills.

You can become expert in theory (in whatever genre floats your crank) by playing, listening, watching, discussing, reading books, using diagrams - but never master the telegraph wires. As a child I advanced to the equivalent of grade 6 on the piano, higher on the violin, maybe 3 on the flute, was a red ribbon chorister and taught myself classical guitar - without ever taking an exam because I couldn't read music well enough. (I need to hear the piece first, then I can use the music as an aide memoire - and one hearing used to be enough, by the way).

Likewise you can become a great sight-reader without acquiring any real understanding of what makes music tick.

This musical I'm writing now requires me to produce scores for the players - so I am, but I'm having to get a chum to check them because I can't see the mistakes. It's a necessity evil to me - I won't be there to teach it to them myself, and that's the reason composers have always written down music (once the conventions had been thrashed out). But I'm ALSO making a CD, because the players may not be folkies, and I can't begin to write down the effect I need to make the show work as a folk musical (and for all I know the players and singers don't read anyway).

No-one here has said it's not good or better to be able to read music. And of course it's essential in certain situations like orchestras and session work.

But what a lot of us have pointed out is that you can become a very 'good' musician, with an expert appreciation of theory, without using the conventions developed in European classical music, and without being much cop at the fly-shit.

When it comes to teaching, it's 'need to know' - with the emphasis, ideally, on the aural, not the visual. You don't need to understand continuo to be a rock bass player, and you don't have to read either. Just have big balls.

I have a chum who teaches guitar to people with 'different abilities.' I'm fairly sure he has not explained to them about B-sharp, and he was right not to.

cheerio

Sir Arthur Philipp Paul Thomas Bliss (Bart and Bar)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:10 PM

"Of course if we were to listen to idiots like ... lox"

So I am an idiot am I?

Can you explain what it is about my posts to this thread that is idiotic?


PS - New Grove States of Bix Beiderbecke "he played with Trumbauers group in St Louis (1925-6). His association with Trumbauer broadened his musical experience and improved his music reading ..."

Beiderbecke was not known for being an adept reader, but then he was being compared to other professional big band members who would have been required to be able to play their parts at first sight.

His prodigiousness and originality as an improviser meant that this weakness was more than compensated for.

In addition, Beiderbecke composed at the Piano, and wrote tunes whose pandiatonicism, whole tone scales and parallel 7th and 9th chords reflecteed his interest in impressionistic harmonic language.

"however, his cornet playing nearly always in settings over which he had control, had to conform to the harmonic usages of contemporary Jazz and popular music. His playing was largely diatonic ... "


So Beiderbecke may not have been the best sight reader, but he knew his functional harmony from his impressionistic harmony, and he wrote music down for others.

Again, playing in a professional big band meant that he needed nothing short of an excellent understanding of voice leading and functional harmony.

Goood Soldier Schweik may decide to interpret this as some kind of personal insult, or as some kind of attempted proof that non- readers are lesser musicians.

In fact it is just true and very interesting.

If untruths and false claims were not made about Bolden, Oliver and Beiderbecke, I would not have to correct them.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM

Sorry - short version:

There are 4 basic skills in music

1) Playing ability (hands and/or heart)

2) Music theory

3) Reading skill (and maybe writing)

4) Composition/improv etc.

They all feed into each other but they are separate. You can excel any one area without being much cop at the others, no bother.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 07:04 PM

"to play an instrument without knowing what you're doing can be damaging because you incorporate bad techniques that become so ingrained that it becomes a huge struggle trying to get rid of them to play properly."

Ah!!! :-) but many styles of 'folk music' depend on that very fact!

Many fokies hold a violin bow (it IS actually a violin they play, but they call it a fiddle - a viedle is a very different ancient instrument!) the totally wrong way to play classical violin. It is 'wrong' because their way of holding it prohibits them from being able to play the more advanced technical stuff (and play much above a certain speed!), such as Paganini stuff - he was thought to be in league with the devil BECAUSE he was doing things technically differently from the 'experts' of his day. But today, any serious VIOLIN player must be able to play Paganini - you can't pass the exams, for a start...

HOWEVER, for the folkie style of music they play, the technique is adequate. Note again, however, that many of those who play with the VIOLIN resting on the arm - a style of playing that is easily traced back to the Renaissance and may date earlier (and then there is the playing in the lap style - also an early method in 'classical' music for instruments older than the violin!), many also admit that in order to play certain Irish stuff 'faster' :-0 they need to tuck it under the chin! Shades of Paganini!

SO... who's destroying what again? :-)

Sounds like various forms of 'creativity' to me ...

But trolls can only think in black and white - or 'L-mode' - (no matter how many factoids they THINK they have learned!), what happens is why they seem to shift their stance in a 'debate' is because they keep redefining the binary cutoff point along the grey scale between black and white (in spite of demanding 'constants and absolutes' from others, they have insufficient Real World experience to know more than a few tiny unrelated esoteric highlights) ... if you have played with 'graphics' (or done much serious in the way of art above fingerpainting) especially on computers, you will understand this. :-)

They problem with being constrained to think in only black and white terms is that you always end up losing contact with the Reality of the World around you which is infinitely displayed in shades of grey...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 08:44 PM

Well I've enjoyed reading this thread, even if a lot of the ideas about what a teacher should say are ill-informed nonsense. A poster ages ago mentioned 'lies to children' - well I was until recently a science teacher and I taught that water boils at 100'C, which most of you will believe. I chose not to say that water boils at the point at which the combined total vapour pressures within the mixture reaches the local vapour pressure. I did not dream of discussing homogenous and heterogenous bubble nucleation and when these could be regarded as sufficiently rapid for the liquid to be considered to be boiling, nor whether the water was in a multi phase state, nor any of the things that are necessary for an even basic understanding of the changes of state and heat transfers taking place. They all understood how to make a £$%^& cup of tea though and learnt quite a lot (I believe) about the states of matter needed for GCSE science. I don't think that made me a bad teacher (although a refusal to be seduced by a three part lesson apparently did) and my students both enjoyed classes and learnt what they needed to move onto more advanced lessons.

The question raised in the OP is whether a teacher who explained the work in this way, through limited knowledge or through simplification, is a bad teacher,

Well - as a traditional musician whose main instrument is the highland bagpipes, I am pleased to inform you that there are only nine notes, which is sufficient to play all music of worth and two of those are traditionally given the same name (in the canntaireachd). So there. There are no sharps and flats and there are a sufficiency of notes within those nine to cover some major and minor scales. And the range of the human voice too, except you can't hear anyone over the sound of the pipes. At least pipes play in tune, rather than the horrible compromises accepted by many other musicians...

My second instrument is the fiddle (and all classical musicians play the fiddle, they just had an Italian teacher somewhere in their past). I must admit I've been quite impressed to hear that everyone has agreed that B sharp exists. Amongst classical musicians I had thought that was anathema since equal temperament took over orchestral music sometime before I was born. I have always understood that before ET all keys had different flavours and that to be in tune, and to form pleasant harmonies, some subtle variations to the playing of notes was needed. Fortunately (well unfortunately for this argument, but fortunately because some of the players are nice people and fun to play with) when I play with fixed tuning instruments (box players) I have to play the same notes as them or sound out of tune. Admittedly when I play with fiddle players who play Swedish music and strive to play in tune with their wonderful harmonies I do not always succeed, but that is the result of my poor standards, which is not relevant to the discussion.

In the music that I play, unless I am seeking harmonies, B sharp is the same as C on any fixed tuning instrument. Anybody who plays by ear on a non-fixed tuning instrument they will vary the pitch to be in tune with other instruments whatever you call the note. Anyone who plays on a fixed tuning instrument cannot.

Someone said that there is a difference on a guitar. I'm not a guitarist, but I think not. The best guitarists I know concede that they cannot play 100% 'in tune'. Is there a difference between Bsharp and C on a guitar ? Ask a guitarist.
Any bagpipe teacher will tell you that there is no B sharp. Or any sharp or flat for that matter. That doesn't make them a bad teacher, just that they teach bagpipes.

As I said, I enjoyed the thread and this is my first proper post here, but it does seem to be knocking straw dollies. Enharmonic notes exist in non-ET music because the world is not perfect, but most players working in one genre will never have to worry about it. And even if they worry, if they play by ear they will accommodate or ignore it. The theory will not make a blind bit of differenece.

I expect that guitar teacher is doing a grand job if after three years your child is still enjoying playing and progressing.

Thanks for your time. (Did you really read all this ?)

Greg in London


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:13 PM

"to play an instrument without knowing what you're doing can be damaging'

Absolutely right. I got away with it for years and then one morning I woke up, reached for my kazoo and my bum turned green and my legs dropped off.

Naturally I was rushed to hospital where surgeons laboured mightily for hours to re-attach the legs and reduce the deep lovett green of my posterior to a more socially acceptable iceberg lettuce hue.

this whole episode has been a lesson for me, and i determined to learn to read music. As time went on, I began to realise that losing my legs and my bottom turning green had been an important part of my journey.

Josepp is just SO right about this. Every time I play a 16th flattened third on my kazoo, its something special nowadays. And knowing how to write it down makes it nore special.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:25 PM

In practical terms there is no need for most folk instrumentalists to be conscious of the existence of B# in their playing.

But equally, when somebody asserts with arrogant self assurance that there is no such thing as a B#, there is nothing wrong with pointing out their mistake.

Throwing a load of theory at a beginner may confuse them.

Telling them that there is such a thing as a B# would serve merely as one of those oddities that new musicians love to hear about and enthuse about.

I can't see how it would confuse anyone to know that B# and C are the same note.

As has been pointed out already, the same debate does not arise concerning - C# and Db.

I agree with the majority here that being unable to read does not make your playing worse or less valid.

Only an arrogant person would bvelieve it did.

But I also disagree wiith the arrogant idea that some music is somehow too mysterious to notate. If you know how, then it is possible.

No big deal.

Just music and knowledge. Both wonderful things.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:35 PM

OK..One more time.... "G!! Don't B flat, B sharp, but B natural, C?"

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 10:26 PM

Lox - I made the comment that some aspects of music cannot be written down - is that what you are referring to? If so, what's arrogant about it?

There may well, perhaps, be nothing which can't ultimately be quantified and notated one way or another, but first they have to be recognised and identified and defined, and the resultant 'score' would be much too complex to be useful to a reading musician. There would be no room for the feeling and interpretation which normally comes from the player, more or less unconsciously. Such aspects are best left uncontrived in my opinion, but then I'm just a slug.

Some interesting reading matter:

Click


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 10:42 PM

I got away with it for years and then one morning I woke up, reached for my kazoo and my bum turned green and my legs dropped off.

Does that mean you're selling the unicycle?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:35 AM

.....so conclusion: B# exists but is commonly known as C!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:26 AM

It is known as C, but on fretted instruments. On non fretted strings they are different.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:48 AM

Mr Happy: ".....so conclusion: B# exists but is commonly known as C!"

Pretty much so, however, some musicians may use the term B#, when counting off, to another musician, as designating a half step up. You might consider, using 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and denoting the half steps going up or down, depending on the direction of the movement, in the progression. That way, the intervals are ALWAYS the same, and the only thing that changes, is where you start, as 1.

For instance, let's say, in the key of E, on your guitar, you may start counting from the fat E string, open. That would be '1'..and the scale starts counting up from there. Now, if you start from 'F'(one fret up) F becomes '1', and the scale counts up from there, using the same intervals. You might hear, or have heard, musicians say to each other, "Grab the '5', and take it to the '7'" That means NO MATTER WHAT KEY YOUR IN, but depending on the key, you know to grab the 5th of that key, and go to the 7th, (or 'sol', to 'ti'). Another example you might have heard, or even said, is, "OK, its a blues tune 1,4,5 in 'A'" I trust you are familiar with that. ..or in a lot of folk or country western, C,F,G.
It is a lot less confusing, and faster, for many players, especially in live jams, or practice sessions....THEN, if someone calls out," Go to the the 'flat 5'"..its a half step down..or if they say, "Go to the sharp '6'"..you know to raise the '6' a half step..which, for all you know, could be a 'B#', or 'C'....or anything, depending on what you call '1'(the key of the song).

Another very important handy hint, is to LEARN THE MAJOR SCALE IN ALL KEYS! You will quickly find, that the 'patterns' are all the same, just that you move '1'('Do') a half step up, when beginning your scale. There are FIVE predominant patterns of the major scale on the guitar. You can note the difference of the 'grand bar' shape, as opposed to the 'double bar' shape, or the 'open C' shape. They all have different major scale patterns. Being as those are the most common, it would do you wonders, to learn those shapes!!..and practice them, till you don't even need to think about them, AND play them 'legato'(very smoothly) from one note to the next, (whether they be on the same string or not), using a 'back and forth' picking technique.

I'm sure, somewhere on the 'net' you can find the patterns, and print them, to use for reference.

There's more, but if you get through this, which is a lot simpler that it may sound, let me know...

AND remember, "SPEED IS A BI-PRODUCT OF ACCURACY!!!"..go for accuracy!!!

Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mysha
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 01:30 PM

Hi,

Don't know about sharp, but last summer I was stung by one flying at relatively 50 km/h, and I tell you: They hurt real bad.

Bye
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 01:42 PM

Lox: But I also disagree with the arrogant idea that some music is somehow too mysterious to notate. If you know how, then it is possible.

I agree with Smokey that the score would end up being to complex for anyone but an extreme high level music reader to play. In the example of a Swedish Boda polska, they would also have to have a very finely honed rhythmic sense -- one that would allow them to place a note accurately in a beat that's been divided into 32nd or 64th notes, with the note surrounded by other 32nd or 64th notes with lots of odd dots and ties. And even then, there's the question of the slight lilt. Yes, you can write "with a lilt" or some such thing on the score, but the lilt in a polska is quit different than the lilt in an Irish reel, so the reader wouldn't know how much lilt to apply.

I know a lot about notation and have been writing and transcribing tunes since I was a kid, but I wouldn't want to take this on. No one I actually know would be able to read it -- and if I found someone who could, the "feel" still wouldn't be right.

I'm not being arrogant, and I'm not saying the music is mysterious in any way. As soon as you learn the dance step it all makes perfect sense and is very easy for anyone with good rhythm. For most musicians it would only be mysterious if you tried to score it accurately.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:07 PM

"Music notation" is a contradiction in terms. Music is heard, while notation is seen. Notating music is thus a translation from one sensory modality to another.In any translation, some information is bound to become lost.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM

I also disagree with the arrogant idea that some music is somehow too mysterious to notate. If you know how, then it is possible.
...the score would end up being too complex for anyone but an extreme high level music reader to play.


Bartok's transcriptions are in this style - he was trying to use paper as a recording machine. A lot of ethnomusicologists followed suit. As a practical resource for people who know the idiom and simply want to know how the tune for a song goes, it's next to useless. The School of Scottish Studies's publications are cluttered up with stuff like this, ridiculously complicated transcriptions of unexceptional performances of familiar songs.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 02:39 PM

Smokey,

I don't think I was replying to your post, but to a previous one.

I don't think it should be assumed that music needs to be written for the sight reader.

A good writer could find a clear way of using the written medium to preserve any sort of music for later generations.

I have seen indian music well notated, and similar problems arise as in swedish music.

these things can be done and they can be simplified.

I would never suggest writing the phrase "with a lilt" on any piece of music as that is such a subjective term.

On the other hand, there are ways of notating a lilt on a stave.

Where 18th century notation lacks the necessary symbols etc, 21st century notation, and the creativity of the transcriber can allow some pretty non-typical western ideas to be presented pretty clearly.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:14 PM

I would never suggest writing the phrase "with a lilt" on any piece of music as that is such a subjective term.

Why not? It's no more subjective than terms such as "Allegro", "Andante", "piu mosso", "con moto" and others that are liberally scattered over classical music scores and have to be interpreted by the conductor or ensemble playing the piece. I have also seen "with swing" and "swung quavers" on a music score and "with lilt" is no different.

Of course, to interpret any such terms, you do need to be familiar with the style and a substantial part of that familiarity will come from hearing the playing of other people familiar with the style, either live on on recordings.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for clarifying, Lox.

The sort of factors to which I was referring are the details normally associated with the emotional content of the music - much of which is provided intuitively and unconsciously by the player. The written page could never convey such subtleties with any guaranteed success of accuracy, and to me it would be an undesirable thing. Even to convey such things approximately requires skilled demonstration. A simple example of that would be the 'skank' in reggae music - dead easy to write down, but it at least needs to be heard to have any hope of creating the desired effect. The blues is another example; Josepp reckons he learned blues from a book. I think not, and that's without even hearing him try. There are elements in music which are far too subtle for verbal description or graphical representation. That's what teachers are really for - the rest can be found in books. Blues, like reggae or jazz or folk or soul or [whatever], is a feel and an attitude. Without that the notes are just notes. Unfortunately there are people who can't tell the difference, albeit through no fault of their own, and it doesn't necessarily stop them appreciating other aspects of the music. It's all very subjective - that's why it's magic ;-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:04 PM

I'm amazed that this thread is still active. It'll soon be giving this one Mother of all stupid threads a run for it's money as the longest, if not the most boring/most moronic thread.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 08:08 PM

Sorry, that was inappropriate. Sometimes I press "send" prematurely.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,entropy
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 10:21 PM

JOSEPP - dude... shut up.   "anything less damages our culture" ???
do you have any idea how many great musicians out there couldn't read sheet music? or didn't give a SHIT whether you called it a B sharp or a C??   
get over yourself.
If you want to be a professor of music, by all means hold yourself to the highest standards of learning and study.
I'm sure it makes you feel like you're a "better musician" than everyone else because quote: (in an erkel-like voice) " I was taught by college-level musicians"
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford quality music lessons, and 9 times out of 10, your local music instructor is a non-college-educated, unemployed person who has no other way of making money besides teaching kids the few musical skills they have acquired over their years.
If you pay 20 bucks a week for guitar lessons from a dude that looks like ronnie james dio, don't be surprised if he's got a few MINOR misconceptions about the trivial nuances that you seem to think are SO important.
Stop worrying about whether the kid calls it a B-sharp or a C, and listen to the music he's playing. you might be surprised.
unless you're too big of a snob to appreciate it, which i have a feeling you are.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:07 PM

I've been surprised a few times too, PHJim, to see this thread still has legs. Certainly on the general topic there is lots of opportunity to debate how much theory information is enough and under what circumstances, because no single answer suits all. And several peripheral topics have arisen to feed the chat mill, too. What's interesting is to see civil discussion repeatedly come through despite the cranky posts.

Not to suggest anyone is a dog, the pattern here feels somewhat like being at the off-leash park when a couple of dogs are having themselves a nice little bark-fest: Despite rounds of noise, other dogs can be found happily at play and some bipeds carry on their own intermittent conversations too.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bert
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:15 PM

The written page could never convey such subtleties with any guaranteed success of accuracy...

Yer right, at least if it is a human trying to notate it.

A while back I did a free trial of a 'sound to notation' piece of software. I tried it out with an a capella song. You would not believe the slides and slurs in my singing, that's apart from the timing. The software was able to notate it but I doubt if any musician would be able to reproduce it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:33 PM

If your music is in your heart, and can come out your instrument including your voice, if you wish, then let it come out...learning your instrument WELL, only increases your options. If someone wants to write it out for you (or use MIDI, and have it written), fine, let them do that. WHATEVER it takes from heart to ears, is 'legal'. Whether you start from writing it on paper, is not the issue, and should never be an obstacle, one way or another.

Just for 'goodness sakes', go to that place where it comes to you!

Best Wishes,

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Crowhugger
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 11:35 PM

That result would've been fun to see, Bert!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Razor
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:11 AM

If someone tunes an instrument 15 or 20 cents low or hi, and it makes no difference but for the moment it's hi, and plays a B is it a C or a B# or could it be a Cb??? It is still a B or a C depending on where you play the note, C key or B key on a piano.... Is it really a B or a C. If in a guitar you stretch a string when playing is it a B or a C or something else. It's not really about theory or sheet music but about frequency and how one perceives the sound produced. All arguments aside, You cannot teach a horse to talk and the same is true with a jackass... You might, however, be able to teach a horse or even a jackass to play a tune but he can't explain how he did it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 08:48 AM

In terms of human expression, nuance, feeling etc, there is nothing that can be said about written music that can't be said about written speech.

written music is not limited to classical writing either.

You can draw lines, use punctualtion marks or use simple recognizable words to indicatewhat you want done.

A simple short glossary of symbols/terms allows shorthand to be used that makes things cobnsiderably easier.

In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:11 AM

"In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read."




BINGO!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:22 AM

there's an old Derbyshire saying....'tha's not reet sharp' - accusing someone of being a bit stupid.

Could it be that B sharp is an injunction to get wise?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 10:15 AM

I'm disappointed by the comments which suggest this is an unimpotant topic. The way music is taught is crucial - whether to adults (as in the OP), or to children.

I suffered horribly as a small boy at the hands of boarding school staff who shared the OP's views, being punished more for my 'crime' of refusing to learn to read music precisely because I had 'precocious talent' (I still have the reports).

People do need to understand the different elements and core skills that feed into musicianship, and the relationships between them.

Music is about emotion and beauty. How you get there varies from person to perdon, and teachers should understand what matters for individual pupils

Tom


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: John P
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 10:37 AM

Lox, your seem to be shifting the ground somewhat. You've gone from "if you can hear it you can notate it" to "you can come up with custom notation and teach your custom markings to others and then they can read it". The two aren't even close to being the same.

In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read.

Well, sure. That's not what I've been talking about, though. I'm talking about tunes that have rhythmic elements that aren't generally open to interpretation by musicians and that don't fall within any normal subdivision of beats as displayed by standard musical notation. And by notation I mean the system that all literate musicians can read, not some customized language they have to learn before they can read the tune. Talk about trying to make it mysterious!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 11:58 AM

Alan Whittle: "Could it be that B sharp is an injunction to get wise?"


From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:35 PM

OK..One more time.... "G!! Don't B flat, B sharp, but B natural, C?"

Guest,999: "In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read."

More as likely??....Well speak for yourself! Some of us write our own, from somewhere else. Interpret: ORIGINAL music!...

Sometimes, 'interpretation' comes from inside your heart and mind, to the instrument, itself...a 'twist of a phrase' or 'musical surprise'. Perhaps a little homework, and learning the instrument, and music, may open those doors.

Razor: "If someone tunes an instrument 15 or 20 cents low or hi, and it makes no difference...."

Try 440 for 'A', and catch up with the rest of the world. If you can't get it, buy a tuner!

Like we used to say in the studio, (and still do), "You can ALWAYS tell a purist..They're ALWAYS out of tune!!!"....Buy a capo, if you can't grab the bar chords. ..jeez!..then learn to play without one, if you can.......................OR.........play Indian music, they use 'quarter tones'.

I can't believe, that even this subject, calls for an Mudcat argument!

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 12:03 PM

Alan Whittle: "Could it be that B sharp is an injunction to get wise?"


From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:35 PM

OK..One more time.... "G!! Don't B flat, B sharp, but B natural, C?"

Guest,999: "In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read."

More as likely??....Well speak for yourself! Some of us write our own, from somewhere else. Interpret: ORIGINAL music!...

Sometimes, 'interpretation' comes from inside your heart and mind, to the instrument, itself...a 'twist of a phrase' or 'musical surprise'. Perhaps a little homework, and learning the instrument, and music, may open those doors.

Razor: "If someone tunes an instrument 15 or 20 cents low or hi, and it makes no difference...."

Try 440 for 'A', and catch up with the rest of the world. If you can't get it, buy a tuner!

Like we used to say in the studio, (and still do), "You can ALWAYS tell a purist..They're ALWAYS out of tune!!!"....Buy a capo, if you can't grab the bar chords. ..jeez!..then learn to play without one, if you can.......................OR.........play Indian music, they use 'quarter tones'.

I can't believe, that even this subject, calls for an Mudcat argument!

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 12:12 PM

"From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Mar 11 - 09:35 PM


Guest,999: "In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read."

More as likely??....Well speak for yourself! Some of us write our own, from somewhere else. Interpret: ORIGINAL music!.."

Listen up, and stop trying to earn a reputation as an arrogant asshole--and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I was quoting Lox--read the fucking thread. I just happen to agree with him.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM

Haha!! Almost 300 posts!! Gotta love it!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 12:51 PM

Not as much as we love you, josepp.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 12:57 PM

///Not as much as we love you, josepp///

Now you're tripping my gag reflex.

///JOSEPP - dude... shut up.////

If I did, you would have nothing to contribute.

////"anything less damages our culture" ???
do you have any idea how many great musicians out there couldn't read sheet music? or didn't give a SHIT whether you called it a B sharp or a C??/////

Yes, WAY too many. I don't want to hear this stupid shit anymore. That's no defense for not learning to read music properly and teaching it properly. If you don't want to learn to read music then don't--your loss. But if you are going to learn it, learn it right. That means your teacher has to know what he or she is talking about. How do you know that if there's no standards that the teacher must meet?

////If you want to be a professor of music, by all means hold yourself to the highest standards of learning and study.////

You mean you don't?? Folks, knock off this "My favorite musician couldn't read music so why should I" crap. So I suppose if he dropped out of school, you would too. Look how many black men went to prison because their favorite rapper touted it like it was a necessary step to manhood only realize they wasted their lives? You can enjoy listening to a great musician who is musically illiterate--we all do--but that doesn't mean you have to copy him. He is just as much an example of what not to do as he is for what to do. Chances are, if you asked him, he would likely tell you not to limit yourself. Go as far as you can go.

////I'm sure it makes you feel like you're a "better musician" than everyone else because quote: (in an erkel-like voice) " I was taught by college-level musicians"/////

Duh! Would you hire a lawyer who never went to law school because he had a great natural aptitude for arguing a case? As I said, if you don't want to learn then don't learn. But if you are going to learn, learn from someone you know is qualified. If that person doesn't have a degree in music--good luck.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 01:18 PM

Then stop letting people put that thing in your mouth!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:02 PM

For those who can't believe this thread is still going--at least it's argument about music and music theory. I'd much rather see this thread break 300 posts than to ever see that damned Snooki from Jersey Shore get paid $34,000 to speak at a university about her frigging hair (yes, it just happened). She got $25,000 to walk down a stupid red carpet some months back. So, yes, there's worse things than this thread continuing on. And it's not like it's making me money.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bert
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:39 PM

If a musician plays by ear and doesn't want to learn to read music, then I don't see that it is a problem or anybody else's business.

I am sure that there are many more musicians who can't, or don't, read music than those who do.

If you want to read music, fine, but beware that it might seriously limit your style if you force yourself to only play or sing notes that are on the staff.

I do agree though, that if a teacher is teaching musical notation then it is that teacher's duty to do it right.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:44 PM

Rev. Gary Davis used to give lessons - I don't think I'd have begrudged the absence of theory..

300


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 02:45 PM

josepp has been a real tit on this thread, and he started it. He's like that on many threads he visits. WHY is everyone believing he told the truth to begin with?

Sufferin' Jaysus.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 03:03 PM

Back in da olden timez, we called this "trolling".

This argument has been going on as long as I've been on Mudcat... as long as I've been reading music stuff on the internet.

There are the ones who like teaching and being taught vs the ones who like observing and figuring stuff out. Rules exist for people who aren't capable of learning on their own. Of course, the self-taught can miss things, and most of us use a mixture of learning techniques.

A person who isn't any good, doesn't bother trying to learn rules.
A person who's good learns rules and follows them.
A person who's GREAT learns rules and then figures out how to successfully break them.

The B# thing is a silly argument. Yes, I understand there is a difference between B# and C, and some people actually can hear it. In the end, though, this is all language. Musical notation and language used to describe music exists so we can communicate ideas. Once it stops being about communication, language is useless. Once the words mean more to someone than the thing they describe, that person has is a problem.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 03:08 PM

And remember, the teacher in the OP was teaching guitar to an adult who could get other advice easily, not theory to a child. But the OPs attitude if applied to the teaching of theory to a child, could be catastrophic - and often is.

One Who Knows From Bitter Experiece


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 06:04 PM

It all depends why you're having lessons, what you want to learn, and what the teacher is purporting to teach. Condemning an unknown and quite possibly imaginary guitar teacher for simplifying harmony to someone who may well be just wanting to learn a few chords to sing to is just silly, though it's drawn out some interesting views, which I hope was the purpose. However, everyone except the alleged teacher dangling in the noose seems to be in agreement on the existence and nature of B#, and we're not really sure about him. Different approaches to teaching and learning music yield different results, and that's what music needs, not a bunch of robots all trying to conform to the same sterilised standards. The proof of the pudding..

For interest's sake: It's been long since shown (ref. my link above) that the brain can detect far finer fluctuations of tone, pitch, tempo, etc. than any performer/the human body can consciously control.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 07:51 PM

"josepp has been a real tit on this thread"

I apologize for that remark, josepp.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 08:10 PM

If only 'twere that simple.

Forgiveness is only for the truly penitent. First, you must taste the gall and wormwood of true remorse.

A chastisement of the flesh is necessary. Personally, I find that wearing underpants with several dozen fish hooks strategically placed inside, whilst listening to the Smurfs second album helps one reach a spiritually higher plane.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 08:40 PM

Well, it's a slow day at the skunk works, so why not?

As I mentioned about 700 posts up-thread, my first guitar instruction came from my then girl friend who was teaching herself how to play the fine old 1898 George Washburn "Ladies Model" parlor guitar she had inherited from her grandmother. Claire could read vocal music fairly well and was learning songs from a 25¢ paperback book (A Treasury of Folk Songs compiled by John and Sylvia Kolb that she bought off a local drugstore paperback rack) and a copy of John and Alan Lomax's Best Loved American Folksongs (aka Folksong U. S. A.), and teaching herself guitar chords from a copy of Guckert's Chords for Guitar Without Notes or Teacher that she had picked up somewhere.

Claire taught me G, C, and D7, which was about as far as she had got at that point.

I already sang some, so I decided it might be kind of fun to learn a bit of guitar and sing a few folk songs myself (I had heard Burl Ives on the radio, the Weavers on juke boxes, and I'd seen Susan Reed in a movie about a young mountain girl singing folk songs in a New York night club). So I went down to Myer's Music on Seattle's First Avenue near the waterfront where all the pawn shops are. The fellow there sold me a little Regal plywood guitar for $9.95, a fiberboard case for $5.00, threw in a free pick, and sold me a copy of Nick Manaloff's Spanish Guitar Method, which included the "Special Handy-Dandy Nick Manoloff Chord Wheel." This latter was my introduction to music theory. A sort of circular slide-rule with which you could dial a key and it would show you the guitar chord diagrams for the three primary chords of that key, plus the secondary chords (double-dominants, etc., enabling modulation to other keys), and the relative minor chords. Very handy gadget!

Clueless as I was, I was lucky with that little guitar. The neck was true, the action was good, and the intonation was on, a real crap-shoot with a guitar in that price range. It had a tone more like an apple crate than a guitar, but at least it could be tuned accurately and it was playable.

Walt Roberson (see "Tales of Walt Robertson" thread) was a young local folk singer who had recently won a Talent U. S. A. contest, had just come out with a Folkways Record, and had a weekly television program. After Claire and I heard him sing live, I was so enthralled with the songs he sang and the way he sang them that I went bananas! I decided that I wanted to sing for people the way he did!

I kept running into Walt at The Chalet, a local University District restaurant, so I hit him up for guitar lessons. He told me he wasn't a teacher, but he'd show me what he could. I took some six months' lessons from Walt, who didn't show me anything about notes at all. He demonstrated and I tried to copy what he did. I kept picking songs off Richard Dyer-Bennet records to learn and trying to figure out what Dyer-Bennet was doing on the guitar, and eventually Walt recommended that I go to a local classical guitar teacher we had both heard of (with the oddly rural-sounding name of Joe Farmer).

Joe sold me a Martin 00-28-G classic, then set about tidying up my hand positions a bit and started me working on scales, exercises, and simple classic guitar pieces from written music. Tarrèga's Lagrima and Adelita, a little Chopin Waltz that he had transcribed for the guitar, other pieces. And he came up with some ideas for song accompaniments also. He was familiar with Richard Dyer-Bennet ("As a classic guitarist, he's no Segovia, but he's pretty good.") and he knew Ed McCurdy personally, before McCurdy started becoming well known around.

All of this was in the early 1950s. While in Denver in late 1955, I first sang for a formal audience. I had expected a couple of dozen people. I was used to singing at parties and informal song fests by then, but I walked in and found an audience of about 250. I damned near shat! But I got through it, the audience wanted encores, I felt like smiling a lot, and the following day, I decided "I'm gonna DO it!" and made plans to change my major to Music with a minor in English Literature when I returned to the University of Washington.

Y'know what? Claire never mentioned the matter. Walt never mentioned the matter. Joe never mentioned the matter. Nor did Mrs. Bianchi, the voice teacher I started taking lessons from when I was in my late teens ever mentioned the matter. It wasn't until I was studying Music Theory at the University of Washington that the matter was mentioned that on very rare and specific occasions, a C should be written as a B#. And for the same reason, an F should be written as E#. And a B should be written as a Cb and an E should be written as an Fb.

This, by the way, came up as a verbal footnote in a music calligraphy class, where we were sitting there with our blank manuscript paper, our bottles of India ink, and our quivers of calligraphy pens.

It was not until Josepp brought the matter up as a Federal case and a hanging offense did the matter intrude on my consciousness after what amounts to a pretty comprehensive musical education and a 55+ career in music as both a performer and teacher.

How are you going to adequately police the music teaching profession the way Josepp seems to want it policed when "teaching" consists of such things as a young woman teaching herself out of a chord book and her boyfriend asks, "Show me how you do that?" Or a performing musician is approached by a fan who says (again), "Show me how you do that?" Or by someone who has been a professional musician and teacher for years and hasn't yet had a reasonable occasion to teach music theory beyond the necessary basics without running the danger of bewildering the student?

Or for the same reason, a teacher who, in order to avoid confusing a student says, essentially, "Don't worry about that, it's nothing you need to concern yourself with right now."

Which, I believe, is more than likely what the teacher that Josepp is complaining about so bitterly was really saying to his student.

And what about all those hard-and-fast rules of music theory, anyway? In my first quarter of first year music theory, Professor John Verrall was laying out the rules of "voice leading" for the beginning four-part harmony exercises he wanted us to write out, one of the students began bridling at these rules and asked, "Why do we have to learn all these rules, anyway!?" Professor Verrall, in his characteristic mild-mannered way (reminded one a bit of Mr. Rogers, actually) responded, "So that when we break the rules of correct harmony, we will know why we are doing it."

Thus endeth the second sermon for this week. And it isn't even Sunday yet! Don't you feel blessed?

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, Josepp, although I'm convinced that this whole thread began as a troll on your part (say something totally over the top, then sit back and bask in the glow of the donnybrook you've precipitated by tossing that turd into the punchbowl), nonetheless, I believe that this thread has inadvertently proven quite valuable and has provoked some worthwhile discussion.

But judging from some of the others you've launched, were I you, I would check with my therapist before continuing in this vein, least you fall into the error of actually starting to believe some of the nincompoopish things you tend to assert.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: squeezyjohn
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:01 PM

Could I please be excused for having skimmed over this thread, there's a lot of noise on it - but the argument contains a very important principle for me.

I don't read music very well and certainly don't think of music in terms of notes on a stave. For equal temperament B sharp IS C but written out in a horrendously complicated fashion - that's the fact.

A tune in C is the same tune when it's in D or E and a quarter! What makes you choose that key is down to range of voice - the tuning of the instrument, or whatever. Intonation within the scale is a matter of taste or convenience - if you stay in one key then you have the luxury of choosing more perfect harmonies as notes of your scale if your chosen instrument can do that. If you need to modulate all over the shop then you're probably better sticking with equal temperament because that's more flexible if less perfect. Different keys sound different to us because of the resonances in our own heads combined with our own experience of having heard notes before.

Music theory is a very good scientific approach to explain what we understand as music in absolute terms. But following it to the letter will always detract from the music itself because music is only music and not science and you just have to make the nicest noise for yourself and anyone who can be bothered to listen to you.

Anyone here who defines music by what they read on a stave or knows from training in music theory would do well to try and distance themselves from both those things when listening to or performing music itself because it only ever gets in the way of the actual process, give it a go - music is a totally different animal when released from the captivity of theory and transcription in it's basic form.

Cheers

Squeezy


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: squeezyjohn
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:17 PM

Dick Miles wrote early in this thread: play the music enjoy it, and when you judge a teacher judge him on how good his pupils are and.... has he enthused his pupils with a love of music, not on whether he called something bs harp or c

Totally agree with this statement - music teachers sometimes overlook this absolutely essential ingredient in making children like music and it's sad to bring the innocent in to our world of dogma which easily removes the magic of music.

I think totally understanding music is a natural state we are all born with - but society is massively to blame for teaching us that we do not understand enough to be participants because of the complicated, human-imposed classical rules involved. I have yet to meet a child of under 5 who cannot sing/play by ear. But by 5 and at school they are already taught that they don't know as much as they actually know and you are fighting a losing battle with society's prejudices which I'm afraid are shaped by the classical music world who have an assumed intellectual monopoly on making anyone who can afford lessons mediocre at playing music with the vague possibility that one day they will be brilliant.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:40 PM

Pointless about young kids learning music. It's no different than a kid learning to be an Olympic gymnast--only a few are ever going to make it. The rest simply don't have what it takes. If I'm wrong, everybody in the world would be a world-class musician. It isn't that way, never has been and never will no matter what you teach them. Teach it right and those few meant for it will catch on. The rest go adios.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 02 Apr 11 - 09:54 PM

Show us the way, oh Great One, whilst we still have time to atone for our vile unspeakable ways. How shall we punish ourselves for this abomination? Lead us along the true path of enlightenment, that we may please thy exalted ear.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:27 AM

Don't make me laugh. Most of you here couldn't tune a damn guitar.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:28 AM

999: "Guest,999: "In terms of interpretation, musicians are as likely to reinterpret stuff they have heard as they are to reinterpret stuff they have read."

More as likely??....Well speak for yourself! Some of us write our own, from somewhere else. Interpret: ORIGINAL music!.."

Listen up, and stop trying to earn a reputation as an arrogant asshole--and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I was quoting Lox--read the fucking thread. I just happen to agree with him."

Originally, I thought it was Lox, but you know what?....I was speaking of 'interpreting' the music from within, Original..not a rendition of a cover tune....and I also meant that in the nicest, supporting way. I don't know what crawled up your 'thing', to interpret what I posted as arrogant....but, beauty, as well as 'ugly' is in the eye of the beholder!

And my quote, "More as likely??....Well speak for yourself! Some of us write our own, from somewhere else. Interpret: ORIGINAL music!.."
Stands....This time, re-read it, without the 'interpretation' of thinking it was 'less' than supportive, of those who create ORIGINAL music!

.....Wasn't just whistlin' Dixie!..(besides, its not original, and it would only be an 'interpretation'.....

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:43 AM

You have no way of knowing that, josepp.

But I heard you on Youtube, and at best you are a so-so guitarist and at best a mediocre singer. Your tuning was close to good--but not quite there.

Please give the "hard ass" routine a rest. No one here is impressed.

The gravity when you come into the camera view, the seriousness of your demeanor, the wrong angle of attack that your fingers take when you get above fret four--well, you would last about two stanzas on stage in a good club and then you'd have no interested audience left. I don't know who filled you with such love of yourself--perhaps the mirror that hangs behind you to the viewers' right. You are knowledgeable about music, but not really a good musician. You have arrogance and no heart. This will be my last post to this or any other of your threads until such time as you become polite. I don't come to Mudcat to meet assholes, and you are certainly one of those so far.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 01:14 AM

Who are you talking to, 999. Josepp?, or me?..I don't have a youtube video, and if you're talking to josepp, may I suggest that your 'critique' of him, is a bit on the 'arrogant asshole' side of things, wouldn't you say?

I'm thinking you might be drunk, or stoned, or something, because in other posts, you seemed a bit more coherent, and less belligerent.
Anyway, no offense taken, on this side....you offered your 'opinion', and you know what they say about opinions.......

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 04:00 AM

Scales: "I'm sure, somewhere on the 'net' you can find the patterns, and print them, to use for reference. "

Major: T T S joining Tone T T S.

Minor: T S T ...

Oh, I can't be bothered,

Peanuts anyone?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 05:28 AM

Don't make me laugh. Most of you here couldn't tune a damn guitar.

Josepp, I promised you in a PM that I wouldn't reveal your YouTube identity on Mudcat. I've kept that promise and will continue to do so. Neither have I commented on your videos on your YouTube channel, and I won't comment directly here. But - I will say, from what I've seen, that your quote above is, as we say over here, "a bit thick".

well, here's a little present for you:

The Love Nest

Whether you like it or approve of the music is up to you. But just ponder your quote above and remember that I'm just a small and humble member of a band of very knowledgeable, talented, experienced Mudcatters. Think of that before you write such stuff.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 07:57 AM

"You've gone from "if you can hear it you can notate it" to "you can come up with custom notation and teach your custom markings to others and then they can read it". The two aren't even close to being the same."

To me it is very much the same - but perhaps the reason for that is that I am a Jazz Guitarist - a field of expertise where such notationary evolution has already produced plenty of alredy mainstream marks and abbreviations etc.

The assumpton may I think be yours, that if you read or write notation, then you are trapped by classical terms and symbols.

In fact, even in classical music, composers have often evolved written notation to suit their ideas, just as language and the written word have evolved.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Accordians ?
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:46 AM

My Father's accordian had flats and sharps for the entire keyboard.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 10:30 AM

I just want to say Will - that was absolutely fabulous - breathtaking stuff! Well done! that was terrific! I loved that.

i love Bix and all his all his crowd. I'm just finishing Mezzrow's autobiography. Countme in asa member of your fan club.

(I haven't got a clue about this B sharp business. perhaps its a bit like Muslims and Christians - there are people wandering the earth who think the other lot are mistaken. That sort of thing happens. Is it really worth all this huff and puffing? If this Josepp chap thinks this and it makes him happy - does it matter? Not to me. i wonder why it matters to him - but not enough to argue with him. for all i know - he could believe all sorts of bollocks about everything. Are we going to discuss and take issue with everything in his little world? he seems to sincerely hold these views. best of luck to him)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 10:35 AM

Al - that's very kind of you indeed. I remember reading Mezzrow's autobiography many years ago. A friend of mine from our London band remembers waiting outside Dobell's Record shop in Charing Cross Road for a signing when Mezzrow came to England. He was the ultimate in hip - talking black slang - and very full of himself, but great fun apparently.

I always thought that Mezzrow considered himself as a kind of 2nd-line Bechet - they even looked alike - but, in the end, Bechet had the inspiration. Still, the biog is a fascinating picture of the times.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:02 AM

Will Fly: "Don't make me laugh. Most of you here couldn't tune a damn guitar."

..or get past the 'secret chord progression' of Kumbayah!!

Will, I've dug your playing, and posted as much on here several times. I'm SURE that when you pick up your ax, you've done your homework. The proof is in the listening! I just can't agree with those who seem to think it unnecessary, as if it would 'bother' them, or 'insult' their egos!

Nice playing.

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:13 AM

///The gravity when you come into the camera view, the seriousness of your demeanor, the wrong angle of attack that your fingers take when you get above fret four--well, you would last about two stanzas on stage in a good club and then you'd have no interested audience left. I don't know who filled you with such love of yourself--perhaps the mirror that hangs behind you to the viewers' right. You are knowledgeable about music, but not really a good musician. You have arrogance and no heart. This will be my last post to this or any other of your threads until such time as you become polite. I don't come to Mudcat to meet assholes, and you are certainly one of those so far.////

I almost thought you had actually seen my videos because I am mediocre at best. I've never said anything else about my own playing. But then I realize you haven't seen them because there's no mirror in the video--Will Fly will attest to that. Hell, there's no mirror in that room.

Otherwise, your criticism of me was pretty spot-on.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM

////Josepp, I promised you in a PM that I wouldn't reveal your YouTube identity on Mudcat. I've kept that promise and will continue to do so. Neither have I commented on your videos on your YouTube channel, and I won't comment directly here. But - I will say, from what I've seen, that your quote above is, as we say over here, "a bit thick".////

Relax, Will, I'm just trolling. I want to run this thread up past 400 posts and beyond. People here are like Afghans after that pastor burned that koran. Rioting and hurting each other and it's like--what the hell for? He's some dork in Florida!! Apparently my words actually matter to these people--god knows why. Half the stuff I said I didn't even mean. I am as much of a nobody as has ever existed. Hell, my knowledge of music theory isn't worth a shit. But once people started violently reacting--I couldn't resist. I know it was wrong. Maybe I've been corrupted by my newfound power.

Don't get me wrong--I mean, there's been some good stuff on here. that's why I've kept it going. Some really insightful stuff. It was better than I'd hoped for. That stuff doesn't demean Mudcat--it demonstrates it to be a place that can still have a good discussion about the things the rest of the world is too wrapped up in reality TV to think about.

I was disappointed by the "Who gives a shit about this stupid crap" crowd. I give a shit about this stupid crap. If you don't want to discuss it--leave. Don't come in here and urinate all over everybody else and walk out. Fuck you.

Sorry about encouraging all my haters to participate with all the jabs, sarcasm and mean-spiritedness that they can't seem to stop displaying on any thread I start (except when it's a subject they know nothing about--like drums) but it was necessary to keep the thread alive for the occasional gem one can dig out in between all the nasty muck. It's all about knowing how to play your audience.

Oh, well. Keep em comin, folks. Let's not set the bar too high. Let's shoot for 350 and then we'll take it from there.

PS - Yes, I admit it. I made up the incident in the OP. There was no student talking about any instructor. I wanted to get a good discussion about music and theory going that wouldn't sink to the bottom of the heap in an hour's time. It was a shot in the dark but give me credit, it worked.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:39 AM

Well, you reap what you sow...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:02 PM

Yes, but then there is some good stuff I posted for you a few posts ago, which is instructional and can be made good use of. I think Will would also agree!

See:   Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
       From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
       Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:48 AM

However, as my dear violinist/fiddler says, "Music is a Gift, it is not to be ignored, if you have that gift, and you should study everything you can about it...But all the studying in the world cannot give you the gift, if you don't have it. Practice, practice, practice!"

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:10 PM

24 to go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:13 PM

I think this subject interesting and I hope my posts have been food for thought at least.

Sometimes the thread becomes valuable despite the nonsense that some people deliberately write.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 12:25 PM

Well, I'm probably more guilty of nonsense than anyone else here. A lot of the stuff I said was purely to get more posts flowing and didn't reflect what I really feel or was something I really have no opinion about at all, e.g. Lennon did a disservice by not learning to read music--pure nonsense. And my remark about people here not being able to tune a guitar was a bit over the top which is why I'm coming clean now.

Yes, Lox, you posted some excellent stuff. A lot of people did. There's these gems of knowledge and experience locked up inside people who don't normally talk about it even though it might be valuable to others. So I was trying to get those people to post and some did. It was good stuff. It probably would not have gotten posted any other way. Sometimes you have to be a sqeaky wheel to get the grease flowing. Just asking how many have grease doesn't get them interested enough to answer.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PHJim
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 01:10 PM

josepp said,"But if you are going to learn, learn from someone you know is qualified. If that person doesn't have a degree in music--good luck."

This depends on your goals. If you're aspiring to be a music theory teacher or a classical musician, perhaps your teacher should have a degree. If you want to be a folk singer, country singer, singer/songwriter, pop singer, rock singer... you'll probably find people without degrees who can do a great job of teaching you. People like Happy Traum, Stephan Grossman, Rev Gary Davis, Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger... have taught many successful musicians without having musical degrees, assuming that honourary degrees don't count. Pete Wernick, an accomplished banjo teacher, has a degree, but it's not in music.

I think we should agree with josepp that if you want to learn music theory, you should learn from someone who knows music theory and that person will often have a degree; but many of the world's most successful musicians don't have degrees in music and don't need them to make wonderful music and make people happy and to teach others how to do the same.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM

Before I can make anyone happy with my music, I have to make myself happy with it and I just don't feel not knowing how to read and kowing my theory makes me happy. I want to be able to play anything not just one genre. I can play by ear, tabs, and sheet music. I wouldn't have minded learned from Gary Davis but I would still learn to read music. I'm not Gary Davis.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 05:03 PM

Thanks for being straight, Josepp - I think you'll find it's generally appreciated.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 05:30 PM

I think I was lucky in this.

Everyone, myself included , was crazy about the Shadows at the time. My Dad (and aged 11 - you listen to your Dad) said - these guys are okay. But they're nowt compared to fimger style guitarists. The play everything - the lead. the rhythm and the bass.

I said Wow! Who does that? And dad said - Segovia does and theres this black American called Josh White. So I listened out for these guys. And waited my chance and became a finger style guitarist.

However i soon learned that people like Lightnin Hopkins and Robert
Johnson never played four beats in a bar in their life. Neither could they achieve the fluidity of Tal Farlow, the percussive sublety of Django, travel to the surreal soundcscpe continents of Jimi hendrix.

Every one of these guys put their lives on the line and said, this is what my life is going to be about. Nothing else. Your idea that you will do everything shows that you have no idea, what it costs in personal terms to be a man like Bruce Murdoch, a man who put nerve sinew and imagination into doing just one of these things with excellence - your comments are an affront to him. You need to apologise.

You can't have it all. The subleties can't be written down. they've got to be listened for, strived for and experienced. And their use redefined by your own oevre of work.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 05:33 PM

Gary Davis had an overwhelming disadvantage when it came to reading music, but an acquaintance of mine once took him to a disused airfield because he'd always wanted to try riding a motorbike, which he did successfully, albeit in a straight line. That's what I call guts, and that's apparent in his playing.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM

Murdoch, on the other hand, ate my hamster.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 06:08 PM

"My Father's accordian had flats and sharps for the entire keyboard. "

I've seen such 'accordion keyboards', but never held one in my hand. I've even seen them with what appears to be 3 sets of keyboards stacked under each other. As far as I know, they are not 'Piano' accordions, but 'button boxes', with an unusual right side 'keyboard'.

Hey, what happened to this thread? I go off for more peanuts and everybody goes sane and respectful and well mannered!

Who found the bottle of meds?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 08:48 PM

Smokey, you have insulted me with that remark. OK, so I ate your hamster. BUT, she gave me permission!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 08:54 PM

.




          Bruce Murdoch ate my Hamster ...


          ... so sayeth Rupert ...



.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM

Bruce, an Englishman's hamster is his castle.

And yes Lox, I was plagiarising the civilised world's best known headline.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:09 PM

Al, thank you. I have loved your music since I first heard it four or five years ago. I was disappointed that you kinda left it. I understand why, having quit for 2 1/2 decades myself, but understanding don't mean like. You are a damned good writer, and you've never stopped being a good friend.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:26 PM

I can't read that whole article about the hamster sandwich because the writing's too small. Hamsters are fairly large for a sandwich, and I don't think you can buy bread big enough. Also, live hamsters generally have fur and they're slightly squirmier than the average ham slice, although a slice of a nice, ripe comes close. I don't think I believe anybody ate a live hamster sandwhich.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:35 PM

We have big bread here, Jeri, and Bruce is a hard man.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Melissa
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 09:58 PM

I have hesitated to participate in this thread but now I'm starting to like it..

Hamster Love


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 10:10 PM

Bruce, I apologise for bringing up the hamster - OK?

realhamster.com


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:00 PM

///Every one of these guys put their lives on the line and said, this is what my life is going to be about. Nothing else. Your idea that you will do everything shows that you have no idea, what it costs in personal terms to be a man like Bruce Murdoch, a man who put nerve sinew and imagination into doing just one of these things with excellence///

While I admit I have absolutely no idea who the hell Bruce Murdoch is, I will say he's probably better than me if I dedicated my whole life to one single thing. So why should I? I was a drummer for years before I ever picked up a guitar and my first guitar was a bass guitar when I was a teen. Then I joined the military and didn't play an instrument again for close to 15 years. When I got out, I bought a synth and made electronic music. I didn't start playing guitar until 2001 without a lesson or a teacher. Now I'm learning double bass. As far as I see, I can do any damned thing I weant to and nobody can stop me. Not you and not Bruce Murdoch.

////- your comments are an affront to him. You need to apologise.////

Sorry you limited yourself to one thing your whole life, Bruce. Better luck in the next one.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:04 PM

4 to go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM

It's a good day,


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM

and I love


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM

having an opportunity to help


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:23 PM

the handicapped,


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 03 Apr 11 - 11:30 PM

I really don't think anyone wants to stop you playing whatever way you want to, Josepp. It's just that others prefer do it their own way too. You should have a listen to Bruce, you might learn something of value.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 01:46 AM

Thanks for the counseling, Josepp, but I think I'll just keep on doing what I've been doing all this time.

You know the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

By the way (surprise surprise!) I tuned my guitar this morning. Usually do. Every morning. Whether it needs it or not. I start with an A=440 tuning fork, tune the 5th string, and tune the others using harmonics and crosschecking as I go. Then I check it again several times a day just to keep it in tune. Often use an Intellitouch electronic tuner.

Doesn't everybody? Don't you? Oh! Well, you really should, you know.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 04:57 AM

Loath as I am to add to the OPs slightly childish desire to reach, was it 400 posts? I would like to say this to him:

Josepp.

As I made clear before, the musical education of children is something I care deeply about, for reasons I have confessed above. If I thought you really believed it was acceptable for a majority to have their development stymied in one way or another just so that a handful could achieve greatness I would warn you that this is a very dangerous road (though perhaps one in keeping with your general political views for all we know).

However, it now seems that we can't take anything you say at face value, so no doubt this was just more of your 'fun.'

But may I say this instead?

It is not necessary to tell lies and issue random insults in order to generate fruitful debate (if, indeed that was your aim, rather than merely trying to reach 400 posts).

You may think it harmless amusement, but to some of us this is quite a distressing topic, never mind the general impact on the tone of the forum and its public image.

To behave like this from behind an alias is, I feel, unacceptable behaviour. If you are prepared to call us (I hope you know who you've been talking to) 'slugs' who 'couldn't tune a damn guitar' I think you should be brave enough to do so in your own name.

If nothing else I would like to know who you are so that I could be specially charming to you if we were ever to meet.

Would you say these things to may face, I wonder? If so, fine (I can indeed be quite sluglike and often have difficulty getting my guitar in tune in certain atmospheric or metallurgic conditions - as many audiences who have listened to me struggling will testify).

If not, them perhaps you should consider whether it's a good idea to do so here.

Most of us have been trying to have a mature debate on a topic we care about. To find out it was all a wind-up leaves one feeling a little queasy.

Thank you

Tom Bliss


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: johncharles
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 08:28 AM

if we knew who you were josepp, we could have a look at your youtube postings and see the benefits of a grounding in music theory
john platt


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 12:14 PM

Folks, really, get over it. They're just words. They can't hurt you unless you let them--in which case it's your fault.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 12:19 PM

45 more to go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 01:12 PM

Josepp, the education of children as well as music is important. The world is dumbing down because (well at least in the US) the elite are trying to take over education and only give it to the well-heeled. This affects the music programs as well. More stupid cuts
are being made in all sorts of education because this is a propaganda mechanism for those wealthy who benefit from others not having decent education.

This music comment spills over into the BS section but it does relate to music education in general.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 01:34 PM

I have done more than one thing in my life, josepp, but I will admit to a love of music in its varied forms. I would point out to you that I have listened to many/most of the musician interpreters and writers who have posted here and they have added a value to life that would not have existed without them, yourself included.

Smokey is a friend I hope someday to meet in real life. He is nothing short of excellent although he would likely say pshaw to that. He's so damned good that he probably doesn't know how damned good he is. WHAT a musician.

A few days back I was singing with a young gal whose younger sister is a drummer. The younger sister is a kinda "Buddy Rich vs Max Roach" all in one person. Life tends to become collection regrets, and another I now have is that I will die before seeing/hearing what she eventually becomes. She's now twenty-one years old.

I too started out as a drummer--and yes, I know most of the drummer jokes. I hope you still play; I wish I still did, although I do know that I'd be living in a world of envy after hearing her, and twice in my life I've had the honour of making music with giants--drummers who defined the art of drumming.

If you'll excuse my outbursts on this thread, perhaps we could become friends. If not, then I'll go milk an elk and satisfy this conundrum we call life in some other manner. I must admit you started one helluva thread. I must also say that the music section of Mudcat wasn't the place to do it because it sets a precedent that isn't very good. I've always seen the music section as a place where folks slag each other in a friendlier manner than has been exhibited here, and I'm as or more guilty of that than anyone. You have the ability to bring out the worst, and in the process of doing that you have also brought out the best.

Anyway, that's the olive branch. Keep well.

BM


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Bert
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 02:18 PM

We had one music lesson a week at school and our teacher tried his best to teach us music theory and notation. But with a class of nearly thirty boys, he would sometimes give up.

He would issue us with songbooks and play the piano. Those singalongs were the most enjoyable music lessons we had. I don't know how many of us turned out to be singers but I hope it wasn't just me.

P.S. I once got a whacking for singing on the bus. It was worth it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 04:59 PM

////Josepp, the education of children as well as music is important. The world is dumbing down because (well at least in the US) the elite are trying to take over education and only give it to the well-heeled. This affects the music programs as well. More stupid cuts
are being made in all sorts of education because this is a propaganda mechanism for those wealthy who benefit from others not having decent education.////

Well....yeah....but, come on. Look at the crap people want to watch on TV. Look at the numbnuts they'll spend their hard-earned money on--Charlie Sheen or Snooki--and this is the money they're crying that they can't afford to let the govt steal from them. I've had a bellyful of that. There doesn't look like there's much to dumb down.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 05:37 PM

The cheque's in the post, Bruce, and my hamster is your hamster.

(Thanks, mate)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 05:40 PM

362, and counting.....You couldn't go for a simple 'No', could you???????

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 10:58 PM

37 to go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 03:55 PM

Trying to get back to the subject of musical education, my observation has been that the real learning doesn't start until you're actually in front of an audience and contracted to entertain them. Whilst any theoretical preparation for that is of value to the performer, it's only of value to the audience if it entertains them. Learning the bones of your music and getting the mechanics right is only the very first stage of becoming a musician, and without the 'paying of dues' that follows isn't a deal of use, save for academic interest - which has its place, of course. However it's dressed up, music is about giving people a bit of magic - something they can't get anywhere else. If it doesn't do that, it serves no useful purpose. That's just my opinion, for what it's worth, and I'd be interested to hear alternative viewpoints.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM

Smokey: "Trying to get back to the subject of musical education, my observation has been that the real learning doesn't start until you're actually in front of an audience and contracted to entertain them...".

Well, I was thinking, that you don't really 'become' a musician, as much as you are 'born' a musician, and then you learn, and practice, practice, practice, what you learn.....before 'practicing' in front of a paying audience!....but,....suit yourself!

GfS

P.S. Gettin' there(to 400, josepp)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 05:20 PM

Yes but what the amateur never finds out is that the music is about ten percent of the job.

Its stuff your Mum and devoted friends don't tell you. That's why every amateur act has these ghastly formulae like 'one fast one, one slow one' that they stick to through the gritted teeth of their audiences. Great fun, but no one will pay you for it, unless you're folk legend.

But how the different PA's should sound from where you're sitting, reading an audience; coping with travelling; returning rudeness with courtesy; dealing with agents; looking for work; sorting out your tax; buying not the instruments you want - but the ones that will do the job (even if you can't afford them , you can't afford not to buy them) and a thousand other things that are starting to fall from my mind as retirement starts to kick in.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 06:34 PM

Ahh yes...but the audience will let you know soon enough, if you have taste or not..but still, you gotta' do your homework!...unless, of course, you play folk music, where everybody there is sipping on their coffees, and the performer is only there as a token accessory to the room!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 06:49 PM

Bloody clueless!!

(Sorry! I just added another post to Josepp's heap!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 06:51 PM

There is more than one type of 'music'.

1) A canned product, made to a formula, packaged and marketed to a research audience at a price the market will bear. This has been around to a degree for a very long time, but now there are whole industries built on this. It is often bland, and not designed for those of a creative bent, after all, if you open a can of baked beans, you wouldn't want it to taste like liquorice and baby powder one day, would you? Creative and exciting that may be, but not what is wanted.

2) Something one does in the privacy of one's bedroom for one's own personal pleasure. Keep it clean, this is a family show.

3) A mostly harmless form of ego-tripping, where one can show off the results of much personal hard work, often gained thru much exercise of 2) [keep it clean!] a bit among friends, sometimes for small renumeration.

4) A scholarly collection of the outputs of any of the above, preserved unchanged for eternity.

And now we are back to 1), using the products of 2) 3) & 4) but feeling more self-righteous.

If you want to 'educate people about music', thus there is really more than one sort of 'music' you need to be educating people for, to enter an industry like 1), the path is very different from the others, although there is some overlap.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 06:59 PM

I don't think you truly become a musician till you realize that to be one you must continuously learn to be one.

Sitting on ones laurels creates a sense of inertia and the music loses its magic.

The greatest moment in my career as a guitarist was my first chord progression ... "C,D,G" ...

Since then, all the best moments have been new things working and capturing my imagination.

I went through a period of years believing that i was pretty good and playing the same stuff without developing any further or pushing any of my own boundaries and limitations and found myself feeling obese dissatisfied and bored.

I've recently learned the most valuable lesson of all ... to keep learning!

The magic is back and I've become lean and my playing excites me again with each new discovery.

This is what frustrates me about posts that say "why should I ... " or "why do I need ..."

The reality is that we don't really "need" any of it.

Though of course, paradoxically, we all know that we couldn't survive without it ...

but the point is that closing nes mind to new pastures in music is akin to saying "why do I need to see the world - my village has everything I need"

Fair enough ... until you see the world .. at which point you think "yeah, I love my village, but boy the world is extraordinary"

And sometimes, going away for a while helps us appreciate where we grew up all the more.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 07:09 PM

"This is what frustrates me about posts that say "why should I ... " or "why do I need ...""

Yep Lox - ignoramuses think they know everything - which brings us back to the way the OP often behaves 'for fun' ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM

Once again:

                The Ten Commandments for Musicians

I AM the heart and soul within you, You shall not imitate other player's licks, or singer's voices, thinking they are better than your heart!

You shall not sing from your heart in vain, nor in vanity.

You shall not make yourself an idol, in your own eyes, nor for anyone else.

You shall not bear false witness to how much you know about anything, therefore blocking new input.

You shall take breaks, and use that time to focus, and not ask people 'Did you like it?' (Besides, you might want to give the audience a break, from putting up with you, for not obeying the first three!)

Honor sound, and your tunings. You can always tell a 'purist', they're always out of tune! It shows arrogance. (See 1, 2, and 3).

Thou shall not murder your partners, by drowning them out! BLEND!! Nor shall you be suicidal, and proud of it!

Thou shall not commit adultery, or wish for it, as a reward for a good gig. When you have that much to learn, your music isn't saying much from the heart! (See 1,2,and 3.)

Thou shall not steal licks, and then announce A 'NEW ORIGINAL SONG' you just wrote. If stealing is in your heart, please don't play, or sing!…Matter of fact, SHUT UP!

Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's ax. The right sound is in your head, so get the right instrument that lets you speak the TRUTH...not that you got a 'prestigious' ax, to impress people, that if you were any good, you'd be able to afford it. (See 1,2,and 3.)

Sub-part B: Thou shall not fear, nor have bad attitudes about sound equipment, nor processors. If you don't think you're dealing with sound, shut up, and don't play!

Thou shall not precede a song with lengthy 'histories' of how you came to write it...just play it. If it is interesting, someone will ask you about it. They came to hear music, not how 'special' you think you are! (See 1,2, and 3.)

Thou shall use anything you need to make the song sound the way you hear it....the audience will be the judge of your 'taste'.

If you play stoned, remember, to YOU the song may FEEL great, even if the notes are all wrong! Learn the discipline of FOCUS instead!

Thou shall PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, so when you perform, you can listen and speak to God, with your heart, and not be 'SELF-conscious', but GOD conscious'. Those who commit the sin of SELF consciousness, shall make mistakes. Your PRACTICE will set you're abilities free! Let you mind and heart be upon God, and let Him play through you. (See 1,2,and 3.) Play to God, thanking Him for HIS gift to you. The audience is only your witness, and they'll think its to them, and then you bring them with you....and remember, WE ARE ONE

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 08:35 PM

I suppose I omitted the many players who simply do it for their own amusement and sense of achievement and I didn't mean to denigrate that in any way, but to entertain an audience I think you have to be principally doing it for them, not yourself. Leave your ego in the instrument case.. A good musician never gets in the way of the music.

Practise and continued learning are essential, but there are aspects of both which go way beyond conscious mechanics and harmonic theory. It all depends what you want to achieve. If you want to know everything and be perfect, good luck.. I just want people to enjoy it, though it's nice if they throw money too, obviously. I come from two lines of northern shopkeepers (think Arkwright) and skinflintery is in my blood.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 09:40 PM

OK, Smokey...agreed with most of it
Did this guy practice????   ..and is it tasty?

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 10:15 PM

No, he's English - he practiSed.. like buggery, in fact. Very tasty indeed.

Then there's this guy who did it his way. Aint music grand?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 10:58 PM

Actually, this song is a better example, and is also coincidentally in the key of B#. The more observant will also notice the curious fact that the key's tonic is never once played in the bass. I doubt he'd ever have done that if he'd been formally trained, and yet the effect works beautifully.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 05:34 AM

"Then there's this guy who did it his way. Aint music grand? "

But also practised like buggery ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 11:09 AM

Absolutely, Lox, but I'm not sure I understand your point.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 12:37 PM

///I doubt he'd ever have done that if he'd been formally trained, and yet the effect works beautifully.///

I don't see why it would make a difference. If it sounds good, I use it. I don't care if it's a real chord or not. The only difference is that I know when it isn't a real chord. Saying a person who knows his theory can't think innovatively is like saying Lewis Carroll couldn't have invented new words if he had actually known how to read and write--which, of course, disproves itself.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 01:35 PM

Just pointing out that the main difference between Williams and the reverend is stylistic.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 04:56 PM

Understood Lox, yes, and both would have considerable difficulty reproducing the other's output.

Saying a person who knows his theory can't think innovatively is like saying Lewis Carroll couldn't have invented new words if he had actually known how to read and write

It is indeed, Josepp, but no-one's said that. My point was that it is perfectly possible to be creative without the formal training, not that the training precludes creativity. However, a huge wealth of innovative and influential guitar music has come from exponents with little or no formal training. To me, that proves the validity of that approach without belittling any other.

I agree totally with "If it sounds good, I use it", but I'm afraid I have no idea what you mean by "a real chord". They're all real to me, whether or not I've a name for them or I've heard them elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 05:46 PM

"...unless, of course, you play folk music, where everybody there is sipping on their coffees, and the performer is only there as a token accessory to the room!!!"

I don't know what the coffeehouses are like where you live, GfS, but it was and is far different here.

First of all, there is a big difference between a coffeehouse and a coffee shop. A coffee shop is usually a limited service restaurant or a cafeteria. Self-catered. You pick up your pie and coffee, pay for it at the cash register, and carry it to a table. Or someplace like Starbuck's or Tully's where you sit with your laptop at a table and drink an overpriced latté and use the shop's wireless router to surf the web. Or walk up to a counter, place your order, and walk out with a pint of dark-roasted coffee in a paper cup.

A coffeehouse is something quite different. They go back several centuries. In fact, the first coffeehouse in England was The Angel, which opened, not in London, but in Oxford (not surprising perhaps, because Oxford was a college town and had been since the 1200s). Since great men used to frequent them and engage in bull-sessions about lofty subjects, they were often referred to as "penny universities" because someone could buy a cup of coffee (price, 1¢), sit there and sip it while eavesdropping on discussions of great matters between great minds, and listen to artist and poets talk among themselves about their work. One could get a halfway decent education that way.

The coffeehouses crossed the Atlantic and opened up in places like Boston and Philadelphia, where there, too, they were frequented by artists and writers—and such questionable characters as Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin.

When, in the late 1940s, coffeehouses began opening in New York and (again) Boston and Philadelphia, the same sort of people frequented them as had centuries before. Along with myriads of chess players and—lo!—singers of folk songs! Then they vaulted across the continent and sprang up like mushrooms in places like Berkeley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Then, in the late 1950s, Seattle.

Each of Seattle's coffeehouses had its own character. The Café Encore was a hole in the wall, didn't have any regular singers, but counted on singers to drop in, and didn't pay. One sang for tips. It sort of limped along. And whether there was a singer there or not was very off and on. The owner was an antique dealer, and that was his real business.

The Place Next Door was a very nice establishment, was run by the owner of the movie theater next door (hence the name). The theater ran foreign and art films. The adjacent coffeehouse was large and had a stage from which singers performed. It didn't just have a folk singer as a "token accessory to the room."   The stage was small, but it was complete with spotlights and a PA system (not really necessary, because the room had good acoustics). Specialty coffees and teas, lavish pastries, exotic sandwiches, cheese boards, quite up-scale. It was like a non-alcoholic night club, and the singer sang in sets. Maybe seven or eight songs followed by at least a twenty minute, more likely a half-hour, intermission.

When the singer came on, the conversation stopped. If someone clueless person kept babbling, they would be shushed by the other patrons. The owner paid quite well. I sang there every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through most of 1959 before I went to San Francisco for a few months, then returned to "The Place" where I continued to sing three nights a week, off and on, for several years.

Some of the after-show crowd used to drop in, not just from the theater next door, but after symphony concerts, ballets, or operas, and it was not uncommon to see a few people there in tuxes or formal gowns.

In addition to its being a very nice place to sing, I was frequently hired for other gigs by people who heard me there. Some of those other gigs included concerts at Seattle University, Grays Harbor College, the Port Angeles Centennial celebration, the Port Townsend Arts Festival. . . .

And other coffeehouses in the area tended to follow the pattern set by The Place Next Door. In fact, one coffeehouse (the Queequeg in the University District) had a full-blown stage with lights and PA system (again, not really necessary), and all the tables were oriented so that the patrons faced the stage. Eric Bjornstadt, the owner not only hired local singers on a regular basis, but he would bring singers in from out of town. Rolf Cahn not only sang there for two weeks, he gave workshops and lessons while he was here.

And there were other coffeehouses of this type in Seattle. The Pamir House, across the street and down the block from the Queequeg, that usually had two, three, or four singers going at any one time, swapping songs and doing impromptu duets, trios, etc.. It was more like an informal song fest and the audiences loved it! El Matador on Westlake Avenue, which also used a night club type format. I was singing there one night when Shel Silverstein who was in town that weekend dropped in and did a guest set (he's the cartoonist/songwriter who wrote "A Boy Named Sue").

No. The singer was not just a no-name, nondescript distraction noodling away in a corner. He or she was the reason the audience was there. If all you wanted was to sip on a cup of coffee, there were plenty of coffee shops around that would sell you a cup for (in 1950s-60s prices) 15¢. Why pay 75¢ for a cup of regular coffee? Or $1.85 for a cappuccino? Or maybe $2.25 for a café mocha? No. They didn't come to the coffeehouse just for the fancy libations. They came to hear the folk singer.

And you know what? It's still going on. And in addition to a regular singer or singers, some coffeehouses these days have full-blown concerts on certain evenings or afternoons. And they charge admission. And they're very well attended.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 05:51 PM

"Understood Lox, yes, and both would have considerable difficulty reproducing the other's output."

Well one thimg I can say is that they would probably find it easier reproducing each others work than most of us would find it reproducing either of their work.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 06:14 PM

Peanuts again anyone?

We've had so many previous threads here on what various people's OPINIONS are about 'what is a chord' versus the formal definition of a 'chord' as a certain number of related notes in certain orders, eg a triad, or first inversion, etc. You can then add other notes above this to form additional variations, and even leave some of the notes out of the played chord, or duplicate certain notes octave wise, or duplicate certain of the notes with different parts of a symphony orchestra or band. The results can have differing names depending on what various set of musos from different cultural backgrounds worldwide want to call them.

You can even call the actual frequencies representing these notes within the chords different names, depending on what scale names you use (there IS a B#).

However, you can also play other combinations of notes, and these are often referred to by the theoretically unwashed as 'chords' too...

So any note (chord tonic) with the third of a certain type of scale above it has another name (dyad), as does the tonic and the fifth (power chord), and you can play the tonic and 7th for a certain effect too, btw...

You can even represent these clusters of related notes on paper by a myriad of representations, some more suited for various instruments or styles of playing or cultural and historical backgrounds.

You can refuse (or by means of various unfortunate human frailties be unable) to learn any of these terms, but still use the forms known to others before you were born and make music yourself.

But:

Only a very narrow minded selfish bullying type of relatively uneducated person who refuses to care about the opinions of others in a society around him will insist that ONLY THEIR OPINION counts for anything, then abuse many of those who join with an opinion that varies from his, in a subsequent discussion.

There's a term for THAT in Psychiatry too!

OP - Just trying to 'start a discussion'? Bullshit!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 06:21 PM

Yep, there's a fair chance of that, Lox, though it's also reasonable to say that to reach the standard of either requires a degree of focus and single mindedness that would pretty much exclude the other's style.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 06:23 PM

"That's why every amateur act has these ghastly formulae like 'one fast one, one slow one' that they stick to through the gritted teeth of their audiences. Great fun, but no one will pay you for it, unless you're folk legend."

I agree mate!

But an excellent performer who knows his stuff isn't 'all at one speed' - playing only one style of music at only one speed (usually as fast as possible) does not impress me as much as someone who has a wider more varied repertoire at varied paces.

My dad was a very good amateur Classical Violinist - was 2nd lead when a teenager in a private orchestra before WWII started.

When I had been taking piano lessons for a year or two, and knew everything, I said "Hey Dad, look how fast I can play!"

He stopped what he was doing, smiled to my Mum, got out his violin, set up, and the drew the bow across one string so slowly from frog to tip that it almost was not moving. When it reached the tip, he reversed. The tone was soft, clear and unwavering.

Then he smiled and said "Son, any fool can play fast and loud. It takes Talent, Training, and Practice to play slow and soft."

I have never forgotten, no matter what of the many instruments I dabble with, is in my hands.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 01:37 AM

Hi Don, Yes, I know the difference between a coffee house and coffee shop!....and yes, not only have I played a few, a few years ago, I met my musical partner in one, on stage, where he was both reading poetry, and playing some of his stuff. I was invited to play there, because I had just arrived back in town, and one of the people who ran it, thought it would be a surprise for them for me to pop in and do some original stuff. I played right before intermission, and then during intermission, I was asked to stay, and see if there was more time, and go on again. At the end of the intermission, this guy gets on stage, and starts reading some of his stuff, somewhat reminiscent of a Lenny Bruce, or Jack Kerouac. So I listened, to see if he had anything really cool to say. I will say he had great images, though less substance of the two aforementioned! I was told that there wasn't going to be enough time for a second 'round', so I packed up my stuff, and was headed out the door, but paused to listen to his stuff....When he started playing, I pulled out my guitar, and just followed him, from the back of the room, near the door...then figured, 'What the hell...', and walked up on stage, and as I passed behind him, while he was playing, I said lightly, "Keep playing", and accompanied him on stage, for the rest of his set. We got repeated standing ovations...and were playing for years to come after wards! I got a really cool story about that, but I'll spare you, unless you're interested. He later died, at age 27, which was one mega-bummer being as he was a huge talent, and gifted writer.

Tragic thing, is losing a musical partner, in whom you share those 'in-the-nano-second' thoughts, on all levels, while playing..either, in practice, live gigs, or in the studio. Being as his voice was quite unique, but clear, and full of expression, with a pretty good range, he did most of the singing, while I accompanied him on guitar, (actually, really great guitar), which worked superbly together. A loss!..I still have most all our recordings on tape(reel to reel, or cassette), and have transferred some to disc.

I thought I'd share that with ya', Don,...because in our music, there is a 'truce', and a unification with other artists, of which,, to you, I tip my hat!

GfS

What I meant on my previous post, was sometimes some person is playing in a coffee house, but nobody is even listening, but rather chattering about whatever definition they think 'art' is, but the 'musician' is just there as sort of an 'accessory'..just because its a 'coffee house'.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 04:19 PM

". . . in our music, there is a 'truce', and a unification with other artists. . . ."

Fair enough. And I would like to hear your story and about your singing partner.

As far as politics and other issues are concerned, I'm perfectly game to discuss things with those with whom I disagree. It often prompts me to recheck and re-examine my position—and I hope it prompts them to do the same. But where I draw the line is when the person with whom I am discussing treats me with contempt and addresses me as if I were feeble minded or totally uninformed—or who, in the process of the discussion (and usually as a diversionary debating tactic) tries to attack my moral and ethical character and/or that of my family.

If we can stay out of that mucky swamp and discuss things civilly, then I'm perfectly game. Okay?

So—tell me about your singing partner.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 05:12 PM

Don: "As far as politics and other issues are concerned, I'm perfectly game to discuss things with those with whom I disagree. It often prompts me to recheck and re-examine my position—and I hope it prompts them to do the same...."


Absolutely 'Fair enough!!'

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 04:49 PM

10 more to go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 05:06 PM

We do have places that seem to be like the US "coffeehouse" over here, but they have looser links to the folk scene than I see described on Mudcat.

Tchai Ovna, Glasgow
Forest Cafe, Edinburgh

Don, are either of those much like what you're talking about?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM

It seems quite rare to see a UK folk/acoustic venue which doesn't involve beer. I've always thought that a great pity. Not that I've anything against sensible drinking, but I'm not convinced it particularly makes for either quality performance or discerning listening.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: PoppaGator
Date: 08 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM

Will this thing ever die?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:16 AM

Must make 400 posts...must...make...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:22 AM

Ever tried changing hands?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:30 AM

j, everyone should have something important in their lives to keep them going. Glad yours is something so attainable. You can add this to your list of accomplishments.

Don't set your sights so low. Go for 1,000.

As backwards as it seems, I believe the fact that people keep posting to this thread bothers you. I've seen evidence elsewhere that you can be a pretty smart guy. Does it not seem odd to you that you're attempting to irritate other people by doing something that mainly irritates you?

Don't forget to count this post.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 05:24 AM

On guitar, either when accompanying my songs, or with others, I frequently use a capot.

If I wanted to sing or play a tune in B#, which capot position[s] & fingering shapes would be best?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: s&r
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 05:32 AM

I just read that as carrot


Stu


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:49 AM

?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 AM

Welcome to the mosh pit.



401


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:52 AM

400!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999 The Final Frontier
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:54 AM

BS: The Mother of all BS threads       40336* d


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:55 AM

Yes Jeri - truly the Mudcat can be a source of great enlightenment.

I print off all the pages, dip them in beeswax, twist them and use as tapers to light my way thru the room of ignorance. I'll let Mr J have some.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:59 AM

Perhaps the abusive Troll was right! :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 08:46 AM

On guitar, either when accompanying my songs, or with others, I frequently use a capot.

I suppose for English music you need to use a capote anglaise?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 10:40 AM

I could swear that Mr Happy actually used a CAPON.

Seriously though, John, in your case try using C shapes with the capo at the 12th fret.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:24 PM

Must get to 425 posts...m-m-must...g-get...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 12:36 PM

No, no, forsooth!



From: GUEST,999 The Final Frontier
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 07:54 AM

BS: The Mother of all BS threads       40336* d


Of course, there's not much chance of that if you don't read your own thread, is there.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 03:12 PM

"No, no, forsooth!"

Uh.. I'll dig out the crumhorns..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 04:07 PM

Good idea. Guess what I found. You too, huh?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 04:31 PM

:-)
Click


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM

Cool, Smokey. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Apr 11 - 08:04 PM

Jack, judging from the web sites you linked to, I would say that the type of coffeehouses that prevailed in my area during the late Fifties and through the Sixties, were quite different.

For one thing, the owners or proprietors of the coffeehouses were generally not especially interested in folk music per se. And some of the earlier ones hadn't planned on having entertainment at all. The Café Encore, which was the first one in Seattle, was little more than a hole in the wall. Seating capacity (tables and chairs) for about twenty-five people at the most. The fellow who opened it was from New York was setting up an antique shop in Seattle, and discovered that there was no place in Seattle where he could get a cup of espresso. So he saw a business opportunity and opened a coffeehouse in a small area next to his antique shop. You could get a variety of coffees, teas, and chocolate drinks there, along with pastries and such. He hadn't planned on entertainment at all, and a few singers began dropping in sporadically and singing a few songs. He didn't pay anything, it was strictly tips, and he tolerated them because the patrons seem to enjoy the singing. Certainly not any kind of folk center or folk club.

The Place Next Door was opened by the Bob Clark, the owner of an art film theater who managed to get a lease on the store-front next to the theater. With tables and chairs, there was ample seating space for a good seventy or eighty people. His idea was to turn it into a combination coffeehouse/art gallery. He was shooting for a sort of artsy-Bohemian atmosphere, dressed informally but neatly in dark slacks, red short-sleeved shirt, and beret, and he normally had a mustache and neatly trimmed goatee. The inside of the Place was decorated with an abstract mural along one wall, and the wall opposite was covered with pale yellow cloth lighted with an array of spotlights where he planned to hang the "paintings of the month" by local artist, all for sale.

An acquaintance of mine who had been all over the country and was a devotee of coffeehouses suggested to him that a great adjunct to drawing people in would be a "folk singer in residence," especially on weekends. I had just finished doing a television series called "Ballads and Books" on a local educational station, and he recommended that Clark see if he could hire me. I agreed, and wound up singing there on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings off and on for a couple of years. But except for occasional guest sets by other singers, and a period of several months when Bob Nelson (Deckman) and I had formed a duo, I was the only "official" singer. Although when I was elsewhere doing concerts and such, he would hire another singer.

If I felt I was growing stale there, I would recommend another singer to Clark, take a breather for a few weeks, then either do a series of concerts at colleges in the area, then move to another coffeehouse for awhile. Singing perpetually at one place can lead to overexposure, so it's a good idea to disappear to somewhere else every now and then.

Each coffeehouse had its own character, but with a few exceptions, each one had a particular "singer in residence" at any given time, although other singers would drop in and do guests sets. But this was not something that happened every night, at least until there were so many singers around that they were jostling each other at the door. One coffeehouse (Pamir House) solved this problem by hiring several singers. Three or four might be up in front of the audience together, and it was next to impossible to control a set or series of songs. We'd sort of "wing" the program, singing separately and together. Very informal. Like singing at a party or songfest.

By the way, Pamir House didn't start out to be a coffeehouse. He had intended it to be an Indian restaurant (a Pamir house was one of the many inns or wayside refuges centuries ago along the Silk Road through the arduous Pamir Mountains in eastern Afghanistan), but a group of Indian exchange students at the University of Washington dropped in en-masse one evening, ate there, and subsequently declare the place a disaster area! So to cut his losses, the owner decided to open it as a coffeehouse, and began hiring folk singers, one of whom was me.

A similar situation was El Matador. The owner papered the walls with bullfight posters and other bullfighting accoutrements and sent out a call for a flamenco guitarist to entertain. No joy! Someone told him that the nearest thing to a flamenco guitarist in town was me. I could play several classic guitar pieces and three flamenco pieces, but that was just a sidecar to my singing of British Isles and American folk songs and ballads.

There were several other coffeehouses around here as well. Some discovered that if they were to make a go of it, they had to have entertainment, and one person with a guitar was about as economical as they were going to find, so folk singers, who were proliferating at the time, were a natural.

As I said, the owners of the various coffeehouse were far less interested in folk music than they were in drawing people into their establishments and selling them expensive coffees, teas, and pastries, but having someone in the place who would come out and sing for about thirty-five or forty minutes every hour throughout the evening worked out quite well, because the places were generally packed on weekends.

And they were great places for people like me to hone their skills before audiences in preparation for doing concerts and other more lucrative and prestigious engagements, while at the same time, earning a bit of money. In Seattle, anyway, the coffeehouse owners paid a set fee regularly. In some areas, there were what they called "basket houses," where the patrons tipped the singers, but that died very quickly in Seattle. On any given night, they couldn't automatically assume that they would have any singer or singers there at all! And those who did show up usually knew four chords, one strum, and a half-dozen songs learned from Harry Belafonte records.

Although nobody got rich at it, coffeehouse singing in Seattle was a regular job. And some of them, such as The Place Next Door, were pretty much like non-alcoholic night clubs. Rather than a jazz group or pop singer as regular entertainment, they had a resident "minstrel."

This is getting kind of long for a Mudcat post (but it does help bloat Josepp's thread a bit). A really comprehensive run-down of the "coffeehouse scene" would take a book. But I hope this answers most of your questions. Feel free to ask more if you wish, and I'll try to supply answer if I can.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 10:28 PM

It'd be a great shame if this thread disappeared.

Is there still a coffeehouse scene in the U.S., or anything like it? You should write a book, Don, if you don't mind me saying so.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 06:53 AM

.......& un-capoed, how could one achieve a piece in B#?

On guitar, what finger shapes?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:14 AM



Err, Ray Charles? Stevie Wonder? Art Tatum? Blind Lemon Jefferson? ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:35 AM

Un-capoed, John? Don't tell me you're having it surgically removed.

You probably need cylindrical (approximately) fingers.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:48 AM

Any seriously sensible responses, anyone?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 07:55 AM

You mean you're not taking the piss?

In that case C open.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:05 AM

Not taking the p - rather the thirst for knowledge.

So can I now conclude that on guitar, bur perhaps not on all instruments, B# is imaginary? & aka C?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:11 AM

Depends in what key you are playing - refer to your scales chart, since you apparently haven't memorized them ... :-P


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:14 AM

You can conclude that on equal-temperament instruments, of which the guitar may be one, B# and C are identical. B# is definitely not imaginary, though it may at times have a scarcity value rivalling that of the Higgs boson.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 12:48 PM

Mr Happy: ".......& un-capoed, how could one achieve a piece in B#?

On guitar, what finger shapes?"


YOUR ANSWER IS FOUND IN HERE!!!!:

From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 09:48 AM

Mr Happy: ".....so conclusion: B# exists but is commonly known as C!"

Pretty much so, however, some musicians may use the term B#, when counting off, to another musician, as designating a half step up. You might consider, using 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and denoting the half steps going up or down, depending on the direction of the movement, in the progression. That way, the intervals are ALWAYS the same, and the only thing that changes, is where you start, as 1.

For instance, let's say, in the key of E, on your guitar, you may start counting from the fat E string, open. That would be '1'..and the scale starts counting up from there. Now, if you start from 'F'(one fret up) F becomes '1', and the scale counts up from there, using the same intervals. You might hear, or have heard, musicians say to each other, "Grab the '5', and take it to the '7'" That means NO MATTER WHAT KEY YOUR IN, but depending on the key, you know to grab the 5th of that key, and go to the 7th, (or 'sol', to 'ti'). Another example you might have heard, or even said, is, "OK, its a blues tune 1,4,5 in 'A'" I trust you are familiar with that. ..or in a lot of folk or country western, C,F,G.
It is a lot less confusing, and faster, for many players, especially in live jams, or practice sessions....THEN, if someone calls out," Go to the the 'flat 5'"..its a half step down..or if they say, "Go to the sharp '6'"..you know to raise the '6' a half step..which, for all you know, could be a 'B#', or 'C'....or anything, depending on what you call '1'(the key of the song).

Another very important handy hint, is to LEARN THE MAJOR SCALE IN ALL KEYS! You will quickly find, that the 'patterns' are all the same, just that you move '1'('Do') a half step up, when beginning your scale. There are FIVE predominant patterns of the major scale on the guitar. You can note the difference of the 'grand bar' shape, as opposed to the 'double bar' shape, or the 'open C' shape. They all have different major scale patterns. Being as those are the most common, it would do you wonders, to learn those shapes!!..and practice them, till you don't even need to think about them, AND play them 'legato'(very smoothly) from one note to the next, (whether they be on the same string or not), using a 'back and forth' picking technique.

I'm sure, somewhere on the 'net' you can find the patterns, and print them, to use for reference.

There's more, but if you get through this, which is a lot simpler that it may sound, let me know...

AND remember, "SPEED IS A BI-PRODUCT OF ACCURACY!!!"..go for accuracy!!!

Regards,

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 02:53 PM

Hi, Smokey. Yes, I am writing a book as a matter of fact. It stated out to be a history and overview of the folk scene in the Pacific Northwest. But it didn't take me long to see that it was going to be a much larger project than I really cared to tackle, so I decided to make it more of an autobiography:   my reminiscences of the whole thing as I blundered my way through it. I've been working on it for several years now, just sort of letting it flow out as I remembered it (checking with various people as I go, as in, "I know that was in August, but was it in 1963 or 1964?"). So far, I have over 125,000 words written, with a decade or two yet to cover. It's going to require a lot of pruning and editing to turn it into something readable, but until I get it all down on paper, I don't want to interrupt the flow.

The late John Ross, who often dropped into Mudcat, was attempting to write a formal history of the Pacific Northwest's folk music scene, but unfortunately he died of a heart attack recently. And a fellow named Kurt Armbruster has just sent his history off to the publisher and it's due to be released in September of this year. I've talked a lot with both John and Kurt and we swapped a lot of information and did a lot of fact checking for each other. Good to cooperate like that. We determined that although we were covering a lot of the same ground, we weren't stepping on each other's toes because these books would actually complement each other, Kurt and John doing formal histories from somewhat different viewpoints and me from the viewpoint of actually being in there, trying to paddle around.

The current coffeehouse scene? I think it's somewhat similar to the way it was in the 1950s and 60s, although these days they seem to be doing less of having a resident singer who sings four or five sets per evening, and more of having a variety of singers do something similar to house concerts at the coffeehouse on weekends. Some of them may still operate like non-alcoholic night clubs, but I'm not really sure. Check The Pacific Northwest Folklore Society's web site and mosey around there a bit, and you'll get an idea of what's going on.

I've pretty much retired from performing (as in doing coffeehouse gigs and concerts) because of difficulties getting around. Due to polio at the age of two, I used to get around on a pair of aluminum forearm crutches and lugging my guitar case, but within recent years I've had to take to a wheelchair, and that's complicated things a bit, especially things like getting lifted, wheelchair and all, up on a stage or having a couple of bully-boys try to lug me and my wheels up a flight of stairs is just a bit too hairy!! So, like the slightly weird Canadian concert pianist, the late Glenn Gould, I've retired from performing in public save on rare occasions and am concentrating on recording all the songs I know (fast computer with recording software, interface, and a couple of really good microphones). As long as my voice holds up and my fingers stay nimble, I'll try to get them recorded, then see about getting them replicated onto CDs.

Then, who knows? Not planning on going for a bunch of Grammies, but if some of them go platinum, I won't actually burst into tears. . . .

Havin' fun with it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 06:40 PM

Thanks, Don - I trust you'll shout when it's available, likewise your music. I appreciate your posts tremendously and find your way of writing most digestable. It's good to hear first hand from someone who's actually 'been there'. Thanks for the link too - some really good stuff there.

Sorry to hear of your mobility problems - I wish you the best of luck with your recordings and look forward to hearing some. Unlike our esteemed thread-mentor, I'm quite partial to a bit of tone-deaf sluggery.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:44 PM

"There are FIVE predominant patterns of the major scale on the guitar."

There is [i]only [b]ONE pattern[/b] for a Major Scale[/i].

Tone Tone Semitone - Joining Tone - Tone Tone Semitone.

It is naturally implemented physically differently on differently constructed instruments.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 08:51 PM

I thought that originally meant fingering patterns, TFT, though you're obviously right in what you say.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:20 PM

Ok so now Max has clobbered HTML in threads....? :-)

My broken brackets were converted to square, or did I just grab the wrong function in Leetkey?

Me eyes ain't what they used ta be - they used ta be me ears....


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 11:32 PM

You'll be needing a pair of Möbius spectacles then.. but that's nothing compared to my nose problem.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 01:17 AM

Purely for the sake of hairsplitting, Fooles Troupe, wouldn't you agree that the Lydian and Mixolydian modes were as major as the Ionian if the third is the deciding factor?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 02:41 AM

OK. I'm a CanaDIAN. The Lydian modality is abSOluteLY THE way to go IF you like Rock and Buns.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 02:43 AM

FAWK. Sorrie. Roll.

Modes as we all call them ain't nothin' but scales with fancy names. No offense.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 11:43 AM

Obviously you never heard Pope Gregory's 'Gimme Dat Thurible', or its follow-up, 'Swing, Brother, Swing'. Mind you, that was before we in the civilised world invented Canada.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: josepp
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM

////Obviously you never heard Pope Gregory's 'Gimme Dat Thurible'////

He stole it from the Thelonius Monks--the swingingest order there ever was. Damn Catholics.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM

Smokey - I'm sulking - ain't gonna post no more to this thread till people start posting to MY Cow thread!


:-P


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:22 PM

Just to clarify.


In the Key of C#. the note B# is essential as it is the 7th note of the key.

This is a useful distinction to make, as playing in the key of C# is a realistic and sensible alternative.




There are, however, no circumstances (that I can think of) where it would be necessary to play in the key of B#.

That would indeed be a nonsensical and pedantic distinction to make.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:31 PM

"There are, however, no circumstances (that I can think of) where it would be necessary to play in the key of B#.

That would indeed be a nonsensical and pedantic distinction to make. "

Hah! Unless the key of B# is the 5th (V or V7) (or indeed any other related key essential for the chordal progression) of the Base Key of the Progression...

Not to count Modulations....

Sigh! The less people know the louder they have to shout the little they know!

Signed Mr Pedantic Trained in 5th Grade Music Theory ...
:-P


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:47 PM

Things like the key of C# are more in the nature of an academic exercise for music theoreticians who are having slow day. It would be a pain in the nether regions to read, even for a good, experienced sight reader. A much simpler expedient and the way it's generally done would be to write the same piece of music in Db. Much easier to read, and contrary to what some may think, the notes come out exactly the same, even in perfect tuning (not even tempered).

And writing something in the key of B# would be just plain silly. Gratuitous confusion.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

Well - yes Don, but, having had my childhood Exam and Competition pieces moved into other keys more suited to my voice, I suppose that pedantically, the Home Key of A sharped three semitones is .... Db .... :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 07:55 PM

Too soon...

Whether you would preferentially put music into a "Sharp or a Flat" key, depends on what instrument you play.... :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM

If B# is the 5th, you'd have to be already playing in E#. If you think I'm going to do that from the music, you can fuck off :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

"Hah! Unless the key of B# is the 5th (V or V7) (or indeed any other related key essential for the chordal progression) of the Base Key of the Progression..."

Sorry FT, nice try but no cigar.

I'm talking about keys, not chords.



And I'm sorry to have to point out that even in the context of your error, B#, as a V chord, would be the V in the key of E# ... better described as F ...

So yours would be another entirely unrealistic scenario. :-)

... oh go on ... you can have a cigar anyway ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 08:21 PM

Don,

Writing in Db makes more sense - perhaps - than writing in C#, but in terms of playing or singing, especially on the guitar, thinking in C# is easier, as you just think Cmajor, but every note is sharp.

Seemples.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:04 PM

Exactly so. This is why, if I've just learned a song with a fairly wide range and it feels about right in C, but a bit low, and for guitaristic reasons I don't want to do it in D, I snap the capo on the first fret, use the C cycle of chords, and it comes out in either C# or Db (whichever turns your crank). As long as it doesn't frighten the horses, I don't worry about it.

I can get as theoretical as anyone, but if push comes to shove, I tend to be a pragmatist. Whatever works.

Don Firth

P. S. Notations just under the song titles in the songbooks of Joan Baez, Gordon Bok, and others, if you want to follow the song as it's played on the record:

Key of F#m:   Capo II, play as in Em.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:05 PM

I'd just forget the sharps and bung the capo on..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 09:06 PM

You beat me to it, Don.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 02:25 AM

Smokey: "I thought that originally meant fingering patterns, TFT, though you're obviously right in what you say."

You are correct. Fool's Toupee isn't talking about the same thing. He usually contradicts anything I post, just because its me...and he is...well,...a fool?

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:20 AM

Hmmmmmm.............so now there's a V as well?

So, let me see, B#[C],Cb, C, C#,Db, D, D#, Eb, E, E#, Fb, F, F#, Gb, G[H], G#, Ab, A, A#, Bb, B, B#[C] & V - where does that fit in & is it sharp, flat or au naturelle?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 09:49 AM

Well, you need a V to lead to your I, but I fear your H is entirely in the wrong place.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 01:47 PM

"Things like the key of C# are more in the nature of an academic exercise for music theoreticians who are having slow day. It would be a pain in the nether regions to read, even for a good, experienced sight reader. A much simpler expedient and the way it's generally done would be to write the same piece of music in Db. Much easier to read, and contrary to what some may think, the notes come out exactly the same, even in perfect tuning (not even tempered)."

I'm just looking at the violin fingerboard diagram from Peter Prelleur, The Modern Musick-Master (1730-31), "The Art of Playing on the Violin", and while the intervals might be the same, the notes are definitely different.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 04:41 PM

DM - Just out of interest, how different (in terms of distance) is, say, bottom Ab from G# on a violin? I appreciate there can be a difference when free from the equal temperament of an accompanying instrument such as piano, but always assumed such details were adjusted intuitively by ear, rather than learned literally. To the best of my (hazy) recollection, I don't think I've ever seen such distinctions made on the fingering charts of wind instruments, though my experience is more with 'early' instruments than the more well-developed orchestral ones.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:12 PM

how different (in terms of distance) is, say, bottom Ab from G# on a violin?

Depends on what temperament you're using. The violin itself allows for many different ones.


I don't think I've ever seen such distinctions made on the fingering charts of wind instruments, though my experience is more with 'early' instruments than the more well-developed orchestral ones.

It was absolutely routine on the Baroque flute, and you still find distinct meantone-ish fingerings for Ab and G# in flute books of the mid-19th century. Quantz's book covers it; there are some in the charts in my "Old Scottish Flute Music" collection on the web.

http://www.campin.me.uk/Flute/Webrelease/Flute/Flute.htm

I normally use fingerings like that on the recorder - most descant recorders will give you a lower-register Ab with T12- 45-- and a G# with T12- 456-. An equally-tempered split-the-difference can require half-holing the 6. You get a similar choice between Db and C# on many recorders (though not all).


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:21 PM

On that diagram, the distance from G(open) to A is c25mm, with G-G# and Ab-A c10mm. G#-Ab is c5mm. The book that reproduced the Prelleur chart gives no indication of whether the original was fingerboard size, and I don't have a full size violin in the house to check.

Interestingly, a few pages further on there is the Extended Meantone Fifth "Spiral" which starts at Fb, laps itself at E, and finishes at B#


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:42 PM

I'm afraid I just blow 'em 'til I think they sound right.. I've never really dabbled with flute much, but your site looks very interesting indeed, I'll enjoy that, thanks.

I appreciate what you mean about different temperaments on the violin, but I just wanted a rough idea of distance in order to understand the degree of accuracy required to have useful control over the temperament. Any example would suffice, though I chose low notes for obvious reasons.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 05:43 PM

Thanks DM, last post was directed at JC.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:00 PM

Dave, what do you mean by "the notes?" The actual sound (frequencies), or the finger positions?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:03 PM

Which is to say, can an oscilloscope tell the difference? No. And that's my point.

Don Firith


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:18 PM

Both the frequencies and the finger positions are different, so an oscilloscope would be able to tell the difference.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:55 PM

Here is a chart showing the difference between equal and just temperament.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

I don't think so. Can you give me a link with authoritative information to verify this?

A 440=A is still 440 cps, whether you call it A, G double-sharp, or B double-flat. Yes, on an instrument such as a violin or cello, one can make the subtle distinctions relative to the key the piece is in, but not on a fixed-pitch instrument such as a piano or guitar. When would a string-player do this? One example would be when the note in question is the 7th degree of a major scale (the leading tone). But one cannot make this adjustment on a fixed-pitch instrument without retuning the instrument for that one specific key. If you tried to retune a guitar to accommodate one specific scale degree, you'd actually have to throw a whole range of other notes off-pitch.

I'm not just making this up. I've had a total of five years in two different music schools, and I've been over this business thoroughly before. Several times. Generally with folk singers who take pride in not having any formal musical training.

Sorry, but that's been my experience. (Documentation to back it up.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the chart, Smokey. But it still doesn't alter what I said about fixed pitch and non-fixed pitch instruments.

By the way, I have taken a Physics of Music course in which we didn't just talk about it, but spent some time working with oscilloscopes and other such devices.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 08:26 PM

(Sorry. Missed the after "have.")


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:19 PM

"But it still doesn't alter what I said about fixed pitch and non-fixed pitch instruments."

No it doesn't, nor what I said about being accompanied by fixed pitch instruments. The chart illustrates the differences though, and they would be detectable by modern electronic tuners or an oscilloscope. To be honest, I think by the time a non-fixed pitch player had finished applying the bit of vibrato which (arguably) brings such instruments to life, the difference is largely academic - though that doesn't universally apply, obviously.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:33 PM

"Fool's Toupee isn't talking about the same thing"

Having been asked many times to get my name right the viscous malicious AnonTroll who gets her jollies by getting her rocks off from the Ethereal Music of the Sphere inside her head probably would be annoyed just how sickened those singing with her would be when they know that while she is singing Gospel Music with them, she is really just "Mentally Masturbating For Jesus".


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 10:40 PM

I think a dual beam oscilloscope would be necessary to check tuning though, wouldn't it? I've seen that done with crumhorns, prior to the advent of electronic tuners. One beam displays the reference pitch and the other the thing being tuned. At least I think that is what was happening..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:57 AM

just stick an extra key on the piano and tune it to around 470Hz.

pianos have been around so long, I can't believe no one has fixed it yet.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 03:59 AM

There used to be keyboard instruments with double black keys, but they never really became popular. That's why Equal Temparament was devised, so that pianos could be roughly in tune, though as Pablo Casals said:

Do not be afraid to be out of tune with the piano. It is the piano that is out of tune. The piano with its tempered scale is a compromise in intonation.

There are similar problems with other ET instruments. It took me a long time to get used to the sound of traditional tunes being played on accordions, as they don't play the same notes as fiddlers, or for that matter, pipers. Traditional singers too, will have a tendency to sing pure intervals rather than ET. And then I came across blues which uses yet another scale system......

As for A=440, a lot of older fixed pitched instruments are tuned differently, and I've heard that American orchestras are starting to tune to A=442.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: s&r
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 05:08 AM

Pianos have equal temperament, but only to a point. Because the bass strings are rigid and a long way from being an ideal string, the harmonics are sharper than they should be and would clash with the higher strings. In an attempt to correct this, pianos use stretched tuning, ie the low strings are tuned flat, and the high strings are tuned sharp.

Stu


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 05:41 AM

I know, but we've trying not to overcomplicate things.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:20 AM

Very very skeptical about this "different frequency" business.

B sharp only exists in keys that require that note to be notated that way because there is alredy a C# so there can't be a C too.

If you slightly flatten or sharpen one of the notes just because you are in a new key, you will have made that note out of tune with the other notes in the new key, which haven't been flattened or sharpened.

Are proponents of this view trying to suggest that Keys with B# in are meant to be dissonant?

And if so, why only on violins etc, why not on Pianos?


There are many more questions to be asked, but to believe this noton I would need satisfactory answers to those for sure.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:17 PM

There are really two separate issues here, one being that of varying temperaments, which affects the frequency but not the notation. The other is logical and convenient notation, which does not affect the frequency of individual notes and generally assumes equal temperament these days.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:31 PM

Singers and players of non-fixed instruments tend to instinctively go for more pleasing intervals when not constrained by the accompaniment of a fixed, equal tempered instrument on which most intervals are actually a compromise.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 12:46 PM

Generally though, I go for a smoke in the interval.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 02:27 PM

"Singers and players of non-fixed instruments tend to instinctively go for more pleasing intervals when not constrained by the accompaniment of a fixed, equal tempered instrument on which most intervals are actually a compromise. "

Interesting thought - but it seems inherently contradictory to refer to the idea of comfortable intervals unconnected to fixed points in support of the notion that B# and C are somehow seperate identifiable points on the spectrum of sound.

How can a notion of arbitrary tonality be used to support a notion of fixed tonality?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 03:24 PM

"How can a notion of arbitrary tonality be used to support a notion of fixed tonality?"

BINGO!!

On pitch standards (current status of 440=A):    CLICKY #1.

Worth a read:    CLICKY #2.

Can you imagine what the economic impact is on musicians who own fixed-pitch instruments such as flutes, various other woodwinds, brass instruments—cathedral organs (!!)—et al, whenever some bureau of standards decides, for whatever reason, to change the pitch standard?

If you raise the pitch of most instruments, it tends to make them sound a bit brighter, but for the most part, it doesn't make all that much difference. Until your grand piano explodes!

And who might lobby for such a change? Musical instrument makers perhaps?

A piano can be retuned. I can retune my guitar (hoping the change doesn't alter stresses too much). But my upstairs neighbor has little choice but to toss his $9,000 oboe into the Dumpster and buy himself a new one. And St. Mark's Cathedral ten blocks north of where I live, with it's great monster Flentrop organ with its forest of pipes, from the size of a large tree-trunk down to the size of a piccolo, has a real problem!!

This might explain why, whenever someone decides to alter the pitch standard, mobs of musicians tend to storm them with torches and pitchforks.

The establishment of a pitch standard—AND—the development of even temperament amounted to little more than a minuscule compromise in tuning which allows fixed-pitch and variably tunable instrument to play together. And it also made possible such works as J. S. Bach's Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues for Well-Tempered Clavier. One prelude and one fugue in each key, both major and minor, without having to stop and retune the instrument for each key. It was also noted early on that this made modulating into other keys possible, hence greatly enriching what composers could do. Made Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin possible. And, for good or ill, Shostakovich and Alben Berg.

And you know what? The vast majority of people, no matter what anyone tells you, don't even notice the difference between pure intonation and even-temperment.

Fact.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM

Foot's Toupee: "
Having been asked many times to get my name right the viscous malicious AnonTroll who gets her jollies by getting her rocks off from the Ethereal Music of the Sphere inside her head probably would be annoyed just how sickened those singing with her would be when they know that while she is singing Gospel Music with them, she is really just "Mentally Masturbating For Jesus"."

Nope..just call them as I see them!...you know, 'Toupee', as 'off the top' of a Fool's head!..You!

At least I gave you some much craved attention....but reserved on the interest!

Don, You're doin' good!

P.S. "..viscous malicious AnonTroll...?"
...and you think of all the names you couldn't get right????(just mine are funnier!)

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 04:38 PM

"it seems inherently contradictory to refer to the idea of comfortable intervals unconnected to fixed points in support of the notion that B# and C are somehow seperate identifiable points on the spectrum of sound."

In equal temperament, B# and C are the same note/frequency.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 06:58 PM

If a violinist who is playing in just intonation, as in the chart I linked to, plays a G# in the context of being the major third in the key of E major, they will pitch the note 13.69 cents higher than it would be in equal temperament. If they play an Ab in the context of being the minor third of F minor, they will pitch it 15.64 cents lower than its equal tempered counterpart. So, on a violin playing in just temperament, G# and Ab are about 5mm apart, 29.33 cents, or just under a third of a semitone. They are both just less than a sixth of a semitone 'out of tune' with the note which would be played in E major or F minor on a fixed pitch equal tempered instrument, but on the violin they would sound distinctly more major or minor. I find that difference clearly audible. Consequently, violinists need to be kept under strict control when in an ensemble situation involving fixed pitch instruments. Judicious use of a cattle prod can be beneficial, as can kicking.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:30 PM

Tune a guitar to standard tuning. Play a G chord (320001) and adjust the B string until the chord sounds as sweet as it'll go. Now play an E chord (022100) and chances are the B string will sound horribly sharp. In the G chord the B string is the third, and in the E chord it is the fifth. Equal tempered thirds are further from mathematical perfection than are the fifths, which are much less wrong and far less obvious. You have to sacrifice your ideal G chord to some degree in order to have a tolerable E chord. Also, never use the 7th fret harmonic on a guitar for tuning purposes - it's perfect, and will always be very slightly at odds with the frets - 1.96 cents to be precise.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:32 PM

Methods to find Major thirds relative to a root.

Correct me where I go wrong.

On a Guitar, I play my E string, 1/2 it to get the octave (harmonic), 1/3 it to get the fifth, 1/4 it to get the next octave and then 1/5 it to get my first major third.

This major third is slightly flat.

And technically isn't really a third, but an 18th away from the root note.


Alternatively, I could use a violin to do it as follows.

I play my low G.

I 1/3 it and play that harmonic to find the 5th (except it is actually a 12th) to find D

I tune my d string accordingly, and do the same thing on that to find my A - now I have my 2nd (actually, from the root, a 12th on top of a 12th, which is a 23rd)

A leads to E, then to B - the Major 3rd relative to G

As a pure 5th is slightly sharper than a perfect 5th, by the time we get to B, the intonation has sharpened, and consequently we have a slightly sharper major 3rd than in equal temperament.

But this is measured not really from a 3rd, but (cumulatively) from a 45th.

Such intervals are not discernable by the human ear and for that reason I am still skeptical about the violinists ability to discern knowledgably that he is playing according to just temperament, as opposed to knowing merely that he is a bit sharp or flat of equal temperament.

An enquiring mind wishes to expand further.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:35 PM

"Also, never use the 7th fret harmonic on a guitar for tuning purposes - it's perfect, and will always be very slightly at odds with the frets"

You mean Pure no?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:37 PM

Smokey,

NEVER tune a 12-strings when yer stoned.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:39 PM

I mean mathematically perfect. Pure or perfect, either will do. Three times the fundamental.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:44 PM

While what Don Firth says is generally correct, he ruins his argument by stating that (equal temerament) "also made possible such works as J. S. Bach's Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues for Well-Tempered Clavier. One prelude and one fugue in each key, both major and minor, without having to stop and retune the instrument for each key."

To quote 'Sometimes you will see Bach's term, wohltemperirt, translated as "equal tempered," but that's not what it referred to, and it's not what Bach meant...... Indeed, Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier was not written to demonstrate the superiority of ET, as is often claimed. It wasn't even written for ET, but for an irregular temperament that worked in a wide variety of keys. Such a temperament was convenient, yes, because the player didn't have to retune all the time as the keys changed (as would have been necessary with a regular meantone system), but it's irregularity also meant that the flavor of the chords was slightly different in each key, and the character of each key was slightly different. It is no coincidence that this was the era when descriptions of key characteristics really came into their own.'


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:45 PM

Such intervals are not discernable by the human ear and for that reason I am still skeptical about the violinists ability to discern knowledgably that he is playing according to just temperament, as opposed to knowing merely that he is a bit sharp or flat of equal temperament.

It may be a matter of faith :-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:46 PM

"Smokey,

NEVER tune a 12-strings when yer stoned.""

I KNOW!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:48 PM

A lot of it is down to checking what violinists etc are actually playing.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:49 PM

Re Bach's 48 (not 24), It led to the development of equal temperament but wasn't written for it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:50 PM

"A lot of it is down to checking what violinists etc are actually playing."

And punishing them accordingly. It's no good being soft.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

Well I think we have pretty much established that there is such thing a a B# anyway ...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:00 PM

Ah, but in what sense?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:02 PM

"J. S. Bach wrote The Well-Tempered Clavier to demonstrate the musical possibilities of well temperament, where in some keys the consonances are even more degraded than in equal temperament. It is reasonable to believe that when composers and theoreticians of earlier times wrote of the moods and "colors" of the keys, they each described the subtly different dissonances made available within a particular tuning method."

(Wiki)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:07 PM

Actually, on a modern piano there are still differences in different keys for the simple reason that no matter how hard you try, you always hit the black notes a tiny bit harder than the white. Major thirds get progressively more prominent in sharp keys, for example.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:13 PM

It exists.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:15 PM

494 posts later, does it really matter THAT much?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

Do we really need to debate it further?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:16 PM

Should really be in bed by now!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:17 PM

Yawn!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM

Goodnight all!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM

500


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:19 PM

500!! Over and out!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM

Ah, Smokey, you just ruined my cunning little plan!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:20 PM

No chance, Tattie.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:22 PM

You know I've read this thread since it started, and really can't make out why some folk get quite so worked up about it! OMG, that'll set off the next 500!
OK, this time, it really is - OVER and OUT!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:25 PM

No no, come back - we haven't sorted out the precise nature of the existence of B# yet, or whether it's traditional.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 08:54 PM

Maybe the B-sharp of Rome could shed some light on it. I can hardly believe I wrote that.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:09 PM

hehe ... or indeed the Arch B sharp of canterbury .....


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM

Thanks, Smokey, for finding that Wiki citation.

Actually, Dave, I didn't say what Bach intended when he wrote that particular ensemble of works. I was referring to the fact that musicians in general consider it to be a graphic (or sonic) demonstration of the versatility of equal temperament. And please don't tell me I'm wrong about that. I've read it a number of books on music theory and music history and I've sat in class and heard a number of music professors say exactly that. The only things to the contrary that I have heard have been here on Mudcat. Also, please don't alter what I actually said and then say that I'm wrong for saying that.

By the way, 24 Preludes AND Fugues. 48 pieces altogether.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM

I'll tell yer summat that doesn't exist: the bottom note on a fiddle. It's about 192hz, and the box on a fiddle isn't big enough to accomodate the wavelength and doesn't vibrate at that frequency, only those of its harmonics. That frequency represents less than a thousandth of the energy in the vibrating air produced, and is consequently below the threshold of human hearing. The listener's brain invents the implied note from the gaps between the harmonics.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:41 PM

"By the way, 24 Preludes AND Fugues. 48 pieces altogether."

No Don, the sadistic bugger did it twice, I've got them here.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:47 PM

And there are B#s...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 09:59 PM

"I was referring to the fact that musicians in general consider it to be a graphic (or sonic) demonstration of the versatility of equal temperament."

The best demonstration, I reckon.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 10:46 PM

Lemme see, now. I'm getting confused here.

12 Preludes in major keys
12 Fugues in those same major keys
12 Preludes in the relative minors of those major keys.
12 Fugues in the relative minor of those major keys.

I count 48 pieces altogether.

I don't have it in front of me, but my wife has it stashed somewhere. She's the keyboardist in the family.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 10:52 PM

I've got two recordings and the music, Don, and I promise you there are 48 preludes and fugues. Two lots, major and minor. My copy of the second book hasn't had a deal of wear, I can tell you..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 11:05 PM

Here you go.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 11:58 PM

But assuming western European music, which is the idiom in which Bach wrote, 24 keys are all there are. 12 major keys and their relative minors, which makes a total of 24. One prelude in each, one fugue in each.

24 x 2 = 48.

Unless they've changed the laws of mathematics—no, simple arithmetic—I count a total of 48 individual pieces althogether.

Don Firth

?????????


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 12:02 AM

There are 48 preludes and 48 fugues, 96 pieces in all, if you want to look at it that way. If I'm wrong, I'll saw my own head off and juggle with it.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:49 AM

The Well-Tempered Clavier (German: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier), BWV 846–893, is a collection of solo keyboard music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He first gave the title to a book of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, dated 1722, composed "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study."
Ah, HAH!!
Bach later compiled a second book of the same kind, dated 1742, but titled it only "Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues." The two works are considered to comprise The Well-Tempered Clavier, and are referred to respectively as Books I and II. The Well-Tempered Clavier is generally regarded as one of the most influential works in the history of Western classical music.
Ah, SO!! The source of the confusion. It was the first book that cause the big stir among musicians at the time about equal temperament.

The second book was basically an "encore."

Okay. Got it.

Don Firth

P. S. A few other composers at the time, or pre-dating Bach a bit, had also been pushing for equal-temperament. One of these was Johann Pachelbel, composer of the well-known "Pachelbel's Canon" (which an acquaintance of mine insists on calling "Tinker Bell's Canon."

P. P. S. Nah! Keep your head, Smokey. It seems to be reasonably functional. And there are so few around these days!!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:32 AM

Glad we sorted that out, Don.

However, apart from the use of ET in classical music, whether we date it from the 17th century or 1917, most musicians in other genres would not be using it, eg Highland pipers or blues guitarists. (and before anyone asks, there isn't a B# on the pipe scale - the notes are referred to as G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G & A no matter how they relate to the classical notes).


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Lox
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 08:12 AM

What a great thread!

... in the end ;-)


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999 Sorry again!
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 08:36 AM

I take issue with Smokey. He said he'd saw off his own head and juggle with it, but you can't juggle with just one head. That's more like tossing it, NOT juggling. I mean, juggling is like having three or more heads in the air at one time--and don't even think of trying the old switcheroo about chickens laying eggs and dogs with equally distempered clavicles. Of course if ya had one head, a chicken AND a dog with an an equally distempered clavicle playing an equally tempered claviar from the Walloons, then ya'd have a spectacle, with or without a lens grinder.

Nof offense, Smokey. Just tryin' ta keep the record straight.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,999--darned memory
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:00 AM

But that brings us to a connummmdru/conummdrum/connomdrom problem. If you're juggling with your own head, and the chicken is in the air, what weill you do when it flies away? Uh? Well? Ha! No answer, just as I thought.

But yer a shoo in for the Sleepy Hollow job. Got a horse by any chance? Juggling a head, chicken and dog while riding a horse--like, wow! Who's gonna follow that act? I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: gnu
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:43 AM

Yer a case alright.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:53 AM

A head-case!
Now would the Canon be related to the B sharps? Please tell me flatly.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 11:00 AM

My conscience compels me to confess that I was,in fact, bluffing. I can't juggle at all - merely toss, as 999 would say. He's Canadian though.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM

Don Firth: ..."P. S. A few other composers at the time, or pre-dating Bach a bit, had also been pushing for equal-temperament. One of these was Johann Pachelbel, composer of the well-known "Pachelbel's Canon" (which an acquaintance of mine insists on calling "Tinker Bell's Canon."

Tattie Bogle: "Now would the Canon be related to the B sharps? Please tell me flatly."

Well, for your fun, but informative input...

..........and Don Firth is right about this!!!!

Enjoy!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 11:36 AM

Oooh, and Tattie, Pachelbel's Canon is in 'D'......

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:40 PM

Yeah, Pachelbel's first name IS Johann. Actually, his canon is a lovely, tranquil sounding piece of music, but I can see how someone who plays the bass instrument in the ensemble, laying down the (technical term alert!!) "ground bass" (no relation to "ground chuck"), which consists of the same two measures played over and over and over and over and over—could wind up losing any sense of tranquility and start trying to juggle his or her own head.

For those who are not sure exactly what a canon is (not a large, heavy gun on wheels), suffice it to say that a round (e.g., "Frère Jacques" or " Row, Row, Row Your Boat") is a simple form of canon.

There was a fellow in the Seattle Song Circle some years ago who worked Pachelbel' Canon out on a dulcimer. Since it consists of four parts (three violins and a cello, as written) and the Appalachian dulcimer has only three strings, toward the end, he got kinda busy. But it sounded pretty good.

Here is the Canon in D as Pachelbel intended it should sound. Actually, nice piece of music.

Try this on your nose flute.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 04:15 PM

...and actually, I like Pachelbel's Canon.....I just put that there, for everyone to trip out on, and clock the chord changes....AND....to suck up another post, for ol' Smokey and josepp.

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 04:37 PM

Yup! Gotta keep this sucker rollin. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 04:39 PM

Boy!!!..Here we are again!!!!!..Whatcha got in mind?....(Wink)

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 05:06 PM

It's a little known fact that Pachelbel actually stole those chords from a much older Roman folk song, "Trivi Londinium". Not many people know that.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 05:24 PM

Pachelbel probably intended his Canon to go much faster than those leaden performances from the 1970s. This is a bit more like it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvNQLJ1_HQ0


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 05:41 PM

Then there was the eighties... I preferred the 70s.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 05:48 PM

Great version!......Still think it was in B#????

D!

GfS


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:00 PM

The key of B# is more a state of mind than a statement of pitch.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:44 PM

Then there was the eighties... I preferred the 70s

Do you mean like this?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:49 PM

Why are you all feeding this troll josepp ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:51 PM

Pachelbel probably intended his Canon to go much faster than those leaden performances from the 1970s. This is a bit more like it:

Yes I found that one just before I read your post. I liked it, they are very good. It reminded me of a string quartet I saw perform in Covent Garden on a Sunday morning some years ago.

Here is another piece by the same group - note the cool guitar <grin>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYZ79HjPh2M&feature=relmfu

A recorder group I play with play a different set of Bergamasca variations. Not as quickly as that though!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:04 PM

Josepp? Who's Jo--Oh! HIM!

Nah. He's history. We're having our OWN party!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:19 PM

"A recorder group I play with play a different set of Bergamasca variations"

Yeah, I've played in bands like that too. That may become my favourite euphemism.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:47 PM

An even simpler bass line is the one in Marais's "Sonnerie":

Harnoncourt and friends playing the original instrumentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhr3BTrZFgM

Really nice solo harpsichord arrangement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzhsbdoRfr0

(I suspect Don could do that on the guitar).


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:42 PM

Yeah, maybe, Jack, if I buckle down and practice a bit more diligently.

It might come off better as a guitar duet. Some years ago, I took in a concert by the French duo, Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya. They did a whole bunch of harpsichord transcriptions, mostly Scarlatti. They sounded great!

The Seattle Classic Guitar Society threw a party for them after the concert and I had a chance to meet and talk with them there, although I had to rely on my lame high school French. Lagoya gave me a couple of good tips on right hand finger action.

Here's a photo of Ida Presti being a smart-ass and showing off her seven fret stretch. All E's.

The Seattle Classic Guitar Society has some really sharp players in it.    One of them is Michael Partington, seen here busking in Seattle's downtown bus tunnel (CLICKY #1). Not that he needs to. He has CDs out, a full concert schedule, and he recently took over from the retiring Steven Novacek as head of the classic guitar department at the University of Washington School of Music. Another is Elizabeth CD Brown, who graduated from the U. of W. music school and now teaches at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. She plays modern classical guitar, lute, and in this video, a Baroque guitar:   CLICKY #2.

I'm not up in the lofty heights that these two kids have achieved, but I can generally blunder my way around a fingerboard without getting lost too often. But there's certainly penty of inspiration in these parts.

I play and sing for the Society every now and then. Taking a leaf from Richard Dyer-Bennet's book (although as a bass-baritone, I don't sound at all like him), I present myself more as a "modern day minstrel" than as a "folk singer." Although the vast majority of what I sing are folk songs and ballads, I do sing a few other things, such as some songs from Shakespeare's plays and an art song or two. It's not a matter of snobbishness on anybody's part, but unfortunately too many guitar society members have met (mutual interest in the guitar) too many folkies who make something of a fetish about being musically ignorant, and sometimes they can get a bit belligerent about it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 05:27 PM

That picture of Ida Presti is almost disturbing. More so if you try it. Is it a normal length guitar? It looks it. I have a shorter scale, narrow fretboard Panormo I tried it on as well, and still it's gruesome. I think I'll try to avoid writing anything which demands the playing of 5 simultaneous F flats...


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM

"A recorder group I play with play a different set of Bergamasca variations"

Yeah, I've played in bands like that too. That may become my favourite euphemism.


I don't want to give the impression I'm particularly accomplished. I'm not. We just play for our own pleasure on Wednesday evenings. We're not up to concert standard or anything like that.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:09 PM

Yeah, Smokey, she plays a standard classic guitar with a full-length fingerboard.

I've linked to this video before, but it's a real jaw-dropper. I sometimes link to it when someone with hands like ham-hocks complains that classic fingerboards are too wide.

CLICKY.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:12 PM

I wasn't judging you or your accomplishment, Tootler, I was just being silly. Sorry if I gave that impression. I only ever did folky stuff on the recorder, Irish airs, Carolan, self written, etc. Those proper Baroque players are something else..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:18 PM

Don, there's a distinct fluff at 2' 27'' - don't they teach them properly over there or something?


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:32 PM

And apologies in return if I misinterpreted you, Smokey. My wife is always telling me I lack a sense of humour :-)

To your other comment:

Much Baroque and earlier material music played by recorder groups is not really any more difficult than the folky stuff, though you need to get into the style. Until the end of the 18th century composers were commonly employed by wealthy aristocrats who were often competent amateur musicians themselves, so the court composer would be expected to produce music that his employer was capable of playing. Even with Mozart, quite a lot of his music is playable by amateur musicians because, although he went freelance, he often produced music for wealthy amateurs - after all, he had to earn a living.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:34 PM

Uh . . . ? 'Scuse me, but I'm lost.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:39 PM

I wish we had something similar to your group locally but I've not heard of anything. I was thinking more of the solo/concerto stuff when I made that comment though. I love listening to Michaela Petrie, for example, and Michael Copley.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 06:46 PM

She's amazing, Don, thanks for the link.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: ripov
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 09:05 PM

I've been following this thread for a while, but couldn't add anything you guys hadn't already said. But I just want to say thanks for those links in the last few posts, I hadn't realised how much marvellous stuff was out there! And as Tootler implied this music was written not so much to be listened to as to be played; it makes your fingers itch when you hear it!
Incidentally the Pachabel canon (http://imslp.org/wiki/Canon_and_Gigue_in_D_major_(Pachelbel,_Johann)), is appearing on the folk scene, although in true folk fashion it never sounds quite the same twice.
Regarding its speed, I wouldn't think it should go too fast, as it's followed by a (not very inspiring) jig!


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 04:27 PM

Smokey,

I agree the Baroque concertos are a different matter. Very much virtuoso pieces.

Don,

I don't quite know what your confused? message was referring to but if it was to my post just above it, then I was replying to a comment by Smokey a couple of posts previously.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 05:09 PM

I think that was my fault, Tootler - more misplaced (UK northern) humour. Apologies for any confusion.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 05:55 PM

Smokey, it was just me going "Du-u-u-uh" and drooling a bit. I was read "2'27" as "two feet, twenty-seven inches" rather than "two minutes and twenty-seven seconds." I found myself sort of hanging there in empty space. Then, a bit later, it sank in that you were speaking of two minutes and twenty-seven seconds into the video.

I went back, listened to it again, and heard the extraneous little "twang!" All came clear.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 06:22 PM

Sorry 'bout that, Don. I have a reputation as a miserable northern git to maintain, so it was my duty to point out the one bum note. You have to wonder how they're taught though. Obviously there's immense talent there, but discipline like that at such an early age surely doesn't just appear on its own.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Apr 11 - 11:16 PM

Yeah, I've wondered a lot about that, too. On the one hand, if all goes well, by the time the little lady matures to the point where she really grows to understand the music and have a real feel for it, just about all the technical problems involved in playing should be well conquered and she can devote her attention to the music rather than the notes. For example, that piece (Francisco Tárrega's Requerdos de la Alhambra or "Memories of the Alhambra"—an opulent Moorish palace in Granada), is one I can play, along with a couple of other Tárrega pieces. Technically, she can play it a lot better than I can (except that her tremolo tends to "gallop" a bit in a few spots), but I think I play it with more "feeling" than she does. But in a few years, she'll get there.

But—is she doing this because she wants to, or because adults are pushing her? More than one talented kid has been forced to take lessons and practice assiduously by their parents, only to toss the instrument in a corner and run screaming from the house the moment they got a chance.

But on the other hand, there are those like Segovia. He fell in love with the sound of the guitar when he was really small (four, some say) and begged his father for guitar lessons. His father was a church organist, and regarded the guitar as "the instrument of the gypsies," and gave young Andés the option of piano or violin, neither of which appealed to him. Segovia senior was afraid his son would wind up hanging out with gypsies if he took up the guitar, so he put his foot down. Counterproductive. Segovia, very young indeed, did start hanging out with the gypsies, getting them to show him things on the guitar. He didn't go for flamenco, of course, but they taught him his basic technique. Very young. Sixish. He simply wouldn't be put off.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 04:24 PM

I know precious little of Korean culture so it's hard to make assumptions or judgements. I hope she's happy and progresses as you describe. I have mixed feelings about performers as young as that though. As you say, the musicality lags behind at the expense of the technical achievement, but with a grounding like that she stands a good chance of being truly great once she's mastered 'the other side' of it all.

I know someone who had a go on Segovia's guitar once, he reckoned the action was about 3/4" at the twelfth fret, but he could be heard clearly by all in the Albert Hall with no amplification whatsoever. I'd love to have seen him.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 05:34 PM

I know a young woman who was a heading-for-world-class gymnast at the same age as that guitarist. Nobody forced her to practice, she just got obsessed with it and spent all her free time at the gym. She had a rather Aspergerish personality. If she'd stuck at it for another year or two she'd have been the next Olga Korbut.

Instead she first discovered skateboarding and then real life. I think she's happier the way she is now than the way she could have been.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 07:13 PM

Smokey,

If you're interested in finding a recorder group, where are you? I live in Middlesbrough


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 07:17 PM

I've heard Segovia several times when his concert itinerary took him through Seattle, and met him and had a chance to talk with him briefly on two occasions.

One was when the Seattle Classic Guitar Society asked him to do a brief question and answer session for the Society the day after his concert and he agreed. He fielded questions for about an hour (most interesting!). Then, as the session was breaking up, someone slipped me a piece of paper with an address on it and muttered mysteriously that there was going to be a little gathering, and I might like to drop in. I did, and as the host ushered me into the living room, there, in the big easy chair in the corner, sat The Maestro, pipe in one hand, brandy snifter in the other. About a dozen of us sat around in Bill James's living room and chatted with Segovia.

One fellow was questioning Segovia about his particular interpretation of a Bach piece. Segovia explained his ideas about the piece, but the guy saw it a bit differently, and he wouldn't let it go. Finally, Segovia asked, "May I ask how old you are?"

A bit surprised, the fellow responded, "I'm thirty-six."

Segovia, taking his glasses off and cleaning them with his handkerchief said, "Promise me one thing:   don't try to play Bach until you're at least fifty-five."

That ended that conversation!

I mentioned to him that, although I struggled as best I could to play a number of pieces written for the guitar, my main interest was in accompanying British Isles and American folk songs and ballads. He nodded and smiled and allowed as how that was a very honorable role for the guitar.

A few years later, the day following one of his concerts there was a reception for him a Ward Irwin's house in Bellevue, across Lake Washington from Seattle. I wound up sitting in the front seat of Bill James's car, with Segovia and his new bride sitting in the back seat. Pleasant general conversation on the way to Ward's house. Charming and gracious man. His new wife, quite young and lovely, didn't say much. She didn't speak English.

One of the young women in the guitar society couldn't resist a snide comment out of the corner of her mouth about Segovia being "a dirty old man!"

Well, wotthehell, anyway!

Segovia was going to be in Seattle for another day, and he asked Ward if he could tell him where he might hire a car and driver so he could show his wife around the area. Ward offered to do the honors, and Segovia graciously accepted. So Ward and his wife got to spend the following day with Segovia and his new bride.

There is very upscale guitar store here in Seattle called "The Rosewood Guitar." You can drop a real wad of money in that place. Lot's of high-priced lumber in there, and I did buy a very nice quality instrument there a few decades ago. Steve Novacek, who was proprietor back then, showed me one particular guitar he had in stock. He said that this was the same model José Ramirez that Segovia favored. I tried it, and it had a gawdawful high action at the 12th fret. I commented to Steve about it, and he said that it definitely affects the volume of the guitar—but it takes some getting used to. You develop hands you can crush walnuts with!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 08:22 PM

One of the young women in the guitar society couldn't resist a snide comment out of the corner of her mouth about Segovia being "a dirty old man!"

I doubt there was anything snide about it. From what I've heard, he was.


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 09:45 PM

Well, knowing the young woman, she was given to snide remarks. But then, it appears Segovia did get around a bit.

From Wikipedia:

"Segovia's first wife was Adelaida Portillo (marriage in 1918). Segovia's second wife (marriage in 1935) was the pianist Paquita Madriguera, who also made some piano roll recordings. From 1944, he maintained a relationship with Brazilian singer and guitarist Olga Praguer Coelho, which was to last for over a decade. Segovia married Emilia Magdalena del Corral Sancho in 1962. [This was the young woman that I met.] They had one son, Carlos-Andrés de Segovia y del Corral."

I heard that sometimes when Segovia was away on concert tour, Emilia would put on one of his recordings, then young Carlos-Andrés, barely more than a toddler, would examine the phonograph very carefully, asking, "Papa? Papa?"

I have one of Olga Coelho's (Brazilian singer) recordings. The liner notes say that Segovia thought rather highly of her. I thought they were talking about her guitar playing. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 10:27 PM

Nothing wrong with being a dirty old man - it's always been one of my ambitions and arguably the most realistic of them. I haven't far to go, and I've always practised diligently.

Great tales, Don, much thanks.

Tootler:- I'm in Derbyshire but I have a sister near Stokesley. If I'm ever up there at the right time..


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Subject: RE: No such thing as a B-sharp
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Apr 11 - 10:52 PM

It's a good job that guitar shop isn't near me - they'd never get me out.. You can never have too many guitars in my 'umble opinion, but sadly, money isn't what it used to be.


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