Do you need musical education to appreciate music? - diyAudio
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Old 9th December 2011, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default Do you need musical education to appreciate music?

And not just music. In life, to truly appreciate anything (architecture, design, film, writing etc.) is it necessary to have had some formal education on the subject? And/or to have 'had a go' at it yourself?
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Old 9th December 2011, 09:44 AM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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No, but it helps.
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Old 9th December 2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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When you actually know how something works or how it's made then you appreciate it a whole lot more. That's for sure
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Old 9th December 2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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definitely not, personally my music skills are virtually non existant (i can't even clap my hands to the beat) but i do love music (for listening)
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Old 9th December 2011, 10:55 AM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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In some fields (art, architecture?) a formal education could help you to appreciate things which to the uninitiated look like ugly garbage!

I always find it fascinating to watch a skilled craftsman at work. It doesn't really matter what trade: music, carpentry, glass blowing. Many years ago I enjoyed watching a lorry driver backing a large articulated lorry into a narrow alleyway from a narrow city street. It would have challenged some people to just back an ordinary car into it.

Some understanding of the subject adds to this, if only to realise the difficulties which people routinely overcome in making music or making anything else. It also helps if you know what things are called so you can better recognise them: key change in music, or cantilever in a building.
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Old 9th December 2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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The simple answer to the 1st question is, of course, no. If you know little or nothing about the technical aspects and history of music then your appreciation will primarily be focused on music as an emotional experience, which is certainly one of its most powerful attractions. OTOH, with no formal training whatsoever as I sat last night watching Nicola Benedetti as guest violinist at the DSO I could absolutely marvel at the virtuosity of her playing and her connection with the audience.

As you learn more about music (or any other artform) your emotional reactions are broadened and modified on an intellectual level, which can be both good and bad. While deeper insight has obvious benefits there is also the risk that sophistication can drift into snobbery and pretension. I also remain convinced that the rarefied sensibilities of some art cognoscenti lead them to appreciate works that objectively are ugly garbage.
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Old 9th December 2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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Do you need to know how to play a violin to know how to listen to one - The simple answer is NO.

More people can enjoy listening to music that can play it.
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Old 9th December 2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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my cat (in my avatar) loves music , i think that answers the question.

Last edited by lduarte1973; 9th December 2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 9th December 2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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What a question i guess it is a good subject for a subjective debate . lol.
now as we develop in the womb i belive our hearing is the first sense we develop. it is also IMHO the most powerfull sense we have.. Im going to say a BIG NO!! as noone ever taght me to hear . A friend of mine is a high grading classical Piano player . He is also in a band that writes their own tunes now he tells me when he listens to music he is forever breaking the tunes down in is head and he offen finds it distrackting..

Ok here is a question if you where given the choice god forbid it . woud you either keep your vision or you hearing .. My answer i would rather keep my hearing. Ok no diy audio but still the music .

Best Regards Ian

Last edited by madtecchy; 9th December 2011 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 9th December 2011, 02:28 PM   #10
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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Let me answer this way........
I once was going out with a girl who asked me why (rock) guitar players tend to "make faces" while playing. She was refering to the often contorted faces musicians make as they feel the music to their core. As guitar player myself (mainly bass) I totally understood this.

However, she played no instrument and had no musical background. To be honest, she would probably had made a terrible musician if she could not "feel" the music.
You are either born with it or not....... IMO
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