Basic Music Theory for Piano Players

Why is basic music theory important to individuals who are taking beginner piano lessons?

Music theory is not a new concept in the career of music. It was taught to great music composers and pianists during the 18th and 19th century.

The knowledge of music theory allows composers to determine what structure they would like their composition to have and the effect it would have on listeners.

So whether you're an aspiring pianist or you are taking flute lessons at, be prepared to learn some level of music theory.

But what is music theory?

Music theory can be descibed as a guide explaining how music operates. It helps us to understand how all the components in a piece of music are used and the importance of each component.

One main component of music is notation. Musical notations are graphic symbols that are used to respresent the sounds we hear in music.

Notation can also be represented by letters (letter notations). Each letter is assigned to a specific pitch in music.

The letters used in music come together to form what is called the musical alphabet. In music the letters of the musical alphabet are represented on a diagram called the staff or stave.

The staff or stave is the main diagram on which musical symbols such as the treble clef and bass clef are placed.

Other signs and symbols such as musical notes and musical rest are also represented on the staff.

As pianist you will not only be aware of the musical signs and symbols when studying music theory, but you will have a better understanding as to how pitch, rhythm, melody and harmony are used in music.

Click here for more information on the treble and bass clef.

A lot of pianists or keyboard players are reluctant in learning music theory. Some don't even consider learning basic music theory at all. After all, many may say that a lot of great musicians of the 20th century did not read music.

But how do we know if that is a fact?

I guest if some investigation is been done we would be surprise at the results. It is a fact that many great 20th century musicians especially pianists do have a great knowledge of music theory.

As keyboard players, it is very important to have some knowledge of basic music theory. Imagine if you are able to read music and also play by ear, no doubt you would be considered to be a great musician.

It is important to note that most of the instructional materials and piano books available for piano students require them to have a vast knowledge of music theory.

So, should you learn music theory while taking piano lessons?

Oh yes! After all, you will be a more rounded musician.

Here is a website that I have found to be very helpful in the area of music theory. - This website has a number of music theory lessons and it has a lot of sheet music that you can use during your practice sessions.

Leave basic music theory page and return to home page.

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Other related music theory lessons

Musical Notes

Musical Rest

The treble and bass clef