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Learn Music Theory

If you came to this website then you probably want to learn something about music theory. You may be an absolute beginner or you
may already know a lot of music theory already and want to learn some more advanced topics. In either case understand that
learning music theory is one of the more beneficial things a musician can do and I hope you will continue the process.

Why study music theory?


Contrary to what some people may say learning music theory does not reduce your ability to enjoy music. In fact you may enjoy
music even more after you learn some theory because the more you know about how music works the more you will be able to do
as a musician.
There are many reasons to study music theory but the top reasons are:
1.

You will be a better performer. - If you don't know much music theory and you are playing some music and you
encounter a passage that has the notes C, E, and G, you would have to mentally process those three notes separately,
and this will slow down your ability to perform. If a musician who knows music theory plays the same passage they would
instantly recognize that the notes C, E, and G make up a C Major chord and they would play those notes more easily
because it took less mental effort to understand the music. Music theory makes learning, practicing and performing much
easier.

2.

You will have more options as a musician. - All musical activities will be much easier. Performing, composing,
improvising, arranging, teaching music, or getting a music degree will be much easier if you know music theory.

How to study music theory


The first thing musicians should learn about music theory is notation: the staff, clefs, note

names, rhythms, rests, intervals,meter and time signatures, key signatures, and dynamics.
The next things musicians should learn are scales and chords(harmony).

The next things to learn are melody, phrases, and musical forms.

If you have you learned all of the above then you will have a firm grasp of music theory.

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Labels: learn music theory, music, music theory

Polychords
Polychords are chords constructed from two or more separate chords. Composers and improvisers use polychords as a resource
for rich and complex sounds in their music. Polychords frequently occur in jazz and modern classical music.

Examples of Polychords:

C Major/E-flat Major:

D Major/B-flat minor:

C Augmented/G7 Augmented:

C Major/F-sharp Major Polychord - "Petrushka Chord":

This chord was used by composer

Igor Stravinsky in his ballet Petrushka.

Polychord Video:
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Labels: chord, music, music theory, petrushka, petrushka chord,polychord, stravinsky, video

Basic Piano Chords

The chords every piano and keyboard player should know are the basicMajor, minor, Augmented, and diminished chords,
and seventh chords. These are the most common chords and are relatively easy to play.

These chords are shown with the root note C. Other


root notes are possible bytransposing these chords. For example, a C Major chord (C, E, G) can be transposed to D. This will result in a D Major chord
(D, F-sharp, A).

These chords are constructed from musical intervals. Each chord has:
1.

A Root note

2.

A note a Major third (M3) or minor third (m3) above the Root

3.

A note a Perfect fifth (P5), Augmented fifth (A5), or diminished fifth above the Root

And seventh chords also have a note a Major seventh (M7), minor seventh (m7), or diminished seventh (d7) above the
Root.

The basic chords:

Major - Root, M3, P5

Augmented (Aug) - Root, M3, A5

diminished (dim) - Root, m3, d5

7 - Root, M3, P5, m7

m7 - Root, m3, P5, m7

dim7 - Root, m3, d5, d7

half dim7 - Root, m3, d5, m7

minor - Root, m3, P5

The seventh chords:


M7 - Root, M3, P5, M7

Example:
If we choose a Major chord for example we begin by picking a Root note. We could pick any of the 12 notes but in this case we will
chooseG. The next note we need is a Major third (M3) above the Root, which in this case would be the note B. The final note we

need is a Perfect fifth above the root, which in this case would be the note D. Now we have all three notes of our Major chord: G, B,
and D.
For reference here is a diagram of the keyboard with the note names on it:

Now that you know these chords you might want to learn about chord inversion, chord symbols, or extended chords.
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Labels: augmented, basic chords, chord, diminished, keyboard, major,minor, music, music theory, piano, piano chords, seventh

Basic Guitar Chords


The easiest chords to play on the guitar are the Major, Minor and Seventh chords in open voicings. These chords use open strings
and no more than three fingers, and they don't go into the higher positions of the guitar. The ease in playing these chords makes
them the best for beginners to learn. This article will show them in two different ways: fretboard diagrams, and tablature (Tab).
A quick review of chord symbols: Uppercase letters indicate Major chords, a chord with a lowercase "m" indicates a minor chord,
and a "7" indicates that the chord is a seventh chord.

Fretboard Diagrams

Open circles indicate open strings.


Dark, filled in circles indicate the spots on the frets where you put your fingers.
The "X" symbol tells you to not play a string.

Tablature

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Labels: basic chords, basic guitar chords, chords, fretboard diagram,Guitar, guitar chords, harmonic minor, major, music, music
theory,seventh, Tablature

Music Theory: Transposition


In music, Transposition occurs when we take a group of notes and move that group up or down by a certain interval. For example,
if we take a C Major chord (the notes C, E, and G) and transpose them up by a Major second we then have a D Major chord (the,
notes D, F-sharp, and A).

The step by step process by which we transposed a C Major chord up by a Major second to become a D Major chord is as follows:

1.

C Major chord: notes C, E, and G

2.

Move the first note of the C Major chord, C, up by a Major second. We now have the note D.

3.

Move the second note of the C Major chord, E, up by a Major second. We now have the note F-sharp.

4.

Move the third note of the C Major chord, G, up by a Major second. We now have the note A.

5.

The results of transposing C, E, and G up by a Major second becomes: D, F-sharp, and A, which is a D Major chord

As you can see all you need to do to transpose something is move each individual note in the group of notes by the same musical
interval. With this method transposing becomes a simple process and we can then transpose any any note, chord, or scale.

Transposition Exercises - Try transposing each of the following:


Transpose the note E-flat down by a Major Second.
Transpose a D7 chord (D, F-sharp, A, C) up by a minor third.
Transpose a C Major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C) up by a Perfect fifth.

A Few Words About Transposing Instruments:


Transposing instruments are instruments that automatically transpose when playing - the actual pitches they play are different from
what is written in the music. For example, the B-flat Trumpet transposes down by a Major second. For a B-flat Trumpet the written
note C would actually come out as B-flat.