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nina's avatar

What level of musical training does it take to be able to enjoy just reading sheet music?

Asked by nina (893 points ) July 6th, 2008

I truly enjoy reading plays more than seing them on stage, I wonder if the same thing is possible with music.

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10 Answers

beast's avatar

I took trumpet lessons in 4th grade only, and I still remember how to read music. It was a great learning experience.

MissAnthrope's avatar

You don’t need to be highly proficient in an instrument to be great at theory. When I was playing seriously, I participated in Certificate of Merit, which is a day to test your playing ability, you play in front of judges, and also you get tested on your theory. I found that I was well ahead of my playing ability—I tested for level 2 because the pieces at 3+ were too hard to play. For theory, I was level 5+.

For what you want, the difficulty lies in being able to hear the notes in your head as you read the music, and I never mastered that. :)

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I play grades 3–5 for Bassoon, I think enjoy it and it’s a great hobby of mine but I never liked music theory. I would say it wouldn’t take much to just read it, I quit theory after 3 months, it truly depends on the love of the music rather than your knowledge about it.

Trance24's avatar

Well I played the flute for about 5 years, and I must say I never enjoyed reading the music. Just loved playing it.

loser's avatar

I think it would have to depend on the person too. At whatever level of being able to read music, I’d think it would take a certain type of mind to enjoy reading it like a book or something.

generalspecific's avatar

yeah i’m not sure if a whole lot of people actually ENJOY reading music. it’s nice to hear but if you’re not playing it, it’s not very exciting at all.

but reading music is fairly simple.. you just have to know the clefs and the keys.. that’s really the most tricky part, for me at least. and the different time signatures.

shockvalue's avatar

I played Celtic fiddle from first grade until eighth. and I never actually learned to read sheet music. I just picked everything up by ear. In 1999 I went to a music camp with Allister Frasier and he told me that he wasn’t going to give me sheet music to learn from because it makes music more like work.

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

It isn’t really a matter of level of musical training, but how well you can read it. I started out on the viola and read the music fine. then the cello and that was fine. Then I switched to the bass which has different strings then a cello or viola. It took sometime to get adjusted to it, but it worked

MindErrantry's avatar

As another Celtic musician (harp), I learned my instrument by ear rather than through sheet music; while due to classical violin training, I know how to read sheet music, to me printed music is largely lifeless, and can even be a barrier to understanding the music itself. When you have to break down a song and learn it by ear (and memorize it quickly!), you acquire a sense of how the music works that sits deeper than that gained from sheet music, where you continually have a reminder of what to do next, avoiding the need for such internalization. With a background like that, I can’t get the sense of a song very well from sheet music, and so it is not enjoyable to look to paper as a substitute for the sound. On the other hand, that’s just the musical tradition I’ve been trained in; the classical tradition has grown out of a broader European urge to write things down that began a very long time ago (9th century, I’m thinking, but it’s been a while since I’ve checked), and so someone trained in that style may have a more ‘positive’ relationship with printed music. I would think background rather than ‘level’ has a lot to do with it.

28lorelei's avatar

The best experience for many people is to look at the music while simultaneously listening to the music. However, the paper isn’t an adequate substitute for the actual music; unless, of course, you have the ability to imagine the music in all its clarity just inside your head (which requires a pretty darn good ear) and even still printed music doesn’t substitute played music, although then it is easier to understand.

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