Piano Island Festival - 9th to 15th Jan 2018. Has anyone ever heard of this event co-sponsored by the Portuguese Embassy and Steinway? Is attending such Masterclasses/Lectures worth it?
I have several pianist friends (who were graduates from overseas' prestigious music conservatories) who agree with me that music theory stemming from the 5-lined staff system is indeed superfluous... See More
I have several pianist friends (who were graduates from overseas' prestigious music conservatories) who agree with me that music theory stemming from the 5-lined staff system is indeed superfluous and complicating, and there is a political reason for them to stay put that way (instead of being overhauled and simplified to meet the ease of learning by the masses). The reason is to preserve their elitism and exclusivity, period.
I would tend towards disagreeing. The ability to learn and read music is no more elitist than say the ability to learn and read English. I feel that the language of music is likewise imposed upon... See More
I would tend towards disagreeing. The ability to learn and read music is no more elitist than say the ability to learn and read English. I feel that the language of music is likewise imposed upon by something akin to grammar - as in rules that you must follow on how to place notes and rests properly on the staves. It is an efficient system for communicating ideas on a musical level.
You could compare a lively piano concerto to be equivalent to a suspense novel from Tom Clancy, but that is something that you don't boast to friends who don't know anything about music. To do so is to invite people to start labeling you - they may make a snide comment saying you are a "show off". But they are right, because you are actually letting boasting about your skill in knowing another "language" - the language of music. For some reason, this boastfulness may be misconstrued as a form of elitism.
Surely we do not want to regress back to the era of bards and skalds where we repeat everything to our students. But, it is ultimately your prerogative If you want others to learn by playing by ear. They can always embellish or rearrange however they wish, of course, enriching a musical piece this way - but you would have lost the original version. This is probably how songs like Greensleeves and Sakura (and a million other traditional songs) were passed down through the ages.
But in today's context, it would be silly to not use a proper music notation system to preserve and communicate your work to the next generation. Just power up Finale (or Musescore) and enter in your music, as simple as ABC.
If a person should feel that the 5-lined staff system is too complicated or elitist, there are always other music systems around - like the interesting Klavarskribo or the Lead Sheet used by jazz musicians to abbreviate the gist of a song. The most common of these alternative music notation systems would likely be the numbered musical notation system. There are reams of these scores being passed down to preserve the rich musical heritage in China, and you could always promote that as a good alternative to the 5-lined stave system. I guess looking at a page full of numbers, dots, and underlines, would deem to be less elitist.
Spot on, Gavin! It is exactly the choice of notation system I'm talking about (when the use of notation is necessary like you've rightfully pointed out). I'm advocating the use of cipher (numeral... See More
Spot on, Gavin! It is exactly the choice of notation system I'm talking about (when the use of notation is necessary like you've rightfully pointed out). I'm advocating the use of cipher (numeral) notations adopted by millions of Chinese because this is a much simpler way to understand music, read music, play music, etc., and also, like what you'd highlighted, DOCUMENT music throughout the ages. I'd in fact conducted a full Western orchestral piece using the Cipher notation system, dismissing the myth that it is too simple (i.e. not sophisticated enough) to match the needs of the Western music tradition. This IS the revolution I've been talking about!
Many who were initially unconvinced by me were encouraged to watch the movie The Time Machine (2002 film). After watching it, many became convinced!
Also explaining why SOTA admits pupils who can sight-read on any other forms (need not be the 5-lined notation system).
So, anyone going?