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7 posts since 8 Oct, 2013, from Argentina

Postby KzF; Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:35 pm Harmony Theory

Hi guys!! I was just wondering if you could/would recommend any music books that focus on harmony....im looking for those that dont put you to sleep the minute you open them...i love playin around, but the moment i try to read about theory its like i get knocked out by johny hendricks...i guess what im looking for is something that teaches the theory but in a practical way..via excercises and stuff, i currently dont have the cash to see a piano teacher or something like that, so if anybody could point me in the right direction, that would be really great and appreciated!!

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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9509 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:40 pm Re: Harmony Theory

"Harmony for Computer Musicians" by Michael Hewitt! :love: :hyper: :wheee:
7 posts since 8 Oct, 2013, from Argentina

Postby KzF; Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:52 pm Re: Harmony Theory

I cannot deny the power of them emoticons. Sounds like exactly what im looking for, thanks alot!!!
1223 posts since 10 Oct, 2004

Postby JumpingJackFlash; Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:55 pm Re: Harmony Theory

I'm not sure if it's the kind of thing you're after or not, but this is good and I think can still be got half-price if you agree not to photocopy it.
Unfamiliar words can be looked up in my Glossary of musical terms.
Also check out my Introduction to Music Theory.
943 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:40 pm Re: Harmony Theory

7 posts since 8 Oct, 2013, from Argentina

Postby KzF; Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:00 pm Re: Harmony Theory

Thank you all for yer help!! Im definitly gonna check it out and hopefully can make some decent progress
130 posts since 17 Apr, 2013, from USA

Postby thomni; Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:58 am Re: Harmony Theory

Tricky-Loops wrote:"Harmony for Computer Musicians" by Michael Hewitt! :love: :hyper: :wheee:

I'll second this to anyone else looking for something on harmony. M. Hewitt has some more books that are excellent too.
36 posts since 30 Jun, 2013

Postby GirTheRobot; Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:34 pm Re: Harmony Theory

If you have the money I'd recommend taking some music theory classes at a CC. Should only be a couple hundred bucks per semester and well worth your time and money.
tapper mike
4611 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:52 am Re: Harmony Theory

Fake books.

Most studies on harmony are too dry / sterile. They don't offer real word scenarios as that would require getting publishing rights to republish other songs.

The first chords and all the ones I learned thereafter were in the context of learning a song. It allows you to strengthen your technique and expand your horizons. Leaning to play chords means learning how to move from chord shape to chord shape and apply rhythmic patterns. Playing familiar songs strengthens your abilities and enhances your confidence. It's also more fun then looking at paper and allows you to grasp the concept both mentally and physically.

As well in practice a lot of theory on progressions can go out the window. Actual music can have both functional and non functional harmony. Not all chord progressions of songs fit neatly into the little box of the diatonic scale/key structure.
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3242 posts since 17 Jun, 2013, from very close to Paris, France

Postby BlackWinny; Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:12 am Re: Harmony Theory

Tricky-Loops wrote:"Harmony for Computer Musicians" by Michael Hewitt! :love: :hyper: :wheee:


All the books written by Michael Hewitt are among the best readings to learn how to play and compose music with modern gear and computers!

And a companion to these books is this one from Sam McGuire (published just few months ago):

(click the picture)

Nearly 500 pages! For the price, it's worth it! I've bought it the day it's been published and I open it everyday though I know the synths since the 70's!

Totally up-to-date. Pro Tools, GarageBand, Logic Pro, laptops... even MIDI via Ethernet and wireless, and iPad, Android, and the most recent applications are discussed (with the tips for the connections, etc.) in this awesome book !
(it presents also a little initiation on 50 pages to the basics of music theory which are imperative to know for the DAWS)

May I copy here the Table of Contents ? Here it is:

  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1 Introduction to MIDI
    • 1. MIDI Is Everywhere
    • 2. MIDI Is Incapable of Making Sound by Itself
    • 3. It Is Possible to Successfully Use MIDI without Knowing Anything about It
    • 4. Famous People Use MIDI
    • 5. MIDI Isn’t Just for Music
    • 6. MIDI’s Magic Number Is 128
    • 7. The Key to Using MIDI Is Being a Skilled Musician
    • 8. MIDI Is a Huge Time Saver/Waster
    • 9. The Differences between Digital Audio and MIDI Are Fewer and Fewer
    • 10. MIDI Has Changed Very Little in the Past 30 Years
    • MIDI Data
    • Types of MIDI Messages
    • Channel Mode Messages (Subset of Control Change Messages)
    • System Messages
    • System Common Messages
    • System Real-Time Messages
    • System Exclusive Messages
    • MIDI Controllers and Subprotocols
    • CS-10 Controller Assignments
    • Understanding Parts per Quarter Note
    • Binary Numbers
    • Reading Binary
    • MIDI Files
    • General MIDI
    • GS and XG
    • GM 2
    • Running Status
    • Summary
  • 2 MIDI Hardware
    • Five-pin DIN MIDI Cables
    • USB
    • FireWire
    • Ethernet
    • PCI Cards
    • Wireless (WiFi)
    • Hardware Devices
    • Local MIDI Settings
    • Global Settings
    • Local Control
    • Hardware Configurations
    • Summary
  • 3 Mobile MIDI
    • iPad Apps
    • iPad Instruments
    • Making Connections
    • Connecting Wirelessly
    • Audio MIDI Setup
    • Example App/AC-7 Core
    • Third Party Software
    • MIDI on Android
    • MIDI/OSC Control
    • Musical Instrument Apps
    • Loop/Sequencer/Sample Apps
    • Multi-Track Recording Apps
    • MIDI Considerations when Choosing Instrument Apps
    • Controllers and Control Surfaces
    • Sequencers and DAWs
    • MIDI Utilities
  • 4 Recording MIDI
    • Different Entry Methods
    • Live Performance
    • Troubleshooting MIDI Inputs
    • Project Settings
    • Key Signature
    • Exercise
    • Tempo
    • Conductor Track
    • Click Track
    • Exercises
    • Sounds
    • Exercises
    • Latency
    • Keep the MIDI Path as Simple as Possible
    • Keep Your MIDI Device Drivers Up to Date
    • Use a Reliable Audio Device with Pro-Quality Drivers
    • Use Your DAW’s Feature Set to Manage Latency
    • Templates
    • Additional Controllers
    • Examples
    • Downloading MIDI Files
    • Alternative Performance Techniques
    • How Triggering Works
    • Percussion Tracks
    • Summary
  • 5 Editing MIDI
    • Basic Tools and Manual Editing
    • Quantization
    • Notation Editors
    • Advanced and Unique Tools
    • Basic Tools and Manual Editing
    • Survey of Typical Tools
    • Typical Editing Workflow
    • Example 1
    • Example 2
    • Example 3
    • Additional Editing
    • Quantization
    • Note Value
    • Strength and Sensitivity
    • Swing
    • Randomization
    • Groove Quantization
    • Examples
    • Notation
    • Working with Notation
    • Note Entry
    • Editing
    • Advanced and Unique Tools
    • Alternate Storage
    • Transformation Tools
    • Making MIDI Musical
    • Imitation Is the Truest Form of Flattery
    • Comparisons
    • Groove Quantize
    • Tempo Changes
    • Envelopes
    • Built-In Envelopes
    • Track Automation
    • Effects
  • 6 Mixing
    • Level Adjustment
    • Overall Level
    • Placement in the Stereo Field
    • Effects
    • Graphic Equalizer
    • Parametric Equalizer
    • Time-Based Effects
    • Automation
    • Example—Sculpting Sound Sources
    • Note
  • 7 Using MIDI Live
    • Traditional Setups
    • MIDI Control
    • DJs and Electronic Artists
    • DAWs and Sequencers
    • MIDI Mapping
    • OSC
    • Controllerism
    • Expressive Control
  • 8 Music Theory Primer
    • The Elements of Music
    • Musical Texture
    • Music Notation
    • Ledger Lines
    • The Musical Alphabet
    • The Grand Staff
    • The Piano Keyboard
    • Sharps and Flats
    • The Five Accidentals
    • Note Values
    • Time Signatures
    • Notation Protocol
    • Counting Beats
    • Ties
    • Dotted Notes
    • Sixteenth Notes
    • Compound and Simple Meter
    • Duple, Triple, and Quadruple Time
    • Musical Road Maps
    • Major Scales
    • Key Signatures
    • The Circle of Fifths
    • Magic Seven
    • Interval Summary
    • Summary of Triad Construction
    • Chord Symbol Protocol for Triads
    • The Harmonic System
    • Chord Progressions
  • 9 Interviews
    • John Swihart
    • George Strezov
    • Dr. Noize
    • C. J. Drummeler
    • Jonathan Hillman
    • Matt Moldover
    • Kenny Bergle
    • Jay Smith
    • John Staskevich—Highly Liquid
  • 10 History of MIDI
    • MIDI—The Early Days
    • The First MIDI Instruments
    • MIDI—Early Computers
    • MIDI Interfaces
    • MIDI—GM and the Web
    • MIDI—Implementation Charts
    • Drum Machines
    • Software Instruments
    • MIDI—Mobile Revolution
    • Sequential Circuits Prophet 600
    • Roland Jupiter–6
    • Yamaha DX7
    • Akai S900
    • E-mu Virtuoso 2000
    • Fairlight CMI (Series I–III)
    • Akai MPC60
    • Sequential Circuits Studio 440
  • 11 Exploring the Future of MIDI
    • Known MIDI Issues
    • HD–MIDI
    • HD–MIDI vs. OSC
  • 12 Appendix
    • Introduction
    • All Pages
    • Page 1: Basic Information, MIDI Timing and Synchronization, and Extensions Compatibility?
    • Pages 2 and 3: Control Number Information
    • MIDI Messages
    • General MIDI 1, 2, and Lite Specifications
    • General MIDI 2 (GM2)
    • GM2 Specification Update 1.1
    • GM2 Specification Update 1.2
    • GM2 Features
    • GM2 Developer Information
    • General MIDI “Lite” (GML)
    • GM Lite vs. SP-MIDI
    • GM Lite vs. GM1
    • GM Lite Features
    • GM Lite Developer Information
    • Computer Audio Comes of Age
    • MIDI: Let’s Share the ‘Secret’
    • White Paper: Comparison of MIDI and OSC
  • Notes
  • Index

(the long chapter 8 dedicated to the theory of music has been written by Paul Musso, Professor of Music at the University of Colorado, Denver)

Remember: five hundred pages of awesome readings! The real reference book on MIDI and computer assisted music is this one! For the price... I purchased it in Kindle format the day it's been published (mid-december 2013)!
Build your life everyday as if you would live for a thousand years. Marvel at the Life everyday as if you would die tomorrow.
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13937 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:49 am Re: Harmony Theory

Note entry #3 in that table o' contents.

Apparently some people would much rather read than do. I remember when I first got my own computer and bought that Alexander big book on Gigastudio. I even printed out the entire Cubase manual.
It was just about a total waste of time. I worried the issue considerable before I got in there and needed to apply concepts, learning what needs to be done for my idea case-by-case. That's when you know. Information is not knowledge.

I guess reading about harmony 'theory' can be pretty dry, the OP is right to want to do it with useful exercises, etc. But beyond this, get it in the context of some music. 'Harmony Theory' is not a one-size fits all type of thing. We get a lot of people that can regurgitate some information and 'rules'. But when you're working with pieces of real music, the concepts of 'music theory' dawn on you in a way you cannot obtain in a book. I would reinforce get a community college course. You're looking to buy a book instead? I think this is a false economy.

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