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Music Theory for Computer Musicians [Paperback]

Michael Hewitt
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: £32.63
Price: £22.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 May 2008
Many DJs, gigging musicians, and electronic music producers understand how to play their instruments or make music on the computer, but they lack the basic knowledge of music theory needed to take their music-making to the next level and compose truly professional tracks. Beneath all the enormously different styles of modern electronic music lie certain fundamentals of the musical language that are exactly the same no matter what kind of music you write. It is very important to acquire an understanding of these fundamentals if you are to develop as a musician and music producer. Put simply, you need to know what you are doing with regard to the music that you are writing. "Music Theory for Computer Musicians" explains these music theory fundamentals in the most simple and accessible way possible. Concepts are taught using the MIDI keyboard environment and today's computer composing and recording software. By reading this book and following the exercises contained within it, you, the aspiring music producer/computer musician, will find yourself making great progress toward understanding and using these fundamentals of the music language. The result will be a great improvement in your ability to write and produce your own original music.

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Music Theory for Computer Musicians + Composition for Computer Musicians + Harmony for Computer Musicians
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delmar; 1 Pap/Cdr edition (2 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598635034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598635034
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dr Michael Hewitt is a composer, author and lecturer currently living in North Wales. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of London and a masters degree and doctorate from the University of North Wales, Bangor. He is author of numerous books on music including the very popular series of books for computer musicians. These include Music Theory, Composition and Harmony for Computer Musicians.

Product Description


Introduction Chapter 1: Musical Sound Chapter 2: The Notes Chapter 3: The Major Scale Chapter 4: Rhythm, Tempo and Note Lengths Chapter 5: Score Editing Chapter 6: Intervals Chapter 7: Meter Chapter 8: Chords Chapter 9: The Natural Minor Scale Chapter 10: Melody and Motives Chapter 11: The Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales Chapter 12: Augmented and Diminished Intervals and Interval Inversions Chapter 13: Chordal Inversions, Octave Doubling, and Spacing Chapter 14: Additive Rhythms Chapter 15: Expanding Your Knowledge of Keys Chapter 16: the Pentatonic Scale Chapter 17: Major, Minor, Augmented, and Diminished Triads Chapter 18: Chord Progressions and Root Movement Chapter 19: The Cycle of Fifths Chapter 20: The Seven Diatonic Modes Chapter 21: Chords of the Seventh Chapter 22: Exotic Scales Chapter 23: Complex Harmony Chapter 24: Arpeggiation Chapter 25: Intonation Chapter 26: Conclusion Appendix A: Scales Appendix B: Audio CD and Accompanying Text Sidebars

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars works for me! 10 May 2009
I struggle more than most with music theory , and this book was more helpful than any other I have came across

It is not a magic wand that will have you know all angles of an extremely complicated subject, from one glance, but it does however teach you many helpful tips and breaks the complicated stuff into smaller chunks and with a small amount of persistance, it all weaves into a understanding

the accompayin cd is really helpful, and if you are not theory minded like me, Id say just keep at it ,and dont try and learn all concepts of theory in one read of a book, use it as a guide and use the c.d

after a few weeks I now have a firm understanding of chords, scales, rythm and intervals , with only the first half of the book (im not ready for thre more complicated stuff just yet- but that is all included for when i have progressed)

so overall this book is everything you could need as a aspiring computer musician, if you have this book, and read it , and play with the concepts explained, you WILL begin to grasp this ridiculously complex subject

few months on and you will have opened up a whole new angle to make music from, and not feel boxed in with limited knowledge

if you cant learn from the teachings in this book then you are trying to grasp too much to easily, face it music theory is world in itself and with persistance and actually carrying out the concepts and experimenting, you WILL grasp it progressively

top book, more helpful for bedroom producers than any other theory book ive read -and ive read many
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity Itself ! 30 May 2008
Many people who use a computer to produce their music will eventually find their progress hampered if they lack a working understanding of music theory.

We all know when something we've written 'doesn't sound quite right' but without knowledge of the principles underlying musical composition it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why. All the books I've seen on the subject however are exclusively geared to the classical / academic musician, and such books can be heavy-going and hard to understand.

This comprehensive gem of a book addresses that gap in clear, accessible language, enabling everyone to improve their composition skills. The examples and short exercises given are easy and enjoyable to follow, and the illustrations - using modern composing software that will be familiar to readers - are excellent. The book also comes with a CD of interesting musical examples of information given in the text.

A real must-have for all aspiring computer musicians, whether college students or home producers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've played guitar in bands for 20 years, entirely self taught. I've also have been producing electronic music with Cubase (and other DAWs - Reason/Ableton etc) for well over 10 years. I haven't been able to read music since my very short stint learning trumpet as a 9 year old!

Because of the above I have at least a bit of grounding in music theory, albeit sub-consciously, as well as experience of the alternative to music notation that is used by music software (ie. midi, piano roll, grids etc).

Most other music theory books are likely to rely on the reader's ability to read music, making the subject inpenetrable to self-taught musicians. So, for someone at a similar level to me (I'm sure a couple of years of music experience as opposed to 20 will be enough), this book is fantastic and I couldn't recommend it enough.

I have learnt loads and loads, and understand a hell of a lot more, in just two weeks. It's very well written, clear, concise and holds your hand throughout. It's very well broken down into the different subjects, so once you've read it all (and most likely been overwhelmed - which can't be helped seeing as it's a big subject), you can go back and re-read the sections you are unclear on. I can vouch that re-reading chapters has really worked for me. I am completely unacademic, so if I can get it, then you can too!

My only small gripe is that there is at least one mistake in the exercises at the end of each chapter (I think!), but it's not going to affect my 5/5 rating as it's improved my understanding of music immeasurably.

One last thing in reference to a couple of the lower-rated reviews. This book is not about synthesis and doesn't purport to be. You won't learn about oscillators or using DAWs etc.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 12 Sep 2011
By Saz22
Does exactly what it sets out to do, in a really clear and easy-to-understand way. Really great for learning everything you need to know about music theory, having had little knowledge on the subject. Found myself picking things up in no time!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book wish i'd bought it earlier 6 Jan 2011
By Adam
Having bought the dance music manual, finding the section on music theory a little sparse. This book really does lay it out well and assumes no prior music theory experience of which I have none. The audio examples really help if you are struggling to get to grips with any part. This book really covers absolutely everything you would ever want to know and goes into enough depth to quench anyones thirst for knowledge. I would recommend this book for anyone who is starting to think about electronic music production as opposed to any other book out there. Its not going to give you a magic formula but it will certainly point you in the right direction the rest is up to you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice product good quality and great price!
Nice product good quality and great price!
Published 24 days ago by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good information in this book.
Published 3 months ago by David W Barbour
3.0 out of 5 stars good but riddled with inaccuracies.
An excellent book for the beginner, especially as the ridiculous amount of printed errors in the assignments pages and text will force you to re-check everything multiple times to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lardossan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great, simple Introduction to music theory
A very well written, & clear introduction to music theory, aimed specifically at computer musicians, so most concepts are explained in relation to the Piano Roll - that is found in... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Glen Ufton
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, Clear, To the point
Good book, easy to understand, written well, would recommend as a basis for understanding theory of music which is normally a complex subject
Published 7 months ago by mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for any producer
Very well written by someone who clearly has a passion for music and experience in teaching. Michael Hewitt plainly knows what he is talking about. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Faisal Osman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy
My husband says this is a great book and he is really enjoying reading it and learning about computer music. Would recomment it he says.
Published 13 months ago by Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
It will increase your knowledge about music theory and shows examples in the book using reason.It has a very wide scope and you won't be disappointed.
Published 15 months ago by hulk
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I've been looking for
Tackles a complex subject in a very clear and straight forward way . . I'm not even quarter way through the book and already feel confident this book will move me forward within... Read more
Published 17 months ago by jay.p
5.0 out of 5 stars A densly packed and well structured book.
This book was recommended by a college music lecturer as ideal for beginners like me, and since I started working through it I have been highly impressed. Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2012 by Fire Angel
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