Basic Music Theory, 4th ed.: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music 4th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 184 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1492831631
ISBN-10: 1492831638
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Editorial Reviews


"Basic Music Theory is an ideal and highly recommended text for anyone of any background wanting to become proficient in the reading, composing, and performance of written and notated music."
--Midwest Book Review
(5 stars, highest rating)

"This is a book that covers lots of ground without ever appearing "difficult." It is written in a breezy, conversational manner, so one "talk" naturally drifts into the next."
--KLIATT Library Review Service

"Basic Music Theory by Jonathan Harnum explains the subject in a manner that is light-hearted and easy to follow. For someone in their late forties (like me) who hasn't had formal music training since the age of thirteen, it's been extremely useful. I can now say that I'm able to read music and understand some of the more-complex musical arrangements. I've been playing the saxophone for about 18 months now and the book has helped to bring me from a level of not being able to read music up to one of reasonable competence at sight reading.
--Chris Ward (Kendal, UK) 

"Basic Music Theory by Jonathan Harnum, is an excellent book for people of all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or learned musician, this book is a very comprehensive source of material, that is both accessible,easy to read & understand, and very enjoyable. I have played various instruments over 24 years.And because of Harnum's matter of fact, conversational tone, this book has lent more to my understanding of basic music theory than all my private insturctors combined. Easy and completely understandable!"
--Ruben Tamayo, Los Angeles, CA 

Basic Music Theory encompasses more than just the basics for beginning piano or violin students. Anyone who hopes to play any instrument should find this a great starting place. Harnum draws on his experience of having taught thousands of students to produce a book that's just loaded with information, yet manages to convey that information with a light touch and a bit of humor that makes it understandable for teens and adults, and maybe even for middle school students.
                                                    -Kathy Duffie, homeschool book reviews. Full review (

From the Author

This book was first written over 10 years ago for my students because there were no books like this one at the time (friendly and easy, with concepts simply and clearly explained). I've used it with students from grade school through college, as well as older adults with no previous musical experience. This completely updated 4th edition was written after I completed a PhD in music education and realized that the book could be even better. It will help you learn to read music.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
  • Paperback : 226 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1492831638
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1492831631
  • Product Dimensions : 8 x 0.51 x 10 inches
  • Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 4th Edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184 ratings
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