Music production has come a long way in recent years, with the rise of digital audio workstations and other technologies that make it easier than ever to create music. But with this increased accessibility comes the question: is music theory necessary for music production?

Some argue that it is essential, while others claim it is not necessary at all. In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument.

The Argument for Music Theory

1. Understanding Musical Concepts

Music theory provides an understanding of key concepts like melody, harmony, rhythm, and form. This knowledge can help producers to create more complex and interesting compositions. Knowing how to construct a chord progression or create a melody that fits within a particular scale can greatly enhance the quality of a track.

2. Communication with Musicians

Musicians often use musical notation or terminology when discussing their parts or ideas in a song. Having knowledge of music theory allows producers to better communicate with musicians and understand their contributions.

3. Creative Exploration

Although there are no hard and fast rules in music production, having an understanding of music theory can serve as a guide for creative exploration. Producers can experiment with different chord progressions or melodies while still maintaining a sense of cohesion within the song.

The Argument Against Music Theory

1. Creativity over Rules

Some producers argue that relying too heavily on music theory can stifle creativity and result in formulaic compositions. Instead, they prioritize experimentation and free-flowing creativity over adherence to traditional musical rules. Technology as a Crutch

With advancements in technology, some producers argue that you don’t need to know music theory because software programs can create harmonies and melodies automatically. While this may be true to some extent, it’s important to note that these programs are based on pre-existing musical theory concepts. Music Theory is a Barrier to Entry

For some aspiring producers, the idea of learning music theory can be daunting and may deter them from pursuing music production. They argue that music production should be accessible to anyone with a passion for creating music, regardless of their theoretical knowledge.


In conclusion, whether or not music theory is necessary for music production ultimately comes down to personal preference and style. While understanding musical concepts and having the ability to communicate with musicians can be beneficial, some producers prioritize creativity over adherence to traditional musical rules. Ultimately, the decision lies with each individual producer and their approach to creating music.