Music theory basically refers to the basic elements that make up music, which include melody, harmony, pitch, rhythm, texture, and structure. This is usually taught by first introducing the basics such as naming rhythmic values and how to write them. More complex concepts such as modes, chords, key signatures, and scales are taught in next levels. Identifying formal structures such as fugue, binary, and ternary forms are also part of a more advanced theory curriculum.
You may think that you don't really need to study all these things if you already know how to play an instrument, but an understanding of how music is put together can help you a lot as a musician. As a matter of fact, knowledge about the building blocks of music-the notes, scales, and chords-is what separates a true musician from someone who merely knows how to play an instrument or sing a song.
Benefits of Learning Theory
Composing your own songs will require you to read and write musical notes, which are all part of music theory. How else are you supposed to put on paper all those amazing ideas if you can't write them down by using the right symbols such as notes, flats, and sharps? Plus, a basic knowledge on melody and harmony is also important if you want to create your own music. After all, composing a song or piece means arranging notes and chords that will sound good together. So if you want to pursue a career in music, you must realize that basic understanding of theory is essential.
Knowing the basics will also help you appreciate music better. If you have a favorite song or piece, wouldn't you be a bit curious as to how the music was arranged? Whether your favorite musician is a classic legend or a contemporary artist, analyzing the structure of their musical creations will require a bit of theory.
Studying theory will also expose you to the different music genres and styles such as Classical, Romantic, and Baroque. This is very important since the foundation of Western music is greatly influenced by the works of geniuses such as Mozart (Classical), Johann Sebastian Bach (Baroque), and Ludwig Van Beethoven (Romantic).
Tips When Studying Theory Behind Music
Now studying how music is put together doesn't have to be a boring or difficult task. You just need to find yourself a good teacher and some reliable references that can help you understand the basic concepts. The kind of theory education that's best for you will ultimately depend on your goals. If you just want to learn how to play an instrument, sticking to the basics is enough. But if you want to become a professional musician, you need to have a more rigorous study plan.
Joining a class or having private lessons on music theory gives you a chance to work with a mentor who can easily answer your questions about difficult concepts. He or she can also incorporate activities, practice pieces, exercises, and games that can make the learning process fun and exciting. So, if you want to fully appreciate how music is created, start looking for programs with music theory in their curriculum today.