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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  306 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A music theory book that hits the high note …

This updated and expanded edition of The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Music Theory breaks down a difficult subject in a simple way—even for those who think they have no rhythm or consider themselves tone deaf. With clear, concise language, it explains everything from bass-clef basics to confusing codas. This new edition

Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2005 by ALPHA (first published June 1st 2002)
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Ray Perreault
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
I'm an amateur everything, including musician. This book has become my stand by reference. I'm an engineer and I enjoy the structure and theory behind music; it is fascinating.

Great book if you want to learn something to impress your neighbors and friends.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Quite a useful book enough depth to explain chord progressions, turnarounds,
chord substitutions and counterpoint. Now I am going to practice the techniques
and use the CD from the book for ear training - to recognise intervals, chords
and rhythms.
David Webb
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not as thorough as some theory texts, but written to be accessible----that by itself makes it worth its weight in gold as a supplement to any Music Theory class.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nice. Musical knowledge upgraded +3 points
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good introduction to the basics of music theory, but the amount of material it covers is so vast that it lacks a very serious treatment of anything. That being said, it is quite clearly written and perhaps an excellent place to start diving into concepts which could take many many book to fully explore.
I also haven't tried the ear training course, but that the book includes this as a CD seems like a useful plus.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Music teachers, anyone interested in music
Recommended to Sally by: Dr. Staheli, Rosalind Hall - Professors of Music at BYU
Shelves: non-fiction
I like this book better than Music Theory for Dummies. Very thorough and just right for us music idiots. This book is recommended by the BYU Music Department for their beginning theory classes. Great reference for music teachers.
Daniel Lee
Mar 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Musicians
Shelves: beatcrafting
If you're looking to learn about music theory and have no previous experiences, this is the book for you. It's geared towards the beginner and will teach you nothing if you know a little something already (i.e. chord progressions, arpeggios, etc.).
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: study-help
I continually use this for reference. However, there are some minute details that the author doesn't cover, which can be imperative to understanding music theory.

Added bonus for the ear training CD, that I have yet to use.
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Very good book for learning music theory at a minimal level. Never too complex or too detailed.
Glenn Sharpe
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
reading right now....enjoy easy to understand approach..efficient approach.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I learned music since childhood, but in a different language. I think this book is a good one for introduction or beginners, who would like to compose or range music.
Jordan Lewis
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most practical guide for beginner composers I have ever read. This book made a different in my life.
Apr 12, 2009 is currently reading it
So far, pretty good. Fairly basic, but it reinforces what I've learned before!
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reference and introduction
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
a quick look up.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good beginner's introduction to the basics.
Brandon Sawyer
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer for me and my fellow complete idiots. I bought and read it just for funsies, but it's affected the way I listen to music.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
very helpful book. will keep it close as reference.
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Michael Miller received a Marketing degree from Indiana University in 1980. After graduation, he worked for seven years in his family's retail business, then spent twelve years in various positions at Macmillan Publishing. In his last position as Vice President of Business Strategy, he helped guide the strategic direction for the world's largest reference publisher and influence the shape of today ...more
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