If you or your child cannot read a single note off a sheet of paper but can pick up a musical instrument and play it impromptu, that’s great. But the skill to read and write music is just like any other language. If we cannot read or write then we can’t go very far with it.
Learning to read music is absolutely necessary for classical music. It is almost necessary if you want to become a professional. John Lennon and Paul McCartney couldn’t read a single note. But why leave it to accidental genes (and genius) when learning to read music is definitely not as difficult as learning Cantonese.
In fact, you can teach yourself or at least get through the basics of music theory with the help of these websites.
Here, you can find a very basic how-to article that you can quickly skim over if you have a fair idea of playing a musical instrument. You will also find a link to a related wikiHow that shows you how to have fun while learning to read music.
Continue your basic education and learn to read music with the help of these ten pages that take you from the most basic musical symbols to teaching you how to give volume and speed to your notes.
The free online course takes you a bit deeper into the why’s and how’s of reading music. You have two single introductory webpages on the topic plus a downloadable mirror version of them. The learning music course by Jason Silver is unfortunately not complete. After going through the above two links, you can use the topic links on the left side of the page to read up on some more music theory.
The music theory tutorial website by the Australian composer, Joe Paparone has a paid side along with a bunch of free lessons that you can exploit to get through the basics. The free lessons are arranged around – Pitch, Chords, and Time. Each of these three facets is then explored with the help of lessons. Titled “Baby Stuff’, the light tutorials are just an introduction to the theory behind musical arrangements and compositions.
This is an important resource that documents the life of Arnold Dolmetsch, a French-born musician and instrument maker, and his family. It’s also a resource for beginner musicians who can tap into the music dictionary and the music theory page. The music theory pages start with naming conventions and ends with lessons on composition. In between, a brief history of music is also touched upon.
The nicely designed website has three sections – Lessons (animated walkthroughs for beginners), Exercises (for practice), and Tools (with calculators that help to measure notes, intervals, and chords). The interactive lessons help to make your task of learning how to read music easier with step-by-step slideshows. This site is especially useful for those learning how to play the piano as you can summon an online keyboard with a click and play on it or mark notes.
eMusicTheory is an educational resource designed for both teachers and students. The site aims to teach music through a series of drills. It requires a paid subscription, but you can use the free resources on the site – the practice drills and interactive theory pages which help to polish your music learning. You will need the Java plug-in to be enabled in your browser as the concepts are explained using an interactive Java applet.
Teoria is not only an excellent reference source for the basics of music that go into learning how to read music, but the interactive exercises help to finetune your music reading skills and ear training. The tutorial section is where you should start if you are a newbie. The tutorial section helps you in reading music by making you understand intervals, scales, chords, harmonic functions, and musical forms. The alphabetical reference section is an online glossary with embedded audio files.
The online guide resource has a comprehensive section on music. Music theory takes up a considerable amount of space with more than 80 articles on the subject. The Beginner’s Music Theory sub-channel will take intensive reading as it is mostly text, but you can be sure that the tutorials have all the bases covered when it comes to reading and learning about music.
YouTube as usual could be a nice stopover is you like learning via videos. The How to Read Music is the first in a series of videos by Walt Ribeiro who teaches you all about sight reading. You can find all his lessons on his website where he covers it all with weekly music lessons. You can also follow the suggestions given on the sidebar for many more videos that teach you how to read music.
This is certainly not where it ends. In fact, this could just be a harmonious beginning that you can follow up with these two resources ““
You can sing”¦you can play too”¦but can you recognize a sheet of music when it’s placed before you? Let these online lessons help you read music and become a well rounded musician. Let us know about the importance you place on learning how to read music.
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