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Good beginner resources for music theory? (Read 665 times)

Offline kittenyarn

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Good beginner resources for music theory?
« on: June 16, 2021, 11:09:51 PM »
Hi! Can you suggest some good beginner resources for music theory? Anything you've found useful, youtube videos, website, courses, books are all welcome :) I'm very new to music theory and semi-beginner at playing piano but would like to learn more because I understand it will help me become a better player :)

Offline j_tour

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #1 on: June 16, 2021, 11:36:55 PM »
Well, I'm sure there are fancy videos and all that, but I'd just grab a standard text, like Walter Piston's Harmony and do it.

I just picked Walter Piston because that's what I'm familiar with if I remember way back, and at one point it was the dominant textbook for undergraduate-level common-practice-period theory.

I personally began studying music theory at about age twelve or so, as part of a school curriculum, taught one-on-one with the school's MusicDirector and factotum, and it involved ear-training using some primitive (by today's standards) computer software, and writing endless counterpoint.

So, that's all in a standard textbook like Piston's, but I would supplement that text by nabbing some PDF syllabuses from UG courses so you might have some kind of an order to proceed.

But, books like those are ordered generally so you can start with Chapt. 1 and just proceed. 

Do the exercises, though, with pencil and paper.  I don't recall what kinds of exercises Piston's book has, if any, but I'm sure they are there.

And, you can always have somebody here "grade your homework" to see if it's right.
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Offline ranjit

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #2 on: June 16, 2021, 11:58:15 PM »
If you want to start with something easier than what j_tour suggests:

For the very basics, music theory.net is good
For the basics, I found Write Like Mozart to be a nice introduction. There's also a peer-graded assignment at the end, which I found to be quite fun back in the day.

Offline tomp86

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 11:42:39 AM »
I am in the process of reading https://www.musictheory.net/lessons when I have some free time and it has been good. I'm not sure if the exercise section is good, but I plan to look at that aswell

Offline rcarle67

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #4 on: June 26, 2021, 04:30:20 PM »
look at "Idiot's Guide To Music Theory". (seriously!) and download the software.  Then move to any of many good books. Piston is a classic but I think is quite rigorous  The "Idiot's" books are not for idiots, they are solid introductions to whatever subject you want to begin to master.  The brand is a very clever marketing strategy.  I know; I sold them for a liviing.

Offline kittenyarn

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #5 on: July 08, 2021, 06:10:56 PM »
Oh my, I read your answers but then I forgot to reply and say thank you!! I'm terribly sorry :( I have explored musictheory.net and it's very good with the animations. Exactly what I need as a beginner. I learn the best by seeing how things line up visually so that site is perfect. Thanks for the tip!

Offline jimf12

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #6 on: July 14, 2021, 02:49:38 PM »
There are some phone apps that you might want to check out once you have enough info to start testing yourself.    Tenuto is pretty good.  It also as some basic ear training exercises.

Offline rowy101

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #7 on: August 15, 2021, 01:54:42 PM »
Hi! Can you suggest some good beginner resources for music theory?

Here's a list of resources: https://composer.rowy.net/Music-Theory.html

Offline scientistplayspiano

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Re: Good beginner resources for music theory?
«Reply #8 on: September 18, 2021, 01:28:27 PM »
Depends on your level, you may find these videos and playlist helpful, oriented to beginner and level 1 class piano students, for sight reading and improvisation. I am using Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory.

I do not like to learn theory alone, theory only makes sense when you apply to music analysis and understanding. However, like any theories the difficult part is to memorize basics and get the abstract concept correctly. If you would like to know more, I can recommend more resources.

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Playlist: