Milonga Syncopation

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought. In fact, we are pretty much the same across the board...
When I'm teaching a class I try to think about what my students seem to need, even if psychological studies say otherwise. I have no intention of explaining psychology to my students. I've tried, and they didn't seem to care.

If a student wants to know what the numbers are, I tell him/her. If my student is getting confused by the numbers, I try a different approach. If someone just wants to know where to put their foot, that's what I tell them.
 

LKSO

Active Member
... If the primary beats are not counted, good luck performing in an ensemble with other musicians.

Using numbers to mark the beat is how musicians are trained. Far from creating problems, numbers solve them. There really is no alternative.
Counting is how Western music ensembles solve the problem, however, this is not universal to all cultures as many cultures do not use a counting system, e.g. Balinese Gamelan. Rather, the melodic phrase indicates the location of the measure that all members are attuned to. Think antecedent and consequent phrases. It's done by ear, not by counting.

I'm not a jazz musician, but I suspect jazz musicians do the same thing; they know where they are in a measure by ear.

How is a pianist able to play completely different rhythms and melodies in each hand?
I'm a pianist. I don't ever count. I've never needed to count. I don't think I'll ever need to count.
My right hand comes in when it's supposed to, according to the score and if it's memorized, according to my ear.
 

LKSO

Active Member
When I'm teaching a class I try to think about what my students seem to need, even if psychological studies say otherwise. I have no intention of explaining psychology to my students. I've tried, and they didn't seem to care.

If a student wants to know what the numbers are, I tell him/her. If my student is getting confused by the numbers, I try a different approach. If someone just wants to know where to put their foot, that's what I tell them.
Yes, I completely agree with you, you have to answer the questions on their minds even if you don't think like they do or know the way they are thinking isn't the most direct way.

To elaborate further, your students are asking questions about background information they already possess or are aware of, such as numbers (if they previously learned to dance by numbers) or the foot they are on (if they were taught that dance is about steps.) In these cases, their mental framework is built on prior knowledge. Sometimes, it can be counterproductive because they are blinded by it (what psychologists call presentation bias) and can't take in new information because it doesn't fit with their mental framework for how it should be. In such cases, it would require a lot of effort to get them to change their framework. It's easier to adjust to their framework than to teach them the one you have since both frameworks occupy the same space.
 
Counting is how Western music ensembles solve the problem, however, this is not universal to all cultures as many cultures do not use a counting system, e.g. Balinese Gamelan. Rather, the melodic phrase indicates the location of the measure that all members are attuned to. Think antecedent and consequent phrases. It's done by ear, not by counting.

I'm not a jazz musician, but I suspect jazz musicians do the same thing; they know where they are in a measure by ear.


I'm a pianist. I don't ever count. I've never needed to count. I don't think I'll ever need to count.
My right hand comes in when it's supposed to, according to the score and if it's memorized, according to my ear.

Well, I play Western music - very intricate and very complicated music. And I don't dance to Balinese gamelan music. What type of music do you play?

You made an assertion that the brain has difficulty processing numbers when playing music or dancing, and gave a few links to back it up. I argued the links are irrelevant and not applicable, backing that up with real world facts that I know as a classically trained musician and former music teacher. I don't see telling us how the Balinese play the gamelan matters in that debate. You've made several claims about what neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered. Do you have a degree in either? My daughter double-majored in violin and neuroscience during her undergrad degree. She's a neuro. grad student now. She loves to play the violin. I'll ask her if she counts and uses numbers or if that's too much of a strain on her brain.

I am a jazz musician and a classically trained guitarist, with a music degree. My wife is a classical pianist. I have NEVER know any musician who does not count. (It's a spectrum, sometimes, for brief periods, it isn't needed, more often it is). You say you never count and never have. You are obviously an extremely gifted musician and unique in our culture.
 

LKSO

Active Member
Well, I play Western music - very intricate and very complicated music. And I don't dance to Balinese gamelan music. What type of music do you play?
I play Western classical music and Chinese percussion. I mentioned gamelan as an example of music that isn't counted.

I didn't learn music by taking music classes. I learned music by listening to it. Then I learned how to play the piano on my own before taking lessons. As a result, I never learned to count, even when reading music. It simply isn't necessary. Asking me to count slows me down incredibly because, while I have the ability, it's not a skill I possess.

Also, when I learned Chinese percussion, I also never counted, regardless of the instrument. It was done entirely by ear.

You made an assertion that the brain has difficulty processing numbers when playing music or dancing, and gave a few links to back it up. I argued the links are irrelevant and not applicable, backing that up with real world facts that I know as a classically trained musician and former music teacher.
The brain has difficulty doing things that it hasn't mastered. When you combine two things that haven't been mastered, you end up severely taxing the brain. However, if both parts have been mastered separately, then combining the two is easy, like walking and talking at the same time. You may notice that young children have to stop walking to talk to you but as they gain skill, they can walk and talk at the same time. Considering your background, it's not surprising that you can count and play at the same time since both skills were mastered. But for someone who hasn't mastered these skills, it would be very difficult if not impossible.

On a humorous note: I can drive, eat, and read at the same time, though I have to look up occasionally. Sometimes, I play the clave when I drive. I steer with my knee, in case you're wondering.

Do you have a degree in either?
Does it make my comments more or less credible if I did? No, I don't have a degree in either, however, my principal science background is in psychology (learning and memory, behavior, and procrastination), though currently I study neuroscience (learning and memory), and I have taken a few biology courses. My degree is in music.

You are obviously an extremely gifted musician and unique in our culture.
Sarcasm noted, but counting really isn't necessary. It's taught to facilitate the identification process but music isn't about numbers. Even babies respond to music and can imitate rhythmic patterns and they can't even talk yet.

The reason why this seems so foreign is because you were taught one way of doing something and assume everyone else was taught the same things. This is normal but not actuality. I never liked how my music teachers wanted me to make something simple more complicated by doing unmusical things, such as counting, but I am also aware of the intellectual bias in Western culture.
 
The fact that you are self-taught tells me everything I need to know. You wouldn't have got into the university I attended. You just wouldn't have passed the auditions and written entrance exams. I have never heard a self-taught musician that was worth listening too. In the classical sphere putting "self-taught" and "musician" together is an oxymoron. And yes, having no science degree matters. Any one can quote "studies" and talk psychobabble. Taking a course here and there, while interesting, just doesn't cut it.

Don't you get tired of saying "sarcasm noted" in your posts? You got off to a bad start in the other thread and said that a few times after people had enough of how and what you wrote. Maybe that should tell you something about your know-it-all aggressive posts. I'm blocking you now, so I wont be reading any more of your nonsense.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought.
Do you have something to back up this claim? If people have different experiences it absolutely effects how they learn. Everyone doesn't come to class with the same knowledge or background, thus they need different things to learn and become proficient. I think you are just mixing stuff up again.
 

LKSO

Active Member
The fact that you are self-taught tells me everything I need to know. You wouldn't have got into the university I attended. You just wouldn't have passed the auditions and written entrance exams. I have never heard a self-taught musician that was worth listening too. In the classical sphere putting "self-taught" and "musician" together is an oxymoron. And yes, having no science degree matters. Any one can quote "studies" and talk psychobabble. Taking a course here and there, while interesting, just doesn't cut it.
I'm well aware that there is a bias that if you are self-taught, it means that it isn't as valuable as having a piece of paper to back it up. If you can put aside this bias, I think a lot of things would be much easier to be open to. I am very well read in psychology, I've read tens of thousands of articles on the subject, and am incredibly knowledgeable in the areas I mentioned. I started studying neuroscience because psychology is inept at answering the question of what is learning, memory, and intelligence.

I passed the audition as well as the theory exams. This required me to study, on my own, all the necessary theory that I knew would be on the entrance exam. I did not, however, pass the aural tests, which required me to take ear training. Without ever having heard me play my main instrument, you jump to a conclusion that I am a terrible musician. I doubt that I can change your attitude on this forum.

Don't you get tired of saying "sarcasm noted" in your posts? You got off to a bad start in the other thread and said that a few times after people had enough of how and what you wrote. Maybe that should tell you something about your know-it-all aggressive posts. I'm blocking you now, so I wont be reading any more of your nonsense.
Don't you get tired of using sarcasm?
 

LKSO

Active Member

Do you have something to back up this claim? If people have different experiences it absolutely effects how they learn. Everyone doesn't come to class with the same knowledge or background, thus they need different things to learn and become proficient. I think you are just mixing stuff up again.

If you read my previous posts, I addressed exactly what you are asking.
 

LKSO

Active Member
This is the complete paragraph that I wrote, yet you only pick the first sentence.

"This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought. In fact, we are pretty much the same across the board. The difference, however, is the amount of background knowledge and skill between people which makes it seem like we learn differently, some faster and some slower."

And you respond with exactly the same thing I wrote but in your own words:
"Everyone doesn't come to class with the same knowledge or background, thus they need different things to learn and become proficient."
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
This is the complete paragraph that I wrote, yet you only pick the first sentence.

"This isn't actually true. It turns out that people learn much more similarly than was previously thought. In fact, we are pretty much the same across the board. The difference, however, is the amount of background knowledge and skill between people which makes it seem like we learn differently, some faster and some slower."

And you respond with exactly the same thing I wrote but in your own words:
"Everyone doesn't come to class with the same knowledge or background, thus they need different things to learn and become proficient."
Now let us see if you can figure out why.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
While I can't speak for our esteemed TM, I can say that I don't.

:)

.
Hear, hear..

okay musicologists; since i don't think my brain does things the way its supposed to according to scientists, never mind, the way other people do things, (probly due to too much funny cigarettes and listening to Beefheart, then explaing what was happening in that music to the vegetable heads around me) and I have a problems when people ask me to clap when they nod their heads..(No jokes about "when i nod my head you hit it please"),
is La Trampera an example of a syncopated beat and/or an accent shifted?
and please give an explanation

 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
and if you prefer a different version of La Trampera, then post it up. My favourite version I don't actually know who plays it, its very jazzy.
The jazziest version I know is the 1969 Troilo Quartet recording (not the earlier Troilo - Grela Qrt - fun though that is) I couldn't find a version quickly on YouTube, but did find this, which is just great for the film - but purists, be ready for a shock: surely no one EVER danced like THIS - they look as though they might be enjoying themselves!


BTW, I generally find that among the mainstream orchestras, Troilo has jazz running in his veins. Only Carabelli has more, but he WAS a jazz musician.

This is the 1969 recording (from Spotify):

Anibal Troilo Y Su Cuarteto – La Trampera
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
The jazziest version I know is the 1969 Troilo Quartet recording (not the earlier Troilo - Grela Qrt - fun though that is) I couldn't find a version quickly on YouTube, but did find this, which is just great for the film - but purists, be ready for a shock: surely no one EVER danced like THIS - they look as though they might be enjoying themselves!


BTW, I generally find that among the mainstream orchestras, Troilo has jazz running in his veins. Only Carabelli has more, but he WAS a jazz musician.

I spotted that clip too :)
I suspect the version I have is a more modern orchestra...
 

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