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Hal Leonard Pocket Music Theory: A Comprehensive and Convenient Source for All Musicians Paperback – September 1, 2002

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Hal Leonard Pocket Music Theory: A Comprehensive and Convenient Source for All Musicians + The Chord Wheel: The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians + Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences: Complete Book
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard; Min edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 063404771X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0634047718
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.4 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Bill M. on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've always liked learning new things about music theory. But most of the books on the market only teach you so much. I found this little book in a music store one day, and decided to buy it. I've bought lots of other general music theory books before, but I've NEVER seen so much packed into such a small volume. On top of that, the book is written so precisely with the performer in mind, and with practicality as its main focus.

I gave 5 stars to another book called "Music Theory Made Easy", and while I don't regret giving it that rating for its own reasons, "Pocket Music Theory" is about the same price yet covers three times as much material, including how all of it relates to the formal structure of sheet music notation. It also swiftly addresses the bogus argument that so many rock musicians use an excuse: the myth that learning music theory will limit your creativity. On the contrary, music theory facilitates communication and lets you better express the creative ideas you have in mind.

Whether you're a beginner or advanced when it comes to music theory, you're bound to pick up something from this book. It starts with the most basic fundamentals of sound, and gradually builds off each previous section until coming to composition methods you might learn in a second or even third year course at a music college. For me, I already long-since knew my scales and modes, but I was still curious about why progressions that go beyond one scale could still sound "right". Why do we use a blues scale over dominant seventh chords? Why do those chord progressions of Beatles songs sound so good even though they go outside of the scale? This book analyzed the situations and answered those types of questions, and more.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Trouser Roller on July 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I had piano lessons for 8 years as a youngster but not much theory stuck to me. Now that I'm retired I'm back into playing - and a much better student may I say. I want to play pieces of my repertoire from memory and was having difficulty memorizing them. I discovered that I didn't have the basic tools to analyze pieces and understand how they are constructed - and that I need to do this for effective memorization. So I began studying theory, especially intervals and chords (I had the scales and key signatures down OK.)

This little gem lays the basics of music theory out in logical sequence in a wonderfully clear and concise way. It is filled with handy little references - such as a table with suggested metronome speed ranges for various tempos, chord and interval look-up tables, etc.

It suggests an exercise to do after explaining each point, including ear training exercises (which I never understood the importance of before.)

Work your way through this little book, take advantage of some of the terrific ear training and theory drill websites and you won't need much else unless you plan to become a professional.

As to the reviewer who gave it only star because it is too simplistic, one has to ask what on earth did he expect from something pocket sized that covers all the elements of music theory in only 130 pages - including exercises and answers?
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Moore on May 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
In few words, this book can thoroughly explain some of the most important fundamentals of music composition. I have been searching for a while for a book like this -- this one is great! Cheap and pocket-sized too!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Barton VINE VOICE on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been nearly 25 years since I even touched music theory. This book - be forewarned - is not for the pure novice or the extremely rusty. In about 170 packed pages, you get everything from notation through harmonics, tonics, melodics, scales, deep seeded theory and application in jazz, blues, the Beatles and everything else. I will admit it was well over my head for the most part, and I really needed to get back to an Idiot or Dummy guide to rebuild the very old foundations of a quarter century ago. However, if you are up to snuff and are looking for a decent pocket guide, this will do just fine. I can see how other reviewers who have some of these basics down and are looking for a reference or augmentation resource would rate the book higher - and why a few have rated it low due to the "superficial" nature of some of the explanations. For the money - tough to beat. For the size - tough to beat.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shuree on July 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am 35 yo woman JUST learning piano and music theory..cant tell you how wonderfully easy and helpful this little book has been...I bought this one and the Complete Idiots Guide to Music Theory...I use this one more or as often as the idiots guide..this one doesnt have extra info you dont want or need and thus makes it a handy reference and I love how small it is to carry around. I read it whenever I have to WAIT in line or in a drs office or DMV or other horrible place to sit around and wait. Well put together and easy to read. Would definately buy again, and would definately recommend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cyril F. Ball on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted a concise book to look up things that I don't remember. This is it.
It has been handy within days of receiving it.
If you already have some background in music theory and just need something to jog or expand your memory, this is the thing.
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Hal Leonard Pocket Music Theory: A Comprehensive and Convenient Source for All Musicians
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