I am currently converting the entire Essential Music Theory site to https to give visitors a more secure browsing experience. Everything should be fine but apologies if anything doesn't work quite as expected over the next couple of weeks.
Simon (12 November 2017)
Many people believe that music theory is hard. Students go to any lengths to avoid having to learn to read music when, in fact, learning how to read music is quite easy if you go about it the right way. Actually, most musical theory is quite easy once you know how!
This site is designed as both a reference and a teaching tool. As the various sections develop you will find easy-to-understand explanations of theory concepts, lessons on how to read music, downloadable sheets and short quizzes to make sure you have understood the various concepts.
"...music theory is quite easy
if you go about it the right way"
The theoretical side of music is an important part of learning to play an instrument. Knowing how scales are put together; how to form chords, and how cadences, modulations and the cycle of 5ths work make a huge difference in the quality of your improvisation and composition in any style.
Knowing how to read music fluently, how to spot the key of a piece quickly, what all those Italian and German musical terms mean make learning pieces much faster and make sight-reading much easier. Knowing how to form chords and develop harmony can make the difference between composing an average piece and a great piece. And most exam boards who offer practical exams require you to pass a music theory exam before you can progress to the higher grades.
It's actually quite easy once you get the hang of it - and this website is here to help you do that! Check back often and find out what is new to learn and apply to your playing. As for fun...well, quite a few people argue with me about that - but once they begin learning the concepts and see how they all fit together most people agree it can be fun...not as much fun as Disney World maybe...but still fun!
Update September 2014: After starting this site l began a job as Head of Music in a new school and unfortunately didn't have time to continue building the site...I'm now back on the case so Bookmark the site or subscribe to the RSS feed in the Nav bar on the left to keep up to date. I have also been writing a book which you can see more about below.
I have taught class and instrumental music to school students from 7 to 18 and to adults. I also run a website about how to practice more effectively - Essential Music Practice. Check it out and supercharge your practice as well as your theory!
For more help check out my new theory book Essential Music Theory: Learn To Read And Appreciate Music Vol. 1 available for iPad and Mac OS.
Or get it on the iBooks Store!
You need to read my other book!
Make more progress, whatever your instrument, whatever your style.