What is Music Theory? Why is it important?
Music theory is an essential component for learning the fundamentals of music, and being able to truly excel at playing an instrument or even singing. Learning music theory sets students on the right path to understand how music is written and how to interpret musical notes. It’s what allows both student and composers to communicate with each other when it’s time to perform.
When it comes to learning an instrument, theory teaches and allows students to comprehend the importance of notation, keys, scales, intervals, pitch, melody, harmony, and more.
Music theory is the study of what music is, and how musicians and composers make music. Music theory is theoretical and philosophical, but it’s also practical. It’s understanding when lowering the third by a semitone results in a minor chord or progression, what makes a note pairing dissonant, or how to read and play syncopated rhythms. Essentially, music theory allows students to understand why some things sound good to our ears, and others don’t. It provides the fundamentals to play and compose music.
All students have some ability to pick up sound and melodies quite naturally, even without the reference or comprehension of theory. Maybe you hum pleasant little ditties to yourself, can tap out a steady drum beat, or perhaps you even have a perfect ear. But most music students need training and practice. Music theory provides a deeper understanding of the process behind composition through notes, scales, intervals, keys, and why each component is important for composition and sound.