Learning music theory is essential for musicians and music enthusiasts alike. It helps us understand the structure, composition, and elements of music. While many may think that studying music theory is a daunting task, it can actually be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, especially with the availability of online courses and certifications. In this article, we will highlight the 10 best music theory courses and certifications available online. These courses are carefully selected based on their content, quality, and user reviews. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced musician, these courses will help you enhance your understanding and appreciation of music.
1. Introduction to Music Theory by Berklee College of Music (Coursera)
This online music theory course, offered by Berklee College of Music through Coursera, provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental concepts of music theory. The course is perfect for beginners and covers topics such as notation, scales, intervals, chords, harmony, and rhythm. It includes video lectures, quizzes, and assignments to test your knowledge and understanding of the concepts. Upon completion, you receive a certificate from Berklee College of Music, adding value to your musical resume.
2. Music Theory Fundamentals by University of Edinburgh (FutureLearn)
For those looking for a solid foundation in music theory, the Music Theory Fundamentals course offered by the University of Edinburgh on FutureLearn is an excellent choice. This course explores the basics of music notation, rhythm, scales, melodies, and harmony. It also delves into analyzing and understanding musical pieces. The course is self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed. By completing the course, you receive a certificate of achievement from the University of Edinburgh.
3. How to Make a Song by Coursera
If you aspire to create your own music, this course is designed for you. “How to Make a Song” is offered by Coursera and led by renowned music producers and songwriters. The course guides you through the process of songwriting, including melody, harmony, rhythm, and lyrics. It also covers practical techniques for recording and producing your music. With real-world examples and assignments, you will develop and refine your songwriting skills. Completing the course earns you a certificate of achievement.
4. Professional Harmony and Composition by California Institute of the Arts (Coursera)
For those seeking a deeper understanding of harmony and composition, this course by the California Institute of the Arts is an ideal choice. It explores tonal harmony, counterpoint, and compositional techniques in a comprehensive manner. Through lectures, assignments, and quizzes, you will learn to analyze, create, and critique musical compositions. The course is self-paced and offers a verified certificate upon completion.
5. Music Theory for Electronic Musicians by Udemy
Electronic music has a unique language and set of concepts. “Music Theory for Electronic Musicians” on Udemy is a course specifically tailored for electronic music producers. It covers essential music theory topics, such as scales, chords, progressions, and melodies, within the context of electronic music production. The course includes practical exercises and examples using popular music production software. By completing this course, you gain a solid foundation in music theory for electronic music creation.
6. Music Production and Composition Specialization by Berklee College of Music (Coursera)
This specialization offered by Berklee College of Music on Coursera is a comprehensive program that covers various aspects of music production and composition. It consists of multiple courses, including Music Theory Fundamentals, Songwriting, and Music Production. Throughout the specialization, you will learn essential music theory concepts and apply them to create your own music. By completing the specialization, you receive a certificate from Berklee College of Music, showcasing your expertise in music production and composition.
7. Music Production Masterclass by Point Blank Music School (Skillshare)
Point Blank Music School’s “Music Production Masterclass” on Skillshare is a highly regarded course for aspiring music producers. The course explores music theory from a production perspective, helping you understand how to create effective melodies, harmonies, and rhythms within various genres. It also covers mixing and mastering techniques to refine your music productions. By the end of the course, you will have developed a strong foundation in music theory and production skills.
8. Jazz Improvisation by Berklee College of Music (edX)
For jazz enthusiasts or aspiring jazz musicians, the “Jazz Improvisation” course offered by Berklee College of Music on edX is an invaluable resource. This course explores jazz improvisation techniques, including scales, chord progressions, and melodic patterns. Through video lectures, demonstrations, and practice exercises, you will develop the skills necessary to improvise over jazz standards. Upon completion, you receive a verified certificate from Berklee College of Music.
9. Advanced Jazz Theory by Open Studio (Open Studio Online Jazz Lessons)
Aspiring jazz musicians looking to deepen their understanding of jazz theory should consider the “Advanced Jazz Theory” course by Open Studio. This course provides an in-depth exploration of advanced jazz harmony, reharmonization, chord substitutions, and chord-scale relationships. It includes video lessons, exercises, and downloadable study materials. By completing this course, you enhance your knowledge of jazz theory and expand your improvisational abilities.
10. Music Theory and Songwriting for Beatmakers by Pyramind (Pyramind Online)
Pyramind’s “Music Theory and Songwriting for Beatmakers” is a unique course tailored for beatmakers and producers in hip-hop, R&B, and electronic music genres. It covers music theory essentials, such as scales, chords, progressions, and melody writing, specifically for beatmaking and song production. The course includes practical examples, beat deconstructions, and assignments to help you apply the concepts in your own music. Upon completion, you receive a certificate of completion from Pyramind.
Learning music theory is crucial for anyone passionate about music. With the availability of high-quality online courses and certifications, you can now embark on a journey of musical exploration and improvement from the comfort of your home. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced musician, there is a course that suits your needs and goals. From foundational courses to specialized topics, these 10 best music theory courses and certifications mentioned in this article offer a wealth of knowledge and practical skills. So, don’t let the barriers of time and location hold you back; enroll in one of these courses and discover the joy of understanding and creating music.