I found this article on http://www.medici.tv/#/magazine/archive/news/2008-08 and it increased my curiosity because recently I was discussing this subject on another forum and people had very different (sometimes opposite )opinions. Please read the article:
«Is it essential to read music to be a genuine musician?
August 12, 2008 3:00 PM
Can you learn a language without knowing its alphabet and grammar? It is now possible to gain an A grade in GCSE music without being able to read or write music. According to BBC Music Magazine, it has even been years already that the examination boards (including Oxford and Cambridge) gave no more than 20 per cent of its total marks to being able to read sheet music. Compositions submitted to be graduated require no scores and can be only recorded. No sheet music anymore for any performing exam too. During these last days, many musicians have criticized what they consider as a dumbing-down. What would have think Luciano Pavarotti who admitted in 1997 he could not read a score? And what would say Sir Paul McCartney, unable to read at sight a semiquavel on sheet music?
Among the crusaders, cellist Julian Lloyd Weber, the brother of composer and successful musicals (Jesus-Christ Superstar, Phantom of the Opera…) Andrew Lloyd Weber, estimates that educational change ridiculous “You have got to learn to walk before you can run. This is the basics of learning music”, he said to The Independent. He also estimates that GCSE music “move to make things easier” is pure demagogy.
The opposition to such an evolution found a far more surprising spokesman: Damon Albarn, lead singer of BritPop band Blur, co-founder of Gorillaz and creator of The Good, The Bad & The Queen project when he says: “I think anyone interested in music should be forced to learn how to read and write it”. And he recalls that he was classically trained and refers to his own experience: “I used to write for small orchestras when I was 15. I sold my soul to the devil and became a pop star and forgot about it, but in the past few years I have got back into orchestration after an almost 20-year hiatus. I’m so slow now…” But it is not his remaining ability in reading music – it is like the bicycle, you never forget – that lead him to write a whole opera Monkey that has been staged in great opera houses and even at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this late July?»
Do you think that we are gradually turning over an abandon of some practices considered the basic structure of music apprenticeship: to read and to write music? As I understood, there are educational institutions and individual (self-taught) musicians that only rely on technique and performance.
I'm curious to read your opinions.
Are sheets becoming outdated? Think about the tabs on guitar/bass playing.
If you had already discussed this subject, I'm sorry, didn't find it.