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Beethoven as Improviser? - Interview with Konstantin Scherbakov, part 2
In this second part of our interview with Konstantin Scherbakov about his Beethoven celebrations during 2020, we talk about Liszt's Symphony transcriptions and the improvisational aspect in Beethoven's music. Read more >>

Topic: Do I have to know this??  (Read 1775 times)

Offline musicmaker18

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Do I have to know this??
on: October 16, 2003, 01:51:42 AM
In music theory we have just started on voice leading.  I am learning how to write music for soprano, base, alto, etc.  I am more interested in chord progressions and cadences.  Is learning how to write voice leading a must in order to learn chord progressions?  Would it be a mistake if I asked to skip the voice leading section of the book?  
"To dream and not have the dream come true is better than not having dreamt at all." - Kayla

Offline Joannetmj

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Re: Do I have to know this??
Reply #1 on: October 20, 2003, 07:05:08 PM
What grade are you in? Because in grade 5 I skipped that part as you have a choice of which one you want to do in the exam.
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Offline robert_henry

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Re: Do I have to know this??
Reply #2 on: October 20, 2003, 10:37:06 PM
It depends on your ultimate goal.  If you want to be the best musician you can possibly be, then learn it.  If you want to just "get by", then by all means, skip it and let the other students learn it instead.  

The point is, if music is your passion, then you must want to know everything there is to know about it.  You are compelled to learn it because of this desire.  The arts should not be a drag for anyone if they live and breathe art.  Do you?  

I'm looking back on my education and degrees and I can't think of a single instance where I complained about learning about music.  Learning Calculus, sure, but not music.  Math sux.

Also, assuming that you are a pianist, voice leading is especially important because we have so much to do, so many lines to think about.  Don't think of it as progressions versus voice leading.  They both work to same end=a more compete listener and musician.

Robert Henry

Offline rachfan

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Re: Do I have to know this??
Reply #3 on: October 21, 2003, 05:18:36 AM
Robert is right.  Ignore voice leading if you want to short change yourself in musicianship.  Chord progressions and voice leading often merge to become one and the same if you analyze them closely.  So you really need to know both.  Often there is a horizontal melodic line present in a series of chords.  It may appear in the tops, middles, or bottoms of the chords, for example.  And things can become even more intricate if the line is transferred from one hand to the other, and perhaps back again, or if a hand has to bring out the line while managing accompaniment in that same hand simultaneously.  The more complicated it becomes, you need to be able to clearly illuminate the composer's intentions for the listener.  Consider, for example, the lyrical middle section of Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 23, No. 5 in g that is often mentioned on this board.  There is enough voice leading present in those two pages to afford anyone a lifetime study in the subject.
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