The Jazz Theory Book Review

artist: Mark Levine date: 06/22/2012 category: books
Mark Levine: The Jazz Theory Book
As the title states, this is a music theory book direct toward Jazz music. This is like the bible, just for musicians. I think every musician, regardless of instrument should have this book in their home. It's really worth the price.
 Richness of Content: 10
 Style: 8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Overall rating:
 4.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 9 
 Users rating:
 0 
 Votes:
 0 
review (1) user comments vote for this book:
overall: 9
The Jazz Theory Book Reviewed by: Sickz, on june 22, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Richness of Content: As the title states, this is a music theory book direct toward Jazz music. I got this book a few days ago and I am still impressed of how much content it contained, and that it is 521 pages long! The book contains a total of 24 chapter, divided into 5 parts. These 5 parts are the following. Part 1: Theory: Chords & Scales. This part consists of 5 chapters and it talks about Basic theory, the major scale, chord and scale theory, Major/melodic minor/Diminished and whole tone scale harmony. How to practice scales as well as Slash chords. Part 2: Improvisation: Playing the changes. This part consists of 7 chapters that talks about: From scales to music, The Bebop scales, playing "outside", Pentatonic scales, the blues, "Rhythm" changes as well as Practicing. Part 3: Reharmonization. This part consists of 4 chapters that talk about: Basic reharmonization, Advanced harmonization, Coltrane changes and Three harmonizations. Part 4: The tunes This part consists of 5 chapters that talk about: Song form and composition, reading a lead sheet, memorizing a tune, heads and repertoire. Part 5: The rest of it. This is the last part of the book, it consists of 3 chapters attempting to explain what yet haven't been explained (wich is very little). It consists of: Salsa and Latin jazz, Loose ends and Listening. That is all the book has to offer, and I got to say even though I haven't even read one third of the book yet I've learned so much already. The book is without doubt the best music book I have ever got my hands onto, together with "The complete jazz guitar method" by Jody Fisher. // 10

Style: The writing style is very simplistic, this book is written to be as easy to digest as possible. Therefor there are no long explanations in this book. The format of the book pretty much consists of theoretical explanation followed by some measures of sheet music to help readers understand what he just tried to explain. The author also gives hints of where to find these theoretical ideas in jazz music, like saying "This can be found in *insert tune here* by Charlie Parker" for example. I have to say the writing style is great, although a couple of words might be hard for readers whos first language is not English. // 8

Overall Impression: If I had to choose one music book in the whole world it would be this one. It explains everything in a very logical way and it is very rich of content. I have not got through the book yet but I will continue reading it everyday, and I can see myself still reading it and trying to improve my theoretical knowledge for many, many years to come. This is like the bible, just for musicians. I think every musician, regardless of instrument should have this book in their home. It's really worth the price. The only thing I think could of been better with it was if there was yet another chapter in the beginning on how to read sheet music. Cause this book is 100% sheet music. But I guess I can overlook that because if you want to learn jazz, reading sheet music is essential. So you should already be able to do that when getting this book. Overall, great book. Go order it, now. // 9

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