Contemporary musicians and songwriters have debated much about the value of learning music theory. On one end, there are those who feel that adhering to a set of rules can limit their creativity. On the other hand, there are those who genuinely want to understand how the parts of a musical piece work together.
Music theory is based on science, the principles of acoustics. It names and categorizes sounds. It shows the relationships between sounds.
Both extremes have some validity to their viewpoints, but they are extremes. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. They see the value in knowing more than they do, but maybe intimidated by the topic or may not understand the way music theory enhances what they’re capable of as writers, players, or performers.
Fundamentals of Music Theory
Before we delve into the world of online music theory courses on offer in India, here are a few basics to get your introduction going.
Scales and Key Signatures
It is critical that the musician knows the notes of each key, along with the ability to remain solidly within the key (using only the notes of the scale). Understanding the relationship of notes and key allow the musician to hear the function of notes that don’t belong to the key.
Knowing how to build a chord and relating it to a corresponding scale enables a musician to modify and adjust any of the notes to form other chords.
Scale Degrees, Diatonic Chords, and Their Functions
Ever hear of the expression, "learning by ear"? This is made possible by the musician's understanding of the sound of each note of the scale according to its position in the sequence.
Chord and Interval Qualities
This is the ability to distinguish between major and minor, or a dominant 7th from a diminished. Each note of the scale and each type of chord have an identifiable sound that can be recognized once a musician develops an ear for it.
Diploma in Music Theory by Alison
Alison is a free online education platform that empowers learners to "break through boundaries and transform lives". With Alison, students can sign up for a free online music theory diploma course. The course is an introduction to basic music theory, with modules covering such subjects as instruments, rhythm, melody, harmony, and musical form. The course teaches the different techniques used in classical music pieces and how aspects of classical music are applied to other genres of music.
Superprof: Private Online Lessons in Music Theory
Superprof is an easy-to-navigate online tutor platform that allows students to browse and consult tutor profiles freely and contact their ideal tutor according to their needs, including prices, qualifications, reviews, home or webcam lessons. Shortlist tutor profiles, get in touch with your tutor, explain your needs, and discuss availabilities. Schedule your lessons and pay them securely, all from your inbox. The Superprof Student Pass allows for unlimited access to all tutors, coaches, and masterclasses.
The average price of Music Theory lessons in India is ₹2,021, depending on factors such as:
- The experience of the teacher
- The location of the lessons (at home, online, or an outside location)
- The duration and frequency of the lessons
4,054 tutors currently offer Music Theory lessons near you. To find online courses, students can simply select the webcam filter in the search engine to see the available tutors offering music theory online courses. 97% of Superprof teachers offer their first lesson for free.
With more than 200 leading universities and companies as partners, Coursera offers flexible, affordable, job-relevant online learning through streaming of on-demand video lectures from top instructors. Choose from many options including free online music theory courses and university degrees at a breakthrough price. Students get to learn at their own pace.
Learn Music Theory Online
Find your best course to learn the fundamentals of music theory. Coursera offers a varied range of courses that will suit the varied needs of students of music theory. These courses are certified by renowned institutions and universities from across the world. Some of the more popular courses on offer include:
- Fundamentals of Music Theory (The University of Edinburgh)
- Getting Started With Music Theory (Michigan State University)
- Developing Your Musicianship (Berklee College of Music)
- Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony (California Institute of the Arts)
- Musicianship: Tensions, Harmonic Function, and Modal Interchange (Berklee College of Music)
- The Art of Vocal Production (Berklee College of Music)
- Musicianship: Chord Charts, Diatonic Chords, and Minor Keys (Berklee College of Music)
- Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition (National University of Singapore)
Music School of Delhi
One of the most reputed in the business of music education, the Music School of Delhi offers music theory classes under the able supervision of an experienced music faculty. Despite its specifically Delhi presence, for serious learners of music in India, this school is the ideal place to achieve excellence in music. Select from various music theory courses available at the School, according to needs and genre of interest.
The music theory lessons at the Music School Of Delhi primarily focus on preparing the student on the path to success in the world of music. At the very basic level, the concept of chords is introduced. The syllabus covers all the major skills and knowledge of music theory, including chord progression, knowledge of harmonizing, tertian chord, and altered chords. Individual attention is bestowed on each student, imbibing them with hearing capabilities critical to becoming a good musician.
The music theory course at the School is designed to enable students to derive optimum results for their efforts. An expert team of music instructors guides students at every level of learning, analyzing progress, according to the level of understanding, and guiding them to become expert musicians. The music theory course is easy to follow, making it suitable for even beginners in music.
Berklee Online Undergraduate Level Course: Music Theory 101
One of the most respected institutions in the world, the Berklee College of Music has gone all out to educate music students with its online music program. Anything that students need to learn - pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, chords, harmony - for some serious about pursuing music, the program offers instruction in these fundamental concepts. Music Theory 101, spearheaded by Professor Emeritus Paul Schmeling, is helping countless students build a solid base of musical knowledge. The course combines a model of class discussions, interactive tools, and personalized feedback that help students put these theories into practice.
What Students Learn
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Read and write musical notation
- Play notes on a piano keyboard
- Use scales, intervals, and chords
- Write a melody
- Lesson 1: Rhythm Part I
- Lesson 2: Rhythm Part II
- Lesson 3: Pith Notation
- Lesson 4: Major Scales
- Lesson 5: Minor Scales
- Lesson 6: Intervals
- Lesson 7: Chords I: Triads
- Lesson 8: Triad Inversions
- Lesson 9: Chords II: Basic Seventh Chords
- Lesson 10: Inversions and Voice: Leading of Seventh Chords
- Lesson 11: Using the Lead Sheet
- Lesson 12: Melody Writing
Udemy is arguably the leading global marketplace for learning and instruction. A successful online platform for connecting students all over the world to the best instructors, Udemy helps individuals (both students and teachers) pursue and realize their dreams.
Learn Music Theory Online
Udemy has some of the most recognizable names from the world of music education offering their expertise in guiding students of music. The bestselling online music courses on the platform include:
- Music Theory Comprehensive Complete (Levels 1, 2, & 3)
- Music Theory for Electronics Complete (Parts 1, 2, % 3)
- Music Theory for Electronic Producers
- Practical Music Theory 101 for Guitar
- Music Theory ABRSM Grade 5
- Music Theory | ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory Complete Course
In Conclusion ...
An understanding of music theory enables musicians to appreciate music more. This understanding paves the way for greater familiarity with the features of composition and a greater capacity for musical expression, whether we are learning singing, playing a musical instrument, or composing a musical piece. For example, we might be able to identify an unusual feature in a piece that violates the “rules” learned, but appreciate that the composer has tried to create something special.
If we have no knowledge of the “rules” of music theory, we won’t recognize when a piece breaks the rules or know when it’s appropriate to abide by these rules.
Knowledge of music theory facilitates an understanding of common chord progressions and the structure of pieces. These can, then, help us predict what the next few measures might sound like. In short, knowledge of music theory can hasten the learning process. For example, it can help us find large-scale repetitions and formal landmarks that help us get familiar with the piece, making it easier to memorize the piece.