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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Getting Started With Music Theory by Michigan State University

708 ratings

About the Course

This course is a brief introduction to the elements of music theory for those with little or no music theory experience. We will explore pitch, rhythm, meter, notation, scales, keys, key signatures, meter signatures, triads, seventh chords, and basic harmony. If you listen to music or play music by ear, and you want to know more about how music is organized and notated, this course is for you. By the end of the course, you should know all major and minor keys, how to read and write in treble and bass clef using standard meters and rhythmic values, and how to notate and harmonize a simple melody. This course can serve as a stand-alone basic music theory course, or it can be a springboard to more advanced theory and composition courses. Your instructor is Bruce Taggart, Associate Professor of Music Theory at Michigan State University, in the College of Music, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate music theory since 1996....

Top reviews


Aug 20, 2020

Course was quite tough , eventually I had given up on this course, but consistency made me learn and I went through rigorous learning in finding the chords and middle C notes. Yes I made it in the end


Jul 22, 2020

Fantastic lectures and very easy-to-understand, hard to master lessons. This course will leave you with a much deeper understanding of music if you are a beginner to music theory like I am.

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226 - 250 of 259 Reviews for Getting Started With Music Theory

By Delphine C

Aug 17, 2020

Really enjoyable

By Alageswaran J

Jun 30, 2020

Very Advanced.

By Ivan W H

Jun 1, 2020

good intro

By Chaitra

Aug 3, 2020

Overall, a good introduction to music theory. I enjoyed the course, and am excited to apply it in practice. Cons: a few parts felt not so beginner-friendly (where we're expected to know certain things by ear). I also think the part about meter & time signatures was a bit rushed. For that section, it was difficult to do the assignments based on the limited things taught in the video. I think it would be clearer to beginners if more examples were worked through, and the quiz did not ask things outside of what was taught it in class.

By Angeliki T

Apr 19, 2021

Overall, it was a really great course, where I gained much deep knowledge on music and how it works. However, I don't think this course suits for someone who has NO experience on music as it doesn't explain theory thoroughly in order for someone completely new to understand it. If I didn't have some basic knowledge I wouldn't have made it through.

By Rhody A

Apr 27, 2020

There's a lot of assumption that the learner just simply "knows" what the lecturer is talking about. If I hadn't had my spouse to bounce these ides off of, I don't know for sure if I would've comprehended everything. That being said, I still learned a lot, but that's because I'm very dedicated and driven to learn this stuff!

By Thomas L S

Sep 12, 2020

I learned a lot, but the course could be better. I would have liked to have a text or written material that I could have referenced or followed along in. As it was, I used two computers. In many modules, the answer box would appear and cover the question, so I would skip the question.

By Deleted A

Jul 25, 2020

Not sure I would call this a beginner-friendly course. I went in with zero knowledge and unable to read sheet music and struggled all throughout the course. Definitely learn how to read Treble and Bass clef staves before you take this. Being good at math will also help.

By Yikun C

Aug 16, 2020

Sometimes the course feels too theoretical. Not recommend if you have zero music education background/experience in playing an instrument.

By MayTweTarMyintAung

Sep 21, 2020

I wish the explanations would be more simple and more understandable. Anyhow, now I know a lot about basic music theory.

By Rachel T

May 8, 2020

Definitely more advanced than a beginner course.

By killeraj t

Jul 25, 2020

Confusing but informative

By Rickard S J

Dec 29, 2019

so far

By Hansel B

Nov 17, 2022

I'm a total beginner when it comes to music theory and reading. I expected to get started using this class, the first two weeks were alright, but then 3 and 4 come and I am now completely lost. The topics are explained way too fast for a beginner, and I do not know why I'm learning all these things. The number of musical examples decrease with time, so I do not hear most of the things I see on screen. I cannot read music yet, and 3 and 4 weeks are basically implying that you can already read the notes pretty fast. In further readings, all you get is "check Wikipedia or". Since I could not understand many things, I'll have to use these sources anyway, rendering my time doing this class wasted. I could also not answer the in-class quizzes as they popped on the screen after week 2 because, most of the time, the answer panel was covering the staff that you had to answer a question about. I don't know if this class is coupled with another at their university, but for a random student who just wants to learn things for fun or develop their musical skills, I do not recommend.

By Caroline B

May 4, 2020

Flies through the beginner-level basics and too-quickly goes into complicated notation. Quizzes interrupt the lectures at sometimes illogical points, and the tests have too high of a passing grade with very tough questions for the length and quality of explanation of the lesson content.

Teacher is very knowledgeable and the pace and examples are good... if you can follow what is going on without much of a base to build on. Lessons are broken out into short videos with one topic at a time which makes the duration not overwhelming even if the content can be.

By Tamora K

Oct 13, 2018

The instructor made a number of assumptions that were not outlined in the description of the course. It was assumed that the students would be auditory learners. It was assumed that the students would be uninterested in or afraid of the mathematical side of music theory.

I expected a more mathematical approach to the topic of music theory and I kept waiting for explanations that were never presented. There were some links provided to, and that site was a better resource than the class lectures.

By Paul D F

Feb 28, 2021

A lot of decent material, but there's not enough explanation for earlier concepts, and a lot of the quizzes in the video are very poorly formatted, making it impossible to answer correctly. There's also very little activity on the forums, so when you get stuck, you're completely on your own. Nice to audit, but not worth the cost.

By Nashra A

May 11, 2020

I had to read more and see more tutorials to solve the quizzes. The videos provided weren't enough, especially for the last week

By Frances O

Oct 9, 2021

The course is not for beginners. It seems to way advanced for beginners.

By Noah D

Apr 16, 2021

Incomplete and incorrect explanations of some basic concepts.

By Jessica M

Apr 19, 2020

Does not feel like it is for Beginners

By Diana B

Jun 3, 2021

I hope someone was able to get some understanding of chords in a mere 15 minutes, I would not recommend this course, but I'm sure it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Good Luck to all who risk taking this course.

By Peter B

Jul 16, 2020

This course brushes very quick over most topics. It doesn't go fully into depth, and the teaching is very hard to follow if you don't already know something about the taught topics.

By Carlos I B O

Aug 23, 2020

El profesor es pésimo!! sera un. gran músico pero muy mal profesor ! muy dicidil entenderle , se le recomienda. ver las. clases de Theodorus de Berkeley

By Maico C

Oct 29, 2019

Payment requirement at the end of the quiz? I'll pay later, but I want to know the course. All the courses I'm doing let me pay in the end.