best music theory book

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Joined: 23 Jun 2010 05:41

best music theory book

Post by jannatia »

What is the best music theory book for preparing for the AP Music Theory Exam? Unfortunately, my school does not offer AP Music Theory. However, I will be taking the AP Music Theory Exam next year. Instead of being put in an AP class, my guidance counsilor is putting me in an independent study class where I will be studying on my own. I have a basic knowledge of music theory. I have looked for many places for a more advanced theory book and worksheet that I could check my work on. What book do you recommend I use for preparing for this exam?
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Joined: 21 Sep 2010 21:45

Re: Best Music Theory Book

Post by BKhon »

There are several theory text books which will prove to be adequate. When you say 'theory', do you mean to encompass all aspects, or merely the doctrine of harmony? For harmony I would suggest:

Harmony ~ Walter Piston (any edition is fine)

This is probably the greatest theory book on the doctrine of melody. Later editions include a section on melody as well.

Normal Del Mar wrote an excellent book called "Anatomy of the Orchestra", if you are interested in the theoretical aspects of orchestration.

With kind regards,
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Joined: 22 Sep 2010 20:04

Re: best music theory book

Post by NathanHowe »

Benward and Saker's Music in Theory and Practice is a decent 100-level theory text. I also really liked Evan Copley's Harmony: Baroque to Contemporary (part I and II), although one or two of his conventions have since been superseded in common practice. You probably want an understandable text over a comprehensive one, and both the Benward and the Copley books seem to fit that bill.
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Re: best music theory book

Post by Peyton »

I looked up Tonal Harmony, and I don't get it. What is that book about? I have this college book called Music Fundamentals or something, and it's like about 200 pages teaching all the basics of music theory, and I'm just wondering what kind of music theory book like Tonal Harmony has over 700 pages of stuff in it. Like what is there to go over? I didn't imagine there was much more to teach about music theory. It seems there's two types of that book on One's the newest book with the close-up of a violin on it, and then there's a workbook. A few descriptions were about how it's a teaching guide for teachers, yet people recommend it as a good theory book to learn from.

So like, is it a good book to learn from, or what? If not, what book should I get in terms of the best music theory book to learn from?

Also, if it helps, I'm a guitar player. So yea if there are any good big ass books that specifically teach me music theory in a way that relates more to guitar playing... like scale shapes, mode shapes, chords, voicings, altered tunings, picking techniques, how to know what fingers to put on the frets when playing (this would especially help for shredding and hard fingerpicking), uh.... stuff like that.

So yea, music theory and guitar method books, what are the best ones, and what is Tonal Harmony about and what are its CDs about?
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