There are a lot of folks out there who love music, but do not read music or know about music theory. And that’s ok. You can appreciate the beauty of music without this knowledge in the same way you can drive and appreciate the performance of a car without knowing how to replace the alternator, or for that matter, without knowing what (or where) the alternator is (here’s an explanation, in case you were wondering about that).
Still, it can be useful to know how to refill the windshield washer fluid, and how many cylinders your car has. This kind of basic knowledge is helpful whether you’re test driving an SUV or a symphony.
So if you’re curious, how do you find out?
If you’d like to learn how music notation works and the very basics of music theory, there is a free online course that runs at regular intervals at Coursera.org, Fundamentals of Music Theory, presented by the University of Edinburgh. The next session will begin 3 August 2015. If you complete the course, you can even get a nice little certificate to hang on your wall! If you don’t complete the course…no problem! Listening to the talks to get the information is fine too.
In a hurry? http://oneminutemusiclesson.com/lessons/
Want to go at your own pace? http://www.musictheory.net/lessons
Like lots of details? http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm
This is just scratching the surface. If you type “music theory” into the YouTube search box, you get 2.5 million results. Sorry, I didn’t have time to test drive them all for you.
And, oh yeah, there’s that old standby—books! Available free at your local library, just a short drive away (Dewey decimal number 780).
So pop the hood and take a look at the engine!
And if you find something that you think is really useful, please leave a comment.
This has been brought to you by the daughter of a man who could fix anything that had an engine and wheels. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!