It's pretty much a unanimous view that the Beatles revolutionized rock and roll and created some of the most enduring, quality music in the history of the world.

My question is, and I ask this without any real weight behind it: Did they know any music theory, really? It seems to me that much of it was written simply by ear...
"Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long.
And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again."

- Stephen King, The Stand
I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine they knew the basic amount of theory that most competent musicians know like keys and scales. I'd imagine George knew a fair amount. But in terms of the music theory you learn in school like analysis and the like, I doubt they knew any.
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Maybe you could try asking the Beatles thread.
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Quote by skaterskagg1
AtomicPunk7 is uncreative.
Yeah I was thinking George would be the most likely to have known music theory. All musicians know something about theory whether they know it or not I believe. If you don't sit down and officially learn it in an academic setting you can still figure out alot of it on your own just by practicing. I'm pretty confident that Lennon had no formal music education.
I'm sure someone told me Paul couldn't read music or something. I'm probably wrong but hey.
Quote by ErikLensherr
Did you hear about the cockney Godfather?

He made them an offer they couldn't understand.
i read some biographies about them and it seems like they did not had musci theory studies behind em... Paul was the most "music wise" of them: he could tune guitars by ear, the only beatle able to do it during the "querry men" times ^^
Quote by hendrixfanatic
I remember reading in Beatles Anthology (which is a great book I would recommend anyone, by the way), that in their early days, John and Paul would travel by bus for a whole day, because they heard about someone who knew how to play a B7 chord...

later they would have travelled by bus for free, cause george's father was a bus driver XD
I'd have to say they had some knowledge even in their beginning; evidence of this can be found on demos from Anthology 1. At least they knew what a twelve-bar was

But you can see during filming of Let It Be that they're fairly adept in arranging; at least, they can get their music across to one another in some coherent way.
Last edited by thewho65 at Aug 22, 2009,
they probably didn't know too much, but that often makes for interesting music.

like the one bar that's a beat longer than all the others or playing a D and switching right to a Dm.