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 NEED TO LEARN MUSIC COMPOSITION (BASIC) AND READING!!!
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two5tolife Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: NEED TO LEARN MUSIC COMPOSITION (BASIC) AND READING!!! Reply with quote

As a requirement to get into college (BERKELEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC) I need to learn music composition and how to read it (notes, timing, all that crazy crap), so, I NEED SOME HELP!!! Anyone have any links or methods on how to make this task just a slight bit easier? Thanks!
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axemanchris Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm making an assumption here, but I think Berklee's expectations for composition and theory entrance requirements would make for a tough study independently on the net. I don't expect it's just "basic."

Look into classes (general interest, not degree-requirement) at the local community college or something like that. Probably a much better option. At least, find someone with a music degree/diploma who is willing to teach composition and theory.

Also, you haven't mentioned this, but what type of program exactly are you applying to? I fully expect that they have instrumental/vocal performance requirements that you will be expected to demonstrate in an audition. Be sure that you have what they are looking for in that department too.

Most universities in Canada have entrance expectations similar to the following:
a) performance in voice or on an instrument at Royal Conservatory level grade 9-10. (typically, classical or jazz)
b) ear-training exam involving identifying intervals, chord types, etc.
c) theory exam - roughly grade 2 (Royal Conservatory) or thereabouts.
d) high school grade 12 academic average roughly 80%.

I'm by no means trying to discourage you, but knowing the full range of requirements in advance will save you from nasty surprises later. For some of these, there are alternative paths to get into programmes, but this is just a basic outline. I don't know Berkelee's expectations specifically, but would be interested in knowing, just for curiosity's sake.

Chris
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pulled these from the Berklee Web site on Admissions
( http://www.berklee.edu/admissions/faq.html )

1. Background on principal instrument. The Board of Admissions prefers all applicants have a minimum of two years of recent formal instruction on their instrument, including study of the standard methods for that particular instrument.

2. Knowledge of basic music theory. A student may learn the theory topics through classes, private instruction, or self study. Please read over our theory topics for study and review.

3. Academic ability as demonstrated from high school and post secondary school transcripts, and for Degree Program domestic applicants, satisfactory SAT or ACT scores.

Now...assuming two things here...one is that you don't have two years of classical training on an acceptable instrument, and that you're starting from scratch on the theory thing...

If you're planning on applying for the fall...it's probably not a great idea. You won't be able to learn what they're asking for, and you will waste your time in the process. Find a teacher, and a basic instrument (guitar? piano? flute? Doesn't matter which, because as you learn the instrument you'll automatically learn the theory). Ask for someone who can teach you in composition too, and give it a year at least. As a bonus, your teacher can help you through the application process next time, and help you through the various areas.

You don't need to audition, and there's no entrance exam (that I could see). But without documented training...think you're gonna get in?

"Auditions for admission to the College are not normally required as part of the application process. Students are evaluated based on submitted documentation demonstrating their previous training, records at previous music schools or conservatories, and/or information provided by a recent instructor." - From their site...

On the other hand (again from their site) "Approximately 75 percent of the applicants for full-time undergraduate programs are accepted to the college." However, this is the same school that graduated Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Branford Marsalis and Steve Vai...what documentation do you have that makes you think you won't be one 25% who are turned down?

Anyway, hope that helps. Oh, and by the way...if you want to see a neat thread here on music theory, there's one called "Uncle Roel's theory class" in the songwriting forum.

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two5tolife Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I shouldve clarified! Im not goin in for instrument study, Im tryin to major in Music Production as well as Music Synthesis (this is where I'm guessin theory comes in). So that should help (as for the other stuff GPA=3.89 last SAT score=1140[100 pts away from EARLY ADMISSIONS!!])
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Brad Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also taken from the FAQ...

Q: Do all students have to study an instrument, even those interested in Music Production and Engineering, Music Therapy, and Music Business/Management?

Yes. Berklee's approach is based on the philosophy that anyone interested in a successful career in the music industry, and wanting a competitive edge over others with only technical or business backgrounds, must gain training on an instrument, and have a sound background in music theory. This is also why a core music curriculum is required in any major.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two5tolife wrote:
Sorry I shouldve clarified! Im not goin in for instrument study, Im tryin to major in Music Production as well as Music Synthesis (this is where I'm guessin theory comes in). So that should help (as for the other stuff GPA=3.89 last SAT score=1140[100 pts away from EARLY ADMISSIONS!!])


You'll see from Brad's comment above this one, that it doesn't matter what you're applying for, that you'll need some documentation of study of a musical instrument.

While I'm not saying you won't get in, I would suggest as posted that you begin to find an instructor of some musical instrument, and that you plan on being at least a year before having the basics to be considered for the program.

Just being realistic, and don't want to discourage you, but they are not going to be impressed with "Learned a ton of cool theory stuff on this web site...". They're almost certain to want documentation and remarks from qualified instructors/schools. For example, if you're in high school, a letter from your music teacher would be what they want to see right now, in addition to from your private tutor/teacher. Have you checked out the web site? It seems they have a lot of information for you to access...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What instruments do you play?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You don't need to audition, and there's no entrance exam (that I could see). But without documented training...think you're gonna get in?

"Auditions for admission to the College are not normally required as part of the application process. Students are evaluated based on submitted documentation demonstrating their previous training, records at previous music schools or conservatories, and/or information provided by a recent instructor." - From their site...

On the other hand (again from their site) "Approximately 75 percent of the applicants for full-time undergraduate programs are accepted to the college." However, this is the same school that graduated Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Branford Marsalis and Steve Vai...what documentation do you have that makes you think you won't be one 25% who are turned down?

I'm thinking, 75% the students get in, but you have to consider that not just everyone gets it in their head to apply for berkelee. Most of the students that go their DO have a good training, and good references et all. You don't have this, so you'll probably have to proove your knowledge, and abilities another way.

What I've also noticed is that they also judge your attitude. If you go their, and have this attitude like: "I know it all, show me what you got, and I'll see if I can do something with it", forget it. What you need is a:"gimme-gimme, I want to learn all, I know this and this and some more, but that's not what matters, gimme, gimme gimme gimme gimme...". Show them you have a working attitude. AND, you can prove you have it by looking for a teacher, and studying your ass off in a way that IF they'd ask you for an audition, you'd get in anyway.

THAT's the attitude you'll need when studying music btw. Never resting and ALWAYS studying and working. I'm a theory student at the brussels conservatory. I can tell you, if I don't work for 2 days in a row, I'm REALLY sick. REALLY REALLY sick. I just have to work. It doesn't make sense studying music if you don't work all you can. There's just too much to learn. I'm serious. You'll see.

Just start with learning to read music, get some books on it, you should learn both G and F-clef. Also start learning the scales, all 12 of them. Get them down on your instrument. Learn the chords, you can find some info in my thread, but some of it will be hard to swallow at your current level.

And stop wasting your time on the net, you got ALOT of work to do...

Good luck, and courage! Go for it!
r.

ps. I believe that anyone can be a great musician, the only thing you need to do is work, and work hard. If you're talented, you will get there easier. But there's no virtuoso or composer that hasn't worked his butt off to get where he is now...
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axemanchris Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Roel wrote:
ps. I believe that anyone can be a great musician, the only thing you need to do is work, and work hard. If you're talented, you will get there easier. But there's no virtuoso or composer that hasn't worked his butt off to get where he is now...


I totally agree. I really don't believe I have anything resembling natural ability, but I managed to get an honours degree in music, and can convince people pretty readily that I can play well. Not that that makes me great, but certainly competent. A lot of people mistake me for being talented.

Chris
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To give you an example, in my class is a violinplayer that is considered rather talented by everyone in school. Well, this guy practices UP TO 12 HOURS A DAY! Coincidence?
Here's a story: we're talking and he tells me he's tired, so I ask him "had a heavy weekend? Concerts?", "Nah, just went to bed at 9pm, got up at midnight again and studied 'till morning, then I came here and had rehearsels 'till now". And that was 3 pm.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy cow dude, you need to take some lessons and get a general feel of what all those people know about music AT THE TIME they are accepted. Most of them will be advanced at theory, played their horn at a high level for about 6 or 7 years, and taken privatre lessons for an average of 3 years at least.

I have never heard of anyone learning some quick stuff on the net and going into berkley..... it takes years and years of dedication and talent to get into ANY music school. Let alone Berkley!!!
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, start to compose in Sibelius. Great composing software that is fun to make music in and also makes you learn how to read notes again. I've been using it for five months and I can read notes again and sing from sheet music. But as I've been reading the above posts, going to a conservatory like that might ask much more of you than just the basics. But anyway, this is what helped me read notes again. Very Happy Good luck!
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My best advice is just start doing it.

As for composing, start small. And don't be discouraged if it sounds like complete arse. All you need is a pencil and a few scraps of staff paper, and you're off. If you can't read notes/clefs, start even easier. I went through the whole college music audition stuff a few months ago, and one thing as at trombone player that you have to be able to do is read tenor clef. Tenor Clef?!?!?!? TENOR FRICKIN' CLEF? Well, that's how I felt a few months ago. I didn't have the luxury of being able to buy a tenor clef book at the time, so, I started by 1) Transposing by hand Rochut/Bordogni Etudes, and, 2) Writting out my own compositions in Tenor Clef, then playing them later. While I already had proficiency on trombone, and at reading bass clef, it's roughly the same idea.

And yes, Berklee or no Berklee, you're going to need to know how to play music if you're going into music production. At least, it's a very good idea. I, too, am going to be studying audio recording, and I know from personal experience that knowing how music works, and how music sounds and why (that's coming from both taking music theory and just being a musician) makes the production of music a lot easier, and a lot better. So, pick up an instrument, find a teacher, and go for it. As for practicing, I'm not a nut like that 12 hour a day dude (yet...), but I put in anywhere from one to three hours of practice in a day, and it really does pay off.

As for music theory, unless I'm very mistaken, they'd really only expect you to know the sorts of things you'd learn from learning an instrument: note names, scales, clefs, key signatures, time signatures, etc...N

As for learning composition and whatnot, I took Music Theory and Ear Training at UW-River Falls this year (2nd best agriculteral school in America!) What I found, was that by being a songwritter previously (the Bob Dylan kind, not the Beethoven kind...) that I actually already knew 98% of what I learned in first semester, and 50% of what we learned in second semester. And what I didn't know, I learned really fast, because I had the background. So, that's another reason to just get out there and do it, becuase it'll only make life easier, better, gooder, etc...

So yes, to your question, I re-iterate what everyone else said: Learn an instrument, practice hard, and to quote Nike, "Just Do It".


On a side note, if I'm not mistaken, didn't you already get into another college recently for audio production? What made you change your mind and want Berkelee over that school? (Sorry, I can't remember it's name...)

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Hotz Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And on a completely unrelated side note, I'd like to point out to everyone that he came to us Brass/Woodwind/String players, and no where else for this sort of help! Take that everyone who isn't a Brass/Woodwind/String player!!!
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two5tolife Offline
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, man, this was originally posted by me like 2 years ago!
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, whoops! I checked the date (Feb 21) and just figured it was a few months old. Forgot to look at the year, too!

So whether anything I said was of use, or whether you know it all, whatever. My final comment still stands: This was posted in the Winds forum! We rock!

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

winds are the ticket to gigs at least. "cause there aren't any anymore.

That's why all the ladies want us ........ we be in short supply.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Bob wrote:
winds are the ticket to gigs at least. "cause there aren't any anymore.

That's why all the ladies want us ........ we be in short supply.


Thumb Up

Just for the record. Most of the stuff I know, I got from Chord Scale Theory and Jazz Harmony by Richard Graf and Barrie Nettles. That's a great book, but it's just Jazz Theory. Classical theory is totally beyond me.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does any other forum on this site have this problem? The problem where people periodically come in, and then reply to theads that are over two years old, and relatively frequently?


We need more horn players around here...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, horn players are notorious for digging up posts from two years ago and thinking they're current.... Rolling Eyes

Hehehe.... Laughing j/k....

Chris

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