Help me get into music theory

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Jackpot
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Help me get into music theory

Postby Jackpot » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:37 pm UTC

Hi guys.

I would like to learn about music theory. Referances to books & stuff are welcome. I know scales, but I am confused by what a "minor third" is. Wiki & stuff isn't exactly entry level.

I feel most comfortable with a guitar, so please bear that in mind.
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:52 pm UTC

Musictheory.net is a really good beginner's resource. Basically it's a series of mini 'lessons' that you observe (flash format). They do a pretty good job of covering the basics. You should be able to find the answers to a lot of questions within there...

(And for the quick answer, a minor third is 3 half steps--so G to Bb or C to Eb. The "Third" references the interval (how far apart the note names are), and the "minor" references what quality the interval has. Other options include major, augmented, and diminished.)

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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby kanavazk » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:34 pm UTC

Go to any store that sells sheet music and ask them/look for where they put the music theory books and workbooks and stuff. Maybe get a teacher to teach you because it's usually easier when you have a person to explain to you how to do something you don't really understand. (Teachers usually have these workbooks and other materials already and all the teachers I know just let you photocopy their material, so you don't have to spend money on your own book.)

String and keyboard instruments usually move in half steps, I don't know why I wanted to say that.

I always liked working with books and people instead of internet when trying to learn stuff. So yeah.
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lira_riu
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby lira_riu » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:04 pm UTC

I'm a music theory major, though I should admit I've never really taught basics, I know lots of stuff. Feel free to PM me as well.

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gamerfreak_666
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby gamerfreak_666 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:43 pm UTC

music theory is simply knowing how to make something sound as you want it to its not exactly always easy but it is enjoyable when you get it down

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Durinthal
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby Durinthal » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:37 pm UTC

No.. no it's not. That's like saying math is about getting the numbers you want without explaining how or why equations work. Sure, you can just try plugging in different notes/numbers until you get something that works, but you still don't understand why it works.

What you're discussing, composition, is a very small aspect of music theory. For example, I'm a composer and utilize my knowledge of music theory with every single note that I write. My wife, on the other hand, despises composition but loves to analyze works by the masters of art music. One of her favorite composers is Arnold Schoenberg, and let me tell you, you are not going to understand his works and their significance without a working knowledge of compositional techniques before and since him.

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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby saxmaniac1987 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

Seconded. Schoenberg will sound like random slamming on the piano unless you know what is really going on. And when that dawns upon you, its a pretty great sense of discovery.
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Marbas
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby Marbas » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

I suggest The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory as a primer. It also comes with an ear-training CD.
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marajade8849
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby marajade8849 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:45 pm UTC

The best way to learn music is to experience it for yourself. I suggest that you pick up learning an instrument, it makes things easier to understand. If you are not wanting to learn an instrument, I suggest that you have some sort of keyboard on hand, that will clear up the issue of "minor third" and the understanding of half steps will become more clear.

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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby ChocloManx » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:28 am UTC

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a386
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby a386 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:43 am UTC

if the answer is "not so much" or if you are another person reading this thread looking for an introduction to music theory, there is a book called "this is your brain on music" which (is very good imho and) has an opening section with a sort of a music theory primer so that you can understand what the guy is talking about for the rest of the book. That primer i think is really well-written and it describes things in a very intuitive way, which is something i notice lacking from a lot of theory books which tend to read sort of dry.

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Masily box
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby Masily box » Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 am UTC

was there a primer in that book? I don't remember... I must have skipped it.


Anyways, I thought that there were lots of problems with the rest of Levitin's book, including some pretty basic factual errors. They say that some of the simple ones were fixed in the paperback, but I'd still be wary. It was entertaining for sure, but like most popular science literature it should be taken with a grain of salt.

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a386
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby a386 » Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:43 am UTC

Masily box wrote:was there a primer in that book? I don't remember... I must have skipped it.


Anyways, I thought that there were lots of problems with the rest of Levitin's book, including some pretty basic factual errors. They say that some of the simple ones were fixed in the paperback, but I'd still be wary. It was entertaining for sure, but like most popular science literature it should be taken with a grain of salt.

i think it may have been so fun for me because i do not know the first shit about neuroscience and he explains things very well and conversationally and makes them logical to a layman, which is why i suggested him as a jumping-off point for music theory too. i read the paperback so maybe i got the fixed versions of some things but honestly i did not check him, though i didn't necessarily take his word as truth either because so much very new science is nothing but premature conclusions.

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Various Varieties
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:58 pm UTC

I'm reading This is Your Brain on Music at the moment (I'm finding it fascinating), and although the music theory primer is good, it's definitely not the main focus of the book, so it probably won't go as far and into as much detail as the topic creator wants.

The For Dummies books are usually good... so, what about Music Theory For Dummies? :)

If the topic creator would like to see how music theory applies to specific pop musicians, The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles by Dominic Pedler has a bit of a bombastic title, but it also has a very good basic music theory introduction in one of its appendices, with readable explanations of why things like I-iv-V-VII (or whatever) are important. The rest of the book gets heavier fairly quickly, but the early parts were certainly more informative than the two years of keyboard lessons I had as a kid (which misled me to think that chords had to be individually memorised rather than systematically constructed, and were an unnecessary distraction from the fun bit, the main right-hand melody line... :evil:).

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a386
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Re: Help me get into music theory

Postby a386 » Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:23 pm UTC

guys i think i just remembered something but my friend has my copy of the book so i'm not sure: there's a longer discussion of music theory in the back of this is your brain on music after the main book is done with, like in the indexes or something.


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