Music Theory

Theory Drill and Practice Software and Apps

There are many websites and apps available to help you improve your musicianship. This page addresses some of the written aspects of music theory. For sight singing, ear training and notation apps, use the drop down menu above under the “Music Theory” tab.

eMusicTheory
This is a really fine website. There are many interactive exercises that you can use to improve your music reading skills. You can also download the drills to use offline (for a really reasonable price). Highly recommended.

Aquallegro
is a suite of music theory teaching software for Mac computers. It contains sections that teach note names in Treble, Alto, Tenor, and Bass clef, and key signatures in Treble, Alto, Tenor, and Bass clef. It also teaches ear training to help recognize Major, Minor, Diminished, Augmented, Maj7, and Min7 chords in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th inversion, as well as all intervals from perfect prime to perfect octave. It also teaches the notes on a piano keyboard, including accidentals. Its free and works pretty well.

Musicards.net
This terrific site houses “virtual” flashcards on a variety of theory topics. Highly recommended.

Teoria.com
Teoria is a music theory website with reference pages, tutorials and exercises. Nice site.

Theory Lessons
While I haven’t tried this app yet, it is made by the developers at musictheory.net, which is a great site. Created for iPad, at $2.99 I think it is likely well worth it.

Mapping Tonal Harmony
I have not tried this, but plan to soon – it looks fabulous, especially for students who are going beyond music fundamentals into music theory. Available for iPad on app store.

From the developer: “Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro has been envisioned as auxiliary material in the study of Tonal Harmony. The main objective of this app is to provide the student, teachers, composers and/or songwriters with a tool that will aid them in hearing, analyzing, foreseeing and composing harmonic progressions without struggle, in all keys alike.

The map has seven levels of complexity, from the basic diatonic neighborhood advanced secondary functions in major and minor modes and is viewable in all 12 keys and enharmonic spellings, plus a functional view (relative to the tonic). Each level is also accompanied by its respective workbook available at mDecks.com for further study and research.”

Chords in Keys
This app is available for Android and IOS. I haven’t tried it personally, but it looks like a great practice tool for fluency in building chords in all major and minor keys. The video below provides a demonstration.

Tenuto
This is another app by musictheory.net. I’ve used it and love it. Well worth the $3.99. Lots of drill and practice in basic musicianship.

Music Theory Pro
Makes a game out of musicianship skills. Inexpensive. Useful.

Piano companion
I don’t even know how to begin to write about this app, so I’m including notes from the developers: Piano Companion is a flexible chord/scale dictionary with user libraries and reverse mode. Piano Companion allows you to find a chord or scale by its name. If you don’t remember what’s the name of a chord/scale, it helps you to find it by keys. Piano Companion shows chord/scale notes, degrees, fingering for both hands in major and minor scales. You can listen how a scale or chord sounds. You can see the list of compatible chords in the selected scale. The great advantage of Piano Companion is the fact that it’s a growing application, so we will be glad to consider any new features which helps you to increase usability. 

Piano Companion is free and available for most mobile and desktop operating systems.

Theory Websites

App Advice
For a well-curated, up-to-date list of theory apps for the iPhone, check out AppAdvice’s recommendations by clicking on the hyperlink above.

AppCrawler
AppCrawler also keeps a list- click on the hyperlink above.

Coach4technology
This site also has some great suggestions.

OneMinuteMusicLesson
This is a top 10 list of free music theory websites.

Modern Musical Symbols
Wikipedia has a page of many of the symbols currently in use in Western Musical notation. It can be a handy quick reference.

Music Theory Resources
This site is very thorough. A good place to get more clarification on a theory topic, or an alternate explanation.

Berklee Online
The Berklee School of Music has a great reputation. They are making some of their resources available online for free as a way to promote their online courses. Check out this free theory handbook here: http://welcome.www.berkleemusic.com/music-theory-handbook.html?pid=5032

Music Theory, explained with Oreos
This sounds ridiculous, and it is silly, but it really makes a ton of sense. The best part is that you can eat your homework after you study. No, seriously, the visuals here could help you a great deal.

Help Naming Notes

Name That Note – This is a free app for IOS that makes a game out of practicing note names.

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