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Welcome to The Music Theory Academy – helping you Learn How To Read Sheet Music. The Academy is a TOTALLY FREE resource for musicians who want to take their musicianship to the next level by learning about music theory.

Whether you are just starting out as a musician, studying for a music theory examination or simply want to become a better musician then the music theory academy is the place for you.

Have a look at the different Music Theory Video Lessons I’ve posted.

If you are a complete beginner you should start with the Beginner Music Theory Lesson

Beginner Piano Lessons

  • Play Your First Piano Piece
    Beginner Piano Lesson 1 It’s so exciting that you want to learn how to play the piano. The piano is a fantastic instrument – you can play a huge range of music in lots of different styles. I
  • Play Piano With Your Left Hand
    Beginner Piano Lesson 2 In Beginner Piano Lesson 1 we had an introduction to the piano, looked at how to find Middle C (2 black notes, etc..), learned how to read some basic music in Treble Clef and
  • How To Play Faster Piano Notes
    Beginner Piano Lesson 3 In Beginner Piano Lesson 2 you learnt how to play some notes using your left hand, whilst reading Bass Clef. In this lesson you are going to: Play a faster piece with more
  • Improve Your Left Hand Playing
    Beginner Piano Lesson 4 In Beginner Piano Lesson 3 we looked at how to play faster notes and how to change the volume of our playing. In this Beginner Piano Lesson No. 4, we are going to have a go at
  • Playing Leaps
    Beginner Piano Lesson 5 In Beginner Piano Lesson 4 we looked at improving your left hand playing by learning how to read and play eighth notes and working on playing smoothly. In this Beginner Piano

Popular Music Theory Lessons

  • Romantic Period Music
    The Romantic period of music is from 1830 to 1900.The Romantic period was a time where composers, artists and authors moved away from the formal restraint of the Classical period.In literature,
  • Classical Music
    The Classical period of music is from 1750 to 1830. Classicism was a stylistic development in mid 1700s across the arts and architecture which was hugely influenced by the ancient “classical”
  • Baroque Music
    The Baroque Period of music is from 1600-1750 (it is generally considered to finish sometime around the death of JS Bach in 1750 and Handel in 1759). This was a very eventful period of history. In
  • Medieval Music
    The Medieval Period of music is the period from the years c.500 to 1400. It is the longest “period” of music (it covers 900 years!!) and runs right through from around the time of the fall of the
  • Renaissance Music
    The Renaissance Music Period covers the time from c.1400 – 1600. We are going to look at the key features of Renaissance music so you can get a good basic understanding of the era. The
  • Fugues
    A fugue is a contrapuntal composition for a number of separate parts or voices. e.g. “a fugue in 4 parts”, “a fugue in 3 voices”. Each part/voices enters in imitation of each other. In this
  • The Circle Of Fifths
    The circle of fifths is a brilliant musical tool, but can be confusing when you first look at it. It is a fantastic tool for understanding and working out key signatures in all the major and minor
  • Modulation
    Modulation describes the process where a piece of music changes from one key to another key. When you start writing a piece of music one of the first things you do is choose a key to compose in. This
  • Arpeggios
    Arpeggios are an amazing musical technique which you will come across all the time in lots of different styles. The music theory term arpeggio (or broken chord) simply describes when the notes of a
  • Chord Inversions
    Chord inversions add a richness to a chord progression and are a great tool for composers to use. I am going to show how easy chord inversions are to understand and give you a few examples of when
  • Chord Progressions
    The term chord progression simply refers to the order in which chords are played in a song/piece of music. Play a few different songs/pieces and you will see that there are various different ways in
  • Seventh Chords
    Seventh chords are the most common extension of the basic 3-note triad you come across. A seventh chord is built by adding an extra note to a triad which is an interval of a 7th above the root note.
  • Secondary Chords
    In the last lesson we looked at the primary chords. These are the most common chords you will come across and are a great starting point for composing music. Now we are going to have a look at the
  • Primary Chords
    The primary chords are the 3 most commonly used chords in music. Lots of songs and many pieces of music that you will hear will be built around them because they work well together. If you are
  • Introduction to Chords
    An understanding of chords is vital for any musician – understand chords and you are well on the way to being able to compose and perform some great music. If music was a cake then melody would
  • Triads
    Chords and Triads Triads are made up of 3 notes played on top of each other. You will often hear people describe triads as chords. They consist of a bottom note (root), a middle note (3rd) and a top
  • Canon Music
    Canon A canon is a piece of music where a melody is played and then imitated (one or more times) after a short delay. It is a contrapuntal technique as the melodic lines move independently from each
  • Rondo Form
    Rondo Form Rondo Form is a natural extension of the 2 forms we have looked at already – Binary Form and Ternary Form. If Binary Form is A-B and Ternary Form is A-B-A then Rondo Form is
  • Ternary Form
    Ternary Form A musical structure where the piece is divided into 3 distinct sections. The 1st and last sections are exactly the same as each other and so the form can be written A – B – A
  • Binary Form
    Binary Form Binary Form describes the structure of a piece of music which is divided into 2 different sections. The 2 sections are usually labelled A and B. The key concept to grasp is that there is
  • Theme and Variations
    Theme and Variations Theme and variations is a very common musical structure you will come across, especially in classical music. The structure is built upon a musical idea called the theme which is
  • Pedal Point
    Pedal Point A pedal point is a sustained note during which the harmony above it changes in some way so that the overall sound becomes dissonant. As with a lot of music theory it is easier to see it
  • Relative Major and Relative Minor Scales
    Relative keys have the same key signature (number of sharps or flats). For every note in the chromatic scale there is a relative major scale and a relative minor scale. It is a really good tool when
  • Pulse
    Pulse Pulse or beat is a crucial element of music. The presence (or absence) of a pulse in a musical composition will have a direct impact upon its success. You will find it easy to understand the
  • Musical Structures
    Musical Structures Lesson 1 Structure is a crucial element of music. It describes how the different sections in a piece of music are positioned together to form the composition. There are 3 key
  • Musical Intervals
    Musical Intervals The difference in pitch between two notes is called the interval. You will mainly come across this as musicians in 2 ways: 1. Harmony – when two or more notes are played at
  • The Blues Scales
    The Blues Scales Explained I am always getting asked by piano players, guitarists and solo instrumentalists to show them the blues scale. They think that learning the “blues scale” will help them
  • The Degrees of the Scale
    The Degrees of the Scale Every major and minor scale has 8 notes. These individual notes are called degrees of the scale. We could number them 1-8, but this would get confusing when we start to talk
  • The Minor Scales
    The Minor Scales Explained The minor scale is the scale which sounds negative – it is used by composers to depict sad, melancholic or even angry/dramatic moods. However, there are in fact 3
  • The Major Scale
    The Major scale Explained The major scale is the scale which sounds positive – it is used when a composer wants to depict happiness, hope, joy or even a party atmosphere. In order to be able to

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Hi, I’m Ben and I love music theory!

Let me help you take your musicianship to the next level by learning more about music theory.