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Michael West wrote on 27 Apr 2004:
Anderew wrote on 27 Apr 2004: "instinctively"? It might also depend on what you're talking about. Some musicians play "by ear".

It's an interesting phrase. I wouldn't want to listen to a musician who didn't use his ear to guide him; ... an "intuitive" element involved, though certainly that's a common (mis?)conception. Some people are "intuitively" visual learners, and some are aural.
I was thinking of jazz musicians who don't know how to read music and so, yes, learned by ear, but because they don't read music, they play the music they hear in their heads. My old girlfriend Carol (#1) was a child prodigy pianist who played and read classical music before she could read English, but when I met her, she'd given up being a pianist and had joined a famous NYC choral group. When I knew her, about 35 years ago, I was playing classical and folk guitar (at very rudimentary levels).

She wanted me to teach her what I could. I did. It wasn't much. Anyway, she had to change everything from the original key to the key of F or F# minor (I don't really remember) to be able to sing along with it. She just listened to the strings as she plucked chords and found all the chords she needed for her key. She didn't bother trying to read a chord book to find the combinations. She played strictly by ear and transposed every song she wanted to play and sing in her head and verified it all with her ears.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, ehziuh htiw rehpycrebyc ecalper.
Mike Bandy filted:
Some musicians play "by ear".

Musicians who play by ear fly by the seat of their pants.

That's when they're not winging it..r
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Mike Bandy filted:

Musicians who play by ear fly by the seat of their pants.

That's when they're not winging it..r

Or faking.
I was thinking of jazz musicians who don't know how to read music and so, yes, learned by ear, but ... and transposed every song she wanted to play and sing in her head and verified it all with her ears.

And of course that's the way it should be.
Systems of notation were invented as a
convenience a way of teaching music
in absentia .
Unfortunately the Western world filled up with
people who thought the written notes were
primary; that the music was "on the page".
The art of improvisation and spontaneous
music-making so highly valued in the
Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras
was all but lost to the "serious" music by the
end of the nineteenth century. The trend seems
to have been stemmed now; many younger
teachers of music know the importance of
encouraging students to "sound things out" for
themselves without recourse to sheet music.

Michael West
I was thinking of jazz musicians who don't know how ... in her head and verified it all with her ears.

And of course that's the way it should be. Systems of notation were invented as a convenience a way ... teachers of music know the importance of encouraging students to "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to sheet music.

And, of course, we here at a.u.e. know the importance of encouraging people (students or not) to "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to things like dictionaries or grammar books. Or literature.

Jon Miller
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Unfortunately the Western world filled up with people who thought ... "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to sheet music.

And, of course, we here at a.u.e. know the importance of encouraging people (students or not) to "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to things like dictionaries or grammar books. Or literature.

I am boggled by your comparison. If musicians only consulted written music the way that speakers of a language consult its reference books, there'd be no problem.
The truer comparison would be, suppose we couldn't utter a word without having a printed dialog script in front of our noses. That's what Michael is saying music became, when musicians relied too much on notation.
Thank the lord, we do learn our native language by ear (and the deaf community learns its by sight) and all of us but the most handicapped learn how to put our thoughts into freely-chosen words. Absolutely important, no doubt about it. There would be no dictionaries, grammar books, or literature, without such a basic ability.

Donna Richoux
Jonathan Miller wrote on 28 Apr 2004:
And of course that's the way it should be. Systems ... "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to sheet music.

And, of course, we here at a.u.e. know the importance of encouraging people (students or not) to "sound things out" for themselves without recourse to things like dictionaries or grammar books. Or literature.

Yo, dude! We've got the Web now, so why do we need all those other old-fashioned things like dictionaries, grammar books, and literature? We can google everything now! Or ask the wise guys on aue.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, ehziuh htiw rehpycrebyc ecalper.
Yo, dude! We've got the Web now, so why do we need all those other old-fashioned things like dictionaries, grammar books, and literature? We can google everything now!

So (untangling the sarcasm), if I have a dictionary on my shelf, and I can access the same dictionary through the Web, you would advise me to consult the paper copy, not the electronic one?
Why is that? It can't be because of the content. I suppose I get more exercise reaching and flipping pages than just clicking a keyboard. But the lure of being able to copy and paste a quotation, instead of typing it from scratch, is awfully strong...
Or, are you concerned about the Orwellian possibilities of all those electronic versions being secretly revised? I must say there have been certain muddles when I've been very glad to see ink on paper, knowing it couldn't have changed since the day it was printed.
Or ask the wise guys on aue.

Care to name names?

Donna Richoux
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Donna Richoux wrote on 28 Apr 2004:
Yo, dude! We've got the Web now, so why do ... dictionaries, grammar books, and literature? We can google everything now!

So (untangling the sarcasm), if I have a dictionary on my shelf, and I can access the same dictionary through the Web, you would advise me to consult the paper copy, not the electronic one?

Not at all. You're reading far too much into what I say when I say such things. I have M-W11 on my bookshelf and in my computer. I use the book when my computer is off. I use online references both Web-based and local-computer-based especially when I want to copy and paste. I don't have any rigid rules about that.
Why is that? It can't be because of the content. I suppose I get more exercise reaching and flipping pages ... the lure of being able to copy and paste a quotation, instead of typing it from scratch, is awfully strong...

(See above)
Or, are you concerned about the Orwellian possibilities of all those electronic versions being secretly revised? I must say there have been certain muddles when I've been very glad to see ink on paper, knowing it couldn't have changed since the day it was printed.

One cannot get all "literature" on the Web, surely.
Or ask the wise guys on aue.

Care to name names?

Considering that I might have written "wiseguys" (indicating Mafia members) or "wise-guys" (indicating wiseacres and smart-alecks), I would have imagined that you would have interpreted "wise guys" as complimentary and referring to all the RRs and denizens generous enough to offer their knowledgeable, or, in some case, vacuous, opinions about things. You and I, along with a host of others, fit into that "wise guys" category.
Anyway, please don't pay any attention to my ravings in posts like this. They are meant to entertain only me, and only while I'm writing them.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, ehziuh htiw rehpycrebyc ecalper.
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