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#2703444 - 01/09/18 12:31 PM Advanced Theory course?  
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I am looking for a good online advanced music theory course. My theory is woefully lacking..! Any recommendations?

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#2703707 - 01/10/18 02:04 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Get a book. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by reading.


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#2703728 - 01/10/18 03:23 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Get a book. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by reading.

I knew I'd see this (if anything). How does this forum get an entire thread of "Thank Yous" with answers like these? Shrug.

#2703760 - 01/10/18 04:56 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Pianopi, I haven't done any online music theory courses, so can't recommend anything specific. However, if other members are familiar with some, it might be helpful if you gave us some idea of what "...woefully lacking..." means, and why you're looking for an "advanced" course. Those two descriptions seem contradictory to me. I think a more rudimentary course would be in order until you feel your theory knowledge has increased beyond the "woefully lacking" level, however you define that.

What theory principles have you already studied, and where do you feel there are gaps in your knowledge?

#2703762 - 01/10/18 05:06 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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$$-$$$$ - Eastman eTheory from the Eastman School of Music. Offerings range from 4 weeks self-study to 9 months instructor-led, and from undergraduate prep to graduate review.

$-$$ - Music theory courses taught by Jason Allen (formerly of McNally-Smith School of Music) on Udemy. Modules cover from the basics of reading music through harmony and counterpoint.

free - musictheory.net; mymusictheory.com. Musictheory.net covers a wide range of music theory topics. Mymusictheory.com covers material for the ABRSM Theory exams, which includes several useful (IMHO) topics that you won't find elsewhere.


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#2703831 - 01/10/18 10:41 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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There is takelessons.com and lessonface.com that you can take music theory lessons online with an instructor. I had taken face-to-face private music theory for about 2 and a half years for 2 hours a week. I learned a lot and it had been very beneficial in helping my piano playing. After he left to explore other interests, the school did not have to someone teach theory other than to beginners. It would be nice if someone versed in theory would start a theory forum.


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#2703868 - 01/11/18 02:35 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: JazzyMac]  
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Get a book. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by reading.

I knew I'd see this (if anything). How does this forum get an entire thread of "Thank Yous" with answers like these? Shrug.

The irony is lost on the illiterate.


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#2703871 - 01/11/18 02:50 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Last edited by johan d; 01/11/18 02:51 AM.
#2703960 - 01/11/18 11:54 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: JazzyMac]  
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Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Get a book. You'd be surprised how much you can learn by reading.

I knew I'd see this (if anything). How does this forum get an entire thread of "Thank Yous" with answers like these? Shrug.


No need to get worked up. I'm not insulted. ... Well, actually, I am, but there's nothing like a little indignation to get the blood flowing! So on with the punches, AZNpiano.

And, of course, he's right (I presume he's a he). And I am reading a book. I am going through grades 1 to 5 ABRSM to make sure I patch up any holes before I tackle the advanced stuff. What I am stuck on is score analysis and chord progression, identification etc.

It's when the chords started being turned inside out, and broken up, and camouflaged with extraneous notes, and looking like every other chord but themselves, and started being given all these ancient names, and on top of that, numbers and letters, and, again, even more numbers from the ancient world that my mind decided to give theory a wide berth and take comfort in just playing the notes without having any idea how they worked.

It's time to rectify that.

So, thanks very much for all your suggestions! I will definitely take a look at all those sites. They seem very helpful.

#2703970 - 01/11/18 12:18 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Check Rick Beato's Youtube channel. He has a lot of videos posted, some of them on theory, from basic to advanced. He taught music at the university level in his younger days.

#2703973 - 01/11/18 12:31 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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I only partially agreed with AZNpiano, if he meant that you should read a book. A good theory book is something to be worked through. And even then, I question the idea of doing so on one's own - that a book is enough.

The thing that this is a section for teachers, and if you're asking for sites, depending on how that is understood, it's a bit like asking "Teachers - what teacher-substitute instead of hiring a teacher do you recommend?" It can be taken that way. Actually there are on-line resources where there are actual responding teachers at the other end who guide. But it is unlikely that teachers will know about such places, because well, they do the teaching themselves. In other words, it's the wrong place to ask.

In regards to theory books, here's a snippet from my own journey:
- I started theory while with a teacher, but then lessons had to stop with that instrument. I continued with that (old fashioned, dense) book on my own
- ran into a problem, posted the problem (4 part harmony) in PW, in the composer section. At the time there was a composer/theoretician who helped out. It turned out that the assignment in the book was poorly crafted and almost impossible even for masters (unless you used devices which were not yet taught).
- got a piano teacher who also looked at the theory with me

At that point, the book became books, because each one had something missing that the other contained. I ended up with three. Now at this point, with a teacher the following happened. * When material was poorly designed, my teacher could point it out, so I'd not get tangled up by it. * When what was taught did not reflect what actually happened in music, I learned of this. Sometimes it was reflected in some music of some periods (when oversimplified) but not others. * I learned things from a musician's point of view. For example, when in four part harmony I had the altos and tenors end on the same note I was asked "When have you ever heard singers join in unison and still sing in tune?" Or - how thin my note distribution would sound. * What I was learning was pointed out when it happened in music I was doing, if I didn't see it. * What I wasn't learning from the theory books was pointed out to me in piano music that I was doing.

Based on these experiences, I do not believe that "reading a theory book", or even studying one, is sufficient. If anything, this advice, imho, is incomplete.
-------
SECOND experience - ON-LINE:
I wanted to expand past my rather "classical music" mind, due to my background, and I took some of the Coursera courses. One was by an excellent jazz teacher at Berkeley who gave the fundamentals. He gave guided activities/assignments; taught "simple" and "basic" things but in two levels so that more advanced musicians could also work at that level. We also learned from more senior participants. Some of these courses also included recommended books, including thick textbooks.

The thing is that teachers in the teacher section of this forum are unlikely to be familiar with such resources, because they do the teaching themselves, and have no reason to send their students off to on-line courses. The best place to ask is the ABF, where other learners often have sought out what resources are available. That is how I learned of the Coursersa courses for example.

#2703976 - 01/11/18 12:44 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Online courses doesn't necessarily mean non-interactive courses. Since there were very few advanced music theory courses offered in my area, I did some research awhile ago on online theory summer intensives offered by private teachers in the Vancouver area and Toronto area.

For example, https://www.viamusica.com/lessons/theory#. This is not a recommendation because I've never taken this class before, but it's an example where online lessons are not teacher-substitutes. You still need a teacher. They're just not co-located.

I'm not a teacher, but I've taken advanced music theory classes before, and I definitely recommend getting live guidance and peer student interaction for this level for optimum benefits. I've never tried one with a virtual classroom before for music theory lessons, so I don't know how to assess its quality.


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#2703981 - 01/11/18 01:00 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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I took the 2 Eastman music courses last year, the two 15 week courses. They'll be starting up again in a week or two. Each week includes new music theory topics, Solfege exercises, listening exercises, sometimes conducting exercises, and counterpoint writing exercises, and some piano playing.

Course 1 was 1-2 hours of lectures per week, and 1-3 hours of homework - some written and some videos (for singing, piano, and conducting). There's also an office hour that you can go to each week. In Course 2 the homework took 3-6 hours per week as the concepts became more complex.

If you're looking for music theory courses that are at the level of a freshman college course in learning and intensity, then these are a good choice. You have to stay on schedule week-to-week, and meet the homework and weekly quiz deadlines.

I really liked the integration of all the areas covered together. The theory isn't being taught as an isolated page based concept, but in combination with growing your singing, hearing, playing and analytical skills.


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#2704060 - 01/11/18 05:14 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Originally Posted by pianopi
It's when the chords started being turned inside out, and broken up, and camouflaged with extraneous notes, and looking like every other chord but themselves, and started being given all these ancient names, and on top of that, numbers and letters, and, again, even more numbers from the ancient world that my mind decided to give theory a wide berth and take comfort in just playing the notes without having any idea how they worked.

To begin with, I was not insulting anybody. A lot of theory can be self-taught using a good theory book. You just have to go find one that works for you, because apparently there are a TON of bad theory books out there.

Your original post was not clear how much you already know and what you wish to learn more of. The word "advanced" could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Do you know your secondary dominants?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert in music theory. It's one of those necessary evils for me to get my degree. I tested out of Theory I thanks mostly to my previous work in Certificate of Merit and my own skills at composition. Theory II was a walk in the park even though the professor can't teach and the textbook is next to worthless--I just happened to know infinitely more about theory than my hapless classmates. But that's where my knowledge of theory stopped. I took more classes in analysis and counterpoint, but I did not take jazz theory. I presume there's much more "advanced" stuff out there, but I'm not sure if that will enhance my music-making experience.


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#2704189 - 01/12/18 07:50 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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I don't know of any good online resources, there are probably many though. My teacher recommended the following book, but I have yet (if ever) to purchase it and so I can't say if it's good or bad. I had been photocopying the RCM Celebrate Theory books from the music school ;0

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-complete-elementary-music-rudiments-sheet-music/4942962

Not sure if the above would have the advanced stuff you are looking for.


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#2704191 - 01/12/18 07:55 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Originally Posted by pianopi
[quote=Jazzy

It's when the chords started being turned inside out, and broken up, and camouflaged with extraneous notes, and looking like every other chord but themselves, and started being given all these ancient names, and on top of that, numbers and letters, and, again, even more numbers from the ancient world that my mind decided to give theory a wide berth and take comfort in just playing the notes without having any idea how they worked.



It's because "chord theory" starts falling apart the moment you start taking it too seriously other than as a ham-fisted model of music for quick communication. It doesn't deal with hierarchies, layering, and elaboration very well thus distorting musical understanding. People are most in danger of this are those who look at musical notation too concretely and those who have very limited audiation skills.

Fortunately, it isn't the only game in town.

See here: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...en-starting-a-new-piece.html#Post2697855

#2704257 - 01/12/18 11:50 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
A lot of theory can be self-taught using a good theory book. You just have to go find one that works for you, because apparently there are a TON of bad theory books out there.

I already told my journey in some detail. One of the books I used was recommended by Kreisler who has a Masters or Doctors degree in music as I recall, and was heavily into this area. It is also in general the book that tends to be recommended. The other book was recommended by a staff member in the local music store frequented by teachers, that staff member being in his graduate year in a music degree; subsequently approved by the teacher I was studying with. They were not horrible books, and I was also not a weak student. I had studied the prerequisite rudiments at three levels, with my exam grade being 99.95% (I had left out the time signature in the bottom staff.) Nonetheless,I didn't understand some of the material in the best light until I worked with a teacher. I also didn't understand, when a particular exercise seemed clumsy, whether it as me, or the book, or something else I should know.

Again, I disagree with the idea of working in isolation with a book, if that is what you proposed. smile If the OP is looking for good outside sources of guidance - whether that is an in-studio teacher or in-classroom teacher whom you can consult, or a reliable on-line teacher or resource which has an interactive component - I think he is on the right track to be looking for that.

My reasons are contained in my previous post.

#2704259 - 01/12/18 11:59 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I don't know of any good online resources, there are probably many though. My teacher recommended the following book, but I have yet (if ever) to purchase it and so I can't say if it's good or bad. I had been photocopying the RCM Celebrate Theory books from the music school ;0

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/the-complete-elementary-music-rudiments-sheet-music/4942962

Not sure if the above would have the advanced stuff you are looking for.


I don't know how Sarnecki does with theory rudiments. For RCM rudiments, I used the original Barbara Wharram book for rudiments and it is very thorough. The updated version breaks it into three books at the three levels, which I think is a loss, because in the original there was an overlap both directions to be applied at the student's or teacher's discretion.

I have the Sarnecki harmony theory book, plus two other books at the same level. The Sarnecki was recommended. I don't like it. If your goal is to get good grades in exams, and you're not interested in understanding music or applying theory to music, then it's the book for you - as long as you can memorize a million detailed "rules". Those rules actually guidelines. If you have chord x followed by chord y, then you move the 3rd note up, the 2nd note down, and the top note stays put unless..... That kind of thing. My mind doesn't work that way. There were way too few exercises to get a handle on anything, and they were one-sided. But this was the harmony theory book. The rudiments book might be very different.

#2704267 - 01/12/18 12:07 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Thanks for that feedback. Like I said, I have no idea if it's good or bad, but your feedback helps me to delay the purchase for even longer. It will just sit in the Amazon list for now ;0 I've been looking at the RCM Celebrate theory books for now because I can borrow them at any time.


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#2704271 - 01/12/18 12:26 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I've been looking at the RCM Celebrate theory books for now because I can borrow them at any time.

This is the part that is confusing me. RCM Celebrate, afaik, is the name that is given to the RCM system when it gets exported to the United States. It would be the same thing that we use in Canada. When you do theory rudiments (comes before harmony theory levels I & II), there are several recommended books, not just one. The one by Barbara Wharram is the classic that has been used since time immemorial and it got updated a few years ago. There is a newer version which I think is called Sound Advice**, that breaks it into three. Sarnecki is another of the recommended books. The theory books you are using might be either one.

The reason I'll never forget the name is because my then-teacher got apoplectic at the name. "Sound advice? Sound... advice?!! I don't advise! I teach!!" laugh (It's a clever wordplay, since "sound advice" also means solid/trustworthy advice.)

#2704283 - 01/12/18 12:56 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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I would think the RCM books are the same in Canada. Are you saying the books from Wharram are better?

The RCM set I'm referring to is the following. I'm not using any other theory books now, but it was Sarnecki that my teacher suggested and liked.

https://www.rcmusic.com/about-us/rcm-publishing/celebrate-theory

The above set(s) aren't cheap. There are three different sets. Theory, Counterpoint/Harmony, and History. Are they good compared to what else is out there? That I can't answer smile


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#2704588 - 01/13/18 12:07 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Thanks again for all your very helpful replies.

Keystring, I thought the teachers section would help because not only teachers, but students too, come here to give and receive help, and through discussions people would be au fait with lots of teaching resources. And it did definitely help.

I agree that theory makes a great deal more sense if it relates to actual piano (music) practice. It was suggested that I analyse a Bach piece I am working on to understand chord progressions, expression and phrasing; which I found I could not do.

Ideally, I would like an internet site like Khan Academy for music theory, where there are many videos and lots and lots of practice tests to try out your knowledge. And then, in addition, have a one-on-one series of lessons to work through my particular pieces. And it gets lonely working on your own (I 80% teach myself these days). You want someone to share your discoveries with.

I did a couple of coursera courses, which were somewhat helpful, but not enough repetitive exercises to do, and often not quite what I was looking for. Quite a few jazzy theory courses, but I am not quite at the jazz theory stage yet. I do keep an eye out for new coursera courses, though.

AZNpiano, I didn't quite know what secondary dominants were (or that they really existed - yes, the hole is turning out to be a lot bigger than I first thought), but did look them up after your post.

anamnesis, your line theory, and the post you referred to, sound very interesting. Appealing because I paint (mainly people, so skin tones, shadows and light, which fascinate me) and the layering of colours in flesh is as subtle and ever-changing as you describe the music in line theory. It is not just the pinks or blues, but all the colour-journeys you have to take take to get from that pink to that blue that make the art sing.

Everyone else, I have printed out this thread so I can go through every suggestion. And thank you for the very kind offer of one-on-one help from on of the forum members!

#2704627 - 01/13/18 02:23 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I would think the RCM books are the same in Canada. Are you saying the books from Wharram are better?

The RCM set I'm referring to is the following. I'm not using any other theory books now, but it was Sarnecki that my teacher suggested and liked.

https://www.rcmusic.com/about-us/rcm-publishing/celebrate-theory

The above set(s) aren't cheap. There are three different sets. Theory, Counterpoint/Harmony, and History. Are they good compared to what else is out there? That I can't answer smile


Sorry, this will be long.

Ok, I had a look. Man, talk about "un-transparent" - no way of even seeing the author(s). I clicked on "purchase" (the series) and saw $236.00 - dunno if that was USD or CAD (I'm in Canada). It could be Sarnecki, or a recycled-divided-up-added-to Wharram, or a combination. I'll try to sort some of this out for you. First, in regards to Wharram, on Amazon.com I see the 2nd revised edition of Wharram's book, edited by Barbara Wood, as shown here for $42.00 new or $30 used, and there is an answer book that I never knew about for $30 ---- so a total of about $70 plus tax. It may be that the RCM itself sells these.

Ok, sorting this out. (I studied Wharram's book, wrote the intermediate and advanced exams, and taught all three levels to one student.) If you're an adult, this book will not look as intimidating as it might to a child: there's no large print, no pictures, no big spaces. First how the book is set up / how to use it, then what has probably been done with it in the "series" (which I haven't seen personally).

It's "rudiments" so in each chapter it takes one rudimentary element of music. The chapters in my book are as follows:
1. notation
2. major & minor scales
3. other scales & modes
4. intervals
5. chords
6. cadences and melody writing
7. time (simple, compound, mixed meter)
8. naming key, transposition, error detection
9. score types
The remaining chapters are more like references: dictionary of terms and forms; sample questions, index etc.

a) Each of these chapters (esp. the first ones) interrelate. I.e. if you learn about scales (2) intervals (4) are also involved. If you learn about chords (5), their position as Tonic, Dominant of a scale (2) is in there, as well as intervals (4) is involved (i.e. a minor and major chord both have a P5 in the outer notes when in closed root position).

b) All three levels (preparatory - P, intermediate - 1, advanced - 2) are contained in each chapter, clearly marked. The levels themselves are typically studied in regular lessons over several years. The advanced level exam might be written by a student doing their ARCT (teaching level) or earlier like while doing gr. 6 practical. I covered all three in a short time and then reviewed twice in more depth; my student worked intensely with me for about 18 months.
So how does this work (example, using scales):
Scales/keys: At the Prep level you will learn about major and minor scales, key signatures, and it will be restricted to those scales that don't have enharmonic equivalents (so no F# major vs. Gb major) - up to 4 sharps or flats. You only have the treble and bass clef. At the Interm-1 level the other scales are added. At the advanced-2 level you add the tenor and alto clefs. Other scales like whole tone, octatonic; modes, come in at this level.

Within the book, in each chapter, the levels are clearly marked. If it is advanced level, there will be a "2" in front of the information and the exercises. So the first time round you do everything marked P. When you get to the next level, you build on what you learned in the first level, and do everything marked 1. Etc.
Some exercises are marked P 1, or P 1 2, or 1 2, or just 2. There is an overlap. So if you're pretty well already there while at P, you might stretch yourself a bit. If you are at level 1, but you feel weak in that area, you might do the 1's and also the P 1's. In actual music all the skills and skill levels overlap anyway.

I like the fact that I'm not "going into it with blindfolders" level by level. I can see how each subject relates to the other subjects. I can also see how what I'm learning at the lower level applies to the higher level.

The later chapters such as "transposition" use everything learned before, and they are at a later level 1, and level 2. This is an exercise I did at the advanced level. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nibjrx4rz8grxln/Scan_20180113.jpg?dl=0 We don't usually need this! I enjoy this kind of thing.
This is an exercise in "notation" at the preparatory level - but note it's also marked P 1 2 clickable link since it didn't turn into a link

=====================================
I know nothing about the books in the site of your link. But I do remember that a year or so before I stopped lessons with the teacher I had then,a new series had come about which divided up the three levels packed into Wharram's book, and turned it into three friendlier looking books. It's the one where that teacher had been mad about the word "advice" in the word play advert. I never saw the books. What I understood from that brief mention that day over 10 years ago was that Wharram's book had been turned into three books, that additional things like maybe a CD or link with sound samples, and maybe some other things had been added. I don't know if any of these things are correct. The description in your link had a similar outline to what I know of Wharram, which also follows the exam syallabus (they're all interconnected).

A final word: This was my first introduction to theory. I didn't even properly know note names and had been winging it weirdly in "reading" for years. When I looked back, I did not like the fact that it was all theoretical, all a matter of writing things down and shoving note names around. When I taught it, I had my student explore the theory on piano (don't just learn that CD is M2, play it, hear it, how does it feel to you; tap out the 3/4 rhythm), and I also encouraged her to find that theory in real music wherever she could. I was still a student myself, and she was in another country, with another language and alphabet, and I was doing this pro bono to also strengthen my own first learning.

#2704654 - 01/13/18 04:51 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Formal analysis goes hand in hand with an understanding of theory. Tonal center changes from one section of a type of composition to the next section, help simplify analysis.

#2704663 - 01/13/18 05:52 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Originally Posted by pianopi
Keystring, I thought the teachers section would help because not only teachers, but students too, come here to give and receive help, and through discussions people would be au fait with lots of teaching resources. And it did definitely help.


I figured that was your thinking. I am not a piano teacher - for the most part I'm a student but I am learning things about music teaching, and also have a teaching degree. We do see students asking teachers for advice in the teacher forum, and that gets discussed from time to time (by the teachers). In these discussions it is usually pointed out that the forum exists for teachers to consult each other, discuss issues of pedagogy, teaching ideas, support each other and sometimes just have a place to vent. I see a secondary role, where parents of young students and adult students need to find out how to work with a teacher, find a teacher, what teachers want from them and don't want. This actually ties in with "venting about students & parents" because if they can learn what is wanted, maybe that can be mitigated. In any case, some teachers want to be involved in this part, and some don't. 10 years ago when I joined a big kerfuffle was brewing and I suggested a separate "meeting place" forum but this was rejected.

Where students ask teachers advice that they would normally get from their own teachers, some teachers feel that they are being asked to do their job for free. Others welcome it, unless it's excessive. Bottom line: you can ask a question and see what happens. smile You might get a brusk "Go buy a book." (which you got. wink )

IN THIS CASE, the question you asked is one that most teachers would not get involved in. That is, a teacher who teaches theory will not send a student to a site that teaches it. A teacher who does not teach theory won't have a reason for looking up such resources. The most likely place to find the information you were seeking is in the ABF. While it is called Adult "Beginner" Forum, that is a misnomer. Quite a few of the members are quite knowledgeable: they are learners and relearners. They have reason to have looked up such resources. You will also find teachers visiting that forum. These teachers are there because they ** want ** to interact with students, so it's win-win. smile

#2704669 - 01/13/18 06:14 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Thanks keystring for taking the time to write all of that. I'll check next Saturday during the lesson and see if I can find the author(s) in the book. Unfortunately, I didn't photocopy the beginning portion of the books I borrowed.

The 1 through 9 chapters that you mentioned is similar to how each RCM Theory book is broken out. However, RCM produces a theory book for each level 1 through 10. I'd rather have just one book. Most people don't go through each level anyway. The sections in each RCM book are

Getting Started
Pitch/Notation
Rhythm
Scales
Musical Interlude
Intervals
Triads
Putting it all Together.

If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you a copy of one of the pdfs I have. I think I see where RCM is going - more books, more money.

The Wharram book is looking more appealing to me. Thanks!


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#2706858 - 01/20/18 07:41 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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Hi Keystring, below is a pic taken of the inside cover of the Celebrate Theory Level 5 book. Maybe you know who they are smile

[Linked Image]

Link to full size image.

http://forum.pianoworld.com//gallery/42/full/9406.png

Last edited by bSharp(C)yclist; 01/20/18 07:41 PM.

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#2706860 - 01/20/18 07:51 PM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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keystring Offline
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I'm afraid I haven't a clue. smile

#2707316 - Yesterday at 04:55 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: pianopi]  
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I think that "music theory" itself is a pretty vague term. In my view, it would be better to ask for guidance on finding resources for specific topics, although it may not be easy to provide any.

The ABRSM theory syllabus is a pretty odd thing. For the first five grades it's really about music reading and notation, and not "theory" in the sense that a scientist would understand that term. Then it kind of morphs into stuff about harmony and counterpoint, and then it fragments into all sorts of mixed up topic -- conventions of baroque ornamentation, for example.

I don't know about anything much on line, but there are useful work-books that you can plod through if you want to learn the ABRSM syllabus. The problem with these, as others have noted, is that you need a teacher or at least a knowledgeable friend to work with you. There are companion textbooks (two official ones, and some others) that can help with the workbooks. I used the work-books to reasonable effect with my kids, but then I have a university qualification in composing, so my theory isn't too bad.

The analysis of specific pieces of music by Bach does require a good knowledge of harmony and counterpoint, but also of the musical conventions of the day. I think that ABRSM theory grade 6-7 would give you the conceptual tools you need, but really this kind of thing comes down to practice -- ideally under the guidance of a person who has experience of this kind of stuff.

A lot of my fellow composing students recommended Anna Butterworth's "Harmony in Practice" workbook. It deals extensively with the analysis of specific passages of music. Although it is a textbook, not just an exercise book, it probably works best if you do all the exercises. This might also need a teacher, but there is a companion answer book that can at least tell you if you are on the right lines. It certainly deals with secondary dominants, but any harmony book will.

I've never seen anything on-line, free or otherwise, that I rate very highly for teaching musical analysis.

#2707335 - Yesterday at 06:42 AM Re: Advanced Theory course? [Re: kevinb]  
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Originally Posted by kevinb

The ABRSM theory syllabus is a pretty odd thing. For the first five grades it's really about music reading and notation, and not "theory" in the sense that a scientist would understand that term. Then it kind of morphs into stuff about harmony and counterpoint, and then it fragments into all sorts of mixed up topic -- conventions of baroque ornamentation, for example.

I don't know about anything much on line, but there are useful work-books that you can plod through if you want to learn the ABRSM syllabus. The problem with these, as others have noted, is that you need a teacher or at least a knowledgeable friend to work with you. There are companion textbooks (two official ones, and some others) that can help with the workbooks.

The ABRSM Theory syllabus through the grades, and the way it's organised, makes perfect sense when it's studied alongside doing the same grades for Practical. Learning theory from that syllabus in isolation doesn't make sense. If you're wanting pure music theory as an academic subject in itself, you'd be better off with some other course that focuses on it.

Grade by grade, the ABRSM Theory complements the Practicals. That's also why Grade 5 Theory is required before you can do Practical exams above Grade 5. But you don't need any higher Theory grades than 5 to do the rest of the Practical exams, and few students who do Grade 8 Practical bother with them - which is why compositional stuff etc gets incorporated from Grade 6 Theory onwards. It's considered that if you want to do the higher grades, you're wanting to delve deeper into music than purely being a pianist with good all-round practical & aural skills and some theoretical knowledge.

I also did Music 'O' Level (as it was then) as a student, which focused entirely on history and theory, and harmony and counterpoint. You're assumed to know about how music is notated etc, and it's concerned with theoretical & analytical knowledge and skills, not practical (though you also have to perform a couple of pieces from different eras of at least Grade 5 standard for the exam, because it's assumed that you're at Grade 5 standard or above on your instrument).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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