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Musical Notation & Basic Music Theory

This FREE musical notation and basic music theory course is designed for people ages 8-88 that have always wanted to have a basic understanding of music theory!

Whether you want to learn to write pop music, play rock music or just gain a deeper appreciation of listening to classical music, this course is for you.

There are 31 topics on notation, time signature, staff identification, dynamics and basic major and minor scales with some chord building.

This is an introduction to musical notation and theory, but some intermediate and advanced concepts are explored. We talk about basic music scales and music symbols. There are also links to various sites if you want to delve deeper into any one subject.

In addition, I have created 31 video clips to summarize each topic as I demonstrate the concepts with guitar, bass, piano and voice.

NOTE: For deeper understanding, watch the videos in order.

Here is the Syllabus for Musical Notation

We will discuss the basic ingredients needed to create music.
1. Music Theory for Dummies

We will learn the basic staves needed for piano, voice and guitar.
2. Treble Staff
3. Bass Staff
4. Ledger Lines
5. Grand Staff


We will discuss notes/rests, their durations and what they look like.
6. Whole Note
7. Half Note
8. Quarter Note
9. Eighth Note
10. Whole Rest / Half Rest
11. Quarter Rest / Eighth Rest

beamed eighth notes

We will discuss and learn what measures/bars are, how they look and how they relate to time signature.
12. Measures or Musical Bars

We will learn about tempo and popular time signatures, what they look like and what they mean.
13. Tempo
14. Common Time or 4/4 Time Signature
15. Waltz Time or ¾ Time Signature
16. 6/8 Time Signature
17. Cut Time or 2/2 Time
18. Putting it All Together 1
19. Putting it All Together 2


This is a musical notation extension of note/rest values.
20. Dotted Half Note
21. Dotted Quarter Note

dotted quarter

We will learn the patterns for the major and minor scales in C Major. We will also look at how chords in this key are built.
22. C Major Scale
23. Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti
23b. The Sound of Music Lyrics
24. A Minor Scale (and the other scale modes)
24b. Music Theory Intervals
25. Chords in C Major


We will learn the pattern for the basic major and minor scales in G Major. We will also look at how chords in this key are built. This will introduce us to accidentals(sharps, flats and naturals).
26. Enharmonic, Accidentals and the Natural
27. Chromatic Scale
28. G Major Scale
29. E Minor Scale
30. Circle of Fifths and G Major Chords

g major scale

Finally, we will explore what dynamics in music are and why they are so important.
31. Musical Dynamics


Appendix A - Free Music Theory Worksheets, Tests and Games
Appendix B - Music Notation Software

For more music theory visit: Music Theory

Continue to Part 1, Music Theory for Dummies

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