Music Theory

These pages explain the basics of music theory. Click on the chapters below to find more about these topics.

What is Music?

The concepts of Pitch, Harmonics, Tones and Semitones


Rules for major scales, how to work out what notes are in a scale, naming of sharps and flats within a key


Major, minor, and I, IV V in any key

Putting it all together

Applying the theory to a bluegrass classic – ‘Blue Ridge Cabin Home’. Working out which chords go where, and why.


Classical notation and Nashville Numbering

The Seven Chord

Major 7th, Dominant 7th, Minor and Diminished 7ths, and a little bit about Tri-Tone substitution

Circle of 5th

Unlocking the mystery of the Circle of 5ths – the musician’s ready reckoner