Top Music Theory Books

Top Music Theory Books

Popular Music Theory

This book is part of an unrivalled series that is designed specifically for students of popular music. Studying this series will enable you to gain internationally recognized qualifications that are equivalent in stature to those available in the classical music education field. As well as helping you to pass the London College of Music grade examinations in popular music theory, the series will help you improve your musicianship (whether or not you intend to take an examination). All topics are covered in a way that is directly relevant to the music you play, with the focus very much upon how to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical music-making context. Regardless of which instrument you play and whichever style of popular music you like, if you have any interest in learning about the musical foundations of popular music then this series is for you!

 The Jazz Theory Book

Written in the language of the working jazz musician, this book is easy to read and user-friendly. At the same time, it is the most comprehensive study of jazz harmony and theory ever published. Via 500+ pages of text and more than 750 musical examples, it takes the student from the most basic techniques such as chord construction and the II-V-I progression through scale theory, the blues, “I’ve Got Rhythm” changes, slash chords, the bebop and pentatonic scales, how to read a lead sheet and memorize tunes and a study of reharmonization that is almost a book in itself. The author, Mark Levine, has worked with Bobby Hutcherson, Cal Tjader, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, and many other jazz greats.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory, 2nd Edition (Idiot’s Guides)
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 includes:
-A brand-new CD
-A comprehensive ear-training section
-Musical examples of intervals, scales, chords, and rhythms
-Aural exercises so readers can test their ear training and transcription skills

Music Theory For Dummies: with Audio CD

Grasp the concepts needed to compose, deconstruct, and comprehend music

Whether you′re a student of music or a music lover, Music Theory For Dummies presents you with essential information on how to read, write, and understand music, as well as helpful hints on composing, arranging, and creating original melodies, harmonies, and chords.

Music Theory For Dummies gives you a friendly, unintimidating overview of the material covered in a typical college–level course and makes music theory easy to understand. It includes updated information on current teaching techniques; the newest music examples and genres; information on mastering major and minor scales, using intervals, and recognizing pitches and clefs; the lowdown on rhythms, tempo, dynamics, and navigation; how to transcribe the music you hear and transposing it to other keys; harmonizing and accompanying melodies; composing and arranging for voices and instruments; performing your own music; and much more.

  • Audio CD includes musical excerpts played on a variety of instruments
  • Makes learning music theory as enjoyable as it is useful
  • Tracks to a typical college–level music theory course

Don′t get discouraged by the seemingly complicated written structure of musical theory. WithMusic Theory For Dummies, understanding music has never been easier!


The Everything Music Theory Book: Take Your Understanding of Music to the Next Level

Perfect for everyone from the intermediate musician to the collegiate music major, this book is a complete guide to mastering musical understanding! It’s a total educational package, with a helpful audio CD, hundreds of illustrations, and challenging practice exercises. You’ll learn: * How chords and scales are constructed* How rhythm works and how to understand complex time signatures* How composers and musicians think about songwriting Each clear, easy-to-understand chapter includes several Etudes. These focused practice exercises test and reinforce your newfound understanding of music theory. With this hands-on practice, you’ll become a true musician in no time!


Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic : Level 1 

This book is an all-in-one piano specific method. So it teaches about the piano, how to play it, how to read music, and music theory in one book. It is very basic but is great if you have NO piano or music theory knowledge.

The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis (3 Book set)

The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis places music before theory. Every chapter begins with listening; theory flows from the music. The text and workbook offer a rich repertoire that students know and perform—including classical and popular music—for a range of instruments, and the text offers insights on how to apply theoretical concepts to performance. With this spiral-learning method, students revisit works as they progress through the book. Every time they encounter a composition, their understanding deepens.

Fretboard Theory

This book is Kindle only but for the guitarist that is looking for a music theory method that focuses on the fretboard it’s a great book. Desi Serna’s book teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, AND modes. These are the tools you will need to understand hundreds of popular music songs including rock and jazz.

Music Theory Made Easy for Kids (Made Easy: Level 1)

The last book I recommend if specific to people wanting to teach music theory to thier kids that are taking music lessons. Alfred’s Theory Made easy for Kids has a fun and visually stimulating method of introducing music theory concepts gradually. I would not recommend this for an adult beginner but for kids there is no better book.


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