Music theory is the way of representing, discretizing, teaching and hence of ultimately effectively building music.

By understanding music theory and how a composition works, you can:

  • Learn to see limitations as freedom.
  • Strive to create something unique, beautiful and most importantly worth creating. This strife will define greatness.

Notes on a piano in comparision with those on sheet

Musical Notes

  • Notes: C, D, C# blah blah blah
  • Same notes of different pitches belong to the same “pitch class”.
  • Octave: ABCDEF

  • Octave equivalence states that all notes from the same pitch class appeal similarly to the human ear, albeit at a different frequency or pitch.
  • Tones and semitones are defined by number of steps taken after playing one note and then another. \(B\to C\) is a semitone and so is \(E\to F\). Rest all adjacent letter transitions are tones.

  • The above image denotes the C-major scale, the tonic of which is the C note.


  • Diatonic scale: a scale composed of 5 tones and 2 semitones.
  • When we change the order in which the five tones and two semitones occur, the scale sounds different. We could say it has a different quality**.
  • The seven classic diatonic modes are those defined by the 7 letter notes.

A major

D major

Guitar and Piano (side by side)

Scales at last


A triad is a three-note chord. The following are the C-major and A-minor traids respectively.

Now, we have

  • Major third + Perfect fifth = Major chord

  • Minor third + Perfect fifth = Minor chord

  • Major third + Diminished fifth = Diminished chord

Primary Chords

C, F and G are the primary chords (here these are majors since there is no small lettered m or dim mentioned to denote otherwise). They are called the C major tonic triad, the subdominant triad and the dominant triad respectively.

Ukulele chords

Rudiments of Duration Notation

The above graphics show the symbols used to depict duration of both notes (sounds) and of rests (silence). They kinda look pretty beautiful as an amalgation.

Key signatures