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Theory Books.

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Pastorius43, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. All the theory I've learned has been from the internet. I feel I need to learn more, but no where near me offers classes that I know of. So, would anyone recommed me a decent Music Theory book?

  2. I was about to post something similar. My high school (unlike other high schools) doesn't have a music theory class. I need a book or something to prepare me for college. I get a little theory from my teacher but it is mainly for playing and I want it to stay that way. Any books &/or suggestions.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    mcnaire, I know you're a classical guy. I'll go out on a limb and assume that Pastorius is a jazz guy.

    Mark Lavine's "The Jazz Theory Book" is kind of a standard. I like it, not everybody gets it. My local library has it, if yours does, you might spend a few weeks with it before you buy it.

    I've also seen a book called "Metaphors for Musicians" by Randy Halberstadt. He teaches jazz piano and theory at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Nice guy, gives good lectures from his book. http://www.randyhalberstadt.com/

    I don't think that his book will cover anything that Lavine doesn't, maybe more thoroughly, but if you don't get Lavine's presentation of the theory, then Randy's comes at it from a differnet angle.

    mcnaire, I don't know what to recommend for you. I'm sorry. I think, while music is music, jazz theory may not be what you want to dive into if you're on a classical path.

    Good luck ot you both.

  4. Thanks, I'll see if i can find that book. :)
  5. Harmony by Walter Piston
  6. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    not to be picky, but if you have trouble finding it you might do better looking for Mark Levine....
  7. kraid


    Apr 11, 2003
    For general theory books I like Music: In Theory and Practice by Benward & Saker (comes in two volumes) and Tonal Harmony by Kostka and Payne. After going through those I recommend reading the three Piston books: Harmony, Counterpoint, and Orchestration. I also recommend Schoenberg's texts on harmony and composition, but the wording in them isn't the best.

    I probably wouldn't read any jazz theory books before learning about classical theory unless you're never going to venture into classical music.
  8. Mainly I want to learn more about classical, but for now I just thought jazz theory would do. Thanks for the reccomendations. I just ordered a few "Master Theory" books. They were like 3.95 each so i just bought a few.
  9. fcleff


    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I think that Tonal Harmony by Kostka is a good one. Some people feel that it is a little outdated but it is very clear. I actually composed a piece called 'Threnody for the Victims of Tonal Harmony' and got Kostka to perform on it. We handcuffed him to a music stand and beat him up with a (padded) baseball bat. :bassist: Still, it's a good book.