Essentials of Music Theory
Learning Music Theory: Absolute Beginners
There are really two classes people that come to this page fall into: those looking to read music and those looking to learn how music actually works.
Regardless of which path you ultimately are choosing remember this--music is a language. You didn't learn to speak English right away either and you've
already lost your quick-learn skills so don't get frustrated when some of this doesn't come as quickly as you might like. The best thing you can do is
simply start memorizing. When you hear someone speaking English (assuming you're a native English speaker of course), your brain doesn't need to process
the individual words--it can just "do" it. Reading music is the same way. If you're new to learning Spanish and someone says, "Como andas?" your brain
has to parse out Como->How Andas->You Working Decode the non-literal meaning and then arrive at "How are you doing?". In music, your brain does not
have time to say, "Gee, that's an Eb, I now need to find where Eb is on my instrument and somehow produce that note for the duration it says". With enough
repitition you simply see an Eb and play it. Onward.
Two rules right off the bat--don't panic and don't feel insulted that the music notes are color coded. If you're still alive after reviewing that chart then
you can safely move on to the next page where it is broken down for you. Music Theory 0-1: Basic Labeling.