Intuition and Memory in the Arts
I’ve recently been enjoying a specific aspect of art in the form of guitar music by a very talented guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. He is very well known for his elaborate arrangements for the guitar. I’ve been trying to learn some of his songs, but I quickly found that he does not write his own tablature or sheet music for his songs. I read more about him and I learned that he actually did not learn any music theory when learning the guitar. Therefore, he does not know how to read sheet music, write sheet music, or understand music theory despite being a world renowned guitarist.
Music theory focuses on how composers write music. Music theory touches on chords, rhythm, tuning, time signatures, and many more. I myself am not very familiar with music theory as well. I find it difficult to understand how to create chords on the guitar, find different voicings for chords, as well as identify different types of musical scales. When I learned that Tommy Emmanuel composes music without knowledge of music theory, I wonder how does he compose his songs then? Does Tommy Emmanuel have the ability to use intuition to be able to compose music?
By learning music theory, this gives a composer a form of reasoning to follow when composing music. The music that they compose is created by reasoning such that it agrees with ideas of music theory. If Tommy Emmanuel is not familiar...