5 Best Music Theory Textbooks

In order to understand the musical basics to writing lyrics, you can gain mastery of everything you desire with the help of the best music theory textbooks. There are a lot of music theory books on the market, and finding out which book is perfect for you can be a challenging task. The purpose of this post is to address this need by suggesting a few books that I found to be extremely effective, clear, and concise which can be great learning tools for you.

Best Music Theory Textbooks

Book Name & Author Image Rating Price
Music Theory: From Beginner to Expert – The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Understanding and Learning Music Theory Effortlessly by Nicolas Carter 9.2 View on Amazon
Music Theory For Dummies by Holly Day 9.4 View on Amazon
Music Theory 101: From Keys and Scales to Rhythm and Melody – An Essential Primer on the Basics of Music Theory (Adams 101) by Brian Boone & Marc Schonbrun 9.3 View on Amazon
Music Theory in Practice (LIVRE SUR LA MU) by Taylor Eric 9.3 View on Amazon
Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music by Jonathan Harnum 9.2 View on Amazon

1. Music Theory: From Beginner to Expert

This book is structured in a way that makes it very easy to follow, digest and internalize all important concepts that constitute music theory. What’s great is that you don’t have to be a college musician in order to understand and use any of this. Anyone can do it, even a total newbie. It also doesn’t matter what instrument you play, nor your current level of knowledge and playing ability, because music theory is universal and all about what sounds good together.

This is the most comprehensive and evergreen book on music theory that you can find a book you’ll wish to study and refer to often, and keep forever. You’ll also wish to gift it to your friends and discuss its content with other musicians.

It will give you what is necessary to become an expert in music theory without frustration and feeling overwhelmed in the process, and this in turn will have immense benefits.

Inside the Book

  • The book breaks down the understanding of sound, pitch, intervals, intonation, keys, and so on.
  • It gives a deep overview of scales, modes, chords, atonality, polytonality, and other important terms.
  • This book explains how to put the musical structure together and the approaches to creating musical movement.
  • You will have a deep understanding of rhythms, polyrhythms, accents, syncopation, time division, time signature, and so on.
  • The book will teach you how to form, name, and play any chord and use any scale in your music.
  • You could explore the secret behind beautiful music and how to use voice leading to composing music.
  • It will provide you with a complete overview of the integration of melody, harmony, and rhythms in composing music.

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2. Music Theory For Dummies

Whether you’re a student, a performer, or simply a fan, this book makes music theory easy, providing you with a friendly guide to the concepts, artistry, and technical mastery that underlie the production of great music. You’ll quickly become fluent in the fundamentals of knocking out beats, reading scores, and anticipating where a piece should go, giving you a deeper perspective on the works of others and bringing an extra dimension to your own.

Tracking a typical college-level course, Music Theory For Dummies breaks difficult concepts down into manageable chunks and takes into account every aspect of musical production and appreciation from the fundamentals of notes and scales to the complexities of expression and instrument tone color. Wherever you want to go musically as a writer or performer, or just as someone who wants to enjoy music to its fullest this approachable guide gives you everything you need to hear.

Inside the Book

  • The book will give you complete information to expand your range and abilities as a musician.
  • It breaks down the major concepts, principles, and rules of musical production and appreciation.
  • You will have a deeper understanding of major and minor scales, intervals, pitches, and clefs.
  • The book will offer you cognitive and intuitive guidance in employing melodies, progression, chords, and phrases to form music.
  • This book will let you master the basic notation, time signal, navigation, dynamics, time signal, and other important topics.
  • It incorporates a massive amount of techniques, tips, and secrets of musical conceptions.
  • You will get additional information to flourish your musical sense and clarify the complex themes.

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3. Music Theory 101: From Keys and Scales to Rhythm and Melody

From classical to hard rock, and jazz to hip hop, music is constantly evolving, but many of the basics have stayed the same. Understanding these basics is key to becoming a successful musician and well-rounded music lover. Music Theory 101 covers everything novice musicians and lifelong learners need to know, including How to read sheet music, understand the construction of chords and scales, the different rhythms and time signatures, and how keys are identified and organized.

Full of music trivia, music history, comprehensive instruction, and visual aids of scales, music symbols, and chords throughout, Music Theory 101 is the essential guide for you need for a crash course in music theory that even professional musicians would envy.

I think this would be great for anyone who wants to seriously understand, play or write music. There is even a TAB format for guitar players who don’t read music. Good choice if you are interested to learn the basics of music components and writing.

Inside the Book

  • The book covers the basics of music, intervals, modes, and the major and minor scales.
  • It describes the concepts of keys, chords, progression, harmony, and other important topics.
  • This book features various expression markings, musical symbols, and the tactics of reading music.
  • You will find a clear conception of various types of musical instruments and octave signs.
  • The book will teach you how to analyze a piece of music and identify different keys.
  • It will give you a deep understanding of how all the musical terms are related to each other and applied to compose great music.
  • You will have musical history, clear diagrams, and a massive range of exercises in this book.

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4. Music Theory in Practice (LIVRE SUR LA MU)

This workbook offers practical exercises and advice to improve the musical understanding of music enthusiasts. It’s an excellent resource for diving into the deeper of the entire music theories. To acquire a solid foundation in this context, you may undoubtedly reach for this book as it’s regarded to be one of the best music theory textbooks. With this insightful book, you will find background knowledge on all the underlying topics with in-depth explanations. The book will fully prepare you to prevail in composing music more exquisitely.

Since it comes with a large number of practice questions, you will never struggle in capturing all the complex musical terms. The way of presentation will definitely win over your heart and make you highly impressed. Alongside conventional composting, the book will guide you to several modern musical theories such as rock, jazz, and blues. Playing various instruments will seem something easily attainable as it covers the mechanisms of playing an instrument.

Inside the Book

  • The book comes with complete notation and theories of music to enhance your musical skills.
  • This book is composed of straightforward language to allow you to comprehend everything at ease.
  • It offers a large number of specimen exam questions and helpful tips to make you adept in music.
  • You will have clear concepts of progressions, rhythms, intervals, scales, chords, and other essential topics.
  • The book explains all the important words and concepts in a digestible and easy-to-understand approach.
  • You will find many examples and exercises in the book to sharpen your musical skills.
  • Each guide will enable you to compose, read, and play music in an exquisite approach.

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5. Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music

What do all those lines and squiggles and dots mean? Basic Music Theory takes you through the sometimes confusing world of written music with a clear, concise style that is at times funny and always friendly. The book is written by an experienced music teacher using methods refined over more than twenty years in schools and in his private teaching studio. Lessons are fun, well-paced, and enjoyable. Whether you’re a beginner of any age, whether you’re an experienced player who wants to bone up on your theory, or whether you teach music and need a fun way to do it, you’ll find this book valuable and will refer to it again and again.

Basic Music Theory encompasses more than just the basics for beginning piano or violin students. Anyone who hopes to play any instrument should find this a great starting place. Harnum draws on his experience of having taught thousands of students to produce a book that’s just loaded with information, yet manages to convey that information with a light touch and a bit of humor that makes it understandable for teens and adults, and maybe even for middle school students.

Inside the Book

  • The book covers the scales, mode, keys, intervals, and many other important musical concepts.
  • It will teach you how to conduct patterns, strike a chord, and perform chord progression at ease.
  • This book will give you deep insight into the guitar fingerboard, the wind-up, and the pitch.
  • You could sharpen your knowledge of triplets, seeing dots, meter, time, and rhythms.
  • The book unlocks the principles of the sound of silence and key signatures in a digestible approach.
  • This book is written in a brief, narrative, appealing, and constructive format to aid you most.
  • You will find some additional information and tips to hone your musical sense to a great extent.

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