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Classical Music Theory


1Tonal Harmony by Stefan Kostka

Tonal Harmony is a standard textbook widely used in college curriculums, including Berklee College of Music. It is usually covered in a two-semester sequence, following a Music Rudiments course. Practical and digestible, the textbook provides a comprehensive treatment of music theory needed for classical music and is best studied at a formal college setting or with an instructor.

2. Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom (Free Online Text)

This online text provides a well-rounded overview of classical harmony, with an introduction to jazz music theory. It is best used as a review resource for students who have already undergone a college music curriculum.

3. Open Music Theory (Free Online Text)

Open Music Theory is an introductory survey of music theory encountered in classical, pop, and jazz music. It is best used as a review resource for students who have already undergone a college music curriculum.

Contemporary Music Theory


1. Berklee Music Theory, Book 1

This is a good resource for beginners with no music experience, geared towards students wishing to study jazz, pop, or video game music. Working through this book and completing the exercises will provide a good foundation on the the rudiments of music, whereupon the student is ready to learn 7th chords and study chord progressions.

2. HookTheory (Book I and II)

The HookTheory textbooks can be used in conjunction with Berklee Music Theory Book 1 text. There are shortcomings, such as the use of figured bass notation for pop music, which might be confusing for beginners and use of melodic notation which is not particularly useful. However, the Roman Numeral chord progressions laid out is an intuitive and easy-to-grasp approach to harmony seen in popular music styles.

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Video Game Music

1. (Lead Sheet Transcriptions)

The premier lead sheets website for video game music. An invaluable resources for the study of VGM literature.

2. NinSheetMusic (Piano Arrangements)

NinSheetMusic offers piano arrangements of video game music tracks. While the chord symbols are not given in the scores, the fuller piano arrangement can give greater insight into the score beyond the melody.

3. Kingdom Hearts Insider (MIDI Transcriptions)

The most comprehensive site for MIDI's for games from all kinds of titles.

4. Touhou MIDI Collection

A combination of fan-made transcription and original MIDI's by ZUN, this site is the most comprehensive source for studying music from The Touhou Project. 

5. Music Design (Youtube Channel)

This channel by my good friend Alec Weesner is an outstanding resource for complete breakdowns of MIDI arrangements of video game music from diverse titles and composers.



1. FocusMate (Virtual Co-working)

The best and most affordable co-working site at a subscription fee of $9.99 a month. The site allows you to work at 30-minute, 60-minute, and 90-minute intervals with someone out in the world on anything, whether it is starting your morning routine, working on to-do's, studying, or practicing piano.

2. Freedom (Distraction-Blocker)

An easy-to-ease website blocker that can help eliminate distractions during your most distraction-prone times in the day.

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