Introduction to Music Theory

For starters, musicians need to interpretate a bit more than just notes. The picture shows how much more can be written besides the small dots that are called notes on a sheet music. This is a very nice example of it, and it is a bit from an awesome symphony.
The information given on the page tells us when to play, when not to play, how fast, how loud, how short, with what attitude each not should be played, besides that ideas like whereabouts in the bow must the note be played, in which direction of the bow should the note be played and many other details like these are also indicated.
Still, all this information leaves space for the musician to make it her or his “own”. That is the magic of the classical music.
Music theory is like a tale that helps us to understand how this magic works. It starts from what are the names of the notes, makes you rediscover the time that surrounds every one of us, teaches you some tricks to control time as much as a mortal being can, reaches to why that melody awakens this emotion, passes that, finds out how can you produce that feeling, and goes even beyond.

Let the tale of magic begin.

How To Read Musical Notes

cordasonora e-school of violin
Do to Do

Memorize the order, backwards as well.

Re to Re

As you see, the starting note changed, but the order stayed the same.

Open Strings on Violin
First position up to 3rd finger notes on violin

Start by reading each note name and associating the name to the note above it in your mind. The most effective way is to grab a pen and a music sheet, and write down what you see.

Step by step you will get used to what you see and the name will come naturally in your mind.

At every first lesson with a fresh starter, I start the exercise below with my students to introduce the note names and give the rest as homework. There is no wrong way of doing it. You can decide to write down the name of one specific note throughout the whole page or you can go note by note. At the end of the page, you will gain enough familiarity with each note and how to name it.

You can ask me to send this file as .pdf for you to print, its for free, just send me a message!

Basic Aspects of Time in Music

Information below is taken from Wikipedia
(Go there to learn more, and donate to them for the hardwork)

Time signature/Meter signature: A notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are to be contained in each bar and which note value is equivalent to one beat. In a music score, the time signature appears at the beginning, as a time symbol or stacked numerals. The lower numeral indicates the note value that represents one beat (the beat unit). The upper numeral indicates how many such beats constitute a bar. “Common time” examples always have the lower numeral 4, meaning the bar is made out of quarter notes. Upper numeral shows how many quarter notes makes a bar. 4/4=4 quarter notes. 3/4=3 quarter notes.

Beat: In music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse  (regularly repeating event), of the mensural level. The beat is often defined as the rhythm listeners would tap their toes to when listening to a piece of music, or the numbers a musician counts while performing. As beats are combined to form measures, each beat can be divided into parts.

Tempo“time” in Italian; is the speed or pace of a given piece of music. Tempo may be separated from articulation and metre, or these aspects may be indicated along with tempo, all contributing to the overall texture. While the ability to hold a steady tempo is a vital skill for a musical performer, tempo is changeable. Depending on the genre of a piece of music and the performers’ interpretation, a piece may be played with slight tempo rubato or drastic accelerando. In ensembles, the tempo is often indicated by a conductor or by one of the instrumentalists, for instance the drummer.

Bar/Measure: In musical notation, a bar (or measure) is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of beats in which each beat is represented by a particular note value and the boundaries of the bar are indicated by vertical bar lines. Dividing music into bars provides regular reference points to pinpoint locations within a musical composition. It also makes written music easier to follow, since each bar of staff symbols can be read and played as a batch. The word bar is more common in British English, and the word measure is more common in American English, although musicians generally understand both usages.

Note Values

In 4/4 “common time” a quarter note equals to a beat.
The image is presenting in each line the amount of notes
you can fit in one bar.

Do You Want More?

Soon there will be more on music theory! Write to me via esin.yardimli@gmail.com if you want to get the update asap!

Learn More

E-School of Violin Homepage

Home to exciting learning materials and song transcriptions for all levels of players.

Ask Esin

Contact for practice material, receiving Skype lessons, send video to receive feedback
esin.yardimli@gmail.com