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1 hour ago, jejrekmek said:

wait what's wrong with using parallel fifths?

It's an old rule in counterpoint, for writing polyphonic music. If you want to make a chorale or fugue, or any other contrapunctal piece using 2 or more independent voices, parallel fifths are one of the things that {historically} you're not allowed to use, if you want to follow the rules from the past; similarly, using parallel octaves is also against the rules. I believe it's outlined in detail in Johann Joseph Fux's book Gradus ad Parnassum, and most music theory books based off of its teachings.

Of course, if you don't care about following the guidelines set out in these books, then there's no one stopping you from doing so (unless you're taking a counterpoint test in a class). However, as a relatively traditional composer, I tend to try to follow them, especially when I write chamber music, which is inherently polyphonic.

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On 8/25/2020 at 12:01 AM, Thatguy v2.0 said:

I wouldn't say the there's a problem with music theory, but rather your approach to it. I used to feel the same way, because what drives me as a musician is this ridiculous need to convey the sounds that I hear in my head to portray what I want to say. I used to start with music theory and try and fit ideas into it, but then I started letting that mental voice take charge, and using music theory to figure out where it's trying to go and what the actual goal is. 


learn all the "theory" (ugh) you want, all of the contrapuntal rules, all of the intricacies of harmony as discussed by Schoenberg in his "Theory of Harmony"...and then 'forget' about all of that. it is still in your brain, you will make use of it when necessary, and without thought if you are doing it right, and discarding rules or keeping them on a whim of your latest fantasy. And after you have remembered to 'forget', well...you and I both know what comes next.

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