best Music theory books?


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TDKshorty
01-31-2010, 05:24 PM
What are the best music theory books?

I want to learn everything- literally.

I took a class so I have a little knoweledge, I don't need music theory for dummies

Maybe Guitar Grimoire?

OR hal Leonard,

Waht do you guys think?

tmr550
01-31-2010, 05:27 PM
Try The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. It's very comprehensive and extremely useful.

food1010
01-31-2010, 05:27 PM
I think Hal Leonard's books are pretty good. I learned most of what I know online though.

pwrmax
01-31-2010, 05:31 PM
I want to learn everything- literally
You can't learn ALL theory, eventually you will get to a point where it's all really subjective. If you wish to reach those levels then you will need university level classes.

frigginjerk
01-31-2010, 05:38 PM
it needs to be the right book for YOU....

but the one i learned the most from was The Everything Music Thoery Book, by Marc Shconbrun

damo13
01-31-2010, 05:53 PM
I recently borrowed a book from the library:

Music theory for dummies

Does what it says on the tin, gives a basic knowledge of all music theory.
Well more than basic knowledge actulally, generaly quite difficult stuff in there, obviously not university standard theory but hey, helped me alot.

Tominator_1991
01-31-2010, 06:13 PM
I have this book that came with my starter pack (back in the 90's) and the author totally rips on rock and 7 string guitars the whole way through but its pretty good and explanatory. i believe its called total guitar tutor...cant remember the author...he was an ass though lol

FiniteZer0
02-01-2010, 12:07 AM
I am currently reading an interesting book on Harmony; ironically it is about dissonance! LOL!

But it is called Harmony by Walter Piston (3rd Edition). Here are some of the areas it discusses, if you are interested:

-Harmonic Progression
-Tonality and Modality
-Harmonization of a Given Part
-Harmonic Rhythm
-Modulation
-Secondary Dominants
-Nondominant Harmony
-The Neapolitan Sixth
-Extension of Tonality

Those are just a few of the topics it covers; the only con, that I can see, is a lack of an accompanied disk to listen to the examples. =/

It is a really interesting book, it's a bit old school though.

demonofthenight
02-01-2010, 02:57 AM
What are the best music theory books?Best for what?

I want to learn everything*sigh*

Why do you play guitar? What in the area of music are you interested in?

I can suggest classical composition books, books on writing pop-melodies, books on how to be a more effective jazz musician, books on basic theory, books on advance composition analysis, books on counterpoint. Music theory is a VERY broad subject.

aaronaltounian
02-01-2010, 04:10 AM
i second the jazz theory book, and guitar grimoire is always a good thing to have on hand for reference.

Alter-Bridge
02-01-2010, 05:48 AM
i second the jazz theory book, and guitar grimoire is always a good thing to have on hand for reference.
Not really. It doesn't give any explanation on the application of the scales and chords.

Dregen
02-01-2010, 05:27 PM
Harmony and Voice Leading by Aldwell and Schacter.

lele0124
02-02-2010, 02:20 AM
u are really a studious guy !maybe you can go to a book store then aks the assistant for help .

stoogel
02-02-2010, 02:33 AM
I'm currently studying out of "Techniques and Materials of Music: From the Common Practice Period Through the Twentieth Century" (catchy name, I know). It's a great resource, a tad expensive sadly.

TDKshorty
02-02-2010, 09:44 AM
Well I plan on going to Berklee so I wanna just pump up on my knoweledge before I go

I picked up The Everything Music Theory book, it was the best one I could find at the book store

Our library has zero theory books :(

One thing I really want to learn about is chords- like Jeff Buckley inversions and how he played the song "strange fruit" 3 times in one night, oine was the bluesy version, the 2nd was in an open tuning and the third was an open, minor tuning with a slidy.

His chordal work is amazing

I want to learn how everything works together and I'm going to spend my entire life figuring it out.

Sean0913
02-02-2010, 10:03 AM
Well good luck to you on that. What have you done so far to prepare for Berklee? One of our graduates is going to be going there soon. But he's also considering Sam Houston State, which has a great applied music program, and way below cost of Berklee.

buttermilkxxx
02-04-2010, 08:16 PM
Hal Leonards music theory for guitarists. Everything from beginner to advanced level stuff. best mt book out there

alexcp94
02-04-2010, 09:00 PM
Best for what?

*sigh*

Why do you play guitar? What in the area of music are you interested in?

I can suggest classical composition books, books on writing pop-melodies, books on how to be a more effective jazz musician, books on basic theory, books on advance composition analysis, books on counterpoint. Music theory is a VERY broad subject.
I want a book on composition, counterpoint, etc. recommendations?

demonofthenight
02-04-2010, 10:52 PM
I want a book on composition, counterpoint, etc. recommendations?For counterpoint? Start with CH kitson's "counterpoint for beginners" than read Kent Kennan's "counterpoint." This will start you with strict counterpoint and allow you to understand free counterpoint.

For just general composition stuff, I recommend you read William Russo's "composing: a new approach." Very good book.

alexcp94
02-05-2010, 12:21 AM
For counterpoint? Start with CH kitson's "counterpoint for beginners" than read Kent Kennan's "counterpoint." This will start you with strict counterpoint and allow you to understand free counterpoint.

For just general composition stuff, I recommend you read William Russo's "composing: a new approach." Very good book.

Any idea of where can I get them online?

demonofthenight
02-05-2010, 12:53 AM
I can't link you directly, because I don't want to get banned, but you can find them on torrent sites and by googling "rapidshare" with the book's name.

Corwinoid
02-05-2010, 04:20 AM
For counterpoint, a good annotated Fux is a must... either before or after a more modern book on the subject. Also, with counterpoint, it's incredibly important to -do the exercises-, and do them often, and repeat them, and actually play every single one. You need to hear what's going on, and you don't learn counterpoint by just reading about it, you *must* do it. It's a skill, not just a knowledge.

Also, try some really off the wall things when you're working on counterpoint. Most people learn theory with the 4 part 1:1 species with some added stuff thrown in (you all know it as the chorale writing you did if you took theory but never realized you were doing counterpoint that way). If you have experience with 4 voice 1:1 CP, and 4:1 CP (with syncopations, preferrably... 3rd/4th species varies in order depending on the source method), then start throwing other ideas into it: Try writing for 12 voices to see how it works, try writing for 4-8 and but not letting any voice coincide temporally, build a theme in an inner voice and work around it structurally in different ways (this happens to be a really good way to understand the hidden complexity of sequencing). Come up with ideas that don't fit the structure of species counterpoint and understand why they work or don't work... intentionally write some "bad" counterpoint to try and hear why it's "bad", it's equally as important to know why things don't work as well as what does work so you can avoid the former when developing new ideas.

Also, don't get sucked into the idea that species counterpoint is counterpoint. Species exist to gradually introduce contrapuntal ideas, not to box you in to some idea of how music works. Counterpoint is the soul of music, but species counterpoint is kind of like physiology textbook... it'll teach you how the thing works, but not what the sum of it is.

demonofthenight
02-05-2010, 07:40 AM
Also, don't get sucked into the idea that species counterpoint is counterpoint. Species exist to gradually introduce contrapuntal ideas, not to box you in to some idea of how music works. Counterpoint is the soul of music, but species counterpoint is kind of like physiology textbook... it'll teach you how the thing works, but not what the sum of it is.Bach agrees, but Palestrina would like a word with you ;)

I take it you mostly specialise in free counterpoint then? ATM I'm just studying (again) strict counterpoint.

malichi
02-05-2010, 10:39 AM
I am currently reading an interesting book on Harmony; ironically it is about dissonance! LOL!

But it is called Harmony by Walter Piston (3rd Edition). Here are some of the areas it discusses, if you are interested:

-Harmonic Progression
-Tonality and Modality
-Harmonization of a Given Part
-Harmonic Rhythm
-Modulation
-Secondary Dominants
-Nondominant Harmony
-The Neapolitan Sixth
-Extension of Tonality

Those are just a few of the topics it covers; the only con, that I can see, is a lack of an accompanied disk to listen to the examples. =/

It is a really interesting book, it's a bit old school though.

I second this it is an awesome book.

Sean0913
02-05-2010, 11:00 AM
Hal Leonards music theory for guitarists. Everything from beginner to advanced level stuff. best mt book out there

Unfortunately I disagree, it's basic and doesn't even include Tritone Sub or Secondary Dominants. Not the best by any means. Virtually all theory Guitar Books, lessons and such that Iv'e seen, are the same thing in a different shell.

I actually thing that the series Ultimate Guide here is a lot more detailed and informative than HL or Even Guitar Workshop theory books. I understand both books because I know my theory, but I came across my understanding over a period of years self taught.

I liker HL dont get me wrong, but Ive yet to find a theory book or approach that doesn't mirror what I term the classic rote approach to music theory.

So far Mike Dodge and the Ultimate Guide are the best Ive seen. And I look at all lessons and resources that I come across, book video or otherwise. Because I'm still waiting to see if anyone else besides myself came up with a different way.

Corwinoid
02-05-2010, 12:38 PM
Bach agrees, but Palestrina would like a word with you ;)

I take it you mostly specialise in free counterpoint then? ATM I'm just studying (again) strict counterpoint.Actually Palestrina would be like "zomg, wtf, that's so goo... oh wait I'm dead never mind." The entire idea behind strict counterpoint is to learn counterpoint in the style of Palestrina, but to do so by introducing new ideas, hence the usage of fifth species and Fux's intent to add a section on relaxing rules with increased voices. It's worth noting that a lot of Palestrina's polyphony is 6-8 voices, so he couldn't have written within the bounds of species counterpoint anyway.

It's a teaching method developed well after Pally's death anyway, and started the Vienna school. Most of the strongest counterpoint examples in the style Fux is presenting are probably Mozart and Beethoven (cf. The Magic Flute) rather than Palestrina himself.

It's worth remembering that Pally was largely a sacred composer immediately post-Trent, so he would have been completely at odds with the baroque idea of ornamentation, the emerging theory of the triad as the foundation of the harmonic unit, and a number of other baroque ideas; as where Fux was a late baroque composer wanting to expand on the baroque style by introducing polyphonal free counterpoint and escaping from the invention/fugue/canon types of strict counterpoint.

(It's interesting in light of that, that in spite of probably understanding tertiary function, Fux uses the intervallic system as the foundation of counterpoint)

demonofthenight
02-06-2010, 07:26 AM
Actually Palestrina would be like "zomg, wtf, that's so goo... oh wait I'm dead never mind."Doubtful. Most of the additions Bach made to the technique caused a lot of rage. Specifically his emphasis on the harmonic factors of his music, iirc. I don't think Palestrina would have liked Bach.

The entire idea behind strict counterpoint is to learn counterpoint in the style of Palestrina, but to do so by introducing new ideas,This is true. The only text book I've found that doesn't recommend starting with strict species counterpoint seems to be Kent Kennan's (even though his method is still sort of like species counterpoint), which kind of sucks. At first, I didn't really want to learn something I probably wouldn't want to use.

hence the usage of fifth species and Fux's intent to add a section on relaxing rules with increased voices.Palestrina used 5th species from time to time. Florid counterpoint wasn't completely Fux's work.

I'm just starting to study strict counterpoint and doing so in my own free time, so I'll probably have a lot of misunderstandings. I did apply for a music school, but they wouldn't even give me an audition.