The Everything Essential Music Theory Book: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Reading, Writing, and Understanding Music

The Everything Essential Music Theory Book: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Reading, Writing, and Understanding Music

by Marc Schonbrun


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Master musical skills quickly and easily!

From classical music to new age, hard rock, and pop, music has always played an important role in everyday life. Whether you're an intermediate musician or an aspiring music major, The Everything Essential Music Theory Book is a guide to mastering one of the most important tools for every musician: musical understanding. This compact, portable volume covers all the basics, including:

  • The construction of chords and scales
  • How to understand rhythm and time signatures
  • How keys are identified and organized
  • Creating harmonization and melody
With each clear and easy-to-understand chapter, musician and educator Marc Schonbrun takes you through the essentials of music theory—the very glue that holds music together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440583391
Publisher: Adams Media
Publication date: 09/05/2014
Series: Everything Series
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 581,604
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Marc Schonbrun is an educator, writer, and performer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Marc’s musical resume ranges from classical to jazz trio and rock concerts. He is an active lecturer on guitar and music technology, and he frequently tours the country educating musicians and teachers. He is the author of several books on music, including The Everything Reading Music Book with CD, The Only Guitar Book You’ll Ever Need, The Everything Music Theory Book with CD, and The Everything Essential Music Theory Book, among others. He lives in San Jose, CA.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 Review of the Basics 13

Ins and Outs 13

Notes 14

Clefs 15

Time 19

Rhythm 19

Basic Rhythms 20

Rests 25

Meter 26

Chapter 2 Intervals 31

Go the Distance 31

Intervals from Scales 35

The Simple Intervals 44

Advanced Intervals 48

Inverted and Extended Intervals 51

Learning to Hear Intervals 53

Chapter 3 The Major Scale 55

Scales Defined 55

Spelling Scales 57

Scale Tones 61

How Scales Are Used in Music 62

Chapter 4 The Minor Scale 65

Minor Colors 65

The Definitive Approach 66

The Derivative Approach 69

Degrees in Minor Scales 70

Multiple Scales-Scale Clarity 71

Variant Variables 75

Chapter 5 Musical Keys and Key Signatures 77

Musical Organization 77

The System of Key Signatures 80

Relative Minor Keys 85

Minor Keys on Paper 88

Keys Change 91

Chapter 6 Modes and Other Scales 95

Modes-The Other Side of Scales 95

Seven Modal Scales 97

Looking at Modes on Their Own 103

Other Important Scales 104

Chapter 7 Chords 109

What Is a Chord? 109

Building Chords 111

Major Triads/Chords 111

Minor Triads/Chords 113

Diminished Triads 116

Augmented Triads 118

Chords in Scales 122

Diatonic Chords 123

Minor Scale Harmony 127

Hearing Chords 127

Chapter 8 Seventh Chords and Chord Inversions 129

Seventh Chords 129

Seventh-Chord Construction 131

Seventh-Chord Recap 139

Inverted Chords 140

Chapter 9 Movements: Chord Progressions 153

What Is a Chord Progression? 153

Progressions in Time 155

Diatonic Progressions and Solar Harmony 156

Solar Harmony and the Chord Ladder 161

Chapter 10 More Chord Progressions 169

Tonic and Dominant Relationships 169

Using Dominant Chords in Minor Keys 175

Harmonic Rhythm 179

Voice Leading 180

Chapter 11 Melodic Harmonization 183

What Is Melody? 183

Chord Tones and Passing Tones 188

True Melodic Harmonization 192

Single-Line Harmony 195

Chapter 12 Advanced Harmony 199

Beyond Diatonic 199

Modal Mixture 210

Modulation 213

Chapter 13 Jazz Harmony 221

What Is Jazz? 221

Jazz Harmony 222

Jazz Progressions 227

Blues Forms 236

Chapter 14 Transposition and Instrumentation 241

What Is Transposing? 241

Transposing Chant 245

Bb Instruments 246

Eb Instruments 248

F Instruments 249

Octave Transposes 250

Analyzing Scores 251

Instrument Ranges 258

Appendix A Glossary 263

Appendix B Reference Material 273

Index 283

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The Everything Essential Music Theory Book: A Guide to the Fundamentals of Reading, Writing, and Understanding Music 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Will Albritton More than 1 year ago
had a music theory teacher in high school that used this book for us. It made the greatest joy in my life easy to understand and learn. I'm not saying that you can learn this on your own, as music theory is a bit more tricky than what people think it is. I will say, if you have someone who can interpret things from this that you don't understand, you will find this book extremely helpful, BUT THIS IS THE CASE WITH ANY THEORY BOOK. It does a great job breaking information down. Honestly, I would recommend it before reaching for the standard "Tonal Harmony". Anyway, it's been almost 10 years since I was first introduced to music theory, and I have loved it since thanks to this book and my teacher. Decided to buy my own copy as my prints and binder were falling apart.