“Back in the day,” musicians learned the vocabulary of improvised music by playing along with the recording, maybe hundreds of times, learning the melodies and improvised solos. Such musicians became fluent, geniuses even, despite (in some cases) not being able to read a a symbol used to represent a specific pitch and duration of music. Music is its own language, with A system of symbols used to write down music. an effort to communicate it in non-sonic The structure or organization of a piece of music, including its sections, repetitions, and overall shape. – but, music is (according to the late Milt Jackson) sound and feeling.
The process of notating a piece of music as it is performed, either by ear or from a recording. is an essential skill for all musicians who want to progress in deeper understanding of what they’re supposed to be playing, and how music “works.”
Transcription takes you “inside” the music in a more profound and engaging way than passive listening – although, after doing enough transcription, you learn “analytical listening” enabling you to “know what it is” when you hear it, even as you do “recreational” listening.
Spontaneous composition of melody from practiced or prepared melodic patterns consisting of ideas including melodic ornamentation of chord tones, patterns, scales or sequences is, essentially, Additional musical notes inserted to decorate a melody through a variety of methods, including trills, turns, mordants, approach tones, upper and lower neighbors, appoggiaturas, passing tones, lead-ins, bends and suspensions of A sequence of single pitches perceived as a unit, usually the main theme or tune in a piece of music., or ornamentation of The arrangement of chords and harmonies in a piece of music., in a rhythmic context.
It’s like a puzzle to be solved. Progression of the “chords” (harmonic environments), presents harmonic challenges which the improviser navigates, much like a kayaker shooting the rapids on a river. It’s much easier to “learn the river” after following somebody who’s been through it before – and the more you do it, the better you get at it.
And, you’ll be better equipped to learn tunes quickly, and possibly supplement your musical income with transcription and The process of adapting a piece of music for a different ensemble, style, or performance context. services for those who can’t or don’t want to do it themselves!