What is Music Theory?

What is Music Theory?

When you pick up your instrument or begin to sing, have you ever wondered how that sound comes to be? Sure, you know that tilting your bow a certain way or rounding your mouth is the technique used, but what really makes that sound come out? With a little digging, you’ll find out that the answers lie in a little thing called music theory.

What Is Music Theory?

Simply put, music theory is an attempt to explain what music is doing, how it is put together, and why it sounds the way it does. It considers concepts such as the following:

  • Rhythm: Rhythm is the arrangement of sounds and silences in time, and within rhythm, meter is used to measure music in pulsing groups.
  • Pitch: This is the lowness or highness of a tone. Technically, this can be measured precisely, but people rarely hear one frequency or a perfect pitch. Therefore, music theorists often consider pitch a subjective sensation.
  • Chord: In music, a chord is a harmonic set of three or more notes played together. Music theory explores traditional chords, as well as arpeggios and broken chords and helps musicians understand why certain major, minor, augmented, and diminished chords sound best in certain pieces of music
  • Harmony: Harmony is the simultaneous use of pitches and/or chords. Beyond that, the study of harmony includes the chord, construction, chord progression, and principles of chord connection.

Now that you know a bit of what music theory is, you’re probably wondering if you have to study it to be a good musician. Truth be told, it depends. Studying music theory can help you realize what can come next in a piece of music before you even play it and what notes should be played in the key you’re in. It never hurts to learn more!

When you take music lessons at Grace Music School, part of your lesson is spent learning music theory to help improve your overall skill as a musician. For more information or to schedule a lesson, give us a call at 631-239-6169 (Fort Salonga) or 631-470-9705 (Melville).

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