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Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory: A Complete Self-Study Course for All Musicians (Book & 2 CDs) Paperback – August 1, 2004


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Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory: A Complete Self-Study Course for All Musicians (Book & 2 CDs) + The Complete Book of  Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals + The Chord Wheel: The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians
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Product Details

  • Series: Essentials of Music Theory
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred Music (August 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739036351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739036358
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I would recommend this course of study to anyone interested in learning about music theory.
Amazon Customer
It fits perfectly for me because I want to learn music only as a hobby but need enough theory to know what the other book/people are talking about.
xbzz
This is very good theory book with a lot of exercises to practice and very concise concept in each unit.
Tui Metal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Martin on November 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a total novice who just purchased a piano with the express goal of learning how to sight read and have a fundamental understanding of music theory. These three volumes are generally excellent; however, I agree with the previous reviewer who said the material is often vague (he mentioned 'ties and slurs') - the very same topic that jumped out at me as vague (and the music example was of no help), but it just goes to show that you can't learn everything at home, by trial-and-error, you need a qualified instructor or musician to help you along the way. And I wish the book was spiral-bound.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By ErikTrips on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been playing guitar almost completely by ear for over 30 years and have long wanted to learn a little theory to inform me as to what I've been doing all this time. I am almost finished with the three books within this book, and they have been enormously helpful in expanding on the two years of piano lessons I took as a child as well as on the bits and pieces of technical knowledge I have picked up while playing guitar.

The book is very compact and I could imagine it might be too brief in its explanations to be useful to someone with absolutely no prior musical training. Going back through the beginning of it, I cannot find anyplace where it mentions the difference between major and minor intervals in terms of half-steps, for instance. Had I not known that much already, it would have been much more confusing learning about the difference between a major and minor third, sixth, or seventh.

As is, I have found the book only slightly confusing. A little internet research (not too much!) and a lot of self-directed practice with both guitar and keyboard seem necessary to make the material at all concrete or to explore any of the concepts in any kind of depth. The written exercises are useful to a point--I am not entirely certain that I need to be able to draw rests, sharps or flats perfectly to understand what they are, but placing notes on the staff by hand provides a way to learn visually and spatially, making the theory practical before one applies the lessons directly to an instrument.

I would recommend this book to anyone who knows a little about music and wants to know more and is willing and able to be creative in supplementing concise textbook material with self-directed practice.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is the best way to learn theory no matter if you are 6 or 60. You can learn at your own pace doing one or several of the exercises at a time. It covers the basics clear up to stuff you probably don't even want to know. I am a music teacher and I learned things that I had forgotten and other things that I never knew. I would recommend this course of study to anyone interested in learning about music theory.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By xbzz on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very good for an introduction to music theory. It is well suit for self study. All the answers are in the back. The book only covers the essential topics of music theory. It fits perfectly for me because I want to learn music only as a hobby but need enough theory to know what the other book/people are talking about. It includes 2 CDs for ear-training.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I find this book/CD set to be ok. However, it is a bit vague at times and lacks detail in some areas to the point where I found myself having to search the internet for more in depth explanations... for example.. Ties and Slurs. Also, I'm not sure if I just got a bad copy or if this common but the binding of the book seems poor. The pages began falling out after only 2 days of normal use.

Otherwise, I do find myself learning from the content.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Miller on August 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This self-study coarse is one of the best tools I'm ever seen in music. It's great for ameteurs and also those readers who have been involved with music for years. I've been singing and writing song lyrics for 15 years. You'd think I'd know most everything, but that's just not the case. This book has helped me in writiting music composition, to recognize key signatures in an instant, read sheet music with greater ease. Other areas in my music have also been greatly improved in addition to learning things I've never heard of before. This book is a great choice for anyone who wants to learn anything about music.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Ginocchio on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been musical all my life, and at 54 decided to go back to school to get a music degree.

This book helped me remember what I had forgotten from 4 years of piano lessons while I was in elementary school, and has familiarized me with intervals and other concepts which are necessary to communicate at a collegiate level.

Easy to follow, the ear training is very helpful. Good for beginner to college level.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marco da Vinha on November 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew next to nothing of musical theory when I bought this book. I only find it lacking in certain areas which have already been refered to by previous reviewers - certain topics are very vague and require going elsewhere for clarification(the case of intervals and how many semitones comprise each interval springs to mind). Faults aside, if you're starting from scratch this book is right for you.
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