What's this about?Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers' techniques, across or within genres, styles, or historical periods. In a grand sense, music theory distills and analyzes the fundamental parameters or elements of music – rhythm, harmony (harmonic function), melody, structure, form, texture, etc.
.Developing literacy with the tonal language forms a key part of a rounded education for performers, composers and listeners of all kinds. An understanding of how written symbols relate to the elements of music, and having the skills to interpret and translate them into sounds, empowers us to communicate and experience music in a meaningful way. Without knowledge of notation it is impossible for classical musicians to access their repertoire with ease or to rehearse together; and this repertoire could not be heard at all had composers not been able to write it down. So, music theory is a very practical subject that is completely entwined with performance and composition.
(Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
- .pdf)Why do I want to do this?
I love music, but I'm very conscious that I don't really know much about how it works. Oh, I can read it, I can play it, I can sing it, but I don't really understand chords, intervals, majors and minors. I think that knowing this sort of stuff will make me a better musician.
I'm going for Grade V because... it's kind of traditional. In the words of the ABRSM, again, A longstanding ABRSM benchmark is that a pass at Grade 5 or above in Theory of Music must be obtained before candidates can enter for Grades 6, 7 or 8 Practical exams. We believe that a thorough understanding of the elements of music is essential for a full and satisfying performance at these higher grades.How will I know I've done this?
I will be able to sit and pass a Grade V Theory of Music paper. (I may or may not take this examination officially, but I ought to be able to get hold of a paper and a marking scheme, and my husband will be able to mark my efforts.)I'll record this
in posts on this journal.This goal may be modified or replaced if
I find Grade V stupidly easy - in which case I'll probably move up a few grades.