Joshua Bishop

Joshua Bishop

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Theory

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language;
it was below and before speech, and it is above and
beyond all words.

– Robert G. Ingersoll

Studying Music theory is about asking of questions that we all want to know the answer to: How does music work?

Discovering your own answers to this question begins with the technical concepts of harmony, chords and scales…

The foundation of music theory is most definitely learning about notation and chords, thinking about scales and using harmony to analyse structure and design in a piece of music. There are fantastic advantages to learning these foundations, not least making it easier to actually learn music faster and improve your sightreading.

Unfortunately, this is where music theory often finishes (usually accompanied with a capstone certificate saying ‘Grade 5’ or ‘Grade 8’). But this is really only the beginning. My idea of music theory is getting deep into the heart of the music, using these concepts of scales and harmony for what they were originally intended – to help us understand what makes music work.

This is an area of theory we can only think about once we’ve gone through the basics, but it’s worth the effort. Let’s use theory not just to get us through an exam, let’s use it to discover an answer to the question we all want to know the answer to: How does music work?