Blogger and regular reader Tim Cooley nailed it the other day.
He said, “The theory of music, although it explains practically everything, is only a theory.”
He even posted this cool graphic:
click to enlarge
So obviously we should “teach the controversy,” right? If it’s only a “theory” that means, at least to, wait, um, what’s the opposite of a musician? Do we have a word for a person who doesn’t believe in music and music theory?
Is it an “amusician”? Maybe it’s someone who believes in music, but doesn’t believe that organized music is the way to go, so they are an “agmusician.” Maybe there are groups of “amusicians,” “agmusicians” and “freethinking musicians” who meet up and bang, pluck and strum things that we don’t know about to make their own music. When they sing, only they can understand themselves. The rest of us idiots don’t have the ruach hamusicodesh and therefore are incapable of knowing their musical truths.
Or maybe they are from Asia, and their form of music grew separately from Western music theory, so their theory varies from ours.
It is my request that the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music consider teaching the alternative theory that a magical pixie assigns the note its pitch, according to his whim, every time air is blown into the flute or every time the pianist hammers a note.
I’m glad someone has started this movement. I hate when musicians get together and smugly tell me what music should and shouldn’t sound like. Or in the very least, what music is and isn’t beautiful. I hate going to concerts featuring musicians who have become experts in their fields of instrumentation, only to tell them, “Shit, man, give me that guitar. You obviously can’t play as well as me … who only has experience in garage band situations … in fact, my dad was in a garage band and knows more than so called expert musicians. He taught me everything he knows. And his dad taught him, and …” etcetera etcetera.
If you need me to hold your hand through this parable of Intelligent Design vs Evolution, I’m not sure how else to phrase it. When a person starts perceiving science through the fact of evolution, it’s like listening to music from a musician who has become an expert in music theory. For those of you who are musicians of any level, you know this first hand. For those of you who love science admiring expert scientists, you also know this first hand.
There is no controversy. There doesn’t need to be labels attached to belief and disbelief.
Read the rest of Tim Cooley’s blog post here. Go visit his music theory blog here.
Keep searching for the truth even after you think you’ve found it.