Music Theory For Little Einsteins & Big Dummies

Music Theory For Little Einsteins & Big Dummies

by Caroline J. Weage


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After a lifetime of music, I am now a music teacher. I traveled with the Sevengettes, an all-girl band, to every state in the union and to 42 countries. After marriage, I played for 44 years with the Plymouth Community Band, and formed a four-piece swing group to play for nursing homes and senior houses.

Music is a love that becomes a passion, and I am now trying to give that knowledge and passion to a new generation.

Theory is hard to understand, but bright tots and those of other ages will enjoy their music so much more if they know what they are creating and understand what they are doing.

Music Theory for Little Einsteins and Big Dummies was written to help young and old learn and understand the science of music. It was written in a down-to-earth way as if I were speaking to someone seated across from me. Many of my students are enjoying the music in their lives and find it fills a great need.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781434335951
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 01/25/2008
Pages: 52
Sales rank: 596,708
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.11(d)

Read an Excerpt

Music Theory for Little Einsteins & Big Dummies

By Caroline J. Weage


Copyright © 2008 Caroline J. Weage
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4343-3595-1


You don't know anything about music? Good! We can start there.

The word theory might scare you. It does sound like it would be dull and boring, but if you do play an instrument, you already know some theory. It is the very basic knowledge from learning your notes to actually creating music of your own. That seems like a lot to learn, and it is, but if you follow the rules your path becomes clearer and more enjoyable.

The Staff and the Clefs

Treble and Bass Clefs

Music is written on a staff of five lines and the four spaces between those lines. Piano music is written on two staffs, one for the right hand and one for the left hand. The right hand music uses a treble clef sign [??]G clef. It is called the G clef because the tail end of the sign ends on the second link which is G. The base clef sign is also called the F clef because there are two dots, one on each side of the fourth line which is F. Clef signs tell us which notes appear where on a staff.

Other Clefs

There are other clefs we should know even if we never use them. The alto clef, the soprano clef, and the tenor clef. They are called movable clefs, and are designed for instruments whose range doesn't fit in the normal treble or bass clef.

Alto Clef

The Alto clef is used by the viola

Tenor Clef

The tenor clef is used by low-sounding instruments like the tenor trombones, bassoons, cellos, and violas.

Soprano Clef

The soprano clef is written

Octave Clef

There is also an octave clef which tells us to play the notes either up or down an octave.

Percussion Clef

The percussion or drum clef is written, and deals only with the rhythms in the music and which percussion instrument will read that rhythm,


All the music we hear, sing; or play is based on scales. Without those dreaded scales, there would be no music. If we know our scales, it is easy to find out the key we are playing in, the chords we will need to use and how to form them, and how to find the relative minor.

Major Scales

All major scales are formed using a pattern of WWHWWWH, whole steps and half steps. An easy way to remember is a major scale consists of whole steps except between three and four, and seven and eight.

This pattern works on every major scale, no matter which note you start on.

Relative Minor Scales

Every major scale has a relative minor scale. Just as some of your relatives have the same last name as you, the relative minor has the same key signature (flats and sharps).

A relative minor is formed by counting up six notes of the major scale. Or down three half steps. That is the name of the minor scale.


Excerpted from Music Theory for Little Einsteins & Big Dummies by Caroline J. Weage Copyright © 2008 by Caroline J. Weage. Excerpted by permission.
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