Are You Musically Illiterate?

il·lit·er·ate

[ih-lit-er-it]

–adjective

1. unable to read and write: an illiterate group.
2. having or demonstrating very little or no education.
3. showing lack of culture, especially in language and literature.
4. displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field: He is musically illiterate.
(source: dictionary.com)
 
For generations, the African-American church has failed to adequately educate its musicians in the way of music theory. Some historians speculate that this is due to a historical lack of education in the black community. However, even as it has churned out some of the world’s greatest musical talent and African-Americans possess more college degrees now than ever before, gospel musicians continue to be musically illiterate. A musician who cannot read music is akin to a carpenter who cannot read a blueprint. Although both may be masterful in their skill set, they lack the ability to properly codify their respective creations. It is the goal of GospelChops to address this musical deficiency and equip gospel musicians with fundamental music theory information that  will expand their skills. This video, found on Youtube, is a great starting point. We encourage musicians to seek out other theory lessons and make it part of their musical growth process.

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One Comment

  1. I come from a long line of musicians from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where I attended a Celtic music school for many years. I was always in advanced classes, and was one of the few students who wouldn’t read music. Some of the best musicians in the history of music are musically illiterate, and it is often celebrated. Dont beat yourself up if you can’t read music, it’s not entirely necessary. Learning to translate sheet music to written tabs can be helpful tip

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