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Hands-On Music Theory by Richard Wentk

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8Examples and Clichés

YOU’VE LISTENED. You’ve played. What do you do now? You can carry on experimenting and playing. But when a big hit happens, it’s useful to pull it apart to see if you can learn what made it so successful.

This may not look like any kind of music theory you know, but it’s all about the music. If you don’t know what you’re trying to do, why you’re doing it, or who you’re doing it for, you’re less likely to create music that audiences want to listen to.

Actors, writers, and film directors learn about motivation—a quality that makes performances compelling when it’s there and forgettable when it isn’t. Musicians, on the other hand, sometimes believe they are supposed to play whatever they want and hope an audience appears. But ...

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