Shot in the Dark here-Anyone heard of any music theory CDs? Like, educational material? I ordered Drive-Behind-the-Wheel Spanish and had the stray thought-Wow! Wonder if I could brush up on and broaden my musci theory that way? Proll not, but what a concept! (Beats the compound stuffing out of listening to Creed all day.)
I am currently re-reading Schoenberg’s harmony book. As I go through, I read each section to get the flavor. Then I go back through with highlighter and pen. I go back through a third time and write a brief outline of the section. I then do all of the exercises (usually a set ever 4 pages or so) in all keys and variations I can think of, including, after minor has been introduced, all minor keys (OK, not all keys, usually just to F# and down to Gb). Lastly, I play them on the piano and check for mistakes (I sometimes find them better by ear then written).
In other words, about 75% of what I do with the book goes beyond just the words.
I’ve played with learning French and Italian with CDs - I was able to practice speaking and listening in the car – but I did a lot of learning with a book and on the computer.
There might be some good in using CDs – I believe using different media and different senses to cover the same material helps us learn better – it’s just with music the basic concepts of harmony are easy, it’s the application that gets tricky.
Sure, ear training. That's just the thing. It's one thing to read about how an augmented interval sounds as compared to a diminished interval. But then to hear it is great. I do agree that, to really know it, you probably have to work it out on piano (or guitar). But, so much of understanding in music is rote. It would be great to have all the concepts drilled into my head so that, when I do set down to the keyboard (or fretboard), it comes BAM! I guess this is instant gratification-which is the bane of our age. It's just that, as an attorney, I get to spend so little time with my music, it would be really cool to be able to work on it while I'm doing something else (driving, cooking, etc.)
You read Schoenberg for harmony? That must be tough going.
Schoenberg’s Harmony book is very interesting. He covers traditional harmony but in an untraditional way. He also shares many of his philosophies of music. If you are very attentive you will get everything out of it you will get in something like Piston but, in my opinion, a whole lot more. Oh, one big difference is he comes from the standpoint of actually writing music instead of analyzing. Anyway, I’ve read through a couple of other books and like this the most. As with any good theory book, you only get out of it what you put in…
With ear training, the muse-eek books aren’t the traditional interval books. He uses another approach where the goal is to learn how each of the 12 tones sounds within a key. It will take a lot of time and work listening to the exercises (which it sounds like you are looking for) but hopefully will be worth it in the end. Read his philosophy on the web site before you decide to buy – it’s very different from the traditional interval training.
Anyway, with my first post I wasn't thinking ear training, rhythm training, etc. Yes, I'm sure you can find these on CD.