Transcribing music is generally a core part of the syllabus for music degrees and higher-level instrument learning.
In the 21st century it may seem outdated to worry about how we write down music with a pencil on a staff. But in fact, the benefits of learning to transcribe music by ear are just as important now as ever.
1. It lets you record what you hear.
Whether it’s pencil on printed manuscript paper, entering notes into Finale, or using the piano roll in Logic, being able to set down the notes you heard accurately empowers your music creation and manipulation.
2. It proves you know what you heard.
If we break down “understanding the music you hear” into its component parts, it’s a process of:
A. Hear the music
B. Form a mental ‘picture’ of the music
C. Understand that picture in detail
D. Do something with it