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  1. #21

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    Sarah McLachlan is another musician who can definitely compose/ read music. Theory is actually pretty easy once you learn the mathematics of it. Beethoven was able to continue to compose because of this.

    My sister went to school for music and she explained how Beethoven was able to continue after he went deaf and she said it is actually quite easy once you have the mathematical understanding of music composition. I just smiled and nodded. I can read music but do much better from hearing a song then playing it on the piano. From there, I can write it. I can't listen and compose to sheet.
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    Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I feel like most musicians can read music, even the popular acts.

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    I read once Mariah Carey couldn't read notes.

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    I think Jennifer Lopez has enough dance experience to be able to count music, but I doubt she can read it.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cailuj365 View Post
    Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I feel like most musicians can read music, even the popular acts.
    In pop, rock, and blues, that wouldn't be true at all. Some can read chord signatures, but not full sheet music. Others can't read music at all. This doesn't necessarily make them bad musicians in any way, shape or form.

    For example, in rock guitar, it's a bit unusual, to be honest, for a rock or pop guitarist to be taught to read music. They are taught to read chord signatures, or what my sister, a guitarist, calls "tab", but not sheet music.

    From my personal experience, almost none of the rock musicians I know can read music. Many of them can read chords, but not full sheet music. Those few that can read music learned to do so earlier, if they studied a classical instrument.

    In a lot of modern forms of western music - rock, pop, jazz, blues, etc. - being able to read music isn't necessary. What's needed is to know chords, chord progressions, to play by ear, and to improvise. This is why you may recall hearing a group of musicians that haven't worked together on a song before - one person will call out a rough tempo and the key, and then they're off and playing.
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  6. #26
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    Okay, maybe not guitarists or other instrumentalists, but singers? Like actual singers, not Britney or J.Lo (who I heard is tone deaf). How would they learn the songs they would record? Just by listening to a demo and re-singing it?

    I don't think being able to read music is that important either when it comes to overall singing/songwriting ability. I studied violin for years and became quite good, but I'm shit at music theory and wouldn't be able to compose anything. I think it's a rather separate talent.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DickButtonFan View Post
    I read once Mariah Carey couldn't read notes.
    I seriously doubt that--her mother was an opera singer. Besides the awesome range she had when younger, there's quite a bit of technique in her singing voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by KikiSashaFan View Post
    I think Jennifer Lopez has enough dance experience to be able to count music, but I doubt she can read it.
    Same as Mariah Carey--not the voice quality, but the technique. I know it's odd to say technique in terms of music, but Jennifer Lopez actually has great musical technique, if not a great voice. Britney Spears is the same way. I would be totally shocked if neither of them could read music.

    Tori Amos not being able to read music is not shocking at all. She mumbles her words sometimes, her rhythm is interesting (in the best and worst ways) and her phrasing is not always great. It's not fullproof, but a good way to tell how much formal training a singer has had is by listening to the way they sing "sky" and how easy it is for you to understand what they're singing. It wouldn't shock me if Xtina Aguilera didn't read music for the same reason--not her vocal tone/quality, but her technique/phrasing is DREADFUL. Emotional quality, tone is top notch, but technically... If she can read music, I'll bet it's a recent acquisition.
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    ^ Mariah said she doesn't read music when she was on Larry King. http://edition.cnn.tv/TRANSCRIPTS/0212/19/lkl.00.html

    CAREY: I don't read music. And my mom is this classically trained person, and I went the other way. And I think it's helped me write songs that I wouldn't have written if I were going at the technical way. Because they go, "Oh, you can't go from this chord to that chord. It's not the way you're supposed to do it."

    KING: Irving Berlin couldn't read music.

    I guess she doesn't say she can't read music, she said she doesn't write songs that way. In the interview she said she started Vision of Love on the piano.
    Last edited by DickButtonFan; 05-25-2011 at 03:49 AM.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by cailuj365 View Post
    Okay, maybe not guitarists or other instrumentalists, but singers? Like actual singers, not Britney or J.Lo (who I heard is tone deaf). How would they learn the songs they would record? Just by listening to a demo and re-singing it?
    Yes. They'd listen to a demo and sing it in their own style.
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  10. #30

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    I wonder how many artists can actually read anything, be it music, their name, a cereal box?
    I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.


  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzisk8tr View Post
    I wonder how many artists can actually read anything, be it music, their name, a cereal box?
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    I'm no fan of Celine Dion, but I have to give the woman her props in the musical skill department. I was watching some program about her years ago, and they said that she was given the sheet music for the Titantic theme song, and then recorded it in just ONE take. Now, we can debate the merits of the song itself back and forth, but I think it's incredible that she basically looked at the sheet music once and was able to interpret it that quickly.

    I remember when she had to do it at the Oscars too, with sheet music on stage as a very last-minute stand in (for Streisand I think?). Dion was given the sheet music backstage and was able to go out on stage with it and sing it perfectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cailuj365 View Post
    Okay, maybe not guitarists or other instrumentalists, but singers? Like actual singers, not Britney or J.Lo (who I heard is tone deaf). How would they learn the songs they would record? Just by listening to a demo and re-singing it?
    I *could* read music, but I needed to hear the music to make sense of what those notes were. By this, I mean I could recognize it was a C sharp or B flat or whatever, knew where the hand placement would be on the flute. But I needed to hear it more than read it. It was better for me to listen than read. So for my senior year in high school, I gave up reading and focused on sound.

    So I am not sure that all people need to be able to read the music

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cailuj365 View Post
    Okay, maybe not guitarists or other instrumentalists, but singers? Like actual singers, not Britney or J.Lo (who I heard is tone deaf). How would they learn the songs they would record? Just by listening to a demo and re-singing it?
    It sounds like it would be less bother than finding a piano to play the notes, actually. I can't sight-sing and I've been studying piano for years. I have to find a keyboard first and play the notes before I'd be able to sing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I'm no fan of Celine Dion, but I have to give the woman her props in the musical skill department. I was watching some program about her years ago, and they said that she was given the sheet music for the Titantic theme song, and then recorded it in just ONE take. Now, we can debate the merits of the song itself back and forth, but I think it's incredible that she basically looked at the sheet music once and was able to interpret it that quickly.

    I remember when she had to do it at the Oscars too, with sheet music on stage as a very last-minute stand in (for Streisand I think?). Dion was given the sheet music backstage and was able to go out on stage with it and sing it perfectly.
    That's awesome. Not only to be reading the notes on sight, but to know how to approach it technically. That's what vocal practice usually entails - finding the trouble spots in a piece and figure out how to conquer them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    Theory is actually pretty easy once you learn the mathematics of it.
    I wish

    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I'm no fan of Celine Dion, but I have to give the woman her props in the musical skill department. I was watching some program about her years ago, and they said that she was given the sheet music for the Titantic theme song, and then recorded it in just ONE take. Now, we can debate the merits of the song itself back and forth, but I think it's incredible that she basically looked at the sheet music once and was able to interpret it that quickly.
    You don't need to read music to be able to SHRIEEEeeeEEEEEkkKKKKKK
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