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26
4.5 out of 5 stars
Music Theory for Computer Musicians
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 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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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2011
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
on 6 January 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2014
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 decide whether you misunderstood something or you have come across yet another typo. Proof reading is not something this Publisher seems to believe in much. Look for something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2012
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 has 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2013
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. There are plenty of other books that do that. This is very a particular book that aims to improve the self-taught electronic musician's knowledge of music theory in order to improve their songwriting abilities (whether it's melody, harmony, chords, beats, rhythm, arpeggiation etc). I think it does that well. I found it logically structured, and yes, while it may give you some information that you find irrelevant to your needs, I'm sure there are other musicians that will find this information useful.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2012
In 2011, I was completely new to music theory. I purchased two books to come to grips with the subject.

Music Theory for Computer Musicians is a large book with a lot of useful information.
However, the big minus is that the key points (facts, lessons) are not easy to distinguish from the irrelevant ones.

The author does go in depth about many interesting parts of music theory, and there is definitely a lot to learn from this book, but while reading this I couldn't shake the feeling of mild confusion and irritation. I've had to re-read several parts because I simply could not comprehend what the author was trying to get across. This is mainly due to a lack of focused effort; the text contains banal and sometimes misleading information.

The reason I'm being harsh is that when I switched to "Understanding Music Theory" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0711986711) my learning experience became much more smooth and I felt comfortable. I quickly grasped concepts that seemed impenetrable.

In conclusion, this book is okay if you're familiar with basic music theory, and would like some filler/background information on the concepts.

However, the book is currently £17.83 - it is not worth more than 10 pounds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2011
This book is prefect for any music producer that does not feel music theory is your strong point, it really explains expert music theory in a simple form, a really good book :)
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on 11 June 2015
Overall I have really enjoyed working through this book. I am fortunate to have been classically trained in Western music with its 4/4 timing and major/minor key system. Much of this has been revision of something I learned more than 30 years ago.

Where this book has stood out for me is the explanation of alternative scales, time signatures, modes and interesting 7/9/11/13th harmonies - which my traditional music teachers probably knew nothing about. It has opened my mind to experimenting with interesting rhythms and harmonies - taking me away from a familiar structure. It's like suddenly discovering a wider musical palette to be creative with.

I would like to have given this 5 stars, but there are so many inaccuracies - this couldn't have been proof read before publishing.

Ideal book for me with my previous musical knowledge - don't think it would be a beginners guide.
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