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Poll

Is My Music Pretentious?

yes its pretentious trash. give up
- 8 (20.5%)
this isnt music. its just noise
- 2 (5.1%)
strange but oddly interesting
- 8 (20.5%)
study music theory because there's some potential there
- 17 (43.6%)
genius
- 4 (10.3%)

Total Members Voted: 37

Voting closed: 14 Aug 2009, 13:52


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Author Topic: Is My Music Pretentious?  (Read 50070 times)

Black_Chamber

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Is My Music Pretentious?
« on: 22 Jul 2009, 13:52 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A1LrNQCMic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk7TxhxkkhQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx9mG-aKMwo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwSSNMoCdG0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxZiMvXtOtc

From the outset I wanted my sound to disregard music theory entirely. Because I have no formal training I was able to approach my instruments (I play guitar and drums) in unsophisticated & abstract ways to create something that sounds incomplete and abrasive at times. becuase of my lack of music theory, [and understanding of what to do and what not to do] my 'music' (i'm sure some of you will say its just noise) is a pure extension of myself. I just recorded how I was feeling at the time. I posted my stuff on some other boards and about 50% of the people say i'm a pretentious hack, 25% say its genius, and another 25% say i have potential if I study music theory and apply some structure to my songs.

what do you think?
« Last Edit: 30 Aug 2009, 09:17 by Black_Chamber »
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Mr. Doctor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #1 on: 22 Jul 2009, 14:10 »

I go for "strange but oddly interesting"...

I'm probably a minority here because in my humble opinion... Music Theory means nothing. Some of the best music I've ever heard get's the tag "Noise" and I really don't understand why. I fail to see where the line between music and noise is. Some music that it's well written sometimes turns up to be good music but with lack of feeling [Progressive Metal, I'm looking at you right now].
But well.. It might help you to know what's normal and what's not.

Soooo... I believe this is interesting, the only thing I can say to you is the classic "follow your heart". Some of the best musicians, painters and writers were the ones that thought "screw them, I do what I want"
« Last Edit: 22 Jul 2009, 16:14 by Mr. Doctor »
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The Joker

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #2 on: 22 Jul 2009, 14:24 »

I didn't like it much, to be honest, but I guarantee no matter what kind of music you make, someone will like it.  Even bands like the Jonas Brothers and Nickelback have fans (that being said, your music was better than those bands' "music").

So go for it.
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Be My Head

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #3 on: 22 Jul 2009, 14:50 »

It was all right, but you should really learn some music theory, and take lessons on your respective instruments. It WILL help you, even if your plan is to make 'unstructured' music. You have to know the rules before you can break them. Theory and technique are tools that allow you to express yourself more articulately in music.
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Thrillho

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #4 on: 22 Jul 2009, 15:31 »

I think it's a common mistake to think that music theory is useless to those seeking to break barriers or create unstructured music. For me it's the single most useful tool for creating such music, because when I know the basic chord progressions, where people's ears will be expecting a certain sequence of notes to move, you can then subvert their expectations. Put together things that are deliberately out of time or key, or non-diatonic. Knowing what's normal is how you create abnormality.
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De_El

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #5 on: 22 Jul 2009, 15:55 »

The music is all right. People who dismiss anything as noise don't have worthwhile opinions on music.

But. And don't get me wrong I don't mean to be insulting—do people actually call you it genius? Because while you make decent sounds, or even if they were very good sounds, please do not think of your self as some mythical, touched-by-god savant. That would be the worst of pretensions. The way you talk about your music is indeed a bit pretentious, and the ideas you seem to present are pretty old hat, which is fine really, provided what you produce is interesting and worth listening to, but don't use this nonsense about "pure extension" and "unsophisticated abstraction" as a crutch.

rynne

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #6 on: 22 Jul 2009, 16:11 »

For what it is, it's decent.  It's not groundbreaking by any means (see, for example, brainwashed.com, for plenty of artists working in pretty much the same genre) but if this is really your first attempt at making this kinda stuff I'd say you have a decent natural talent for assembling sounds and effects.  Frankly, I think the structures are fine for the type of music you're making.

My suggestion would be to move away from your reliance on samples.  Both the cliched movie-dialogue ones and the musical ones.
« Last Edit: 22 Jul 2009, 16:32 by rynne »
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Lhefriel_Medies

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #7 on: 22 Jul 2009, 17:58 »

The music is all right. People who dismiss anything as noise don't have worthwhile opinions on music.

But. And don't get me wrong I don't mean to be insulting—do people actually call you it genius? Because while you make decent sounds, or even if they were very good sounds, please do not think of your self as some mythical, touched-by-god savant. That would be the worst of pretensions. The way you talk about your music is indeed a bit pretentious, and the ideas you seem to present are pretty old hat, which is fine really, provided what you produce is interesting and worth listening to, but don't use this nonsense about "pure extension" and "unsophisticated abstraction" as a crutch.

There does exist a potential ontological perspective recently in the philosophical spotlight so called humor that may be worth applying to the interpretation of the text. With that, it begins to seem as if there is potential for said label to be a "joke", in that it is an act committed the said intention, eg. offhandedly in an attempt to induce laughter or lighten the situation at hand.

Honestly, I find your criticism is far more pretentious than his actual description. While I do agree that perhaps a less stereotypical choice of words could have improved his explanations there, there really isn't any sort of reason to assume that he considers himself a genius for creating music with such a perspective. I think that you'd have to be living under a rock to not realize that those ideas have been used before, given that there have been several musical movements triggered by those exact sentiments. It seems much more probably given common sense that the two elements are for the most part unrelated. It seems as if he's wondering whether or not he's successful in his execution rather than as to the integrity of his ideas.

As to the actual topic at hand I haven't listened yet but probably will soon.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #8 on: 22 Jul 2009, 18:13 »

I listened to one of the songs and enjoyed it.  I wouldn't call it pretentious, so much as bold.  It certainly has a very ambient sort of feel.  Atonal, but this sort of pleasant, chaotic mishmash of pretty noises.  Since I see it, you're taking an alternative approach to something that many people seem to have set ideas on, and making something that fulfills your own artistic urges rather than simply going: "Fuck theory or any of that bullshit.  It's overrated wank.  This is much better than that stuff with structure and whatnot."
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sean

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #9 on: 22 Jul 2009, 18:26 »

It was all right, but you should really learn some music theory, and take lessons on your respective instruments. It WILL help you, even if your plan is to make 'unstructured' music. You have to know the rules before you can break them. Theory and technique are tools that allow you to express yourself more articulately in music.

This this this this this this this

seriously the best way to break the rules is to understand them as best as you can. (yes there are exceptions i know shut up)

also i would not say this is pretentious in fact that is a very silly question to ask. stop reading pitchfork or something.
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MadassAlex

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jul 2009, 21:06 »

Music theory is great. You will not regret learning it.
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Tom

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #11 on: 23 Jul 2009, 03:06 »

Lhefriel Medies, you sound so very pretentious.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #12 on: 23 Jul 2009, 15:15 »

Music theory is a set of shackles that you should never put on.

There is no need to know anything about music theory if you are making electronic music.

There is no need to know anything about music theory full stop. It's extremely dull.

Listening so far, I would buy this music.
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Sox

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #13 on: 23 Jul 2009, 15:41 »

Music theory is incredibly useful. As you begin to learn and grow without it, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, you slowly begin to realise that there actually are these patterns and that everything you're learning has been learned a thousand times before by somebody else and then packaged as music theory.
Nobody who learns about music theory suddenly gets worse as a musician. Not a single person, ever.

Learn some theory, save yourself a few years. It's foolish to think you're better off without it.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #14 on: 23 Jul 2009, 16:07 »

I voted "study music theory because there's some potential there." Not exactly my cup of tea, but good for what it is. I agree with whoever said to stop relying on samples too.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #15 on: 23 Jul 2009, 18:44 »

Music theory is incredibly useful. As you begin to learn and grow without it, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, you slowly begin to realise that there actually are these patterns and that everything you're learning has been learned a thousand times before by somebody else and then packaged as music theory.

Music theory is an essentially arbitrary set of rules that conditions us towards hearing sound in a certain way (it is just as easy to arrange sounds in any number of ways). It is a pointless contrivance unless you want to make some boring fucking rock music or something.

Also it makes people who jack off about music theory really upset, which is wonderful because it is an unbelievably joyless way to treat music.

Knowing music theory would almost certainly make this guys music more boring.
« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2009, 18:46 by KharBevNor »
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Be My Head

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MadassAlex

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #17 on: 23 Jul 2009, 19:27 »

Music theory is an essentially arbitrary set of rules that conditions us towards hearing sound in a certain way (it is just as easy to arrange sounds in any number of ways). It is a pointless contrivance unless you want to make some boring fucking rock music or something.

Also it makes people who jack off about music theory really upset, which is wonderful because it is an unbelievably joyless way to treat music.

Knowing music theory would almost certainly make this guys music more boring.

You'll only ever hear this from people who don't know theory.

Besides, "theory" refers to any system used to describe the relationship between notes. As soon as you start describing the relationships between notes, even in your own terms, that is theory.

The thing about theory is that it doesn't set down rules. Instead, it describes an action/consequence relationship between notes. It's not like there's big neon lights saying "DON'T PLAY C# OVER G". That's the domain of harmonic purists.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #18 on: 23 Jul 2009, 19:40 »

This is the exact opposite of boring, and was created with the knowledge of shitloads of music theory.

So we should make music just like music that was made a hundred years ago to satisfy your mathematics fetish?

It's like the last sixty years or so have never happened! And all that 'you need to know the rules before you can break them' stuff is utter crap. That's just something they like to trot out to prevent outsiders getting a decent look-in.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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MadassAlex

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #19 on: 23 Jul 2009, 19:44 »

The idea that music theory is a limiting factor is ridiculous, and is only considered as such by people who haven't learned it.
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Be My Head

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #20 on: 23 Jul 2009, 19:48 »

Hey Firebird was only composed 99 years ago! : P

I'm the last person who will try and stifle creativity. It's why I like the Romantic period of music more than the Classical and Baroque periods. Because they finally allowed composers to do what they wanted.

I just don't get how learning about what people before you did pigeonholes you into copying them...
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #21 on: 23 Jul 2009, 20:04 »

The idea that music theory is a limiting factor is ridiculous, and is only considered as such by people who haven't learned it.

People who have learned it having been subtly shackled into its strictures so completely they don't even realise it.

Also I can't learn music theory.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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MadassAlex

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #22 on: 23 Jul 2009, 20:36 »

Let's remember that music theory isn't universal to every culture in its intricacies. We speak of western music theory while ignoring eastern and middle-eastern theories. Indian music theory, in particular, is so detailed that they have guidelines for harmonising microtones.

As an aside, any serious student of music leans scales and chords that specifically break what are considered the most proper scale and chord forms. Think the harmonic minor scale, which can be baroque or eastern depending on how you use it, or the phrygian dominant (a sort of cousin to the harmonic minor) that, while technically a major scale, works melodically much more like a minor scale.

Note that most scales have more scales derived from it, equal to the number of notes in the scale itself. There are thousands of scales. They all fall under "music theory" even if the vast majority of them actually slaughter wholesale "proper" classical harmony.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #23 on: 23 Jul 2009, 20:48 »

See what you are saying is just so fantastically boring it makes me want to yawn.

*yawn*

Just make some fucking noise.
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[22:25] Dovey: i don't get sigquoted much
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MadassAlex

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #24 on: 23 Jul 2009, 20:52 »

If you like, but there's no reason to condemn what is essentially a method of description so musicians can more easily describe their ideas and actions to one-another.

It's like saying that the colour wheel takes the expression out of art.
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Be My Head

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #25 on: 23 Jul 2009, 20:58 »

Fretless instruments are fucking cool man. Asian music rocks, hard.

Especially Gamelan music, those Indonesians know how to have a good time.
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Spluff

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #26 on: 23 Jul 2009, 23:42 »

Music theory isn't rules, it pretty much just says 'hey if you put these two things together it could sound cool/abrasive/metal as fuck'. It's not necessary by any stretch, as it'll probably just teach you things you are going to figure out anyway but slightly quicker.
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Sox

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #27 on: 24 Jul 2009, 04:39 »

Music theory is an essentially arbitrary set of rules that conditions us towards hearing sound in a certain way (it is just as easy to arrange sounds in any number of ways). It is a pointless contrivance unless you want to make some boring fucking rock music or something.
Also it makes people who jack off about music theory really upset, which is wonderful because it is an unbelievably joyless way to treat music.
Knowing music theory would almost certainly make this guys music more boring.

Everything in this post was written in ignorance. Music theory is a clumsy language. It is nothing more than a way of communicating music. It does not condition you to hearing sound in a certain way anymore than learning the names of different shades of colours conditions you to see photographs any differently.
You seem to be under the impression that music theory has everything to do with maths, but after learning about it for the past 6 months, I haven't had to use any application of maths whatsoever. Perhaps you're confusing music theory (which is about what the names for the sounds are, and virtually nothing more) with acoustic theory (which has everything to do with maths).

Honestly, I doubt that learning the names of notes has ever transformed an interesting, creative and talented music lover into a joyless, uninspired boring asshole, however much you seem to be genuinely convinced it will. If you could find me sufficient evidence that it does, then I'll gladly admit that you're right.
Maybe you should try to learn some music theory and see if you turn boring.
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BeoPuppy

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #28 on: 24 Jul 2009, 04:43 »

Maybe you'll grow boring a piece at a time so you can stop, the minute you discover the first boring toes on your feet!
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #29 on: 24 Jul 2009, 05:06 »

I have tried learning music theory. Did music at school for years, put me off even trying to play an instrument for ages. Impossible to enjoy playing an instrument whilst reading music. The shit is definitely maths.

Music theory is pretentious.

God I love annoying you guys sometimes.
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2009, 05:09 by KharBevNor »
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David_Dovey

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #30 on: 24 Jul 2009, 05:09 »

You know you think that eventually they'd finally sit up and say "Oh, that's just Khar, he hates everything, ignore him" but nope, they just keep on coming back for more.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #31 on: 24 Jul 2009, 06:59 »

Everything in this post was written in ignorance. Music theory is a clumsy language. It is nothing more than a way of communicating music. It does not condition you to hearing sound in a certain way anymore than learning the names of different shades of colours conditions you to see photographs any differently.

Hi there! I'm the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis!

There's an interesting thing underlying this whole thing. I mean, if you want to make music that consciously plays with the rules then music theory is an essential component of what you will do. It is difficult to deconstruct music without first knowing how it is constructed. Postmodernism is a word that I think I am going to throw in here for no real reason.
On the other hand, you don't need music theory to make music. Hell the whole "Here are three chords, now start a band" concept has produced some ridiculously awesome music. While personally I would probably like to have some music theory under my belt before starting out to make anything significantly complicated, I'd say the bits I remember from doing music for ages would be enough to get me through.
With regards to the purpose of the thread, there is certainly something in there. I am intrigued. I like the sort of "odd noises and bits and pieces" approach to music - albeit generally I prefer it when they are mixed in with some thumping beats, flashy lights, and a roomful of Class-A ingesting loons, but that is personal preference. If you want to, learn some music theory. If not, keep on banging out stuff and you will probably 'learn' things as you go along.
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2009, 07:10 by supersheep »
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Alex C

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #32 on: 24 Jul 2009, 07:02 »

I consider my time spent in dabbling in music theory to have been a complete waste of time. It's useful in the sense that it's a common grammar with which to communicate, but essentially that means I never, ever use it because I've found that I could not possibly care less about learning from others when it comes to fucking around with music.
« Last Edit: 24 Jul 2009, 07:05 by Alex C »
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #33 on: 24 Jul 2009, 07:33 »

The thing about theory is that it's just a language, not a tool. So whether you speak the language or not, other people who do can and will be able to see your music in terms of music theory, regardless of whether or not you paid any attention to it your self. The odds of any music at all existing without people being able to see it in terms of music theory are nil because it is just a big collection of words and phrases that account for just about anything.
It's not a strict collection of rules at all, it's just a more complicated way of saying "this one has a 'chuggah chuggah' bit with a 'deeeeeedle dwoooooooop' over the top."

Music theory is just adjectives.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #34 on: 24 Jul 2009, 08:51 »

"Here are three chords"

Congratulations, you just learnt some (albeit very little) music theory!
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KharBevNor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #35 on: 24 Jul 2009, 09:12 »

Silliness aside I genuinely believe that music theory restricts the creation of interesting music, but then again my definition of interesting music is probably a little different to most people here.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #36 on: 24 Jul 2009, 09:59 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxZiMvXtOtc

new song. I think its my best one yet..
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #37 on: 24 Jul 2009, 10:38 »

If you have to ask if your music is pretentious, it is pretentious.
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Mr. Doctor

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #38 on: 24 Jul 2009, 12:47 »

I never understood the true meaning of the word pretentious... I mean, I know the word per se but not when it's okor not ok to use it.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #39 on: 24 Jul 2009, 13:09 »

Congratulations, you just learnt some (albeit very little) music theory!
Wait, we're defining learning notes and chords as music theory? I think that's stretching the definition a little, to be honest. It's not like it explained what chords were or why these three chords go together.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #40 on: 24 Jul 2009, 13:12 »

I never understood the true meaning of the word pretentious... I mean, I know the word per se but not when it's okor not ok to use it.

A pretense is essentially a false reason presented for doing something, so the act of being pretentious is to do things for reasons different to those you use to justify said actions.

Also perjorated to mean 'full of ones self' and 'stuck up' etc

Quote
I mean, I know the word per se but not when it's okor not ok to use it.


use words whenever you feel like it dogg
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ALoveSupreme

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #41 on: 24 Jul 2009, 14:17 »

If you have to ask if your music is pretentious, it is pretentious.
I started writing something exactly like this yesterday but it became too wordy.  You are a succinct master!
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Sox

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #42 on: 24 Jul 2009, 14:40 »

Wait, we're defining learning notes and chords as music theory? I think that's stretching the definition a little, to be honest. It's not like it explained what chords were or why these three chords go together.

This is exactly what the argument is about, I think. These things are music theory, whether you learn them as such or not. A lot of people who don't learn music theory could end up playing a solo in the pentatonic major scale and not know it. They don't know it, but it is still a solo in pentatonic major. You won't learn anything by dicking around on your own that hasn't already been learned before by somebody else and then written about in music theory. Whatever it is you do, there is something about it in music theory, guaranteed.

I never understood the true meaning of the word pretentious... I mean, I know the word per se but not when it's okor not ok to use it.

I think it's a really heavy word to throw around. Be very careful with it.
As far as I'm concerned, it is never okay to call somebody pretentious. No matter how badly I think of something and how much the word may actually be applicable. I've called music and people pretentious in the past only to find I'm wrong and regret it. I've been accused of pretention often in the past and it is genuinely upsetting to me when my motivation and creative output is called into question like that.
I wouldn't want to be called it, and I wouldn't  call it anybody else. Your mouth is a loaded gun, be careful when you shoot it.
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Johnny C

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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #43 on: 24 Jul 2009, 18:10 »

These things are music theory, whether you learn them as such or not.

Nailed it.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #44 on: 26 Jul 2009, 06:14 »

Silliness aside I genuinely believe that music theory restricts the creation of interesting music,

It's already been said, but music theory is not rules, it is understanding.  Understanding what you are trying to do is good, yes?  Oh, silly me...

From another post of yours, I guess you had a bad teacher.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #45 on: 26 Jul 2009, 06:27 »

Silliness aside I genuinely believe that music theory restricts the creation of interesting music, but then again my definition of interesting music is probably a little different to most people here.

Tell that to Tony Iommi.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #46 on: 26 Jul 2009, 08:19 »

From another post of yours, I guess you had a bad teacher.

I dunno, I've taught myself lots of things.

How to make music, for example.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #47 on: 26 Jul 2009, 09:30 »

Perhaps you could say you've formulated your own... theories about how music works?
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #48 on: 26 Jul 2009, 13:17 »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZORiQHbcoM4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfMmA24L-cs

both are pretty deranged. For example the second song is a concept song; I wanted to make a song about how music must have sounded like back in the womb. Pretty nuts, I know. The first song is more trip hop than rock.
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Re: Is My Music Pretentious?
« Reply #49 on: 26 Jul 2009, 13:44 »

While the thread has derailed (into a pretty interesting topic at least), if you want feedback on these new posts, it would help to respond to the folks who did have comments to offer on the first one rather than just spamming the board with more links.
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