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#1432780 - 05/09/10 04:32 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
For ear training, I would prefer my good students to get involved in choirs, orchestra and so on.


Gosh oh gosh are you right. This ... and solfège !

Horn? Right-o ! ... plus solfège!

I really cannot fathom that learning to play an instrument ... especially the piano ... becomes an exercise in solitude.

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#1432785 - 05/09/10 04:41 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Minniemay]
landorrano Offline
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Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Concepts must be established first in the ear, then the body, and then the eye. It is a very logical, solid progression.


I cannot imagine what you mean to say. To me it appears not at all logical.

That concepts must be established first in the ear and then in the body, to me makes no sense at all.

It is producing, for example, "Do Ré mi ...", with the voice above all, that one appropriates the concept.

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#1432827 - 05/09/10 07:15 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
Elissa Milne Offline
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I agree that sometimes the body owns the music prior to the ear - the experience is more visceral than aural. When we hear we don't simply hear with our ears..... This is how an amazing musician like Evelyn Glennie is possible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU3V6zNER4g
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#1432841 - 05/09/10 08:01 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
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I love that she's 12 years old and teaching her percussion teacher that there is more to listening than using your ears.....
_________________________
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www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1432849 - 05/09/10 09:02 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
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The idea of hearing through our bodies seems so straightforward since sound is vibration, yet who thinks of it? I love the fact that this same teacher took away the sticks and had her explore the instrument. And then, what she does with the music, from within. And, and.... it is so rich, this document! smile

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#1432857 - 05/09/10 09:30 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
lilylady Offline
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I believe in teaching by reading music. But that involves more than reading notes. INTERVALS and DIRECTION, PHRASES instead of single notes etc.

But once in a while it is fun to teach by ear. I do that for some Xmas music for a break from reading.

Playing by ear is not the same as Rote.

One intelligently has to think of the next pitch tone when playing by ear. Up, down, how far? (more experienced can think of scale degree) And chord patterns.

There is one thing that I do teach to older students and adults by Rote early on in their lessons.

IN THE MOOD

They can usually learn that as soon as they have learned the 3 basic chords C F G.

It gets them 'playing' the piano immediately, concentrates on rhythm and coordination instead of reading. They also learn what chromatic means.

RH starts on E
LH plays the root note of each chord

C, C, F, C, G, F, chromatic ending C (and I write that out - think blues)

Try it - they usually love it!

To read it would take many more lessons!
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#1432873 - 05/09/10 10:26 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
Minniemay Offline
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Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Concepts must be established first in the ear, then the body, and then the eye. It is a very logical, solid progression.


I cannot imagine what you mean to say. To me it appears not at all logical.

That concepts must be established first in the ear and then in the body, to me makes no sense at all.

It is producing, for example, "Do Ré mi ...", with the voice above all, that one appropriates the concept.



But one cannot reproduce what one has not adequately heard.
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#1432974 - 05/09/10 01:27 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Yeah but don't you think reading and ear training should go hand in hand?

Yes, I do, but I don't have any magic bullet to make it happen. The development of the "ability to hear" remains a mystery to me. I had absolutely no training. I simply played, but I heard whole symphonies in my head before I took my first lesson. In fact, lessons were started for me late (age 8) because we had no piano. It was my attempt to sing things, to demonstrate what I had in my brain already, and my accurate pitch that finally got me lessons. Playing brass, starting at about age 11, gave me an incredible framework for what I apparently always had. For ear training, I would prefer my good students to get involved in choirs, orchestra and so on.

But please understand that I am telling you my personal experience. I'm very good at teaching people to read, and I taught brass very successfully for many years. I know that brass players absolutely *have* to develop an incredibly accurate pitch sense, because our lips do most of the work. Our fingers do almost nothing. If you can't hear a pitch you are about to play, in your head, you will miss it. This, by the way, is why you will hear more "clams" from French horn than any other instrument in the best of orchestras.

On the other hand, it should be possible for some people to be very accurate at the piano, even play musically, but not develop the ear very well *only* playing the piano.

My problem is time. I have so little. I go for reading first, and try to work as much of everything else as possible into the works, given the opportunity.


I had a lot of solfege training as a kid, and I think that really helps - you're right about the choir thing, it does wonders. But also for beginning students, I strongly think they should be encouraged to sing and HEAR what they play instead of clunking it on the piano first. I really think they should play by ear first and then read. For at least a month or so - they make a much better relation of sounds and the printed page than if you show them straight away where middle C is, and what all the notes are called. Also teach them about phrasing by singing. Rhythm by movement and clapping and all that.

Group lessons for beginner kids are a great, great idea... (combined with private though. Not JUST group)
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#1433004 - 05/09/10 02:13 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich

I had a lot of solfege training as a kid, and I think that really helps - you're right about the choir thing, it does wonders. But also for beginning students, I strongly think they should be encouraged to sing and HEAR what they play instead of clunking it on the piano first.

For ALL beginning students?

I don't recall beginning the piano "clunking" on it. I was fascinated from day one with the piano, and I read everything compulsively. For me the Great Adventure was looking at all the music that was around me (I inherited a lot of music from other family members), and if I found anything in any book that matched something I had heard on a recording or on the radio, I could not wait to try it. The one great flaw in what I did was that I had no one to monitor my self-exploration to head off physical problems, largely centered around faulty fingering, but not limited to that.

What I played was not by any means limited to what I had heard. I learned to make what was on the page happen, and by playing and playing and exploring, I developed the ability to hear what was on the page just by looking at it.

Memorization had NOTHING to do with the development of my ear. Rote playing had NOTHING to do with it. And, for the record, I loathe solfege. It gets in my way. In college, I skipped two years of sight-singing requirements by simply humming anything on the final test.

What really irritates me is the assumption that One Size Fits All. No doubt some people are greatly helped by solfege, but I refuse to think that I am unique in a way that precludes there being as many people who learn as I did as the way you did.

This most likely, in my opinion, means that some of your students connect with your way of teaching better than they would with mine, but I think the converse is also true.
Quote:

I really think they should play by ear first and then read.

And I don't. Plus teaching that way would drive me absolutely insane.
Quote:

For at least a month or so - they make a much better relation of sounds and the printed page than if you show them straight away where middle C is, and what all the notes are called. Also teach them about phrasing by singing. Rhythm by movement and clapping and all that.

Again, this is not my experience at all. Furthermore, I use a keyboard chart. The idea of making people learn the names of notes and memorize locations, before they begin exploring, seems counter-intuitive. I don't sing. I CAN, but it embarrasses me. My pitch is 100% accurate, but I don't like my voice. Some of my young students sing as they play, others would rather be shot than have to sing.
Quote:

Group lessons for beginner kids are a great, great idea... (combined with private though. Not JUST group)

Groups are nice, for many reasons, but now you are talking about kids who have the luxury of taking both. When I talk to people on this forum, I since a total disonnect stemming from the fact that the families I work with seem to have much less money than the students of other teachers here. In general, the parents of my better students are extremely polite, appreciative and considerate, but they are at best in the lower part of the economic spectrum and make sacrifices just for weekly 1/2 hour lessons.
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#1433048 - 05/09/10 03:46 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And, for the record, I loathe solfege. It gets in my way.


That is clear from things that you have written in other threads.

But, I am wondering ... what do you mean by solfège? What gets in your way?

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Some of my young students sing as they play, others would rather be shot than have to sing.


A kid who would rather be shot than sing? He's just dying to sing, but is afraid to start.

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#1433057 - 05/09/10 03:52 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Minniemay]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Minniemay

But one cannot reproduce what one has not adequately heard.


I'm curious as to the practical implications of your point of view. In what way do you establish concepts in the ear?

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#1433058 - 05/09/10 03:52 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Loc: in the past
I guess your way would work too but I was only talking about kids who perhaps don't come from musical families. At my uni there's a free program for kids, which includes weekly 45 minute group lessons and a half our private lesson. It's part of the pedagogy grad program. These kids are mostly from non musical families but they progressed so well. Simply by doing music games at first and singing famous songs by solfege. They're introduced to solfege way before they know the abc names. Also they're introduced to rhythms before seeing how they look like on a page. And compared to my other students, who I started off with reading straight away, those kids learn things so much faster and appear to actually live through the music. Maybe you're lucky by having students who are musical so that reading is meaningful to them right away but I don't think that's the case with everybody.

I'm only basing my views on what I've seen and experienced. It's a big thing in Europe and I think it can work.. Certainly only if you're up for it though.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#1433090 - 05/09/10 04:51 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Pogorelich.]
keystring Online   content
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One thing I am curious about in regards to Solfege. The people who encountered it later on, seem to "translate" it into the concept they already know. Even when they talk about it, it seems foreign. Is it possible that when it is learned might make a difference? It is actually two different aspects of music and in the way I experienced it, the difference went beyond intervals vs. pitch. But would it work for music other than traditional Western music that is based on major and minor scales? What about kids growing up with Middle Eastern, Indian, or Oriental music.

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#1433156 - 05/09/10 06:29 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And, for the record, I loathe solfege. It gets in my way.

Originally Posted By: landorrano

That is clear from things that you have written in other threads.

But, I am wondering ... what do you mean by solfège? What gets in your way?

Fixed do is like singing weird syllables when I already have the pitches and names in my mind perfectly. I have to think of a name for sounds that are already in my head.

Moveable do, again, makes me ADD words or syllables to what I can already hear perfectly. They add nothing for me. They get in my way.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Some of my young students sing as they play, others would rather be shot than have to sing.

Originally Posted By: landorrano

A kid who would rather be shot than sing? He's just dying to sing, but is afraid to start.

I can imagine saying: "I want you to sing the melody. I know you told me you don't want to, but I know that you are secretly dying to sing."

In my world, that would not work for many kids. smile


Edited by Gary D. (05/09/10 06:31 PM)
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#1433158 - 05/09/10 06:34 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
CebuKid Offline
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Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1174
I find this thread very interesting because I've always wondered whether it was detrimental to learn by rote. My daughter learned some pretty advanced material - late level 2 type stuff within months - by both rote and using the score. She is only 7 and still catching up on the sight-reading. I'm proud to say she can easily sight read level 1 material now, so her sight reading isn't too far behind her playing ability.

Lately, her teacher has more and more emphasized using the score and even during practice, she uses the score more so than she did as a beginner. (she has played for exactly 1 year).

Anyway, what do all you teachers think? Is it a good combination to use both rote methods, but still emphasize using the score and sight-reading?

This is the way I remember learning as a youngster. It served me well in my comeback to piano after a 27 year layoff. smile
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#1433159 - 05/09/10 06:34 PM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4750
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring
One thing I am curious about in regards to Solfege. The people who encountered it later on, seem to "translate" it into the concept they already know. Even when they talk about it, it seems foreign. Is it possible that when it is learned might make a difference? It is actually two different aspects of music and in the way I experienced it, the difference went beyond intervals vs. pitch. But would it work for music other than traditional Western music that is based on major and minor scales? What about kids growing up with Middle Eastern, Indian, or Oriental music.

I have the same questions. smile
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#1433281 - 05/10/10 12:04 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: lilylady]
bolt Offline
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Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 186
In this thread and on this forum I often see "playing by rote" to mean "playing by ear" but they are really not the same thing at all.

Playing by rote means playing without understanding, like a trained monkey.

It's quite possible to play by ear and have good understanding.

It's also very possible to play from reading music without understanding.

I believe the best approach is to develop both ear playing and reading skills in parallel to equal ability. This will make the best all round musician.
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#1433301 - 05/10/10 01:06 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: bolt]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: bolt

I believe the best approach is to develop both ear playing and reading skills in parallel to equal ability. This will make the best all round musician.

In a perfect world, every fine musician would become an excellent reader, learn to play solely by ear, for all the times we want to learn things that are not notated, compose and improvise.

In the real world, I suspect that all musicians are strongest in at least one of these areas, although there are some very talented people who seem to excel in all of them.

Reading, by itself, is nothing more the developing the ability to play what is on a page, as quickly and effortlessly as possible. I don't think any of us want students to *only* attain that. Debate is not so much what we hope people will achieve but how they can best achieve it.
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#1433309 - 05/10/10 01:28 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: bolt]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: bolt
In this thread and on this forum I often see "playing by rote" to mean "playing by ear" but they are really not the same thing at all.

Playing by rote means playing without understanding, like a trained monkey.
Playing by rote might mean playing without understanding, but it is commonly used to mean playing by *copying* what someone else does - which is different by far to playing by ear, and does not necessarily imply brainlessness either....

Because western music is so notably score-based, and our educational focus has been about learning from the page (not just with piano) we tend to use the term 'learning by rote' to cover pretty much anything that doesn't originate in reading.

And of course, this is a woeful misuse of the term.

Teaching by demonstrating the physical actions required to perform a piece results in students with a better understanding of temporal structure than teaching from the page. Many technical issues never become problems when students are taught this way, because the student is focussed on copying the actions of the teacher, and the 'technique' is mastered first and foremost, rather than in arrears when something doesn't work. Teachers also focus more on piano playing as a physical skill when taking this approach, rather than piano playing as evidence of musical literacy......
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#1433342 - 05/10/10 03:17 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
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Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

I can imagine saying: "I want you to sing the melody. I know you told me you don't want to, but I know that you are secretly dying to sing."

In my world, that would not work for many kids. smile


What do you mean? They'd pull a knife on you and let you have it?

Seriously, if you did say that, just like that, just one time, with an expression of liking for the kid and a twinkle in your eye, just one time, the kid might not sing but he will be touched and his desire to sing will become stronger.

Anyway, I'm not trying to tell you that you should sing and do solfège, I think you understand that. I agree with what you say about reading, the trumpet, the orchestra.

It's just that, in the same spirit, I add solfège to the list.



Edited by landorrano (05/10/10 03:38 AM)

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#1433352 - 05/10/10 04:04 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: landorrano]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
It depends which age of student we are talking about, landorrano. Young students (6 years and under) would be fine with that approach, but kids aged say 10 and over - forget it!! Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, but seriously, in cultures where public singing just isn't done it's pretty hard to get a child to take singing seriously.....unless they already feel confident as singers...
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1433364 - 05/10/10 04:39 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
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Quote:
Playing by rote might mean playing without understanding

This leads me to an interesting question. Supposing someone learns the following in the beginning: Place hand in C position. When you see C on the page, press the note under your RH thumb. When you see two notes up, press the key that is two fingers over to the right. etc. Might that be considered "rote"?

Elissa - since your music often is not along traditional diatonic major and minor keys, I have a question about solfege. My thought is that it only would work in such music, and maybe also church modes. I can't see it fitting with anything else. Would that be right?

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#1433389 - 05/10/10 06:19 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Hmm, interesting question... I am not an *expert* in solfege, so I hesitate to make a comprehensive answer, but I suspect solfege might struggle with a scale such as C Dflat E Fsharp G A Bflat C??? Landorrano? Am I mistaking the possibilities of solfege?

And on your first point, keystring, that's hilarious!!! Because you couldn't be more correct about the 'rote' playing that that represents!!! But it's hilarious because what you have written is both true and heretical (imo).....!!!! I will muse on this all night long!!!
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#1433400 - 05/10/10 06:56 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Teach kids to play by ear first and read music later. The classical system is all messed up. Music is AURAL! You use your ears before anything.

Read this: http://www.treelight.com/music/playByEar.html

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#1433404 - 05/10/10 07:07 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Wizard of Oz Offline
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Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: keystring
One thing I am curious about in regards to Solfege. The people who encountered it later on, seem to "translate" it into the concept they already know. Even when they talk about it, it seems foreign. Is it possible that when it is learned might make a difference? It is actually two different aspects of music and in the way I experienced it, the difference went beyond intervals vs. pitch. But would it work for music other than traditional Western music that is based on major and minor scales? What about kids growing up with Middle Eastern, Indian, or Oriental music.

I have the same questions. smile


Solfege is just putting a word into a pitch. You still have 12 pitches or notes in all music.

I'm Asian and have been exposed to non-western music that uses scales beyond the major and minor.

With training the ear, you learn recognition of pitches in relation to a root note.

So say the root is C, you know how all the other 11 pitches sound in comparison. You hear a Db and you know it's a b2, or b3, or the #4 or the 7th...etc...even the same note can have a different context, like the #4 and b5, is F# or Gb but depending on the scale have different functions.

Listen to this guitar player, he's jazz based but mixes in plenty of Asian influenced sounds. It's still the same 12 notes that we all use.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-aDiQ7PTn8

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#1433405 - 05/10/10 07:09 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keystring Online   content
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Loc: Canada
I lived Solfege, and only that, for 40 years since childhood. For me it is tied to major and minor keys, and degree functions. "sol" is the dominant and has the feeling of the dominant even when there are no chords to give the hint. "Ti" is a note that is sung closer than a semitone to the tonic, and feels like the leading note. A Dom7 sounds like "so ti re fa" though theoretically it could be "do mi so (flat ti)" but it never would be, because function is embedded in the names. When I sing a melody, and that melody modulates, then the notes "rename" themselves as I sense their function. Thus, if a piece in C major modulates to G major, I will start naming G "do" even though I was calling it "sol". It is very handy in staying oriented in that kind of music. But those same characteristics would make it rather unhandy for anything that avoids tonality (tonicity?) or say a whole tone scale. Or how about the scale that goes along in minor thirds where any note could be the tonic?

If I can digress to written music and theory - still the topic of non-traditional scales and keys - something I've been thinking about for a while. When I did rudiments, we started with major and minor scales. Later we learned to write whole tone, octatonic (diminished), blues, and at the end - two ways of writing modes. I'm thinking that if music has changed I still would want to learn in that order. Why? Because the notation system was set up for the major/minor diatonic scales, and everything else requires an adjustment of that system (notation). If we're adjusting a system, shouldn't we learn the system we're adjusting first? So maybe this is ok, even if music has changed.

Quote:
But it's hilarious because what you have written is both true and heretical (imo).....!!!! I will muse on this all night long!!!

It strikes me more and more that music is an enigma. Somewhere some time I imagine some student asking "Which is it?" (about something) and the teacher saying "Both and neither."

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#1433407 - 05/10/10 07:12 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Gary D.]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And, for the record, I loathe solfege. It gets in my way.

Originally Posted By: landorrano

That is clear from things that you have written in other threads.

But, I am wondering ... what do you mean by solfège? What gets in your way?

Fixed do is like singing weird syllables when I already have the pitches and names in my mind perfectly. I have to think of a name for sounds that are already in my head.

Moveable do, again, makes me ADD words or syllables to what I can already hear perfectly. They add nothing for me. They get in my way.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Some of my young students sing as they play, others would rather be shot than have to sing.

Originally Posted By: landorrano

A kid who would rather be shot than sing? He's just dying to sing, but is afraid to start.

I can imagine saying: "I want you to sing the melody. I know you told me you don't want to, but I know that you are secretly dying to sing."

In my world, that would not work for many kids. smile


Gary, sounds like you have perfect pitch, if you already know exactly what note it is as soon as you hear it. In that case solfege could be a hindrance and you can just go by the sound.

If you can hear a single note and know immediately that it's a G or Bb etc...then you probably were born with it.

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#1433411 - 05/10/10 07:18 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Like I said, Solfege is just putting words for each pitch. You can just as easily sing the note sound instead. That's what I do. I can still figure what the tonic is.

If you listen to alot of jazz which can be modal and not adhere to one key, you can still sing and hear the changes to the melody.

Try the song Giant Steps by John Coltrane. Shifts tonal centres every few bars. Or Maiden Vogage, Dolphin Dance by Herbie Hancock. Or anything by Wayne Shorter.

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#1433416 - 05/10/10 07:24 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11581
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Like I said, Solfege is just putting words for each pitch.

Fixed do solfege does that, but movable do doesn't. It ties in with functions in the way I learned it.
Quote:
Listen to this guitar player ...

The background given by the seated strings player (instrument is called?) seems to be along a penatonic scale and they seem to slip smaller tones in between. A few times it seems to go into quarter tontes. The pentatonic scale seems to always be the same one. Would that be right?

Quote:
If you listen to alot of jazz which can be modal and not adhere to one key, you can still sing and hear the changes to the melody.

Where it is modal, then it ties in with the old church modes, which can be thought of as a major (diatonic) scale but starting on a different starting note afaik. That would work, because we're back in that system.


Edited by keystring (05/10/10 07:27 AM)

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#1433418 - 05/10/10 07:30 AM Re: How much rote-teaching do you do? [Re: keystring]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
keystring, I was referring to movable do. I should clarify that it teaches the relationship between pitch, and not the sound for a pitch.

So, the "do" could be any note, and that it always refers to the tonic.

This is relative pitch.

For string instruments like guitar and that oriental stringed one, you can "bend" notes so it seems blurred. Unlike a piano where you can't.

It's probably a pentatonic scale, I haven't transcribed it...but the guitar player mixes in tons of asian sounds, the flats, b2, b3, b5, b7, basically the blues into his playing.

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