Learn everything you need to know about music theory right here.
Can’t figure out how to learn or teach music theory? I know how you feel. It’s difficult to know where to start. If you don’t know how to read notes, should you begin with chords?
Once you know where to start, the next step is deciding what to learn next. Is there a right way to learn music theory concepts, or can it be done in any order? What if I jump around and miss a lot of important things to learn? How can I even tell if I’m doing it right?
It can be so hard that you might want to give up. You feel so angry that you decide to leave and deal with it later. The problem is that if you do this often, you won’t ever reach your goals or live your dreams. You want so much for yourself, your children, your students, and your grandchildren. There’s just too much to put in an order that makes sense.
The good news is there is a workaround. I’m here to help you and get you back on track, so you don’t have to worry, get angry, or cry. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s figure this out together, starting with the most basic level of music theory.
What is Music Theory?
Music theory is the study of music and everything it includes. This involves the most basic building blocks of music notation, like pitch, rhythm, form, dynamics, harmony, melody, tonality, texture, and tone color or timbre. These are the basics you need to know in order to create, read, and write music.
The ideas of scholars from the past to the present are also a part of music theory. Musicology is a field that explains some of the processes, procedures, and general rules of music theory. This approach is different from music analysis because it starts with the building blocks of music instead of a specific piece by a composer.
What is the Basic Theory of Music?
In basic music theory, the terms harmony, melody, pitch, tone color or timbre, form, dynamics, melody, tonality, texture, and rhythm are used to describe the different parts of music. It also lists compositional elements like tempo, clef signs, time signatures, notes, intervals, chords, key signatures, scales, and more for each of these categories.
Is Music Theory Hard to Learn?
It’s not hard to learn music theory. Some parts of music theory can be challenging to understand, but there’s nothing you can’t figure out. Learning how music theory works is a lot easier if you know how to sing or play an instrument, especially the piano.
Related Reading: Is Music Theory Hard?
Can I Teach Myself Music Theory?
You don’t need an expensive college course or teacher to teach yourself most parts of music theory. You can use this website to teach yourself the most important parts of music theory and then use what you’ve learned in your everyday music practice.
Do I Need an Instrument to Learn Music Theory?
To learn music theory, you don’t need to know how to play an instrument. Even though knowing how to play the piano will help you learn faster, you can pick it up as you go. When you study music theory, you are learning how to read, write, and play music. t’s not about how to play an instrument, but more about how music works.
The most important thing you can do is give yourself time. Have patience with yourself. It takes time to fully understand all the ideas in music theory, including how they relate to each other and form patterns. Give yourself the time it takes to allow everything to click.
How Long Does it Take to Master Music Theory?
In order to master music theory, it will take anywhere from 1-5 years. This depends on how much you want to learn and how you want to use the information. It will take 6–12 months to learn the basics. Then, it will take about 3–5 years to go from intermediate to advanced level. You can speed up the process by reading books, taking online classes, reviewing concepts with worksheets and activity pages, or taking private lessons.
Related Reading: How Long Does it Take to Learn Music Theory?
How Do You Practice Music Theory?
Music theory practice doesn’t have to be boring, and you don’t have to sit at a piano all the time. You can learn the basics from your kitchen table. Here are a few creative ways to practice, reinforce, and review major concepts.
1. Use music flashcards.
2. Complete music theory worksheets.
3. Study music theory cheat sheets.
4. Work on a msuic theory word search puzzle.
5. Challenge yourself with a music theory crossword puzzle.
6. Create a music theory study guide.
7. Complete a music theory workbook.
8. Play a music theory game.
9. Write about a music theory concept in a journal.
10. Use a checklist to check the process of music theory concept.
11. Decode a music theory cryptogram.
12. Solve a music theory double puzzle.
13. Unscramble a music theory word scramble.
14. Find the missing vowels in a music theory puzzle.
15. Find your way out of a music theory maze.
16. Relax and color music theory pages.
17. Play music theory bingo.
18. Test yourself with a music theory trivia or quiz game.
19. Challenge yourself to a music theory fact of fiction game.
Use a habit tracker to check your progress and hold yourself accountable. Consider using a planner to intentional plan when you will practice music theory each day.
Music Theory Summary
As a practical field of study, music theory includes the methods and ideas that composers and other musicians use to make music.