What is Music Theory?

Some people are uncomfortable with the term music theory, because it gives them the impression of mechanical rules and regulations that must be followed.

They prefer to avoid the study of music theory, because it seems incompatible with their desire to simply experiment with satisfying musical sounds.

This is a pity, because music theory is not a restrictive force.  It is simply a body of knowledge that has been developed over the centuries, by people experimenting with satisfying musical sounds, and trying to understand why some sounds work better than others.

You can certainly ignore music theory if you wish, and your innate musical sense will still allow you to create something that works.  But if you take a little time to understand the musical structures that others have developed, your options will expand enormously.

In most cases, these structures will seem, not foreign or artificial, but more like a statement of a universal truth that you already have a vague sense of.  In the process, you will move on to richer, more original, more satisfying creations.

At the end of the day, music is an emotional phenomenon.  It has no other purpose than to inspire in us feelings of happiness, melancholy, contentedness, excitement, relaxation or other emotions.

And yet music is a fascinating combination of art and science.  The mood inspired by a beautiful piece of music cannot be described in technical terms, but the elements of the music can be.

And so music theory - the study of these elements - is a framework that gives our human imagination the widest possible scope for emotional expression through music.

Create Music with Songtrix

Bring these music concepts to life with the free Songtrix Bronze Edition as you create songs from chords and scales.  Then publish and share your ideas with the other musicians you meet on the ChordWizard Network.

Have questions?  Join the ChordWizard Network and post them in the Music Theory forum for answers and discussions on your topics of interest.

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