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Music Theory for Computer Musicians Paperback – 2 May 2008

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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: 2.5 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,515 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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Jacobs on 18 Sept. 2013
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By twisted beats on 10 May 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 30 May 2008
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Saz22 on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fire Angel on 27 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. It starts off slowly by introducing pitch, duration, intervals and notes, and works slowly into scales, chords and more complex matters. It really fired me up, and I like the exercises and the fact that you can download the answers, but not find them in the book (too easy to kid yourself and cheat). You can also download an MP3 version of the included CD so you can keep everything close to hand when working in Logic or whatever music software you're using; it works with most of them and deliberately references at least six different DAW titles with screen shots. There's a lot of information packed into it and I think it may take several passes of working through the book to absorb it, but it's a seriously good text for helping you start to learn the theoretical foundations of music.

The early part of the book as a lot of grammatical or semantic errors, which was distracting at times while trying to study; the author's editor let him down I'd say. Fortunately each time a little thought enabled me to work out what the author meant; it's a minor niggle in a book which has so much to offer. I'd recommend this book for anyone starting out in music theory who is willing to work hard studying it; music is a complicated subject so there's no easy route to learning about it, but this does smooth the path a fair bit.
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