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Music Theory, 3E

Book Description

Many people find music theory a tough subject-- but it doesn't have to be! The best-selling Idiot's Guides: Music Theory, Third Edition, is a concise and clear guide that teaches any budding musician (and even more experienced ones) how to read musical notation by navigating the basics of reading and composing music. This book covers:

- The basics of tones, including pitches, clefs, scales, intervals, and major and minor keys.
- The building blocks of rhythm, including note values, basic notation, time signatures, and tempo, dynamics, and navigation.
- How tunes are created, starting with melodies, chords, chord progressions, and phrases and forms.
- The basics of accompaniment, including transcribing, accompanying melodies, and transposing to other keys.
- Composing and arranging, including coverage of musical genres and forms, how to compose your own music, arranging for voices and instruments, working with lead sheets and scores, and performing your music.
- Helpful reference appendixes, including a glossary, chord charts, and instrument ranges.
- Exercises at the end of each chapter, and an answer key appendix.
- All-new coverage of genres, composing, and arranging.
- Expanded online ear-training and transcribing exercise content.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1: Tones
    1. 1 Pitches and Clefs
      1. Understanding Musical Tones
      2. Tones Have Value
        1. Tuning Into a Frequency
        2. Play by Numbers
        3. Do Re Mi
      3. Tones Have Names
        1. Learning the ABCs
        2. Notes on a Piano Keyboard
        3. Notes on a Staff
        4. Above—and Below—the Staff
      4. Different Clefs
        1. The Treble Clef
        2. The Bass Clef
        3. The Grand Staff
        4. Specialty Clefs
        5. The Percussion Clef
      5. Exercises
    2. 2 Intervals
      1. Be Sharp—or Be Flat
      2. Steppin’ Out
      3. A Matter of Degrees
        1. First Things First
        2. Major and Minor Intervals
        3. Perfect Intervals
        4. Augmented and Diminished Intervals
        5. Beyond the Octave
        6. Intervals and Half Steps
      4. Mod-12
      5. Exercises
    3. 3 Scales
      1. Eight Notes Equal One Scale
      2. Major Scales
      3. Minor Scales
        1. Natural Minor
        2. Harmonic Minor
        3. Melodic Minor
      4. In the Mode
        1. Ionian
        2. Dorian
        3. Phrygian
        4. Lydian
        5. Mixolydian
        6. Aeolian
        7. Locrian
      5. Exercises
    4. 4 Major and Minor Keys
      1. Keys to Success
        1. Using Key Signatures
        2. Determining the Key Signature
        3. Major Keys
        4. Minor Keys
      2. The Circle of Fifths
      3. Accidents Will Happen
      4. Changing Keys
      5. Exercises
  6. Part 2: Rhythms
    1. 5 Note Values and Basic Notation
      1. Taking the Measure of Things
      2. Taking Note—of Notes
        1. Whole Notes
        2. Half Notes
        3. Quarter Notes
        4. Eighth Notes
        5. Sixteenth Notes
      3. Taking Count
      4. Taking a Rest
      5. Taking a Note—and Dotting It
      6. Taking Two Notes—and Tying Them Together
      7. Taking the Beat and Dividing by Three
      8. Exercises
    2. 6 Time Signatures
      1. Measuring the Beats
        1. Quarter-Note Time
        2. Eighth-Note Time
        3. Half Time
      2. Changing the Time
      3. Grouping the Beats
      4. Exercises
    3. 7 Tempo, Dynamics, and Navigation
      1. Taking the Pulse
        1. Beats per Minute
        2. Italian Tempo Terms
      2. Speeding Up—and Slowing Down
      3. Hold That Note!
      4. Getting Loud—and Getting Soft
        1. Dynamic Markings
        2. Changing Dynamics
        3. Play It Harder
      5. Finding Your Way
        1. Repeating Sections
        2. Repeating Measures
        3. Repeating Notes
        4. Repeating Rests
      6. Exercises
  7. Part 3: Tunes
    1. 8 Melodies
      1. Combining Tones and Rhythms
      2. Common Melodic Techniques
        1. Dvořák’s New World Symphony
        2. Bach’s Minuet in G
        3. “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore”
        4. Pachelbel’s Canon in D
      3. The Building Blocks of Melodic Form
        1. The Motif
        2. The Short Melodic Phrase
        3. The Long Melodic Phrase
      4. Composing Your First Melody
      5. Exercises
    2. 9 Chords
      1. Forming a Chord
      2. Different Types of Chords
        1. Major Chords
        2. Minor Chords
        3. Diminished Chords
        4. Augmented Chords
      3. Chord Extensions
        1. Sevenths
        2. Other Extensions
      4. Altered, Suspended, and Power Chords
        1. Altered Chords
        2. Suspended Chords
        3. Power Chords
      5. Inverting the Order
      6. Adding Chords to Your Music
      7. Exercises
    3. 10 Chord Progressions
      1. Chords for Each Note in the Scale
      2. Creating a Progression
      3. It’s All About Getting Home
      4. One Good Chord Leads to Another
      5. Ending a Phrase
        1. Perfect Cadence
        2. Plagal Cadence
        3. Imperfect Cadence
        4. Interrupted Cadence
      6. Common Chord Progressions
        1. I-IV
        2. I-V
        3. I-IV-V
        4. I-IV-V-IV
        5. I-V-vi-IV
        6. I-ii-IV-V
        7. I-ii-IV
        8. I-vi-ii-V
        9. I-vi-IV-V
        10. I-vi-ii-V7-ii
        11. IV-I-IV-V
        12. ii-V-I
        13. Circle of Fifths Progression
        14. Chromatic Circle of Fifths
      7. Singing the Blues
      8. Chords and Melodies
        1. Fitting Chords to a Melody
        2. Chord Writing Tips
        3. Writing a Melody to a Chord Progression
      9. Exercises
    4. 11 Phrases and Forms
      1. Parts of a Song
        1. Introduction
        2. Verse
        3. Chorus
        4. Bridge
        5. Ending
      2. Putting It All Together
      3. Exercise
  8. Part 4: Accompanying
    1. 12 Transcribing What You Hear
      1. Training Your Ear
      2. Listening—Actively
      3. Developing Super Hearing
        1. Hearing Pitch
        2. Hearing Intervals
        3. Hearing Rhythms
        4. Hearing Melodies
        5. Hearing Keys
        6. Hearing Chords and Chord Progressions
      4. Writing It All Down
      5. Exercises
    2. 13 Accompanying Melodies
      1. What’s the Score?
        1. Working from a Lead Sheet
        2. Working from a Chord Sheet
        3. Working from a Melody
        4. Working from Nothing
      2. Working the Form
      3. Playing the Part
        1. Block Chord Accompaniment
        2. Rhythmic Accompaniment
        3. Arpeggiated Accompaniment
        4. Moving Bass
      4. One Good Strum Deserves Another
      5. Exercises
    3. 14 Transposing to Other Keys
      1. Move Your Notes Around
      2. Why You Need to Transpose
      3. Four Ways to Transpose
        1. Step-Wise Transposition
        2. Degree-Wise Transposition
        3. Interval-Based Transposition
        4. Software-Based Transposition
      4. Exercises
  9. Part 5: Embellishing
    1. 15 Harmony and Counterpoint
      1. Two Ways to Enhance a Melody
      2. Living in Harmony
        1. Voicing and Inversions
        2. Making Harmony Parts More Melodic
        3. Voice Leading
      3. Making a Point—with Counterpoint
        1. Keys to Successful Counterpoint
        2. Creating Your First Counterpoint
      4. What to Avoid
      5. Exercises
    2. 16 Chord Substitutions and Turnarounds
      1. Extending a Good Thing
      2. Altering the Bass
      3. Two Chords Are Better Than One
      4. One Good Chord Can Replace Another
        1. Diatonic Substitution
        2. Major Chord Substitutions
        3. Minor Chord Substitutions
        4. Dominant Seventh Substitutions
        5. Functional Substitutions
      5. Turnarounds
      6. Exercises
    3. 17 Special Notation
      1. Throwing a Curve
        1. Ties
        2. Slurs
        3. Phrases
      2. The Long and the Short of It
        1. Tenuto
        2. Staccato
      3. When Is a Note More Than a Note?
        1. Grace Notes
        2. Turns
        3. Trills
        4. Glissandi
        5. Arpeggiated Chords
      4. Getting Into the Swing of Things
      5. Getting the Word
      6. Exercises
  10. Part 6: Composing and Arranging
    1. 18 Musical Genres and Forms
      1. Classical Music
        1. Classical Music Through the Years
        2. Classical Forms
      2. Blues and Jazz
        1. The Blues
        2. Jazz
      3. Popular Music
      4. Exercises
    2. 19 Composing Your Own Music
      1. How to Become a Composer
        1. Different Approaches to Composition
        2. Learning How to Write Your Own Music
      2. Composing with Chords
        1. Using Chord Leading
        2. Establishing a Harmonic Rhythm
        3. Fitting Melodies to Your Chords
      3. Making Memorable Melodies
        1. Center on a Pitch
        2. Make Sure You End Up at Home
        3. Go Pentatonic
        4. Find the Hook
        5. Create Variations
        6. Make It Move
        7. Take Small Steps
        8. Stay in Range
        9. Set Up—and Resolve—Tension
        10. Follow the Words
      4. Fitting Chords to a Melody
        1. Try the Obvious
        2. Use the Melodic Outline
        3. Work Backward
      5. Exercises
    3. 20 Arranging for Voices and Instruments
      1. Vocal Arranging
        1. Voice Characteristics
        2. Vocal Ranges
      2. Instrumental Arranging
        1. Instrument Characteristics
        2. Transposition
        3. Good Keys and Bad Keys
      3. Choosing Instruments for an Arrangement
      4. Common Ensembles
        1. Choir
        2. Symphonic Orchestra
        3. Chamber Orchestra
        4. String Orchestra
        5. String Quartet
        6. Concert Band
        7. Marching Band
        8. Big Band (Jazz Band)
        9. Rock Band (Rhythm Section)
      5. Exercises
    4. 21 Lead Sheets and Scores
      1. Follow the Rules
      2. Take the Lead
      3. Make It Simple
        1. Chord Sheets
        2. The Nashville Number System
      4. Sing It Loud
      5. Jazz It Up for Big Bands
      6. Strike Up the (Concert) Band
      7. Make the Big Score—for the Symphonic Orchestra
      8. Use the Computer
      9. Exercise
      10. Coda
    5. Appendixes
      1. A Glossary
      2. B Music Theory Ear Training Course
      3. C Answers to Chapter Exercises
    6. About the Author