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Essentially, the alphabet of music. It is important to learn theory so that when you decide to break the rules, you are doing it out of wisdom, and not out of ignorance. See: Miles Davis
Music theory teaches you important rudimentary skills necessary to be successful as a professional musician.
by rtcp September 27, 2006
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1. The study of musical structure and aesthetics, concerning chord structures, musical intervals, rythms, meters, scales, etc.

2. Something that the majority of modern music artists lack knowlege of
Most recording artists seem to think that fashionable clothes and expensive studio recordings, rather than solid music theory, can make their music good.
by Juan September 28, 2003
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Basically, a way of analyzing music.

Specifically, music theory is made up of laws, rules, labels and other insights regarding Western music (particularly its harmonic tendencies), pioneered by a man named Rameau.

Music came first, theory came after.
In Music Theory, Roman numeral labels are given to chords in relation to a melodic key center. IV-V-I is the strongest cadence in Western harmony.
by stadam anley January 27, 2009
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The principles/guidlines of classical, real music. Modern musicians tend to neglect music theory or have little knowledge of it. However, most knowledgeable musicians have a basic idea of theory. (Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen to cite two)
Person 1: "Hey, play me a Em, FM, and GM in common time so I can put together a solo using the Em scale."
Person 2: "Whats common time?"
Person 1: "Oh great, I'm jamming with a moron."

You look like an asshole when you don't know music theory.
by Markus5273 October 03, 2005
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A class that explains the structure of music. You'll learn the difference between an A-sharp and a B-flat. Later you get into the rules of writing counterpoints and four-part harmonies, which are useless unless you write classical music, but are still good to know.
Music theory is the first music class I had to take in which I actually had to THINK.
by Mike the Ekim March 25, 2006
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A set of rules, guidelines, and terminology that musicians have come to agree upon over time.

Music theory mostly deals with the earliest music ever written on paper to music written in the late 1800's.
by The Drafted's guitar player April 28, 2005
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A great class and idea that helps people learn the rules of music, and other, greater ways to create a piece rather than just powerchords.

Also, something barely any musician has nowadays, and those who have none say that you "don't play from your soul" if you have knowledge of music.

These people are dumbasses.
Music theory taught me to create music in keys and gave me appreciation for all the epic classical symphonies everyone takes for granted now.
by motionless92 May 27, 2010
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