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Theory Book Recommendations
#2985527 05/29/20 05:32 PM
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Is there anyone that could recommend a good theory book. I'm not looking for those beginner ones you get when you first start playing the piano. Want something with more meat to it. IntermedPianist recommended the Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis to someone on a different thread. But that is about $125. Too step for me right now. I don't want a book about a specific composer yet either. I watched a youtube video analyzing Bach's D minor 2 part Invention no. 4 which I am learning to play. I found that very interesting. He used terms like Hemiola, hypermeasures, contrapuntal, counterpoint. These were all new terms to me. Showing me that I have a lot to learn. Help me learn. Got any recommendations?

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Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985557 05/29/20 07:05 PM
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I have First Steps in Music Theory by Eric Taylor and it's pretty good but quite basic as it goes from grade 1 to 5. I like the style of this author though. The presentation is neither the spoon-fed elementary school type nor the dry theory book type. It's matter-of-fact but takes into account the sensibilities of a typical intelligent student, but its purpose is mostly to prepare for ABRSM theory exams. The same author also wrote The AB Guide to Music Theory, which is a more comprehensive book. I didn't read it but I would expect it to be pretty good base on what I have seen in First Steps.

I'm using the Harmony books by Mark Sarnecki. These are the exercise/workbook type with short explanations followed by lots of exercises and are heavily geared towards harmony and music composition. Even the first out of three books is pretty advanced.

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985579 05/29/20 08:09 PM
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I keep returning to Music Theory: From Beginner to Expe...g and Learning Music Theory Effortlessly as the best entry/intermediate level book on music theory.


Yamaha CLP-685, Casio Privia PX-S3000
Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985603 05/29/20 11:01 PM
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I've used Benward (music in theory and practice), Kostka (tonal harmony), Piston (Counterpoint). What I find most valuable are examples taken from classical pieces to illustrate the concepts. It's necessary to work through a workbook with answers or else you won't feel solid. Also I find it's best to study at the piano and play everything. Play the examples and exercises. You need to hear it or else music theory has no meaning.

Textbooks are expensive. But often used old editions are much cheaper and just as good.

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985674 05/30/20 07:37 AM
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I am trying an online course. You can watch a few free videos on the music matters channel on youtube. I think a theory textbook would be very boring.

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
wszxbcl #2985679 05/30/20 08:20 AM
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Tonal Harmony is another good one I would like to get my hands on, I believe that is the book the Dr.Brellochs from YouTube uses in his Dr B’s MusicTheory

That video series is free to watch and I think it’s a wonderful resource as well

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985718 05/30/20 09:59 AM
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I found the following helpful. There is answer book for it as well.

The Complete Elementary Music Rudiments, 2nd Edition


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Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985727 05/30/20 10:17 AM
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In my opinion these two books are the very best. Both are unique and extremely well written. Neither are dry and boring. I've had my copies since 1980.

1) Harmony and Melody by Elie Siegmeister
Volume 1 Is the Diatonic style
Volume 2 Modulation, Chromatic and Modern styles

2) Essentials of Eighteenth Century Counterpoint by Neale B. Mason


With these books you'll learn how music is put together, and the various ways composers used the elements to create their compositions. And how compositions changed with the times.

-chris

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 05/30/20 10:19 AM.

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Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985738 05/30/20 10:31 AM
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I used the Benward books in my theory classes. Cheaper, earlier editions than the latest will work just as well, as the changes from year to year appear to be mostly cosmetic.

You absolutely, positively, no-way-around-it have to work the problems (there is a workbook along with the book itself, which has problems at the end of each chapter) and have a way to check your answers. Just reading the book, my mind is going, "Yeah, yeah, this all makes sense," but then the problems--oops, maybe I need to read it again.


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Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985881 05/30/20 04:47 PM
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I want to thank everyone for all your recommendations! I will look these all up and see if I can choose one. And I will check out the free video series too. But right now I have to get back to practicing. smile

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2985902 05/30/20 05:47 PM
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Practical Theory Complete by Sandy Feldstein is very good.


Lisa

Playing RCM 7 & 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2986316 05/31/20 06:22 PM
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I still have what was used when I went to school Harmony by Walter Piston and 20th Century Harmony by Vincent Persichetti for the traditional stuff. I also have some modern harmony books from a number of authors like Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony by Bert Ligon. And some copies of old Berklee Theory materials.

First music isn't changing much especially when it comes to traditional harmony so to same money I would buy the previous edition of a book I want. Buying a previous edition a book I wanted that was $110 I got for $30 once you decide on a book look for the previous edition. Also Bert Ligon he teaches at University of South Carolina in the past he had a lot of his course materials and other resources available for free download. Then the Berklee materials are from early days and if you search the net a bit you can find PDF's of the materials for download.

Also maybe just a music dictionary might help to supplement your piano theory materials and again look for used or previous editions.

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2986674 06/01/20 02:58 PM
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So far I've been watching the YouTube videos by Dr.Brelloch and was able to pick up the 7th edition of Tonal Harmony from eBay for $5.00 plus shipping. I'm still interested in a few other books but will give this one a try. I've enjoyed the videos and I'm on lesson 5. I'm wondering how knowing some of this stuff will improve my playing the piano. I have no desire to write music. Understanding that a augmented 5th (A5) interval inverts to a diminished 4th interval (d4) is interesting but I don't see how that helps with my reading music and playing it. Any thoughts?
Thanks again to all those that have responded for your input.

Re: Theory Book Recommendations
PatG #2986698 06/01/20 03:34 PM
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I have the AB guide to Music Theory by Eric Taylor and find that this is very good .

I also found an excelent free on line YouTube. Yale course on Music theory. This course is a series of Yale Uniiversity lectures and puts theory into context by playing snippets of Music from all types of Genre ( classical, pop, Blues ect) to demonstrate particular points .

Certainly worth checking it out

This link takes you to all the course videos .

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9LXrs9vCXK56qtyK4qcqwHrbf0em_81r


Using Faber Adult Piano Adventures AIO Book 1
Currently working on Unit 16
Also working with Faber Technique and Artistry book 2
Playing on a Rolands HP 505 Digital Piano

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