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The End Result
Topic: Theory Subtopic: General Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 73706

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The End Result

When I say this, I refer to the actual inspiration or source for what we produce on our instrument.

The source could be written down on a piece of paper, a way of communicating music between people. This notation could then be read, and the result would be what we hear being played, which would be alike to what the writer of the music intended. Some of the lessons in this category will be about reading different kinds of musical notation.

The source could be from other people playing music, such as listening to a song on the radio. By hearing the song, some people can then hear the song in their head, and then play it on their instrument. This is called playing by ear. Some of the lessons in this category will be about 'playing by ear'. Again, the result is what we hear being played, which is alike to what has been heard.

This business of hearing music in one's head leads us to perhaps the most interesting and amazing of sources, that of composition and improvisation. I will attempt to assemble some lessons for this category that will include topics such as improvisation, composition, creativity and the like.

Here's an interesting point to consider about these kind of topics: A person will have a musical idea in their head that was not copied from the radio or read off a piece of paper, and this musical idea is then expressed through playing it on their instrument, and the end result is what we hear being played, except his time, it is possible that the music is alike to nothing, it is unique.

This however, is most often not the case. The reason for this is that the three categories overlap. Often we will hear a song on the radio, but when we play it, it is not exactly alike to the original, because we have added or taken away things. Also, when one improvises or composes, the ideas that one hears in one's head are most often not totally and completely different from anything the person has heard before. Usually, after listening or reading a variety of music, the mind can then start to pick out what pieces it likes, and form something new, but this something will still have certain elements of ideas that have already existed. And even when reading music, someone's interpretation of a written piece will be different than someone else's interpretation of the same written piece.

Even though the categories aren't perfect(I've learned that it's very hard to try to classify some things), they will hopefully help in understanding things as a whole, looking at the big picture instead of in detail. And in understanding how different sources influence what the end result of our playing is, hopefully we can learn how to use these sources to get the end result that we desire.

Since listening to what is going on around us ultimately decides what we will play, a discussion of 'musical styles' seems appropriate. Styles such as blues, jazz, country, rock, heavy metal, alternative, folk, reggae and such have all evolved over a period of time, and they influence what we play. Characteristics of these styles will be presented in some of the lessons in this category.

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