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Author Topic: Learning how to understand music  (Read 3093 times)
cornutt
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 11:22:50 PM »


Some of my friends that are musicians are terrible dancers because they focus on the beat so much they don't understand that you have to move the body inbetween the beats to arrive on the beat.  They try and move on the beat and are always chasing the music.  I try to tell them it is like a drummer that moves his arm up then down between the beats to create the next beat. 

Exactly, and the drummer is a good analogy.  A lot of musical instruments are arranged so that the time lag between the player's motor impulses and the note becoming audible is minimal, enough so that the casual player doesn't have to think about it.  The drummer, on the other hand, has a lot of mass he has to move, and so he has to think ahead of the beat in order to be on the beat.  The kick drum is a particularly good example; you've got the whole mass of the leg and foot to move, plus the mechanism of the pedal and beater.

Piano is sort of like that too.  The hammer has to "fly" across the gap between the jack and the string; the player has to press the key a bit ahead of time to build up the velocity that the hammer needs.  (If you've ever tried pressing a piano key very gradually, you know that doing so produces no sound.  That's because, without momentum, the hammer doesn't make it across the gap and it never touches the string, even with the key all the way down.)
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 11:38:30 PM »

Piano is sort of like that too.  The hammer has to "fly" across the gap between the jack and the string; the player has to press the key a bit ahead of time to build up the velocity that the hammer needs.  (If you've ever tried pressing a piano key very gradually, you know that doing so produces no sound.  That's because, without momentum, the hammer doesn't make it across the gap and it never touches the string, even with the key all the way down.)

This becomes an automatic thing to do rather than having to think about it. Exactly the same as finding the beat
EDIT: i actually don't think i've ever thought about the fact that i must move slightly earlier, even when i first start it was a natural movement

Zac
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 11:51:29 PM by ZPomeroy » Logged

Dance is poetry written for the feet, read by the heart, and destined for the soul.
MusicChica
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2009, 11:45:46 PM »

The drummer, on the other hand, has a lot of mass he has to move, and so he has to think ahead of the beat in order to be on the beat.

Oh, the directions I could go with that analogy... Wink Grin Suffice to say that the guy from the bar that I almost dated/tried to date used to be a pro drummer, and, well, he's very..."active," shall we say.  You've gotta have hella coordination to throw yourself around the way he does and still stay on beat and play as well as he does.
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albanaich
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2010, 03:23:49 PM »

The difficulty with musicians learning to dance is pretty much as discussed, essentially they know where there feet should be in relation to the music - they don't have the co-ordination or timing to get there fast enough.

Whereas a non musical novice will happily dance off beat until they get the co-ordination, for the musicians its like listening to yourself sing of key.

One of the best ways to teach rhythm is the 'strictly ballroom' method - gently slap them in time to the beat, if you can then get them to clap along, you can then move along to the next step, clap, then slap on the chest alternately, then vary it, two slaps to the chest, two claps. one chest slap, one foot tap, one clap. Eventually it gets ingrained that the body HAS to move on beat.

They have to feel the beat with thier body - not there head.









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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2010, 12:02:57 AM »

I can feel the music, but I don't understand it.  Roll Eyes
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elisedance
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2010, 12:47:39 AM »

I can feel the music, but I don't understand it.  Roll Eyes
au contraire, I think you got it
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Lioness
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 03:33:50 AM »

The difficulty with musicians learning to dance is pretty much as discussed, essentially they know where there feet should be in relation to the music - they don't have the co-ordination or timing to get there fast enough.


I disagree with that generalisation.

If, as a musician, I have problems coordinating myself at the correct tempo, I either turn the music off or make it slower. Why would I struggle on, compromising technique to get the dance to fit the music, if I'm incapable. Why can't I learn the step/sequence/routine at a slower speed, and then once I've developed the coordination to know where to go, and get there on time, turn the music back on.

Out of our lessons, I'd say we spend maybe 15% of it dancing with music. The rest is a breakdown of the steps/routine, a learning of the steps/routine, or a discussion on it. By the time we actually get to music, we know the step/routine.
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albanaich
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2010, 07:02:21 AM »

Why would I struggle on, compromising technique to get the dance to fit the music,

Because you are a musician?

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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2010, 07:05:08 AM »

No musician would compromise technical aspects of their dancing to make sure that the dance itself fitted to the music, that is why studios have DJ type equipment where it is possible to slow down the music

Zac
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2010, 07:08:59 AM »

No musician would compromise technical aspects of their dancing to make sure that the dance itself fitted to the music, that is why studios have DJ type equipment where it is possible to slow down the music

Zac

Aren't we suppose to dance to the music instead of play the music to the dance?
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Lioness
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2010, 07:11:43 AM »

Why would I struggle on, compromising technique to get the dance to fit the music,

Because you are a musician?



Not when I'm dancing, I'm not.

Even when practising piano, I slow down on the bits I don't know yet.

When I dance, I am practising dancing, not musicality. Sure, the musicality is a help, but dancing without music doesn't really hinder anything. I've usually got the beat going in my head, and that's all I need.
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2010, 07:15:30 AM »

No musician would compromise technical aspects of their dancing to make sure that the dance itself fitted to the music, that is why studios have DJ type equipment where it is possible to slow down the music

Zac

Aren't we suppose to dance to the music instead of play the music to the dance?

my point was that if your really struggling with the music on your not going to ingrain bad habbits into your dancing just to fit it to the music, you would slowly work it out first get it right and then go to music, or trying it with slower music to make sure the technique is right and then go to full speed. Have you not done that before?

Zac
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ZPomeroy
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2010, 07:17:06 AM »

When I dance, I am practising dancing, not musicality. Sure, the musicality is a help, but dancing without music doesn't really hinder anything. I've usually got the beat going in my head, and that's all I need.

Aren't you supposed to be following the man's lead and timing Roll Eyes

Zac
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Lioness
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« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2010, 07:24:27 AM »

When I dance, I am practising dancing, not musicality. Sure, the musicality is a help, but dancing without music doesn't really hinder anything. I've usually got the beat going in my head, and that's all I need.

Aren't you supposed to be following the man's lead and timing Roll Eyes

Zac

Yes, but I'm writing this as if I'm practising alone.
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Lioness
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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2010, 07:25:00 AM »

And I'll be damned if I'll sit meek and quiet and let him dance off time. He's a musician too, and he should know better. If he starts to race, I let him know.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 07:27:49 AM by Lioness » Logged
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