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  1. #1
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    Default Music Theory thread

    A lot of people here seem to be pretty knowledgable about music theory. Wondering if you guys have any recommendations for books for someone who is not very knowledgeable on the subject. Oslo thought it would be nice to have this thread for discussion and questions.
    Are you sad about your mountain? ̹̫̰̪̰̝̭̒̌ͫ̈ ̖̱̩̟̣̝͖̯̱͋̂̈́̅͟͝d̬͍̍ͬ̆ͮ̂̀͡͞ ̈́͂̌̉͏̶̟͔̹̫̳t̥̮͖͌ͭͦ̂ͩͨ́̐͝͞?̵̧͈̹̫̰̪̰̝̭̒̌ͫ̈ ̖̱̩̟̣̝͖̯̱͋̂̈́̅͟͝d̬͍̍ͬ̆ͮ̂̀͡͞ ̈́͂̌̉͏̶̟͔̹̫̳☻͉̪̾͌̇̉̋̍ͬ̏͆͆͒̄̀|͖̲͇̰̀ͬ̈́̃̂̅͆̌̎̈́͒ ̎͗̈͌ ͊͒ͧ͢͢|̢͌̿ͮͨ̂̓̇Was this a continent you liked?,
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham View Post
    At the concert I saw he just said, "All I wanna say is, Sonic the Hedgehog. Just Once. Sonic the Hedgehog. Okay, Twice."
    ?̵̧͈̹̫̰̪̰̝̭̒̌ͫ̈ ̖̱̩̟̣̝͖̯̱͋̂̈́̅͟͝d̬͍̍ͬ̆ͮ̂̀͡͞ ̈́͂̌̉͏̶̟͔̹̫̳ |͆̆ͯ̓͐ͮ͛̀͊͗ͮ̈́̔̌͗|̡̉̈ͪ́͘

    You had me at Helvetica.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
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    Default

    I only know basic chord construction and how to stay in key. I don't know all my modes or anything.

  3. #3
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    "the only chord I know is the one that plugs the guitar into the amp"

  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
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    I'm teaching an "intro to music theory" course this coming semester for grad school. The book we're using is Joseph Straus's "Elements of Music" textbook, which, as I go through it, seems to be a really nice introduction to really really basic music theory concepts (it goes from what pitch is and how to read a staff up to about the concept of dominant-tonic resolution and basic predominant-dominant-tonic chordal progressions.)

    However, if you're looking for a great introduction to the actual academic field that is "music theory", you should check out Nicholas Cook's "A Guide to Musical Analysis", which is fantastic.

    Other books:

    Kostka and Payne's "Tonal Harmony", the standard music theory textbook for most colleges (although I know a bunch of theorists who have a lot of qualms about it...)
    Steven Laitz's "Graduate Review of Tonal Theory" - basically a fast-paced run through of fundamental theoretical concepts. Intended for grad students who've learned the stuff before, so it's a little brisk-paced, but it's also organized in a very logical way (and in a MUCH more logical way than the Kostka/Payne book...)

    There's others but it all depends on what kind of theory you're looking for. For instance, you'll learn what the diatonic church modes are in any standard history book, but if you're looking for how "modes" work and are thought of in jazz, you'll probably want a much Berklee book on chord-scale theory, or George Russell's "Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization."

  5. #5
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    really the best way to learn theory is doing it in a classroom setting I really believe. unless you are crazy motivated you could learn out of a book but I personally need a teacher.

    Yep... Kostka and Payne's "Tonal Harmony" been there done that comes with a work book and you can also get a fat discount on finale if you mention the promotion code the work book comes with. I REALLY like finale its pretty easy to use. I've heard about people using muse or something like that its free.

    I'm trying to get good with counter point and figure bass... guess what era I love... lol!!!!
    I know damage is spelled damage but I got too creative trying to utilize dame in brain dame age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Hey BrainDamege, you're a good writer. Do you want to write news articles on my blog?

  6. #6
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    I agree, classroom setting is the best. I tried learning on my own and some stuff you just need someone else to help with.

  7. #7
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    the best thing, I think, for anyone wanting to learn theory is to learn your keys and their relative key. then you don't even have to really learn that stupid circle of fifths.

    I know all my majors super well but those minors... don't quite have the ear about now.

    Andrew have you had theory??? When I first started, I was thinking "if I would have know this back in high school, it would have completely changed my life" its amazing how far you can get without knowing how to really read. and how far you don't get.
    I know damage is spelled damage but I got too creative trying to utilize dame in brain dame age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Hey BrainDamege, you're a good writer. Do you want to write news articles on my blog?

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrainDamege View Post
    the best thing, I think, for anyone wanting to learn theory is to learn your keys and their relative key. then you don't even have to really learn that stupid circle of fifths.

    I know all my majors super well but those minors... don't quite have the ear about now.
    The most important part of understand music theory fundamentals is probably the aural skills that go along with them. Which isn't to say someone with a trained ear can't be knowledgable about theory or vice versa - but recognizing and being able to reproduce scales, chords, and, most importantly, intervals, is really key in being familiar enough with the fundamentals to move on to larger-scale concepts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrainDamege View Post
    Andrew have you had theory??? When I first started, I was thinking "if I would have know this back in high school, it would have completely changed my life" its amazing how far you can get without knowing how to really read. and how far you don't get.
    taking it next year. But a lot of it is just listening, and if you know your basics you can start to learn a lot more on your own.

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