Music Theory For Dummies

( 27 )

Overview

An indispensable guide for music students, musicians, and music lovers

For people who want a deeper understanding and appreciation of music, or who want to do their own composing and arranging, a basic grounding in music theory is essential. Written for the nearly 30,000 college and graduate music students as well as working musicians and serious music buffs, this hands-on guide explains music theory concepts in plain English-from scales, ...
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Music Theory For Dummies

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Overview

An indispensable guide for music students, musicians, and music lovers

For people who want a deeper understanding and appreciation of music, or who want to do their own composing and arranging, a basic grounding in music theory is essential. Written for the nearly 30,000 college and graduate music students as well as working musicians and serious music buffs, this hands-on guide explains music theory concepts in plain English-from scales, intervals, tempos, and dynamics to chord progressions, phrasing, harmonizing, and arranging-and demonstrates how to apply them in compositions ranging from pop and rock to jazz and classical. The book includes a CD that demonstrates music theory concepts and provides examples of the way sounds and tempos can be mixed and matched for a variety of musical experiences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118095508
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition with Audio CD
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 96,330
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Pilhofer teaches music theory and percussion at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he serves as department head of the Ensembles Department. He has worked as a professional musician for more than 18 years and has toured and recorded with Joe Lovano, Marian McPartland, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Bill Holman, Wycliffe Gordon, Peter Erskine, and Gene Bertoncini.

Holly Day has written about music for numerous publications internationally, including Computer Music Journal, ROCKRGRL, Music Alive!, Guitar One, Brutarian Magazine, Interface Technology, and Mixdown magazine. Over the past couple of decades, her writing has received an Isaac Asimov Award, a National Magazine Award, and two Midwest Writer’s Grants.  Her previous books include The Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities (3rd, 4th, and 5th Editions), Shakira, and Behind the Orange Curtain: A History of Orange County Punk Rock.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part I: Rhythm: Keeping the Beat.

Chapter 1: What Is Music Theory Anyway?

Chapter 2: Counting Out Notes.

Chapter 3: Giving It a Rest.

Chapter 4: Time Signatures.

Chapter 5: Naturalizing the Best.

Chapter 6: Tempo and Dynamics.

Part II: Melody: The Part You Hum.

Chapter 7: The Musical Staff.

Chapter 8: Instrument Tone and Color.

Chapter 9: Half Steps, Whole Steps, Sharps, and Flats.

Part III: Harmony: Fleshing It Out.

Chapter 10: Intervals.

Chapter 11: Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths.

Chapter 12: The Major and Minor Scales.

Chapter 13: Building Chords.

Chapter 14: Chord Progressions.

Chapter 15: Cadence.

Part IV: Form: How It's Shaped.

Chapter 16: The Elements of Form.

Chapter 17: Classical Forms.

Chapter 18: Popular Forms.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 19: Six Most-Frequently Asked Questions About Music Theory.

Chapter 20: Ten Cool and Useful Resources.

Chapter 21: Nine Music Theorists You Should Know About.

Appendix A: How to Use the CD.

Appendix B: Chord Chart.

Appendix C: Glossary.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2007

    A reviewer

    While I have been a musician for most of my life, I don't know much about music theory (including sight reading). It would be difficult for me to pick my favorite chapter in this book, since I learned something new about music theory in every chapter, but Chapter 10 (Intervals) was probably the biggest bang for the buck in my mind. The later chapters that described the use of the intervals were reinforcement, but the explaination of the qualities of major, minor, diminished, and augmented intervals was a breakthrough for me. Chapter 13 (Building Chords) was almost as valuable to me, since it built on the same concepts. This is a textbook that I will be referring to for years. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with music theory.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Music Theory for Dummies and then some...

    For someone who has never approached music theory, this is better than an introduction, because it is readable, informative, clear and contains enough substance to be used as a reference book. It will require some reading and re-reading only because of the subject matter. The expert may not appreciate this book, but Dummies will use it over and over!

    I also like the way it covers key board and fret board.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    This one rocks...like all the others in the Dummies Series.

    Simple, concise, to the point, and in 'Plain Ol' English'. This offering is just like all the others in the Dummies Series -- a great introduction to an otherwise confusing (to many) subject. Along with the companion CD, this text covers all the basics with easy-to-read explanations and copious examples (both visual and aural). It's especially nice that it's written from an 'instrument neutral' viewpoint. Anyone just starting out in this subject should pick this up and read it before buying any other book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Great review of music theory!

    I am enjoying my new copy of "Music Theory for Dummies, 2nd.ed.," and would recommend it to anyone wishing to expand his knowledge of music theory. It is well written and contains a much broader range of musical information than would normally be found in a single text. With the assistance of the enclosed cd, a piano keyboard, or a guitar, it is possible to hear the concepts being presented. Glad to have this handy reference tool!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    Very Good

    Picked up this book to figuring it would help fill-in some holes in my musical knowledge. If you don't know how to read sheet music expect to spend a long time in the music notation chapters. I picked up some stuff from these chapters even thought I already knew how to read sheet music. The best chapters for me was the intervals and chords building. This helped explain why some things work in music, that I've always used but didn't know why. Some good stuff in the chord progression chapters as well.

    Overall the book exceeded my expectations. Welll written and live up to the "For Dummies" approach better than most books in the "For Dummies" lines.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Music Lesson in A BOok

    As a lifetime musician, music theory has always been something I have planned to studying; someday. I can figure out most pop songs by listening to them and experimenting a little. I can improvise, a little, as long as I can fit my standard forms into the song's chord progression. I get by without knowing theory or how to read particularly competently. I've always wanted to do more than get by, but the time and effort required to do so has been something I'm unwilling to put out.

    This year, I began taking guitar lessons from a local legend and he, immediately, began to talk theory that I didn't know. He, also, expected me to learn how to read. I had this book, which I had used a couple of years ago to slightly improve my music theory knowledge, and I pulled it off of the shelf and began to study it seriously. Between my guitar teacher and Music Theory for Dummies, I began to understand a little more about the structure of music; particularly how jazz chord and scale substitutions work and my playing has improved for the first time in 20 years. Even better, I enjoy playing and studying music and I have Music Theory for Dummies to thank for that. I have a long way to go to become an actual jazz guitarist, but I have a terrific guide for the trip.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!

    I have been in band at my school for 6 years and i am planning on majoring in music edu. This book has taught me alot and reviewed alot of the concepts i learned when i was younger. I recomend this book to anyone who is starting to play music or people like me who want to learn as much about music as possible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Help!!!!

    Do yall think its ok 4 me im 14 need sum help here ??????

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    MUSIC

    DUMMIES RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    A very good book

    It was okay bt ut i didnt think it was as good as mine

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 19, 2011

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    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted May 19, 2011

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    Posted February 13, 2010

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