Many computer musicians find it very difficult to accept the fact that music theory is highly essential to their music career. When a topic about the relevance of music theory is raised in most of our online music forums, there is always an endless heated debate with so many music producers using swear words to deny the fact that music theory knowledge is indispensable to a music producer. I also taught music theory wasn’t essential when i just started music production. I thought all a person needs in order to become a successful music producer, is just a good feels for music. I wasn’t wrong totally. Of course there’s no need studying music theory if you don’t have a good taste for good music. Having feelings for music simply mean that you should be able to make accurate judgement about the quality or the readiness of the music you are producing using your musical intuition. Good music is just like the beauty concept i.e. You cannot define it but you can feel it or recognise it when you hear it.
There is therefore no way in which you can produce good music if you can’t feel it because you won’t be able to recognise it when you hear it.
There are some people who have been to Berkley College to study music theory but they still can’t produce a simple rhythm track let alone a hit record because they lack this feeling (musical intuition) . A Good musical intuition is what really separates the born music producers from the made music producers.
From all i have said so far, I’m not trying to support the view or insinuate that music theory isn’t relevant. I’m in support of the view held by the anti-music theorist about the need for a good musical intuition. Both music theory knowledge and good musical intuition ( a feeling for music) play a big role in the success of a music producer or music. Music theory and musical intuition are the bonafied parent of good music. What I’m trying to say is that, they both work hands in gloves for good music to be born. I have already given you the role of music intuition (the mother of good music) in the matrimony. Let me tell you how the music theory knowledge can be of great benefit to you or even give you an upper hand over other music producers.
Music theory is the language or the lingo of this music bizness. Every profession or business has its own language that people in that profession speak e.g. the lawyers, bankers, politicians, footballers, doctors etc all have their individual lingos. If you follow the conversation of two doctors, you will realise that they will be using words that only their colleagues can understand. This is because they know their lingo and this helps to facilitate communication of ideas. As a serious or a full time music producer, it’s very compulsory that you learn the language of your bizness. You should learn how to read and write music. This will help to boost your morale as a music producer and make you look more professional.
According to the Oxford dictionary, an illiterate is somebody who can’t read nor write a particular language. Which insinuate that if you are a music producer who can’t read nor write music, you are an illiterate music producer, no matter how successful you are in this music bizness. I didn’t say that!. That’s what the dictionary says but i, m greatly in support of the idea. Learn music theory and starts communicating effectively like the mature producer that you claim to be. Being able to express yourself freely in the language of music is the easiest way to acquire credibility in any environment and a primary proof of competence. In other words, in order to fully convince people or clients that you are a music producer in any environment, just speak the language of music and they will immediately be convinced that you are whom you say you are and not a wannabe. You don’t need to show people your business cards for them to know who you are. Just communicate!!.
On the other hand, if you don’t know music theory, it will be very difficult to convince people out of your studio that you are a music producer. Just as it will be very difficult for you to convince people that you are an English citizen if you can’t speak nor write English. The question that people will likely ask you is that; why can’t you speak English if you are an English citizen?. In other words, why can’t you speak the language of music if you are a professional music producer that you claim to be?. What will be your answer?. Too busy i guess.
Let me give you a simple example about how lack of music theory knowledge (illiteracy) affects your credibility and competence in the music market.
Umm for example if a client walks into your music studio and starts telling you how he or she wants a particular instrumental to sound like and in the course of speaking, he or she starts mentioning music lingos like Chords, melody, bars, major and minor scales, intervals and lots of music jargons, you should be able to understand immediately what the client is trying to communicate. If you ask the client a question like what is a chord? It’s very obvious that the client will doubt your competence or credibility as a music producer no matter how equipped your music studio is. It’s just like telling somebody that you are an English citizen but don’t know what is good morning.
Again if you become a very successful music producer and due to your success in the music business, you are being invited to a graduation ceremony, to tell your success story to the outgoing students so as to motivate them, you should be able to communicate to the students using the language of the music bizness in order to efficiently and effectively pass your message to the them.
Study music theory and you will never stop thanking me for motivating you to do that. It should be noted that all the reasons i have provided so far, are just the prestigious reasons for studying music theory. The good benefits are still ahead, just keep reading.
It should be noted that as profitable as the music theory subject is, it’s still very easy to learn. There’s a popular myth circulating in the music industry that music theory is very hard to learn. That’s not true. The main stakeholders of the music industry that are propagating the above ideology are the music schools. Most music schools often create a false impression about this music theory subject for business motive. For example when i was searching for good music schools that offer courses in music theory, i stumble upon pyramind; which is a vocational music training school. Pyramind describes its music theory 101 and 102 courses as highly rewarding but complex. Indeed its very rewarding but i won’t accept the idea about it being complex. It’s not!. The music theory schools are telling people that music theory is complex because they know that if they tell you that it’s very simple, you won’t bother to come to their schools. I don’t blame them anyway; it’s just their business strategy. However it can still be very difficult for the non-talented music producers to fully comprehend the subject. A born music producer should have no problem understanding the concepts of music.