Music production has become increasingly accessible in recent years, with the rise of software and hardware that allows anyone with a computer to create their own electronic music. However, there is still a debate among producers about whether or not it is necessary to have a background in music theory to be successful in this field.

What is Music Theory?

Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. It includes understanding musical notation, scales, chords, and harmony. It also covers the principles of composition and arrangement.

The Argument for Knowing Music Theory

Some producers argue that knowing music theory is essential to creating high-quality electronic music. They believe that having a solid foundation in music theory allows for more creativity and control when producing.

For example, understanding how different chords work together can help create more complex harmonies in a track. Additionally, knowing how to read musical notation can aid in composing melodies.

The Argument Against Knowing Music Theory

On the other hand, some producers argue that not knowing music theory can actually be an advantage. They believe that not being confined by traditional rules allows for more experimentation and unique sounds. For example, not knowing which chords are “supposed” to go together can lead to unexpected but interesting harmonies.

The Middle Ground

While there are valid arguments on both sides of the debate, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and goals as a producer. If you want to create more complex compositions or collaborate with other musicians who have a background in music theory, then it may be beneficial to learn it yourself.

However, if you prioritize experimentation over technical proficiency or want to develop your own unique sound without being bound by traditional rules, then not knowing music theory could be an advantage.


In conclusion, while knowing music theory isn’t necessarily required for making electronic music, it can certainly be helpful. Whether or not you choose to study music theory ultimately depends on your personal goals and preferences as a producer. Regardless of your decision, remember that experimentation and creativity are key to success in electronic music production.