Hi, I have been learning theory over the past year as part of music lessons which have since ended and I'm just wondering what else there is to learn in terms of theory? Here is what I have learned already:

Notation (time values, accidentals)

Major and Minor (natural, harmonic, melodic) scales as well as chromatic, whole tone, blues, octatonic, pentatonic scales. Also key signatures.


Intervals (type, size, quality; inverted, etc.)

Chords (Triads, inversions, diminished, augmented, dominant seventh, etc)

Cadences and melody writing

Time (simple, compound, syncopation, mixed meters)

Finding the key of a melody, transposition, etc.

Musical terms.

Anyways thats about it. I was just wondering, there should be more to learn in terms of music theory correct? Or is that all there is too know when it comes to theory (I doubt it )? If you guys could name some more topics I could look into, I would appreciate it. Just general topics are fine, you don't really need to go into specifics if you dont want to.
Glad to see you're on the right track and that you're committed to learning theory; great work!

But before learning anything else, I'd recommend putting those techniques and that knowledge into practice; experiment with writing with different pulses and accents, and write counterpoints; experiment with writing simple chord progressions, and make them more interesting and establish different moods by inverting chords, substituting chords, sub-modulating, using different voicings and the like; target different notes for a melody over a progression (target the third during one cycle, the ninth on another .etc.) and so on.
All of the above is possible with the knowledge you have; you have all of the essentials for composition, and since you can read music - even if it's only a little -, you'll be well on your way to writing effectively.

It's all well and good to know a bunch of theory, but putting in into practice is a very valuable component - and a very fun one at that! You could go on to write a simple I-IV-V progression, and make a ton of variations using different accents and pulses, or voicing the chords differently, extending them and then omitting notes; you could even start writing for small ensembles with these methods, and dividing, for instance, the notes of those chords amongst different instruments to practice using this theory from a songwriting standpoint.

Sorry for rambling on a bit (a lot? ) , but I hope I've shed some light on the possibilities you could undertake; use what you know to your advantage, and hone those skills, and if something comes up that you don't know how to do, read up on that a little and continue with your practices and writing.

Best of luck with everything, and if there are any other questions you'd like to ask me, or if I can be clearer on anything (I'm sure some parts up there are a little rushed), feel free to ask.

Last edited by juckfush at Jul 15, 2010,
^ exactly.

if you know what an augmented chord is, that's fine -- but if i tell you to construct a progression that uses an augmented chord to modulate into a different key and you can't do it, it's useless to you, because you can't use it in context.

if you want something new to learn, study counterpoint and/or composition for 4 voices. then there's always orchestration, and the vast amount of things you can learn from 20th century composers such as serialism and 12-tone composition, as well as how to compose atonally.

before going on, though, i suggest you ensure that you can put all that you already know into practice.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.