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

735 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


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This course was very helpful as i earned a basic knowledge of music theory...........and also it is the best for the beginners who are keen in learning music.


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This course was a great way to get into music theory. It does help if you have some background knowledge first but a little more study and you'll be just fine anyway.

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201 - 225 of 270 Reviews for Getting Started With Music Theory

By Barsha B

Jan 29, 2021

First of all, Kudos to Professor Taggart for explaining everything to the best of his ability. However, I have to say that stating this course to be of beginner level is not apt at all. One must have had some exposure to music theory and sheet notation to get along well with the course. I know Indian Classical and wanted to learn Western Music to draw similarities. It is why I took this course. Although I did learn quite a bit, I am more confused than learned. But I do feel that it is a great course for someone who had learnt music at some point of their life and wants to refresh their knowledge. But I wouldn't recommend it to an absolute beginner.

By Bill A

Jun 15, 2020

Overall, a very good course. One technical issue, one programmatic - technically, several of the inline questions (e.g., Metric Notation in Practice, the question would appear asking to identify time signatures with the answers, yet the pop-up covered/blocked the notation, making it difficult to answer correctly); programmatically - the feedback on the quizzes was lacking, the incorrect answers were only marked incorrect, without feedback. Even after multiple attempts and continuing to get the same question incorrect, actual feedback would be beneficial, as in a college course, because something is clearly being missed.

By See X H

Dec 9, 2021

I found this course really useful for me, it was quite concise and there were not a lot of unnecessary or redundant information like some courses tend to do. I took theory tests before but have forgotten all of them so this was good to refine my memory. Though, I'm not sure how this would be for beginners. If I wasn't already a pianist being able to read music I think I would not have understood anything. I think there should have been more explanations on this, especially for people unfamiliar with using the piano as a reference.

By Christine P

Dec 8, 2020

Loved the course. Loved the opportunity, during this pandemic, to apply myself to something I had never learned even after 30+ years in the music business. I need more, more of everything here! It was fast paced, and I missed a deadline, because of the crazy election and losing 2 close friends (musicians) that we were unable to grieve. I happen to be one of the local go-to's when people need consoling, so I lost time there. But, overall .. GREAT OPPORTUNITY! THANK YOU, Cousin Brucie (affectionately)!


By Gustavo S

Jun 15, 2020

Parte da transcrição não parece correta e a maneira como os exercícios estão ativando nas lições está bagunçada, fazendo com que precisemos voltar a lição para conferir alguma imagem a que o exercício se refere. As imagens talvez pudessem ser mais didáticas de maneira que pudessemos acompanhar melhor o raciocínio do professor nas lições, já que alguns alunos podem não conseguir atingir a capacidade pretendida por ele logo ao longo do curso e então não ter em certos dados fluidos na mente sempre.

By Christopher G

Apr 24, 2020

Really good introduction to music theory. First week is difficult for those that are semi tone deaf (like me). Really doesn't explain how to hear for certain patterns in music. Rest of the course is really informative. As someone who has played piano their whole life, the topics covered were easy to follow and easy to apply to my own playing. Highly Recommend!

By Scott B

Mar 19, 2021

Instructor explains concepts well. On thing that could be improved is maybe having more readings or something else to practice the concepts. The in-video questions are quite helpful to learn but I found some concepts I still needed more practice. Overall I enjoyed this course and I would recommend it to any musicians looking to up their theory knowledge.

By Jimmy P

Nov 21, 2019

Professor Taggart is very knowledgeable on the topic. I learned a great deal from these lectures. The lectures are fast-paced and require some self-motivation to memorize key music theory facts and perseverance to work through the problems. The effort is well worth it to get a grasp of the music theory.

By Tan T

Apr 28, 2020

I've learnt basic music theory using the British style so there are quite a number of questions I did not understand as they used American terms instead, which messed my initial knowledge up. Nevertheless, it was a good refresher course for anyone who wants to continue the music path.

By Yearim A

May 11, 2020

There were some parts in the lecture that were so hard to understand because it was going to fast. There were questions that I didn't know how to do because it was too vague and I couldn't recall that it was taught in the videos. But, overall, I'm very grateful.

By Andreas K G K

May 19, 2020

The videos really made me wanna learn more. In general, the course helped me to understand a lot of things much better. Just sometimes explanations were pretty fast and the following questions then were really hard to solve. But great course in general!

By Melissa Z

Jan 3, 2020

I learned more through this course then trying to take Theory years ago on campus. Only issue I had was following some of what was being explained. I had to do online research for formulas to complete the tests well. Overall it was really helpful.

By Patrick H

Nov 2, 2021

A good, thorough explanation of the mathematics behind the music and the effect it has on what we hear. For me it was a bigger challenge than I anticipated and I had to take several quizzes more than once to pass. I'm glad I took this course.

By Angelo J M

Jun 7, 2020

Thank you! This is a commendable course! Learned so much stuff about music theory, although I have been playing piano for quite some time, the terminologies is really new to me. God will bless you a lot on teaching this stuff online.

By Lang B

Feb 1, 2018

Excellent presentation of theory, with in-video practice exercises. There is a glitch during some of the pauses for solving exercises during the video: the graphic from the video that the exercise is based on is no longer visible.

By Akshaya A

Oct 27, 2020

A good intro course and it covers a lot of fundamental concepts and can be overwhelming for someone new to music. It was fast and hard to follow sometimes. More detailed explanation for few hard topics would have been helpful.

By Gene H

Feb 1, 2019

Very good course, though I thought there could have been more practice exercises to re enforce the lesson taught. Had an issue with the last quiz, seemed like two questions were not being graded. Overall enjoyed the course.

By Pitcha R

May 1, 2020

The lessons and instructor are great. But should have lecture notes after videos because it's difficult. Each quiz have too many questions. Maybe it's better to divide them into more quizes, each quiz with less question.

By Felipe H

May 22, 2017

Excellent information but I think that this course needs more visual examples, when the instructor is talking, the presentation does not move and He give examples but they don´t follow graphically.

By Jonathan G

Jan 14, 2018

This course had everything I needed. I learned a lot although some parts were hard to follow. I am better at playing things by ear. I know when to be in key and when things are out of tune.

By Megumi A

Jun 6, 2017

I had some knowledge of basic music theory, but it really helps me to understand it deeper from different aspect. Please fix the week 4 question error. I flagged.

By Angelika

Jul 15, 2017

I'm very pleased with this course, although you have to keep in mind that it's packed with lots of information, which can be a lot for a beginner.

By Marco A A Z

May 8, 2020

Good course with really good and clear explanations but you really need to learn fast the concepts to continue with each module.

By Tai C

May 13, 2020

One of the most difficult but very well done courses out there for anyone with 0 knowledge.