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Introduction to Music Theory

Enhance your musical talent and learn to read notes, write music, and play chords by ear with this music theory course.

Free Course
This free online music theory course teaches you about basic concepts, and the discussion of melody and harmony. Becoming a skilled musician takes more than just learning how to play an instrument, you must improve your musical abilities by listening and understanding, and with constant practice. With this course, you will learn the concepts of interval, major and minor keys and scales, triads, chords, as well as look into harmonic analysis.





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This course begins by giving you an insight into where octaves come from. You will learn that musical notes, like all sounds, are made of evenly-spaced sound waves. You will study high and low frequencies, and learn that people have been making music and talking about music long before we knew that sounds were waves with frequencies. You will also learn that any note that is twice the frequency of another note is one octave higher.

You will then learn how to classify intervals and study perfect intervals including primes, octaves, fourths, and fifths. You will also study augmented and diminished intervals as well as the different spellings of intervals. With this course, you will also learn about ear training which refers to the recognition of information about notes and chords just by hearing them. You will look into tuning, playing chords by ear, playing tunes by ear, improvisation, and more.

If you have no background in music theory but have some familiarity with reading common notation, playing an instrument, or singing, this course will greatly help enhance your skills. Upon the completion of this course, you will understand where octaves come from and know how to divide octaves into a scale. You will also be able to identify the pitch of a note, chromatic scales, whole steps, whole-tone scales and intervals so check out this course and build up your musical talent now. 

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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course you will understand where octaves come from; you will know how to name a particular octave and how to divide octaves into a scale. You will know enharmonic spelling of notes such as sharp, flat or natural. You will be able to identify the pitch of a note, chromatic scales, whole steps, whole tone scales and intervals. You will understand how to classify intervals including perfect, major, minor, augmented and diminished intervals. You will know about ear training and relative pitch, tuning, playing chords by ear, improvisation, recognising intervals, writing music and much more.


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:

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An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

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