Music Theory (9)

1 Name: extremitas!TJ1J3FuPRU : 2008-09-03 03:13 ID:T3w6micV

So, I wanted to get into music theory. Which would be a good approach for this? Finding a teacher or reading a book? If it were reading a book, what book? All and any recommendations welcome.

2 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2008-09-03 03:20 ID:6JTj5yvR

teacher for sure. worked for me anyways

3 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2008-09-03 04:49 ID:X9ZEebsj

Well, I took piano lessons when I was a kid, but I never really learned much aside from reading music. Once I go older and took a stronger liking to music, I delved into more general music theory and some compositional techniques. Naturally I had a piano teacher, but the rest I did from books and whatnot.

Is learning from a teacher better than a book? Probably. Having someone to correct your mistakes and steer you in the right direction is probably a big help. But if you have the drive, there is no reason why you wouldn't benefit from just research.

4 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2008-09-24 20:42 ID:Heaven

Just from research? That's like saying you don't need to spend time on a boat in order to learn a sailing.

"Hey, do you really know how to sail this thing?"

"Oh, yeah. I read about it a lot."

5 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2009-01-02 00:25 ID:9z/TFy7S

Music theory is very complicated so its probably best if you get a teacher. Make sure the teacher knows what he's talking about.

6 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2009-01-06 15:49 ID:Heaven


Knows what he's doing is also important.

7 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2009-04-28 14:53 ID:cplcfriF

I agree that a teacher is best. But books can certainly be helpful too. I personally recommend "The Music Theory Handbook" by Marjorie Merryman. It's an excellent resource; it's very clear and concise, and goes over all the basics and some of the more advanced theory points, from counterpoint to harmony.

It's also very important to do exercises to apply the theory you learn to reality, otherwise the theory won't do you much good.

8 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2009-05-12 20:30 ID:iIKlMEd3

Just don't stop before you get to minor harmonies ... like all the techno/electronica/new age guys did.

Trust your ears. The theory is just a guideline. The masters didn't always follow it and neither should you; but you do have to know what works before you can take liberties with it.

Taking ear training before you learn harmony/theory is probably best.

9 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2009-05-25 17:27 ID:GXKc3q/s

Music Theory is just a way to codify what sounds good into a framework that can be taught and applied. Most of what you learn in music theory has to do with voice leading - i.e., how to smoothly resolve tensions.

You will learn about things such as as four-part harmony that really only apply in the context they were created in and can be safely ignored outside of it. The rules of four-part harmony ensure that each voice rings out as an independent part. When writing for four horns in a big band settings, you can safely ignore those rules, and instead there's a different ruleset you can choose to follow.

There are quite a few different books on the subject, but in the end the best way to learn is to learn by doing. Why do you want to learn music theory?

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