Music Theory


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Music Theory - Introduction

As others would put it, music should be treated as a whole new kind of language, and music theory books as manuals to learn it. The good thing about treating and understanding it as a language is that you will be able to play music from long ago up to music today. Music theorists – or music linguists – have made each and every piece of music readable: the written music pieces of long ago are rewritten to understandable notation for today’s musicians.

Contrary to popular belief, music theory is not difficult to understand. Standardized textbooks, however, give the impression of it being difficult, when it can be simplified if you only wish to learn how to read and play music.

Learning to basically read music will require you to study how it is notated. The staff, ledger lines, measures, clef, time signature, key signature, note values, rests, accidentals, rhythm, chords, pitch, intervals, dynamics, major scales, minor scales, tempi, etc. are the necessary basics of musical notation and composition – each one as important as the other. Once you learn all these basic things, you will be able to write music properly. Composing, however, is a completely different thing than simply writing music. All of these will be explained throughout these articles, so don’t fret about not knowing what every single term means for now.

To simplify music theory, it is to gain access to how great composers, like Beethoven, composed their music. The techniques and forms used depending on what musical era they’ve composed in. As an example, prominent composers of the Baroque era were Bach and Vivaldi; for the Classical era, Mozart; for neo-classical, Beethoven, who is responsible of the transition to the Romantic era; and for the Romantic era, Chopin and Liszt.

For other people who are willing to learn and interpret music better, a study of musical history is essential. Studying past composers and their works will give you a better comprehension of how to interpret their music.

First thing to do to learn how to play music, though, is to listen and appreciate recordings. This develops a better feel and understanding to music for the beginning student. Notation is the next part to study, because this will allow the student to understand and read written pieces of works. There are other terms, such as: Perfect pitch and relative pitch which pertains to the student’s aural capabilities. To get on a good start, good comprehension of music theory will open all these possibilities to you.


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