Music Theory

Music theory is a vital component for any musicians’ musical pathways and career. A good foundation in music theory allows the musician to understand the structure and meaning of the musical language, which helps in composition writing. The musicians will better be able to analyse and write music in their own style. For those interested in Jazz music, music theory allows one to transcribe solos.

Music theory allows one to speak, read and write the language of music. With Eight Tones Music School music theory programme, we will prepare you for ABRSM theory exam. You will study concepts and structures within musical works.

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Why Learn Theory At Eight Tones Music?

All of our theory teachers are music school graduates and proficient in in both the Western and the Chinese music.

In order to be able to play Chinese instruments well (such as the Erhu, Guzheng, Dizi, Pipa, Zhongruan), western music theory comes into play. Music theory is universal. Chinese Music uses the Jian Pu to play music. The Jian Pu is music scores which uses numbers instead of notes. Western Music Theory aids in this aspect because the rhythm and notes used are the same, however used in a different manner. It is not uncommon for Chinese Musicians to use western stave notations scores.

The modern day Chinese pieces requires strong music theory basics, which is why Chinese instrumentalists are learning western theory in schools.

Many of our students are taking the ABRSM music theory exams so that they can get a better edge at auditioning into Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO), or enroll into tertiary music schools such as Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), School of the Arts (SOTA), and LASALLE College of the Arts etc.

These lessons cover the ABRSM or Trinity syllabus from complete beginners to diploma and beyond.

Read more about our music theory lessons by clicking here or the image above

Grades 1-5: the Rudiments

ABRSM states that all candidates who wish to take practical examinations in Grade 5 and above are required to have a Grade 5 in music theory. This means that one needs to have a solid foundation and good grasp of music theory foundations to build upon, it works hand in hand.

The ABRSM music theory syllabus begins by teaching the basics of music writing. Grade 1 to 5 covers all the rudiments relating to western common practice music. You will be able to identify scales and key signatures of all 24 major and minor keys. You will learn simple and compound time signatures, the four most commonly-used clefs, basic harmonic progressions, scale degrees, simple transposition, and most terms and signs commonly encountered in notation.  Music theory helps boost music performance. You will be reading music and memorising music. When performing, you will be required to perform from memory. If you have been to a performance where a performer stops midway and is unable to continue, he is playing by memory and therefore unable to pick up from their mistake. Harmonic memory acquired through learning music theory allows one to be a better performer through the in depth knowledge acquired through music theory lessons.

Grades 6-8: Advanced Analysis and Musicianship

Feel, intuition and instinct is necessary for good music learning, unfortunately insufficient to do well. Music theory lessons help the musician to understand the fundamentals of music, like melody, rhythm, counterpoint, harmony, form, tonal systems, scales, tuning, intervals, consonance, dissonance, durational proportions, the acoustics of pitch systems, composition, performance, orchestration, ornamentation, improvisation, electronic sound production, pitch, scale, melody and chords.

You will learn the practical and abstract aspects, technicalities behind sound and music, like rhythmic relationships, improvisations, style and feel.

One of the benefits of learning theory in advanced level music theory for the ABRSM music theory exam helps you to master pieces faster, improve sight reading. Moving grades and improving your music grades sometimes calls for improvisation. With knowledge of tonal syntax, you will be able to create logical, authentic and cohesive music.

music theory lessons

Theory Lesson Rates

GradeLesson Duration (individual)Lesson Rates
1 - 345minsS$40
4 - 545minsS$50
645minsS$60
745minsS$70
845minsS$80

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