Basic Music Theory for Beginners - The Complete Guide – Icon - Deepstash

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Basic Music Theory for Beginners - The Complete Guide – Icon

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Musical theory: a tool to understand music

Music theory will give you a better understanding of music. It is not a set of rules but a tool to help you understand, create, and communicate music.

The best is to learn music fundamentals first. The building blocks of musical compositions include:

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Harmony combines chords and chord progressions. Not all harmonies sound pleasing to the ear.

  • Dissonant harmony doesn't sound pleasant when played together. It adds tension and makes the chord sound unstable.
  • Consonant harmony

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The melody of the song is often the most recognisable part. Most compositions have multiple melodies that repeat.

Two primary elements of a melody:

  1. Pitch is how high or low a note will sound.
  2. Rhythm i...

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Rhythm is the backbone for other musical elements. Understanding rhythm can help you make great music.

  • Beat: A repeating pulse.
  • Meter: A specific pattern of strong and weak pulses.
  • Time Signature: The number of beat...

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The fundamentals of music theory

  • The musical alphabet consists of seven letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and repeat. They are the white keys, and each note has a specific pitch.
  • There are 12 notes on the piano keyboard: A, A#/B♭, B, C, C#/D♭,...

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There are five types of intervals in music: major (M), minor (m), perfect (P), augmented (A), and diminished (d). They are measured by the number of half steps and whole steps, and their position in the scale.

Intervals are the foundation of harmony (payin...

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A music scale is a set of notes within an octave and arranged by their pitch. The notes from a scale form melodies and harmonies.

The two main types of scales are major and minor scales and can start from any note.

  • Maj...

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Musical modes are scales and are made from a parent scale. They use the same notes and interval patterns, but the scale is started on a different note.

The seven musical modes are:

  • I – Ionian: major scale
  • ii – Dorian: major scale star...

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Chords are the harmonious building blocks of music. Knowing how to build chords and how they interact is essential when learning music theory.

There are four basic types of chords in music:

  1. Major – It has a major third and a p...

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  • The most basic chords are triads - a chord made of three notes.
  • The seventh chords add a note above the basic triad. For example, C major seventh has the notes C-E-G-B.
  • Major chords have a root note, a maj...

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  • Chord extensions add notes to the basic triad beyond the seventh. They extend into the next octave and are richer than basic triads.
  • Chord inversions are variations of the same chord. Transferring the bottom note in a chord to the next octave makes...

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