How many of you play music on paper?

Posted: 12/14/2005 11:53:43 PM

From: Somewhere in space.

Joined: 12/5/2005

I was just wondering, how many of you play a piece of music on the Theremin by figuring out how it sounds and practicing it? How many of you actually have a peice of paper with the notes on it and play that?
Posted: 12/15/2005 9:16:51 AM

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

I play entirely by ear.

I can pick out notes on paper but it is tedious for me and I feel that it gets in the way of playing.
Posted: 12/15/2005 12:17:14 PM

From: COWafornia

Joined: 3/23/2005

I do both.
I play by ear - just when I am fooling around.
I play by MIDI and music when I am "working" on stuff. I look at the notes - not my Etherwave(tm) as I am playing with the MIDI playing as well. I start with the theremin part and the other parts and then remove (ok mute) the theremin part from the MIDI later. Eventualy I hope to play just by music - but I am just starting and have not been playing long enough to do that yet.
I use Oveture by GenieSoft to make printable music from the midi parts but this is overkill - you can get stuff that can print midi as music for under $20
Posted: 12/15/2005 12:34:34 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

If I'm playing something very long, or with a confusing melody then I'll use music - but only for reference. I don't 'sight-sing.'
Posted: 12/15/2005 3:45:16 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

I read music and play by ear.

btw -- heard your good news on Levnet. Congratulations!
Posted: 12/16/2005 7:53:26 AM

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005

If i know the tune by ear I can play it, at least after a couple of tries.

I haven't yet gotten around to learning how to read music yet.

Posted: 1/14/2006 12:24:55 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

I do both, pertty much 50/50. Printed music helps me target tricky jumps easier, they usually take me a little longer working just by ear. You can also plan and note the fingering on paper.
Posted: 1/15/2006 1:14:45 PM

From: Morrisville, PA

Joined: 10/19/2005

When learning a new composition, particularly in the classical realm, there is no substitute for a full score. Regardless of how familiar one is with any given piece, a look at the score almost always reveals that the ear rarely picks up every nuance that presents itself in musical notation. There are pieces I believed I knew inside and out, then the score shows me that what I thought I'd been hearing was actually something different.

What's great about the theremin is that you are inherently training your ear. If you're already blessed with relative or absolute pitch, obviously it's a wonderful advantage. But working on a theremin will benefit the player by training the ear as a matter of necessity.

There's a lot to be said for playing by ear, too, particularly in jazz.

Doing and developing both builds a better player -- each helps you improve in BOTH areas.
Posted: 1/15/2006 2:05:52 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

"If you're already blessed with relative or absolute pitch"

I thought that good (if not very good) relative pitch was more or less a prerequisite for the theremin. Surely without it you'd be left grappling for every single note?
Posted: 1/27/2006 9:14:41 PM

From: Morrisville, PA

Joined: 10/19/2005


Neither absolute nor relative pitch is a prerequisite for theremin playing. I'm currently working with someone who seems to have neither.

But the determination to master the instrument apparently is enough.

The real test -- believe it or not, when someone expresses the desire to play the theremin -- I ask them to sing a song acappella, ANY SONG. If they stay on pitch through the entire song, chances are they'll be fine.

If they "drift" a lot. it's a fair bet they'll be unable to hear themselves and find it a real struggle.

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