5 Concepts of Music Theory

alphabets that are combined in various formations to make notes

Music is a creative way of communicating and expressing thoughts, emotions, and feelings through a medium that reaches the soul. As in the case of any mode of communication, music can be made better by sticking to a rough blueprint. The better the music, the better the skill of conveying the message, and the more appealing it becomes to the listeners. For the same reason, it is necessary to earn music theory. Music Theory is nothing but the way musicians describe what is heard in a musical composition. It talks about the main features of music, the different aspects it has, and how it serves as a medium of communication. Therefore, learning Music theory is not just important but also beneficial to all musicians. Here are 5 basic concepts included in music theory.

1. Notes

Very similar to any language, music also consists of alphabets that are combined in various formations to make notes. It is with the help of these notes that any musical composition is made. However, it can be said that music is the only ‘language’ that has such few letters! There are 7 letters in any music -A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. The letters from A to G on one scale are called an octave. After G is played, the letter goes back to starting with A but on a higher scale.

2. Scales

The word ‘scale’ was mentioned in the previous point. So what exactly is a scale? Scale is basically all those notes which are used together as building blocks. Scales consist of all the notes in a particular pitch. There are different types of scales in music the most basic of which are the major scales. They sometimes act as a blueprint to understand which notes can be used in melodies and chords and serve the purpose of understanding why particular notes are used in a musical composition.

3. Chords

A combination of 3 or more notes together is called a chord. A combination of chords is what sets the mood and feel for any song. For instance, the chord called F major is a combination of the notes F, A, and C. In this way, combining F Major with B major and C major would give the melody to the music.

4. Sharps and Flats

Although there are only 7 letters or notes in music, there are 12 if one has to include all the sharps and flats. So, what are these two new terms? A sharp is a half note higher than the original note. So, C sharp, written as C♯ is a half note higher than C. A flat note on the other hand is a half note lower than the original note. So, B flat written as B♭ is a half note lower than B.

5. Intervals

This is one of the key concepts of music theory simply because it is the foundation not just for melody, but also for harmony. As the name suggests, intervals are the distances between two notes. For example, the interval between C and E is called a ‘third’. There are 2 kinds of ways to play an interval. The first is to play it as a melody when one note is played after the other. The other way is to play it as a harmony when two notes or more are played at the same time. Knowing intervals is a great skill as it helps in playing instruments and making musical compositions. It also serves as a great method to train one’s ear so as to be able to play a composition simply by listening to it.

These were 5 basic concepts in music theory. Musicians keen to improve their music need to ace the music theory in order to be most effective. There is always a music theory book that you can refer to when you’re attempting an admission examination or a prep course. It is best to play music every day so that it becomes a habit and a good one. What can further add a boost to the skill is memorizing all the theories so that come what may, from discharged phone batteries to no internet or books, musicians are ever ready to play music quite literally with the touch of their fingers and watch as the music does the rest!

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