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I need music theory books.

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Ericman197, Jun 3, 2004.


  1. Ericman197

    Ericman197

    Feb 23, 2004
    Iowa
    My knowledge of music theory is very limited; I'd really like to get into some of the hardcore stuff. I've already read Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to 20th century music, which pretty much covers theory I and II ( as far as I know... ). What else is there to know? I'd really like to get whatever textbook is used for theory III, IV, etc. Also, I'd be interested in a book on rock theory if one exists... thus far none of the rock theory books I've read are at all serious, they're intended primarilly for the beginner guitarist and not for someone interested in music theory.
     
  2. Well, I don't think there's enough to rock theory to write a book about. Traditionally, rock music has been made by people less musically educated than some of us. Common progression, certainly, but not the complex backing that Jazz has, for example.
     
  3. Ericman197

    Ericman197

    Feb 23, 2004
    Iowa
    So does anyone know of any theory books other than Tonal Harmony?
     
  4. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Florida

    What is it that you would ultimately like to know, musically speaking? It sounds like you want to play rock. In some ways, I think you can look at rock as a more simplified form of jazz. I would always recommend The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. That book can keep you busy for a while. I would also learn as many tunes as you possibly can in whatever idiom you are interested in. In jazz, we're all expected to know a couple hundred standards. That means the chords and melody, and often being able to play them in several, if not all keys. If you do the same for rock, any thoery you look at will be easier. Everything you learn from theory would relate to many playing examples already in your head. It works in reverse too; as you understand theory, you learn tunes easier because you understand them on a different level. All of this would ultimately make you a better composer as well, if that's your bag.


    By the way, I am not a jazz-snob (though I love jazz). There are some unbelievably good players out there playing rock. Example: Check out Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies. He is an upright monster, with bowing & jazz chops most of us don't have. To hear it, check out The Brothers Creeggan; his band outside of BNL.
     
  5. Ericman197

    Ericman197

    Feb 23, 2004
    Iowa


    Cool, I'll check it out. Do you know of any college text books for music theory III and beyond though? I'm looking to expand upon Tonal Harmony with a similar book. I'm not so much interested in jazz, but I don't really mind studying any music.
     
  6. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Florida

    College was too long ago for my memory of the titles, but I think many colleges are using the Mark Levine book now, at least for improv classes. Again, what are you looking to know/do? Basic theory is basic theory, any book will have the info. I would figure out what you want to be doing 5 years from now and look for something that teaches theory relative to your interests. If you know what you want to do, perhaps someone can recommend the book(s) from the path they took to get there.
     
  7. Ericman197

    Ericman197

    Feb 23, 2004
    Iowa
    Well, I plan on taking theory in college. Basically, I'm looking for any college curriculum theory books. If I had to pick a style, I'd probably say rock, but classically interested... sort of like Queen.
     
  8. PJEBassist

    PJEBassist

    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    I used BASIC THEORY - HARMONY (A Text and Workbook for the School Musician) by Joseph Paulson and Irving Cheyette. I thought this book was marvelous. It starts off by teaching the 4 clefs (Bass, Tenor, Alto, and Treble) and then goes into the Bass and Treble only in the book. It then discusses the Circle of fifths and the major scales. It discuess Rhythems, but not really in depth. The book is teaching more harmonies than rhythems. All the exercises are done on the Grand Staff. Then it teaches intervals, tonic chords, dominant seventh chords, and minor scales. Almost all chords are discussed in this book (I saw almost because I do not all the chords, but all the chords I do know are in here!). If you're looking for theory of a musical style, this isn't it. But if you are looking for basic theory which will let you understand all other styles, then this is for you.

    -PJEBassist
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Sstefan kostka
    Walter Piston
    Stockhausen
     
  10. Music theory books can sometimes be brain candy and offer new ways to think of music, but have you ever considered going out on a limb and creating your own ideas? For example, create your own version of "the major and minor" scales? If "all" music theory is based off of the major scale, then create modes out of other scales, even or *especially* scales that are not modes of the major scale. If I've ever had a brain knot to untie, these are the types of things that trip me up when I think about them because everything is so accustomed to beginning-intermediate, and some advanced music theory.

    I'm not sure if I am out of the loop and this is trivial or if this might help.