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Music Theory For Dummies: with Audio CD [Paperback]

Michael Pilhofer , Holly Day
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 11.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Nov 2011 1118095502 978-1118095508 2nd Edition
Grasp the concepts needed to compose, deconstruct, and comprehend music Whether you′re a student of music or a music lover, Music Theory For Dummies presents you with essential information on how to read, write, and understand music, as well as helpful hints on composing, arranging, and creating original melodies, harmonies, and chords. Music Theory For Dummies gives you a friendly, unintimidating overview of the material covered in a typical college–level course and makes music theory easy to understand. It includes updated information on current teaching techniques; the newest music examples and genres; information on mastering major and minor scales, using intervals, and recognizing pitches and clefs; the lowdown on rhythms, tempo, dynamics, and navigation; how to transcribe the music you hear and transposing it to other keys; harmonizing and accompanying melodies; composing and arranging for voices and instruments; performing your own music; and much more. Audio CD includes musical excerpts played on a variety of instruments Makes learning music theory as enjoyable as it is useful Tracks to a typical college–level music theory course Don′t get discouraged by the seemingly complicated written structure of musical theory. With Music Theory For Dummies, understanding music has never been easier! CD–ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e–book file, but are available for download after purchase.  

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (10 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118095502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118095508
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Your hands–on guide to to decoding the basics of music theory Whether you′re a student of music or a music lover, Music Theory For Dummies presents you with essential information on how to read, write, and understand music, as well as helpful hints on composing, arranging, and creating original melodies, harmonies, and chords. Don′t get discouraged by the seemingly complicated subject of musical theory. With Music Theory For Dummies , understanding music has never been easier! Find your rhythm — discover the rhyme and reason of rhythm — the most basic component of any type of music — and understand how it can make or break a performer Take note — get plain–English guidance on how to read notes, mnemonics to help remember the order of notes on the grand staff, and basic chord progressions and musical cadences Start making some noise — find out how to put it all together to read and play a variety of music, from classical fugues and sonatas to blues, rock, and pop Open the book and find: The birth of music and theory A look at notes, rests, staves, time, and beat How to read music notes Ways to master the major and minor scales Information on chords and chord progressions The building blocks of musical form Ways to create sound through tempo and dynamics Music theorists you should know about Valuable resources to add to your library Bonus CD Includes Tracks of example notes, chords, melodies, and more that are discussed in the book Learn to: Compose, deconstruct, and comprehend music Play with musical forms and genres Follow alongside musical excerpts on the audio CD

About the Author

Michael Pilhofer teaches music theory and percussions at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota. He′s toured and recorded with Joe Lovano, Marian McPartland, Kenny Wheeler, and others. Holly Day is a writing instructor at the Open Book Writing Collective in Minneapolis.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music Theory BY Dummies 23 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have several "For Dummies" books and have always found - if you ignore their patronising tone and the lame cartoons - that they are a sound introduction to their topic. Unfortunately, this one is the exception. All "For Dummies" books include vast amounts of blank paper - presumably because this is easier on the eye than a lot of dense type (fair enough) - but this book carries the principle to ridiculous extremes. The impression you get initially is that this is a fat tome and value for money. It isn't. If the actual content was reproduced with normal spacing it would be about a third the size.

But that wouldn't matter if the content was good. It isn't. There is a huge amount of repetition, lots of irrelevancies, plus obscure bits of information that aren't even interesting. It provides you with 3 different mnemonics to memorise the lines on the staff - one would suffice - pure space wasting.

The CD is very poor. There are masses of scales of every possible kind but nothing at all on rhythm. Music teachers agree that a good understanding of rhythm and is hugely important to an understanding of music. The book, in fact states this, then omits anything about rhythm from the CD. The same scales are presented on both piano and guitar - why? They sound the same no matter what instrument you choose. Why not play them on the violin, oboe, nose flute ...? I expected actual musical extracts that would allow the reader to listen while reading the notation. Obvious,I would have thought. But they are not to be found.

I could go on but I don't wish to fall into the same trap as the book and become a tedious bore. If you are looking for a good book on music theory there are many that are far better and (despite the Dummies tag) easier to follow than this. I would recommend books by Dave Stewart and Eric Taylor which although lacking all the little icons (you know fingers with knots tied around them) will give you a sound introduction to music theory.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harder than it looks! 27 April 2012
By finchy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is a lot of material in this chunky book. However, my impression is that it's not quite aimed at the real beginner: learning music theory is surely only "easy" for a small number of people....(I'd rather be told " this is difficult but we explain it very well") There does seem to be something of an assumption that the readers have learnt a bit about music, maybe from playing piano as a child.

The criticism in other reviews about the Americanisation of the language has been slightly corrected in my more recent edition by a translation for crotchets and quavers etc but then we are advised that the more descriptive, "American" words are the preferred ones in more general world-wide use. However, in itself that is not much of a problem.

There is a different problem for me in the layout of the book - I'd like a page to give one complete idea, or one complete part of an idea! but the format here seems not to do that probably in attempting clarity of printing. Obviously this is my personal preference of style. Also, I bought the book because it has a CD but then I did not find that as helpful as I had hoped. I really needed a DVD to 'see' the notes being played.....Again anyone who has some prior musical knowledge may not find this a problem.

One big consolation was that I realised that at this time I want to learn to read music - to help with practical playing of an instrument - rather than struggle with the full and more complex ideas of musical theory - so I returned to a book (How to Read Music by Helen Cooper) which had seemed difficult but, in comparison, was a great deal easier to comprehend, practice and learn from. To be fair to this Music Theory publication, that is a much smaller book with more limited ambitions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a near dummy 18 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to develop my understanding of music theory. And I have found it excellent, though I am going through it slowly and am about half way.
I looked at quite a number of such books (in a shop) and then bought this online.
As a child I had piano lessons and have since messed around with a guitar and keyboards, but I have to admit to being totally untalented (with music). But I love music and this book is helping me understand why.
I mention the above because Im not sure how a complete beginner would find this book but for me its perfect. The audio CD is helps tremendously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value 16 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is great if you already have some knowledge of music theory, as I do. I am really pleased with the content - it seems to cover absolutely everything. My only criticism is that, because it's an American book, the authors refer to eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes and whole notes, instead of the English semi-quavers, quavers, etc. However, in the first chapter they do use both terms, and explain that after the first chapter they will only use the American terms. You still end up flipping back to the first chapter to remind yourself of what's what. Other than that, I cannot fault it, especially at the ridiculously low Kindle price I paid. Very pleased.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good book 28 Nov 2012
By GordonO
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This lived up to the expectation. There were some aspects of music theory that I did not understand, and whilst there is a lot of information available on line, quite often the explanations are arcane of contradictory. This book is very well written and dealt with all of my knowledge gaps. Easy to read too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good for revision and reference
This is great for re- learning and learning,from basic upwards, well pleased. Also answers the questions you could never ask without feeling stupid.
Published 4 days ago by bilbob
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about everything you could want to know!
An excellent book, all the information you're likely to ever need in one place for anyone with interest in music.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. P. J. WEST
5.0 out of 5 stars A must if you want to understand music better.
I bought this when studying for a music theory exam. I found it clearly explained the circle of fifths in a way that made it easier to remember. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Musical crafter
5.0 out of 5 stars A helpful book
I used this book whilst trying to improve my piano playing and songwriting and so far I've found it very useful. It's easy to follow and the exercises are enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by Ms N Carlton
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a must have
A very good reference book which for an aspiring musician should always be at hand,if you know all thats in it you are on your way.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. P. G. Dann
3.0 out of 5 stars Words are good, but links to sound do not work on an ordinary Kindle,...
I have learnt a lot, but would have loved to hear the links ... guess that is why the kindle edition was so cheap
Published 9 months ago by Anne M Carter
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT for LEARNING THEORY from SCRATCH
It is Americanised (some notes are referred to slightly differently than UK notation I believe) but if you know no different then that's not a real problem.
Published 10 months ago by Captain
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
That's all you're getting, I haven't time to write essays for every silly little item I buy; this review business is getting rediculous
Published 10 months ago by K I D Dean
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware - Kindle version is incomplete
The book seems reasonable enough bearing in mind its scope and its intended audience - it varies from simplistic to complex but the biggest drawback is that the Kindle version... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. C. Meehan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference text.
Using the maxim that you get what you pay, for then this book is ideally to be used either as an easier way to introduce young musicians to the theory of music or like myself, a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jw Brown
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