Music Theory For Dummies

Music Theory For Dummies

by Michael Pilhofer, Holly Day


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118990940
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/02/2015
Series: For Dummies Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 44,063
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mike Pilhofer holds a Masters of Music in Music Education with a Jazz Emphasis from the Eastman School of Music and is an in-demand clinician.Holly Day's work has appeared in over 3,000 print and electronic publications internationally.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Music Theory 5

Chapter 1: What Is Music Theory, Anyway? 7

Chapter 2: Determining What Notes Are Worth 13

Chapter 3: Giving It a Rest 29

Chapter 4: Introducing Time Signatures 39

Chapter 5: Playing with Beat 53

Part II: Putting Notes Together 61

Chapter 6: Music Notes (And Where to Find Them) 63

Chapter 7: Mastering the Major and Minor Scales 81

Chapter 8: Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths 95

Chapter 9: Intervals: The Distance Between Pitches 109

Chapter 10: Chord Building 135

Chapter 11: Chord Progressions 169

Part III: Musical Expression through Tempo and Dynamics 187

Chapter 12: Creating Varied Sound through Tempo and Dynamics 189

Chapter 13: Instrument Tone Color and Acoustics 201

Part IV: Musical Expression through Form 207

Chapter 14: The Building Blocks of Music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, and Song Form 209

Chapter 15: Relying on Classical Forms 221

Chapter 16: Tapping Into Popular Genres and Forms 231

Part V: The Part of Tens 239

Chapter 17: Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Music Theory 241

Chapter 18: Ten Keys to Reading a Musical Score 247

Chapter 19: Ten Music Theorists You Should Know About 251

Part VI: Appendixes 259

Appendix A: Audio Tracks 261

Appendix B: Chord Chart 267

Appendix C: Glossary 305

Index 309

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Music Theory For Dummies 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
musicdummy More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
TCGeezer More than 1 year ago
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.
moodychittlin More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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