What role has theory played in your compositions and how important is it for people to know the theory behind the music in order to appreciate it?

Martin BoykanMartin Boykan:
…no way of thinking about pitch or rhythm provides an automatic advantage; theoretical constructs are only useful as a source of opportunities…
Kim CasconeKim Cascone:
…Filmmaking, mathematics, aesthetics, and computer programming all intersect to make for a more rounded definition of the term “music theory”…
Thomas DeLioThomas DeLio:
I have worked extensively as both a composer and theorist throughout my career and see no separation between these two complementary, mutually enriching activities…
David DotyDavid Doty:
…divorced from the practice of music; it becomes a kind of recreational mathematics.
Tom JohnsonTom Johnson:
…Study what other people have already done before you try to compose chance music or serial music or graphic scores. Try to avoid reinventing the wheel…
Fred LerdahlFred Lerdahl:
… I would never compose and theorize at the same time. The feeling of the two activities is very different, and the act of composition must retain its spontaneity…
Cindy McTeeCindy McTee:
…what I fear most about complex theoretical tools is that their overuse may “serve as a buffer between us…and the deeper dimensions of our own experience”…
George RussellGeorge Russell:
… Methods without philosophy are insanity, and philosophies without methods are babble…
Julia WerntzJulia Werntz:
…If such music is written and performed with inspiration and skill, then the listener needs nothing more than two simple things to appreciate it…

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