Good music theory book : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Can anyone recommend one or two good books on music theory? I am an adult student at intermediate level. The books I found at local bookstores are usually too simple or incomplete.

Thanks for the help!

-- Jean (, August 13, 2001


This one looks interesting. Stumbled upon this link as I was surfing the internet. Title of the book is Edly's Music Theory for Practical People

Opinions, anyone? I, too, would be very keen to find a good book on music theory.


-- Lyn Francisco (, August 13, 2001.

I just got hold of a book called Harmony & Theory by Keith Wyatt and Carl Schroeder. It is designed for amateur musicians but is well- written and seems to be very complete. Although the authors claim to have designed it for musicians who play popular styles, it is actually quite complete and general enough to apply to classical musicians as well. You can see more about it at this webpage which I maintain. It's available through

-- Jon (, August 13, 2001.

There is an excellent college text by Paul Hindemith called "Elementary Musicianship." It is a text and workbook designed to be a one-year course, I believe. Even though it begins at the very beginning, it soon becomes challenging and rewarding. If you do all of the exercises until you can do them properly, you will have received good preparation for studying harmony, counterpoint and composition. My only reservation about recommending it is that the book is probably much more valuable if you can study it with a good teacher.

The book does not cover all aspects of music theory, though, by any means. Instead it is a comprehensive start to becoming musically literate: rhythm, intervals and pitches, dictation, sight singing and familiarity with the keyboard. It is also a great source of ideas for teachers who like to supplement their students' theory work with additional material.

-- Alan (, August 16, 2001.

I ordered the Edley's book. It is $5 cheaper at Barnes and Noble, I didn't check Amazon. It looks very interesting to me, and can only help with the theory classes I'm taking, and looks to be a good reference for my piano students. I'll know more when it gets here.

-- Mary Jo (, August 16, 2001.

I don't know whether they would have the book you want at Borders, but I recently learned on another messageboard that Borders gives a 20% discount to teachers, including piano teachers. I asked them if it was true and they gave me a card right then and there. They apparently even give it to homeschool parents who are teaching their own children. Nice!

-- Flo Arnold (, August 16, 2001.

Harmonic Materials in Tonal Music: A Programed Course (Parts 1&2) by Greg A Steinke.

Our local university's theory professor recommends this course to students having trouble in college theory. It's comparable to Schaum's Outline Series in academic subjects. (There's a course preciding this one that covers music fundamentals--sharps, flats, scales, signatures, etc.) The course covers theory classes 1-4.

I took it. It's basically a college theory course that gives answers to the excersises. It's truly wonderful.

-- Keri McDaniel (, December 18, 2001.

Wanted to add that two cassette tapes come with the program. They play all the music illustrations in the book.

-- Keri McDaniel (, December 18, 2001.

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