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Where to learn music theory and harmony and not getting bored?

robgb

I was young once
As a novelist, I often tell aspiring writers that the very best way they can learn to write fiction is to read, read, read a lot of fiction—both great fiction and bad fiction, because it's all instructive. I would say the best way to learn theory and harmony, etc., is to listen, listen, listen—to both great music and bad music. If you want to learn the math involved, that's a different story.
 

ism

Senior Member
As a novelist, I often tell aspiring writers that the very best way they can learn to write fiction is to read, read, read a lot of fiction—both great fiction and bad fiction, because it's all instructive. I would say the best way to learn theory and harmony, etc., is to listen, listen, listen—to both great music and bad music. If you want to learn the math involved, that's a different story.
What about a book like this:


(Which is not exactly cutting edge literary theory, but highly readable)
 

robgb

I was young once
(Which is not exactly cutting edge literary theory, but highly readable)
I don't see a link, so have no idea what book you're talking about, but I believe that art is largely subjective. There is, however, a certain standard of competency and creativity needed to write a good book.
 

Vik

Scandi Member
I started playing guitar and making music 30 years ago and as much as I love music I could never become friends with music theory.

Nevertheless I always wanted to learn some more theory, specially harmony, to improve my compositions and arrangement skills, but the main problem I've always found is that every way I've found so far feels pretty boring to me.
You can learn about harmony without studying music theory as such. Since you are particularly interested in harmony, maybe the best way to learn more about it to copy how kids often learn stuff: they imitate. For instance, they learn language without being anyone explaining anything to them about language (they wouldn't have understood it anyway): they listen and imitate, and gradually figure out which words to use when. If you find some of your favourite musical pieces, and figure out (either by listening or by finding sheet music) - and keep doing that, you'll learn more about harmony, on your own premises. Doesn't matter if it's jazz or neo-classical or americana or something else, your repertoire of chords (and, important: voicing) will grow. If you learn new music regularly, the harmonic knowledge you pick in this process will gradually turn into something you will be able to use in your own music making.

Of course, if you want to figure out complex stuff, it will be helpful with a teacher, or YT-videos, or notated music. But te important parts are finding pieces that you find harmonically interesting – and that they are in a suitable level of complexity.
(@robgb: the book he linked to is 'How fiction works).
 

ism

Senior Member
I don't see a link, so have no idea what book you're talking about, but I believe that art is largely subjective. There is, however, a certain standard of competency and creativity needed to write a good book.
The link shows up fine for me, it’s James Woods “How fiction works”.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
I don't see a link, so have no idea what book you're talking about, but I believe that art is largely subjective. There is, however, a certain standard of competency and creativity needed to write a good book.
That's because of your adblocker (I have the same issue). You can quote such posts and will see a number there, that you can paste in the searchfield or a product URL on amazon (or whatever site it's for).
 

Garry

Senior Member
Just watched this video, and it reminded me of this thread. Oliver from Spitfire describes his process in producing a cue in which he tries to write in the style of Haydn. Really fun to watch, and explained very well.

 

Uncle Peter

Member
Go and bum about on some beaches in Thailand for a couple of months and drink lots of vodka redbull in buckets. Then when you have time in the day sit down and do the exercises in this book. Worked ok for me
 
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