In support of what you guys are getting at, get a load of this. A lot of the blame for unskilled players getting so much AirPlay and, therefore, popularity, lies with hipster journalists feting the noise players over the amazing players.
The rock critics have been trashing progressive music since the mid-70s...
Much had to do with the rise of cynical materialism and the attitudes of the Rolling Stone editorial staff.
I have to say I'm leaning towards what MW13068 is saying.
Creation of art comes from innate talent, not from knowledge of theory.
Without the talent, all the theory knowledge in the world will not help you create art.
But if you have the talent, you can create the art, independent of your knowledge of theory.
As far as Picasso vs. Cobain...
I don't listen to Cobain, but when I do/did, there is a gut feeling that says... There is something big here, there is power to move many hearts.
When I see Picasso, I think (non-flattering statement) and laugh at Intellectuals
This discussion has me thinking about what "talent" is.
Miriam Webster says "Natural aptitude or skill" -- Concise enough. But the question is: are you born with talent, or do you develop it because you're intrested in something and practice at it.
There is no doubt that some humans are born with an innate understanding (abnormal to most others) of music, math, language, etc. but they don't make up the whole set of those people who others consider "talented."
Can "talent" be the result of study (whether formal, or not) and practice?
It seems to me that anyone who has worked at something long enough to be proficient would seem "talented" to an observer who has an interest in the 'something' but doesn't have the same proficiency.
Conversely, someone who was extremely skilled at something that the observer had little interest in, perhaps wouldn't seem so talented.
Is "talent" a property of the skilled person, or an observation of the interested observer? I'm starting to think that talent has more to do with the observer.
If you think that I'm FOS, and your posts amount to little more than gibberish, then talent is the observation of an observer.
I am pondering if there's talent that is sensed by the listener and musician alike that somehow gifts both individuals with a connection - be it a mere appreciation of the music, an idea or emotion, etc? In the back of my mind, this is what I long for as a musician. To put it the best I can, I long to think and feel that my music is good somehow and I long for others to think the same, not out of ego, but out of 'blessing.' Not sure if that makes sense?
The collective response has been that you don't need any knowledge of theory to write great music.
But what of music that doesn't come from theory? It may not be analyzable by current theory at all. It can still be great.
So, of what value is theory really anyway?
That's where you guys may be slightly missing the point - even "music that doesn't come from theory" can be analyzed. All music can be analyzed and studied and even codified.
Then the theorist will figure out why the music in question "works". It may not be based on the old functional harmony, which is why you may call it "music that doesn't come from theory" - but since theory is AFTER the fact, any music can be broken down into its parts for study.
Perhaps a "new" theory will be developed to explain what happened, but pretty much any tonal music can be analyzed under the rules Paul Hindemith worked out in the classic book "The Craft of Musical Composition: Theoretical Part - Book 1"
The Craft of Musical Composition: Theoretical Part - Book 1 (Tap/159): Paul Hindemith: 0073999691658: Amazon.com: Books
Frankly it can handle almost any music, from medieval chant to the most modern music.
What you guys are thinking of is "functional harmony", the basic rules of music from Bach to the Beatles.
Even those examples of music that breaks the rules of functional harmony can be analyzed with the tools from CMC.
A taste of CMC:
"The system was intended to accommodate principles of not only traditional tonal music,
but any type of 'meaningful' music."
many years ago, I learned some music theory from book ( in the school library) with a title like that - "Bach to the Beatles" I think its out of print, would love to find a copy of it again. IIRC, it made a lot of sense.
I read it too, good book. There are also several series on the Beatles' music in theory terms, among them:
Alan W. Pollack's Notes on ... Series
Alan W. Pollack's Notes on ... Series
The Harmonic Language of the Beatles
Oxford University Press: The Beatles As Musicians: Walter Everett