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 28, 2009
Get the Music Theory mug.
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 4, 2005
Get the Music Theory mug.
Something you learn so you can teach it to people who want to teach music theory to other people so they can teach it to more students and perpetuate the cycle.
Music Theory Teacher (On death bed): ....what have I done with my life? I feel empty inside....
Son: Music Theory
Music Theory Teacher: oh, tell the students to stop, oh my mistakes!
by Da One, Da One, Da Only One March 15, 2018
Get the Music Theory mug.
A class in which you avoid parallel fifths and octaves like they’re the Rona and also don’t double the leading tone. Also you get the added bonus of confusing the heck out of yourself trying to tell the difference between the three types of augmented sixth chords.
Person: Why are you up at 8am?
Me: I have an 8am class
Person: And what class is that?
Me: Music Theory...
by Pialinist April 29, 2021
Get the Music Theory mug.
A cancerous class at some schools where you learn useless shit.
-Hey dude why you looking so sad?
-Didn't you forget we have music theory today.
by Shrek_Our_Lord February 4, 2018
Get the Music Theory mug.
Knowledge of chords, rythms, etc in the development of music, can make you a better musician but is not necessary
jimi hendrix, the greatest guitar player ever did not know shit about reading music. he played from the heart and soul, and thats what music is really all about. there are no "rules" you are supposed to follow to be a good musician
by . . . . May 23, 2005
Get the Music Theory mug.
Musical theory is vital knowledge for anyone wishing to compose music involving more than half a dozen instruments. It is recommended knowledge for anyone wishing to arrange music for more than half a dozen instruments. Anyone who writes music for more than about half a dozen instruments without knowledge of musical theory is inevitably either writing an arrangement of a simpler piece or composing modern music.

Serving suggestion: Musical theory best served with at least 2 years experience with actual musical instrument.
John spent two and a half years at the Vienna Conservatorium of Music learning musical theory.
by Bob Hu January 5, 2004
Get the musical theory mug.