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Music Theory for Dummies : 2nd Edition with Audio CD - Michael Pilhofer

Music Theory for Dummies

2nd Edition with Audio CD

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Grasp the concepts needed to compose, deconstruct, and comprehend music

Whether you're a student of music or a music lover, Music Theory For Dummies presents you with essential information on how to read, write, and understand music, as well as helpful hints on composing, arranging, and creating original melodies, harmonies, and chords.

Music Theory For Dummies gives you a friendly, unintimidating overview of the material covered in a typical college-level course and makes music theory easy to understand. It includes updated information on current teaching techniques; the newest music examples and genres; information on mastering major and minor scales, using intervals, and recognizing pitches and clefs; the lowdown on rhythms, tempo, dynamics, and navigation; how to transcribe the music you hear and transposing it to other keys; harmonizing and accompanying melodies; composing and arranging for voices and instruments; performing your own music; and much more.

  • Audio CD includes musical excerpts played on a variety of instruments
  • Makes learning music theory as enjoyable as it is useful
  • Tracks to a typical college-level music theory course
Don't get discouraged by the seemingly complicated written structure of musical theory. With Music Theory For Dummies, understanding music has never been easier!

About the Author

Michael Pilhofer teaches music theory and percussions at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota. He's toured and recorded with Joe Lovano, Marian McPartland, Kenny Wheeler, and others.

Holly Day is a writing instructor at the Open Book Writing Collective in Minneapolis.


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Music Theory for Dummies

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Great for beginner music theory!


from Canberra, AU

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer


  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative


    Best Uses

    • Reference

    Comments about Music Theory for Dummies:

    Loved this book, great for beginner's who are getting started with music theory. It cover's everything right up to chord building! Fantastic reference.

    Comment on this review

    Introduction 1

    Part I: Getting Started with Music Theory 7

    Chapter 1: What Is Music Theory, Anyway? 9

    Chapter 2: Determining What Notes Are Worth 15

    Chapter 3: Giving It a Rest 29

    Chapter 4: Introducing Time Signatures 37

    Chapter 5: Playing with Beat 51

    Part II: Putting Notes Together 59

    Chapter 6: Music Notes (And Where to Find Them) 61

    Chapter 7: Mastering the Major and Minor Scales 79

    Chapter 8: Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths 93

    Chapter 9: Intervals: The Distance between Pitches 109

    Chapter 10: Chord Building 133

    Chapter 11: Chord Progressions 157

    Part III: Musical Expression through Form, Tempo, Dynamics, and More 175

    Chapter 12: The Building Blocks of Music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, and Song Form 177

    Chapter 13: Relying on Classical Forms 189

    Chapter 14: Tapping Into Popular Genres and Forms 199

    Chapter 15: Creating Varied Sound through Tempo and Dynamics 207

    Chapter 16: Instrument Tone Color and Acoustics 219

    Part IV: The Part of Tens 225

    Chapter 17: Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Music Theory 227

    Chapter 18: Ten Valuable Music Resources 233

    Chapter 19: Ten Music Theorists You Should Know About 239

    Part V: Appendixes 247

    Appendix A: On the CD 249

    Appendix B: Chord Chart 255

    Appendix C: Glossary 293

    Index 297

    ISBN: 9781118095508
    ISBN-10: 9781434335951
    Series: For Dummies
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 336
    Published: 14th October 2011
    Country of Publication: US
    Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 18.8  x 1.98
    Edition Number: 1