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Music Theory for Computer Musicians Paperback – April 2, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (April 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598635034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598635034
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Introduction Chapter 1: Musical Sound Chapter 2: The Notes Chapter 3: The Major Scale Chapter 4: Rhythm, Tempo and Note Lengths Chapter 5: Score Editing Chapter 6: Intervals Chapter 7: Meter Chapter 8: Chords Chapter 9: The Natural Minor Scale Chapter 10: Melody and Motives Chapter 11: The Harmonic and Melodic Minor Scales Chapter 12: Augmented and Diminished Intervals and Interval Inversions Chapter 13: Chordal Inversions, Octave Doubling, and Spacing Chapter 14: Additive Rhythms Chapter 15: Expanding Your Knowledge of Keys Chapter 16: the Pentatonic Scale Chapter 17: Major, Minor, Augmented, and Diminished Triads Chapter 18: Chord Progressions and Root Movement Chapter 19: The Cycle of Fifths Chapter 20: The Seven Diatonic Modes Chapter 21: Chords of the Seventh Chapter 22: Exotic Scales Chapter 23: Complex Harmony Chapter 24: Arpeggiation Chapter 25: Intonation Chapter 26: Conclusion Appendix A: Scales Appendix B: Audio CD and Accompanying Text Sidebars

About the Author

Dr. Michael Hewitt was born in South Wales in the United Kingdom. He earned his bachelor of music degree at London University and a master's degree and doctorate at the University of North Wales, Bangor, where he specialized in musical composition. He is a classically trained musician, composer, lecturer, and author on musical subjects. He also writes classical scores as well as soundtracks for various television productions both at home and abroad. He is currently working as a music technology tutor at Coleg Harlech in North Wales.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and informative.
Michael Townsend
The music theory that you learn in this book will be enough to help you in any genre of music you want to make.
Jules Marshall
Great book to keep in the studio, both home and professional.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dustin K. Beyette on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been composing music using a DAW of some sort for the better of seven years. I've been making music for ten years. My instrumentation skills and production/engineering skills are completely self-taught. Sound like you? BUY THIS BOOK! This book is phenomenal. I highly recommend it. It demystifies music theory, and now I look at music that I make and listen to in an entirely different way. Because I'm vigorously self-taught, the first seven or so chapters were just refreshers. The same kind of stuff you'd find in tutorials and music production magazines occupy the first half of the book. The pace starts at such a slow understandable rate that I would recommend Music Theory for Computer Musicians to someone that has only been using a DAW for a month, and that is all they know about music, period. For the rest of us, about halfway through is when the complexities start stacking, but as long as you've been paying attention, you can take it all in and digest it all. For anyone that doesn't really understand music, they just get by with what feels right (such as myself), this book certainly helps you look at everything that has sounded good musically and figure it all out. I am so glad I read this. The exams at the end of each chapter also are extremely helpful for gauging what you already know and what you are learning. Now I can talk theory, see theory and most importantly hear theory.
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102 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Greg A. Tirevold VINE VOICE on August 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this title. A book about music theory that is centered around the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) rather than the more traditional approaches used. The layout of the book is a chapter topic, with examples and illustrations followed by a 2-3 page section of review and application questions.

My first gripe was that the answers for the chapters were not included with the book. They are a pdf file you must download from the publisher. Normally I'd be ok with this except that when I bought the book in late May 2008, a month after its release, there was no answer download available. My email to the publisher was never answered leaving me to wonder if there ever would be a set of answers. Not even a canned "form letter response" ever arrived which would have at least acknowledged a receipt.

The first few chapters were fairly easy and the "official" answers were not really needed to know if you had answered correctly. As I got to the end of Chapter 7 on Meter I ran into questions that, to me seemed to be misprints, as the listed meters did not match the illustration of notes. This was the formation of my second big gripe. Standard 4/4 time is easy to understand and read but the author delves into 9/16, 2/4 and 3/8 time which takes the new theory student (i.e. me) some time to figure out how to interpret. The questions in this chapter had duplications and errors that were very confusing as I was trying to understand the topic and answer the questions while the questions themselves contained notation errors.

The answer download is available now, some 5 months after the book's release and sure enough chapter 7 answers show that the questions posed there had several misprints and errors.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By DjSharperimage on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a really great book;

Very easy to understand since its uses the "piano roll" to explain the concepts; instead of just using the "sheet music format" alone like with traditional lessons

Just that one factor makes learning music theory a billion times easier

I highly recommend this for all computer musicians;

Reading this book was like getting a deluxe set of 1000 crayons when i used to have only 1 crayon to color with
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By chopperdave on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just finished this book and thought I'd give my two cents.

I'm completely new to music theory, although I've been involved in music most of my life. Somehow I've been able to manage simply by hearing and repeating what I hear without actually knowing how to properly read, write or digest music. My hope was to get a good overview of music theory, with a focus on the areas most relevant to electronic music.

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the book and for it's target market, it's a great buy.

That being said, be forewarned that the author has a bad habit of referring to music theory concepts in the book without prior explanation. Many times he eventually will explain it, but not until pages later when you've already put your head through the wall multiple times with frustration. An example of this would be introducing seventh chords as being composed of four notes, a triad plus a seventh. Within a few sentences of saying this, he refers to a diagram in which he builds a seventh chord WITHOUT the fifth of the triad using only three notes. While this is perfectly reasonable to someone who is comfortable with building chords and understands that not all notes are required, it leaves newbs like me dumbfounded and frustrated.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By symon on September 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book as a reference to music teachers and everyone who is novice, but want to understand music. Not only this book helps readers who cannot play any instrument, as long as they know enough computer knowledge as self-described by the title, it also clearly explains the foundation of music. After making people understand the pitch and duration of notes on the staff system, it explains the way of measuring interval and then the definition or feature of each interval, base on semitone measurement. After assuring the readers about the perfect harmony of the fourth and the fifth interval, the author explained why this leads to the dominant and sub-dominant quality of the chord. The mode, the scale and the key signature are usually confusing, but the author explanation started from the simple C Major and then compares with A Minor, and then leads to the understanding of scaling system, major and minor of the seven diatonic, including the complex scale. Within the process, the author explained how to establish various key signatures based on a particular scale, not just the cycle of fifths.

Thanks again, to the author. This is really a godsend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Michael Hewitt is a composer, author and lecturer currently living in North Wales. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of London and a masters degree and doctorate from the University of North Wales, Bangor. He is author of numerous books on music including the very popular series of books for computer musicians. These include Music Theory, Composition and Harmony for Computer Musicians.

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