Edly's Music Theory for
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books have been glowingly recommended by players of instruments as
diverse as piano, guitar, bass, ukelele, mandolin, hammer and
Appalachian dulcimers, trumpet, clarinet, blues harp (harmonica), tuba,
and keyboard (and more), and styles as diverse as classical, jazz,
rock, blues, folk, world, and electronica (and more).
I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you! I've spent many years
trying to get even just a little bit of understanding of musical theory
and your book, in the first few chapters, has been more understandable
and taught me more than anything I've ever read before.
going to be a High School sophomore. Your book is just what I was
looking for. It makes it easier and goes a lot deeper than our theory
class did. Your book is wonderful and should be shipped to high schools
around the country. Thank you for writing it.
mostly self taught 75 year older who was looking for something
understandable on chords etc., and about a year ago I found your book.
Wow! I just wish I had had it several decades ago. I showed my teacher
the book, and last week he bought a copy for himself. Thanks to you I
think I am on the way to becoming a self confident pianist.
~Sincerely, Frank D.
is great! It has provided a much-needed refresher to get me up to par
for Analytical Techniques class. I must say, your book is much more fun
started other music theory books and died consistently at about the
third chapter. Thank you for your readable tome!
filling out college applications [and found] I had to take a music
theory test. I went right to the bookcase and pulled out a copy of
Edly's Music Theory for Practical People. It saved me.
opinion, your theory book is groundbreaking. I tell everyone about
it... it's like a bible to me!
trying to wade through a course in jazz theory at the Conservatory, and
it was about eight times harder than law school. When I found your
book, at least some of it began to make sense, and I kept a few strands
40-year-old writer, trained in classical guitar as a kid, these days
writing songs for theater. Your books are not only accelerating my
grasp of the keyboard, they're also loosening me up, helping me feel
potential sounds and patterns through my fingers and in my ears. What
great books! I'm telling everybody about them. Also, I teach writing at
the college level. You're a terrific writer. That's rare and much
appreciated too. Really good instruction books, in any art, are such a
find. And yours are tops!--useful and clear and stimulating and
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was an incredible aid for me in preparing for my masters program in
liturgical music. I would praise most your accessible language coupled
with a logical, funny and practical approach.
I believe I'll be able to understand theory.
~Susan S., dulcimer player
my surprise when my guitar teacher showed me your book and it was all
done in my font! A lot of people use my typeface, but your book rocks
my world! Not only is it a dream to see it used so thoughtfully, but
the content unlocks a world of music theory I thought I would never
understand without dropping big bucks at Berklee. It's an honor to have
my handwriting grace your pages!
~All the best! Marydale A.
absolutely LOVED "Edly's Music Theory for Practical People"!! I played
trumpet as a child, but my theory was limited. I couldn't believe how
straight forward your explanations were. Being an engineer, building
things from the bottom up was perfect! Just a note of thanks from a guy
who learned a lot from your book.
book and recommend it to everyone I see. It's the best, most readable
and easiest to understand book on the topic I've ever seen.
recently bought your music theory book and love it. After 29 years of
playing guitar I am finally able to tie it all together. THANKYOU!!
believe how much your book is encouraging me and helping me. I never
even considered learning any music theory because people always told me
theory was very difficult to learn. HA! Not with your method! In short,
you've managed to pull a bit of heaven closer to earth in this book!
And I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU for publishing it.
~With best regards, Brenda C.
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theory book that's hard to put down (Imagine that!)
This is by far the most entertaining book on music theory I have ever
read. It is one of the most understandable and easy to read, too. I
would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone new to theory read the book
cover to cover. Experienced musicians will find it useful as a
has been a life saver. My instructor is now buying the book for many of
his students after seeing what a great book it is.
One of my
bass player friends uses your theory book as a basis for an informal
music theory learning group. They get together once a week and try to
play new stuff applying what they learn from your book!
makes music theory charming, funny, and interesting with a combination
of explanation, practical example, and humor. Believe it or not, this
book is hard to put down once you get going.
currently working my way thorough your music theory book and I love it.
It's the first book to really bring the subject alive in a way that
allowed me to stick with it.
organization, allusion logic ("twelve eggs" vs. "one dozen"), and
overall implementation look to be the Rx for some of my music theory
novice friends, and several chapters will make for handy review before
I jump back into some other books. [Later] I've given away all my
copies of the theory book and will be picking up some more. Your work
has proven a very gratifying and engaging review of essential theory
foundation and I'll look forward to the nourishment of your forthcoming
keyboard stuff. Thanks, man, for the solid work.
like 'Bones' from the old Star Trek episode where he has to put Spock's
brain back together. Some how or other he finds this big round metal
hat with lights all over it and rods shooting out here and there. Well,
this hat contains all the knowledge in the universe. Yes. And you know
what Bones says as he's got his fingers in the middle of Spock's
noggin, still wearing the funny cap?
course....It's so simple," he says.
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remember a two inch thick theory text from college--it was absolutely
onerous reading. Edly's is fun, light reading, but all the information
is still there. I recommend it to all my musical friends when the
T-word comes up. Thanks! You've made me a better musician.
I will be
attending Berklee this fall for singing. I absolutely love your book. I
love the way it is written--so easy to understand--and I must say even
though I'm only up to Chapter 17, I hear music in a totally different
way. Thanks to you I will be a bit more ready for Berklee.
chunks of your book on a flight last week. You make everything so
clear! I found myself hoping the return flight would be delayed, so I
could spend more uninterrupted time in the airport reading it. Now even
I can use terms like "diminished seventh" in casual conversation.
I used to
fear that musical knowledge, or the aptitude to acquire it, was
something you had to be born with. Now I know I can learn this stuff,
and have fun in the process. Thanks for demystifying the whole subject.
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enjoying your theory book so much that I decided to get myself a
keyboard so I could learn it better. Now that I have a keyboard, I want
a copy of Edly Paints the Ivories Blue.
refreshing chaser to the traditional theory courses I've had. I'm
really excited. You've helped me make connections I never understood
shopping for a music theory book for my girlfriend. Your book looked so
cool that I bought it for myself instead. It finally shed some light on
the dark and mysterious world of music theory.
theory book is tremendous! I'm 1/3rd through it and looking forward to
the rest. Nice to see the mandolin fretboard early in your book!
searching for a good theory book for my piano students for quite some
time, I discovered yours. It is fabulous!
I am a
self-taught tenor banjoist, and need all of the help that I can get. I
just purchased your music theory book and think that it is great.
your theory book. I've tried several others and couldn't get through
them but really enjoy the combination of your rigor, humanity, and
silliness. Thanks for creating it for us!
~A grateful adult piano student, Joan H.
approachable and laid out in a way that made sense both sequentially
and as a skipping-around reference.
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recommended this book to everyone I know. It has been my guide to
linking everything I have done over the past 17 years in music. I just
wish I would have read this a long time ago. I never thought I would
need music theory, and after reading it, I don't know how I could live
Roseman has taken on the daunting task of teaching music theory to
those who don’t read musical notation, all the while gently chiding
them to learn to read music. It is an interesting effort, filled with
exercises that use the letter names of notes, CDEFGABC, instead of the
little marks on five lines and four spaces of a musical staff, to teach
theory. (He has the same exercises in music notation in each section
for those who can read notation.) All you [non-notation-reading]
wankers out there might consider giving this book a try.
~ cbjorke, Library Thing
fantastic accompaniment to any music student's shelf, no matter the
instrument, no matter the age.
~ bookem, Library
excellent way for any music lover to learn the basics. It is
comprehensive and user friendly; a must for both musician and listener.
~Dr. Kenneth Lampl, Professor of Music Theory, the Juilliard School
and clever, Edly's succeeds in making us feel comfortable with a
generally uncomfortable subject; it's funny, quizzical, witty, and
~Jack Perricone, Songwriting Chair, Berklee College of Music
exciting to see your fun and educationally sound way of presenting the
material. You are a very gifted and natural teacher. Congratulations!
~With much admiration, Bruce Pearson
thorough and entertaining guide to jazz theory.
~Scott Reeves, Director of Jazz Studies, University of Southern Maine
book!! I teach piano. All my students HATE theory. And I have always
loved it. Your book is so funny, it makes theory fun!! And so right!!
cool theory book... it rocks! Now I don't dread lesson planning for my
music theory class.
~Lisa Palumbo, theory/appreciation instructor
taught theory for close to thirty years and I find your book refreshing
and organized in a user friendly manner that takes a lot of the
intimidation out of studying music theory.
~Blair F. Bettencourt, Music Coordinator, Westford Public Schools
I am a
hammer dulcimer player and fiddler who plays largely traditional music.
I do A LOT of teaching around the country at music festivals, workshops
and "music camps." While teaching a class, I said "there must be
something out there in semi-English that explains this stuff." And your
book does! So I wanted to thank you for writing such a good book!
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I want to
tell you how much I enjoy using your theory book with my high school
level students. The presentation is fresh. My kids got a real kick out
of, as they called them, "the little naked guys."
~Raymond J. Suriani, High School Instrumental Music Teacher
for being part of the conversion or at least expansion of yet one more
traditionally trained pianist and teacher. I specialize in beginning
students of all ages and returning adults, and my goal is that all my
adult students purchase your theory book.
all of it and I think it's wonderful! I'll be using this in my theory
classes. Also, I've showed and recommended the book to other music
instructors in the area and they too are interested in using it with
I am a
college music theory professor. I found your book a few weeks ago and
fell in love! Most of my students are adults coming back to school
after years out in the world, and I find that most textbooks are hard
for them to relate to. Yours is really perfectly pitched for them, and
most musicians who ask about theory books. They know too much to
deal with the Dick and Jane theory books, and the last thing I want to
do is alienate them by pointing them to Aldwell and Schachter, or
Piston. Your book fits perfectly. You assume (correctly) that your
readers want to continue to make music; they just want to understand
what it is they've been doing, and do it better. Your writing style is
inviting and fun and instructive without being stuffy and overly
technical. If I had had your book when I was in high school, it would
have made my musical life a lot easier. So I tell everyone who
asks me about texts to get your book as soon as possible. Thank you
again for this gift to musicians and teachers everywhere.
incredibly impressed by your layout, graphics, great sense of humor,
and content. Everybody should have a copy of this book.
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guitar to approx 60 students in Anchorage Alaska, and let me just say
you are the man. I put you up there with the top 10 people I would love
to meet... next to Dave Matthews... sorry.... Anyway your book, being
an awesome work of genious, is the only one out of countless others
that is falling apart... and that's a great thing. I often refer to it
as the theory Bible. I highly recomend your book as "the only theory
book you'll need." Thanx from the trenches.
your book with my piano students from levels 1-12. They don't complain
about the price because of the various levels that it takes them
through. My business partner and I even drill each other from it when
we have a break!
found your book to be a very valuable resource in my private studio. I
have a student who is brilliant, but extremely hard to please when it
comes to theory. I presented it to him last week and he immediately
began poring through it, laughing at the asides and great
illustrations. He is literally "gorging" on this book, highlighting his
favorites parts at home and then bringing them to lessons to share. You
have helped immensely in reaching this student with your outstanding
book. I'm sure I will use it many times over!
I am a
band director in Kentucky. I really loved reading your book. I plan on
using it with members of my jazz band.
been using your book to teach my high school jazz bands. Excellent book!
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loved this book for a long time. I teach music, and make it "required
reading" for many of my students.
such a great resource… still the only music theory text that is truly a
good read. And practical, for my students who are often adults learning
dulcimers, autoharp, keyboard, singing, etc., haven't had any formal
music training in the past, and just need to understand how melody and
harmony work and what all those black marks mean.
music theory book I've found in over 30 years is "Edly's Music Theory
For Practical People." I love it because:
A. You don't have to read music for it to be useful, though he makes a
very good case for learning the language of music.
B. He doesn't assume that you play piano.
C. He doesn't limit music to either western classical nor jazz. He
includes examples from all kinds of music.
D. He includes bass clef and ideas for people who play bass instruments.
E. He uses the right graphics to explain and help you see the ideas.
The first time I looked at the book I saw things exactly like I used to
draw out by hand for students in the '80s, except these are legible!
F. He puts things into easy language without dumbing it down.
G. He has it laid out in a logical manner that helps you learn the
utility of things because he builds on it right away, so it makes sense.
~JTE on talkbass.com forum
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from the Press and other Luminaries
light-hearted yet no-nonsense approach to a subject that often plagues
the music hobbyist and professional alike. The book proves that music
theory doesn't have to be a hair-pulling, nail-biting experience; it
can actually be fun!
~Sheet Music Magazine
unusual and fun, even an ex-grad student can get excited.... could make
all the difference to the student whose eyes glaze over at the mention
~Ernie Rideout, Keyboard Magazine
a book about theory that isn't cold and boring. Hooray! Now I don't
have to look for a book to teach my kids!
~Michael Hedges, Windham Hill Recording Artist
useful and entertaining book; covers the basics in a language so clear
and simple that even guitar players will understand!
~Alex de Grassi, Windham Hill Recording artist, guitarist
whimsical look at theory somewhere between Dr. Suess and PC for Dummies.
~Adam Remson, Music & Sound Retailer Magazine
'Dummies' would have been had the editors been a little hipper.
~the Walrus, Egg Magazine
If I had
something like Edly's when I was growing up it would certainly have
become a bible."
~Paul Woodfin, Egg Magazine
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is the music theory book that I’ve been looking for! The author has
found just the right balance—not too basic, but not to academic or
complex either. He also adds a bit of fun and humor to the presentation
so that the material is not too dry. I’ve never recommended, or even
reviewed, a book on music theory in the thirteen years that we’ve been
publishing this magazine because I never found one that I felt like I
could recommend highly. However, I do highly recommend this book. It is
the best general presentation of music theory that I’ve seen to date
and a great read no matter what your current level of music theory
~Dan Miller, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine
So bouncy and colloquial it’s hard not to smile while reading it.
[With] a double helping of adorably geeky professor humor… it takes the
teeth out of a topic that for many is too intimidating to approach.
Useful to classical and modern musicians alike, the book is intensely
practical, its tone breezy, and the author keeps you on your toes… you
don't just read this book, you interact with it.
~Eclectic Homeschool Online
… a must-read for everyone who wishes to be an informed musician.
~Dulcimer Players News
… an informal and often funny approach to… what is often a dense
~Dirty Linen magazine
Edly's love of music and teaching shone through on every page. Witty
text and amusing pictures clearly convey complex ideas and keep the
student involved and wanting to learn more… a wealth of knowledge in a
small space, and always with encouragement and a grin.
~The Old SchoolhouseŽ Magazine
Conversational and colloquial… we love Edly.
… a clear, inviting style that really draws you in… makes learning not
only doable, but exciting and fun.
… not run-of-the-mill: an engaging and detailed exploration… a very
chatty style with lots of humour… blends effortlessly with simple
eloquent explanations punctuated by cartoon characters and diagrams for
the more pictorially minded – helpful to those not yet comfortable with
music notation. I found myself totally absorbed… a must-have for
[readers] of any age or level.
~Music Teacher Magazine (UK)
has written a book so bouncy and colloquial it’s hard not to smile
while reading it. Rife with a double helping of adorably geeky 'Can you
believe this guy?' professor humor, Edly’s is about as engaging as can
be. Time and time again, he rminds us of the fascinating relevance and
cosmic importance of understanding the innards of music theory. In so
doing, he takes the teeth out of a topic that for many people is too
intimidating to approach.
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teaches the building blocks of musical literacy in plain language, a
step at a time. Veterans of college music theory courses will find
Roseman's approach disarmingly frank, refreshingly irreverent.
Underlying the banter is plenty of solid information and down-to-earth
advice. Helpful rules of thumb abound. A highly useful contribution to
~Nick Humez, Portland Sunday Telegram
proves that music theory needn't be dry. The informative tome is fun,
peppered with witty asides and lightened by playful drawings.
~Dana Pearson, York County Coast Star
breezy, humorous approach and whimsical cartoons add to the book's
~the Instrumentalist magazine
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simple... like Lego, only noisier. Edly's is simple and clear, yet goes
deep into many of theory's quirky complexities. The best book on
popular theory I've seen.
~Gunnar Madsen, cofounder/songwriter: The Bobs
is the bomb. You've written a really fun and effective source for
teaching music to any type of folk. It's unusual to find a book so
insightful, well-organized, deep, and user-friendly all in one package,
dude! The way you deal with fundamentals is penetrating -- almost like
a meditation. The enthusiasm is infectious. I laughed when you told me
to put it in the loo, but I can see why you suggested it -- it's fun to
~Josh Roseman, trombonist, recording artist and Edly's cousin, New
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practical approach to music theory is refreshingly easy and fun to use.
The author's scholarly yet light-hearted narrative goes directly to the
meat of the subject with no-nonsense explanations, clear examples,
historical references, and even funny cartoons. This terrific book
removes the stuffiness and mystery from the study of music theory and
serves as an inspiration for any music student, performer,
believe how fast your book is flying out of here! Nine copies in a
month and a half; as good as any theory book moves in this store!
~Walter Peters, Theodore Presser Music, Bryn Mawr, PA
sell this book all day!
~Christine, Berklee College of Music Book Store, Boston, MA
music theory book this planet has ever seen. Thorough, interesting, and
best of all, fun! New music student or professional that needs to
connect the dots, this book is for you. Brilliantly produced and
~Kevin Crossett, Play It Again Sam's, Montpelier, VT
to be in every store... a hell of a book.
~Al Corey, Al Corey Music, Waterville, ME
arrived Saturday; I barely had a chance to look at it before it sold
yesterday. It's a very exciting book. I think we'll be doing a lot of
~Justin Root, Virtuoso Classical Music Service, Bellevue, WA
is GREAT! I have a B.A. in Music Ed., and I am impressed with your
thoughtfully laid out, knowledgeable approach to theory.
~Ed Intagliata, Cassell's Music, San Fernando, CA
one of your wonderful theory books and we want more.
~Michael Knapp, Byron Hoyt Music, San Francisco, CA
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On-line Forums, User Groups, etc., whose members recommend Edly's
some URLs of forums, etc., whose members have enthusiastically
recommended Edly's books. Finding the actual specific reference may
take some digging, and/or searching for key words.
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