21 January 2009

Reading Music

I wish I could read music a lot better than I can. I'm still at the stage where I look at the note and point going "Every Good Boy--B," the musical equivalent of counting your fingers and toes when doing addition. It is possible, I suppose, that I can get some music-reading lessons, but time is a luxury I have not possessed since high school. (Of course, I spent a lot of time in college sleeping in the lounge instead of taking music courses, which in retrospect I should have done. It was hard being a commuter student and maximizing time usage.)

This recent desire (which is actually something I have been mulling over for a while) to read music comes from recent articles and postings I have seen in several music-related magazines and message boards. The major point of contention continuously commented points to the necessity for a singer (or any other musical artist for that matter) to be able to read music to be successful.

That is, it is not enough to have an "ear" for music, or to be able to plunk around on a piano or guitar until you have finally practiced "I'll Fly Away" or that "Sweet Home, Alabama" riff with the CD to near-perfect mimicry. Granted, there are many musical artists who reach great heights with just their own inherent musical abilities along with a lot of practice. But, it is congruent to becoming a successful but illiterate business owner. Certainly, many have obtained accolades for performance, but at some point, they reach their summit.

How much more musically interesting, then, could an artist be if they were able to read music, and consequently, learn the intricate workings and manners of manipulating melodies and meters to create their own music? How much better of a singer would I be if I understood chords and could read music?

(This JPFPost was originally posted in January 2007.)