[Dixielandjazz] Posing a question

Paul Kurtz Jr kurtzph at comcast.net
Thu May 3 10:49:29 PDT 2012

Ken, an interesting question about application of music theory to improvements in playing. 

1. Major and minor scales helped me a great deal. I was able to transpose music from key to key without a problem from the time I was in high-school. I got these scales in piano lessons and a good bit of music theory before I started playing trumpet.

2. Ear training which isn't actually music theory per se, but contains a number of theory elements, was very helpful to me. There was, is, and will be a great lack of available music for blind people and I've had to do a lot by ear. Hearing intervals helped me to more quickly put melodies together and then improvise from them. Hearing cords helped my improv and also helped me during times when I had to play some part I didn't'
t have and fill in harmony. 

3. The examples in theory of different styles and periods of music have helped me to play music better. They've also helped me to put little things in improvised parts (as Louis Armstrong did by putting a small bit of an Arban study in "West End Blues) and it's increased my joy at all the music I've heard. 

4. Clefs haven't helped me in improvisation or transposition at all since Braille music has a completely different structure. However, I had to learn all of them anyway as part of my theory. 

Hope this helps.
Paul Kurtz Jacksonville, FL

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list