Music Theory Books

Finding the right music theory books can be tricky. Let me help you find the best music theory books to fit your needs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or advanced musician. There is something here for everyone. Use these top books on music theory to help you learn how to read music, compose, sight-read music, and develop ear-training.

music theory books

Recommended Music Theory Books

Here is a list of the best music theory books for all musicians. I own and use all of these books for continuous musical growth, as reference books when needed, and to teach students. They are organized according to how they are best used for each level of musicianship.

Best Music Theory Book for Self-Study

For independent study at home, Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory: A Complete Self-Study Course for All Musicians is the top choice. This is truly the best music theory book for beginners. It can also be used as a comprehensive review for intermediate to advanced musicians. It is 3 books-in-one featuring 75 one-page lessons with practice exercises, ear-training excerpts on 2 CD’s with questions to answer, and a complete review at the end of each unit.

The answers to all exercises, ear-training, and review sections are included in the back of the book. This helps you check your knowledge and memory of the material on your own. A glossary and index of musical terms and symbols is included in the appendix.

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Best AP Music Theory Book

For those preparing for the AP Music Theory Exam, Barron’s AP Music Theory book is your best bet. It includes an in-depth review of all concepts found on the test, 2 full practice tests, and online audio to help develop ear-training and prepare you for the aural section of the exam. This is a must-have music theory study guide and test prep book for high school students. It is designed to supplement your coursework and prepare you for passing the final exam.

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Top Music Theory Books and Reviews

Read more about the best music theory books available today and complete reviews. Here is a list of articles to get you started.

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