Asked • 04/06/19

Fundamental and In-Depth Music Theory for an Absolute Beginner?

I know nothing about music theory, but I have been playing the guitar for over 5 years and have been only working with tabs. I want to learn music theory **from scratch, fundamentally and *meticulously***. Then I want to move on to orchestration and composition. I really want to gain a very in-depth understanding of music theory.I want to be a complete autodidact in learning music theory, composition, and orchestration. However, my ultimate goal is to become a composer and possibly apply for a **Bachelor's/Master's** of music at a university.Few of my favorite composers include; Frank Zappa, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, La Monte Young, Krzysztof Penderecki, Anton Webern, Terry Riley, Arnold Schoenberg, etc.So far I have found MANY books and that has actually made me so confused as where I should really start, another thing that bothers me is that I am not sure if the books I have found are flawless! Few of the books I have come across include:- The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening, 3rd Edition. by Steven G. Laitz- The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis. by Jane Piper Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin- Music Theory for Dummies Book. by Holly Day and Michael PilhoferAre there any books out there that can be particularly helpful in my case, teaching me everything from scratch and build it up towards the advanced and complex concepts?Any book recommendation and/or guidelines on how to kickstart the process of learning music theory fundamentally will be highly appreciated.

Macie B.

I was in the same boat as you with no music theory experience at all, but planned on earning my Bachelor of Music Education. Ultimately, I learned by going to the university and have face-to-face teaching that made me learn. Maybe, try some youtube videos to get some type of introduction to it. But I would say go audition at a university if that is your ultimate goal. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and almost always willing to help you outside of class.


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