What Is Considered Basic Music Theory?

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Martha Robinson

Music theory is the foundation of music. It is a set of principles and concepts that explain how music works.

Understanding basic music theory is essential for any musician or music student. In this article, we will explore what is considered basic music theory.

Notes

The first thing to understand in music theory are notes. Notes are the building blocks of music.

They represent different sounds and are written on a staff consisting of five lines and four spaces. The higher the note, the higher the pitch.

Types Of Notes

There are several types of notes used in music, including whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. Whole notes last for four beats, half notes for two beats, quarter notes for one beat, eighth notes for half a beat, and sixteenth notes for a quarter of a beat.

Rests

Rests are just as important as notes in music theory. A rest represents silence in a piece of music and can be written on the staff just like a note.

Scales

Scales are another essential element of basic music theory. A scale is a series of notes played in ascending or descending order. The most common scales used in western music include major scales, minor scales, chromatic scales, and pentatonic scales.

Major Scales

Major scales consist of seven different pitches arranged in a specific pattern of whole steps and half steps. The pattern for constructing a major scale is W-W-H-W-W-W-H (W = whole step; H = half step). For example, the C major scale consists of the following pitches: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.

Minor Scales

Minor scales also consist of seven different pitches arranged in a specific pattern but with different intervals than major scales. The pattern for constructing a natural minor scale is W-H-W-W-H-W-W. For example, the A minor scale consists of the following pitches: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A.

Chords

Chords are groups of three or more notes played together. They are used to create harmony in music. The most common chords used in music include major chords, minor chords, and seventh chords.

Major Chords

Major chords consist of three different pitches played together – the root, third, and fifth notes of a major scale. For example, the C major chord consists of the notes C-E-G.

Minor Chords

Minor chords also consist of three different pitches played together – the root, flat third, and fifth notes of a natural minor scale. For example, the A minor chord consists of the notes A-C-E.

Seventh Chords

Seventh chords consist of four different pitches played together – the root, third, fifth, and seventh notes of a scale. For example, the G7 chord consists of the notes G-B-D-F.

Conclusion

In conclusion, basic music theory involves understanding notes, rests, scales and chords. This knowledge is essential for any musician looking to improve their skills or understand how music works. By mastering these fundamentals, you can better appreciate and enjoy all types of music.