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1. Introduction to music theory

Learn music theory online

Learn music theory lessons

Hello, friends! In this course, I will teach you everything I know about music theory. I have simplified all the difficult parts to make it very easy. I am a professional musician, and I assure you that everything you learn in this course will be useful no matter which instrument you play.

You will learn how to read and write music, create chords, compose, understand music, improvise, and listen and play better. At the end of this course, you will definitely be better musicians.

NOTE: If it seems boring to learn how to read and write music, that's because you haven't done it right. We'll use examples and online games to make it fun.

The 4 essential terms of music theory

Let's begin now. All sounds have four characteristics:

  1. Pitch. When using a lower voice tone, or a higher one, we are modifying the pitch of the sound. On a piano, it's easy to understand the pitch??the keys to the left have a lower tone or pitch, while the ones to the right have a higher tone or pitch. To understand and learn the pitch in music, we use musical notes, which we'll study in the next video.

  2. Duration. This is simple: all sounds have a different duration. For example, this note lasts longer ... and this one is short ... When we combine different durations of sounds, we produce rhythms. In this course, you'll learn about rhythm, you??ll learn how to have precise timing and you??ll learn how to write and read different musical durations.

  3. Intensity. When we scream and when we talk softly, we are modifying the intensity or loudness of the sound. We do this to express emotion; therefore, it also works in music. Most novice musicians play with the same intensity all the time and don??t realize that they can express themselves[U1]  better by using different intensities. In music, we use the term ??dynamics? to refer to the different intensities. From now on, when you play any song, use dynamics. Later in this course, we discuss the different dynamics that can be used andtalk about how to write, read and interpret them.

  4. Timbre. When someone speaks from a distance, and without seeing that person, we know who it is. That's because every human has a different voice timbre. Thanks to this, we can recognize who??s speaking. The same applies to musical instruments, such as the piano, which has a different timbre than a violin. In short, timbre allows us to differentiate the source that produces the sound. With time and practice, our hearing improves to differentiate the timbres of musical instruments.

That's all for this lesson, friends. Don't forget that all existing sounds have four characteristics: timbre, duration, intensity and pitch. Try to start listening more carefully to everything around you and to differentiate each characteristic.

Eager to play an instrument right now? Learn how to play guitar.

Next lesson: 2. The musical notes.