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Music Theory for Dummies

by ;
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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-07-11
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Tune in to how music really works 

Whether you’re a student, a performer, or simply a fan, this book makes music theory easy, providing you with a friendly guide to the concepts, artistry, and technical mastery that underlie the production of great music. You’ll quickly become fluent in the fundamentals of knocking out beats, reading scores, and anticipating where a piece should go, giving you a deeper perspective on the works of others — and bringing an extra dimension to your own. 

Tracking to a typical college-level course, Music Theory For Dummies breaks difficult concepts down to manageable chunks and takes into account every aspect of musical production and appreciation — from the fundamentals of notes and scales to the complexities of expression and instrument tone color. It also examines the latest teaching techniques — all the more important as the study of music, now shown to provide cognitive and learning benefits for both children and adults, becomes more prevalent at all levels.

  • Master major and minor scales, intervals, pitches, and clefs
  • Understand basic notation, time signals, tempo, dynamics, and navigation
  • Employ melodies, chords, progressions, and phrases to form music
  • Compose harmonies and accompanying melodies for voice and instruments

Wherever you want to go musically — as a writer or performer, or just as someone who wants to enjoy music to its fullest — this approachable guide gives you everything you need to hear!

Author Biography

Michael Pilhofer, MM, holds a Master's in Music Education with a Jazz Emphasis from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Miami.

Holly Day's work has appeared in Guitar One Magazine, Music Alive!, culturefront Magazine, and Brutarian Magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1: 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 27

CHAPTER 4: Introducing Time Signatures 35

CHAPTER 5: Playing with Beat 51

Part 2: Putting Notes Together 59

CHAPTER 6: Music Notes (and Where to Find Them) 61

CHAPTER 7: Mastering the Major and Minor Scales 77

CHAPTER 8: Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths 91

CHAPTER 9: Intervals: The Distance between Pitches 103

CHAPTER 10: Chord Building 127

CHAPTER 11: Chord Progressions 159

Part 3: Musical Expression through Tempo and Dynamics 177

CHAPTER 12: Creating Varied Sound through Tempo and Dynamics 179

CHAPTER 13: Instrument Tone Color and Acoustics 191

Part 4: Musical Expression through Form 197

CHAPTER 14: The Building Blocks of Music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, and Song Form 199

CHAPTER 15: Relying on Classical Forms 211

CHAPTER 16: Tapping into Popular Genres and Forms 221

Part 5: The Part of Tens 231

CHAPTER 17: Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Music Theory 233

CHAPTER 18: Ten Keys to Reading a Musical Score 239

CHAPTER 19: Ten Music Theorists You Should Know About 243

CHAPTER 20: Ten Musical Movements That Changed History 251

Part 6: Appendixes 261

APPENDIX A: Audio Tracks 263

APPENDIX B: Chord Chart 267

APPENDIX C: Glossary 305

Index 309

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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