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Welcome to The Music Theory Academy – helping you Learn How To Read Sheet Music. The Academy is a TOTALLY FREE resource for musicians who want to take their musicianship to the next level by learning about music theory.

Whether you are just starting out as a musician, studying for a music theory examination or simply want to become a better musician then the music theory academy is the place for you.

Have a look at the different Music Theory Video Lessons I’ve posted.

If you are a complete beginner you should start with the Beginner Music Theory Lesson

Beginner Piano Lessons

Play Your First Piano Piece

Beginner Piano Lesson 1 It’s so exciting that you want to learn how to play the piano. The piano is a fantastic instrument – you can play a huge range...
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Play Piano With Your Left Hand

Beginner Piano Lesson 2 In Beginner Piano Lesson 1 we had an introduction to the piano, looked at how to find Middle C (2 black notes, etc..), learned how to...
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How To Play Faster Piano Notes

Beginner Piano Lesson 3 In Beginner Piano Lesson 2 you learnt how to play some notes using your left hand, whilst reading Bass Clef. In this lesson you are going...
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Improve Your Left Hand Playing

Beginner Piano Lesson 4 In Beginner Piano Lesson 3 we looked at how to play faster notes and how to change the volume of our playing. In this Beginner Piano...
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Playing Leaps

Beginner Piano Lesson 5 In Beginner Piano Lesson 4 we looked at improving your left hand playing by learning how to read and play eighth notes and working on playing...
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Musical Periods

Romantic Period Music

The Romantic period of music is from 1830 to 1900.The Romantic period was a time where composers, artists and authors moved away from the formal restraint of the Classical period.In...
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Classical Music

The Classical period of music is from 1750 to 1830. Classicism was a stylistic development in mid 1700s across the arts and architecture which was hugely influenced by the ancient...
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Baroque Music

The Baroque Period of music is from 1600-1750 (it is generally considered to finish sometime around the death of JS Bach in 1750 and Handel in 1759). This was a...
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Medieval Music

The Medieval Period of music is the period from the years c.500 to 1400. It is the longest “period” of music (it covers 900 years!!) and runs right through from...
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Renaissance Music

The Renaissance Music Period covers the time from c.1400 – 1600. We are going to look at the key features of Renaissance music so you can get a good basic...
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Music Theory Lessons

Imitation

Imitation in music describes a composing device where a melody is played/sung and then repeated in a different voice. It is a device that is used in a wide range...
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Augmentation and Diminution

Augmentation and diminution are two musical techniques used by composers to develop/vary a melody. They are great tools for you to be able to understand and use as a composer....
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Sequences

What are Sequences in Music? A sequence is the “more or less exact repetition of a passage at a higher or lower level of pitch”. (The Oxford Dictionary of Music,...
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pitch

How to read music – Getting Started   In this beginner lesson we’re going to look at some of the basics of sheet music. The only background knowledge you need...
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Sharps and Flats

If you’ve looked at the lesson on Getting Started then you will now know how to read sheet music for the white notes (otherwise known as the naturals) on a...
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Bass Clef

Why do we need a Bass Clef? The Bass Clef always poses problems for people trying to learn how to read music. I often get asked what the point of...
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Key Signatures

Key Signatures Music is often described as the universal language. However, there are variations within this language. Key signatures tell us what dialect/variation of this universal language we are speaking...
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Tempo

        What is Tempo in Music? Tempo describes the speed of the pulse/beat of a piece of music. Be careful not to confuse it with the number...
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Cadences

Cadences A cadence is a chord progression of at least 2 chords that ends a phrase or section of a piece of music. The easiest way to understand cadences in...
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Rubato

Rubato The definition of rubato is a flexibility/freedom in the performance of a rhythm. Basically, rubato is when a performer doesn’t stick to the strict rhythms written by the composer,...
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How To Read Sheet Music For Piano

Learning how to read sheet music for piano can be quite daunting at first because it looks like a series of lots of lines and dots with several random symbols...
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the elements of music

The Elements of Music The elements of music can be seen as being the building blocks of music. Without them, music (of any style/age) would not exist because sound itself...
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Reading Straight Rhythms

Today we’re going to start to learn how to read and play on-beat (straight) rhythms. The only way to learn rhythms is to have a go at playing them. Rhythm...
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Making it Easy

Learning To Read Music The Easy Way Many people are daunted by the prospect of learning how to read music. They know it is going to help make them a...
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Reading Complex Rhythms

In the previous lesson of how to read sheet music we looked at simple rhythms involving whole notes, half notes and quarter notes). However, most of the music you are...
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How To Read Guitar Sheet Music

How To Read Guitar Sheet Music Learning how to read standard guitar notation is very similar to learning how to read music for any instrument. The basic features of a...
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How To Read Chords

So you’ve decided that you want to learn how to read sheet music – that’s excellent news! Learning to read music is definitely going to take your musicianship onto a...
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Getting Started

So you’ve decided that you want to learn how to read sheet music – that’s excellent news! Learning to read music is definitely going to take your musicianship onto a...
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Transposing Instruments

When you are playing an instrument like a piano or a flute, if you read a “C” and play a “C” then the note will sound as a “C” –...
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Rests

In looking at how to read music we’ve talked about duration and how rhythm is built upon knowing what notes to play and for how long; but what about knowing...
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Triplets Made Easy

You may have noticed that the divisions of beats you normally come across are in factors of 2 (½, ¼, ⅛, etc..) (the technical term for these rhythms is duplets). However,...
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Dynamics Part 2

Dynamic Changes In the last post on dynamics we looked at how I can work out what volume to play at when learning how to read sheet music. In this...
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Dynamics

Music Dynamics Playing changes in volume (or dynamics) in a performance is one of the techniques that separates basic musicians from more advanced players. When you are learning how to...
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Vocal Music

I know that many of you are singers and want to learn how to read music either as soloists or in a group/choir. It can be quite daunting when you...
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Tied Notes

Sometimes you will see a curved line joining 2 notes together. If the 2 notes are the SAME pitch then these 2 notes are joined together rhythmically. Note: If they’re...
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Dotted Notes

Sometimes you will see a dot after a note (don’t confuse this with a dot above or below the note – that is something totally different and we’ll look at...
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Note Lengths

How To Work Out A Note’s Length When learning how to read sheet music you need to ask yourself 3 questions about a note’s appearance in order to work out...
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How To Read Drum Music

Many people who want to learn how to read drum music get put off by the fact that drum notation can look quite complex at first. However, it’s actually pretty...
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Meet Your Music Teacher

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Hi, I’m Ben and I love music theory!

Let me help you take your musicianship to the next level by learning more about music theory.

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