Theory Lessons

Well, in a day an age like this there has to be an online site and iPhone app for everything right?

Well, thanks to the wonderful people at http://www.musictheory.net, they have created two wonderful apps to help you practice, extend and master you music theory and aural training.

Using their site online is a fantastic resource for teachers and students. As it allows you to customise all of your choices to focus on one area or many. It starts with the basics, the fundamentals of music such as;

  • Clefs
  • The Stave
  • Note and rest duration

And as you work through the lessons you slowly build up to the intricacies of Music such as;

  • Compound meters
  • Interval recognition and writing
  • Chord recognition and Chord progression
  • Up to Neapolitan Chords

Once you have read each lesson and understand the concept behind each skill there are exercises based in each area of the theory You build each exercise suited to your needs, i.e. Interval Identification – Choose which Intervals – Choose how you want to hear them.

Unfortunately for the more advance Aurally trained musicians intervals beyond the Octave are not available, which for people in tertiary education studying extended aural such as; Minor 10th intervals and chords such as Major 7th flat 5, this site may not help you as much with that area of your aural/theory training. However, for those studying VCE music or preparing for their AMEB theory exams this is an excellent tool for exercises and preparation.

The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app is just as good as the website, with the one notable difference being, you don’t need and internet connection to run the app once you have it downloaded on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. I am unaware as to whether this app is also available on the Android market, but looking at their website (www.musictheory.net) I don’t think they have made it available as yet, perhaps in the near future.

Obviously, this is a great tool for any musician. On their website they have other tools other than theory and aural lessons, there are tools including;

  • Accidental Calculators
  • Interval Calculators
  • Chord Calculators
  • Analysis Calculators
  • Matrix Calculator – For those studying twelve-tone technique

There is even a section that generates manuscript paper, which you can then print and use for hard copy theory work. There is also a “pop-up piano” allowing those who are not yet masters of the keyboard to view one and make it easier to recognise intervals and chords.

This tool is fantastic, I use it as part of my lessons and have had great success with it as students seem to warm more to this style of learning than the old book/paper learning. It is a hit with kids and adults alike because of its user-friendly layout and customisable exercises. However, I will add that using this alone to learn music theory and study aural training will not be enough to master the intricacies of music. There are a number of things on this site and app that aren’t there and would need to be discussed with a teacher. I suggest using this tool in conjunction with aural lessons one on one with a teacher.

Do yourself a favour, and download the app and check out the website. Helpful for any musician and student.

If you have any other sites that I should know about, or apps that are helpful or musicians or teachers, please leave a comment below and let me know.

Happy Musicing… (okay I know that’s not a word)

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