1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Music Theory 101

Beginner's Music Theory


From the different types of notes to how to form chords, these are a series of articles on music theory a beginning music student should know.

Clefs, Notes and the Staff

The treble clef
Public Domain Image
Want to learn what are the common symbols used in music? Here's a tutorial that will walk you through the kinds of clefs, types of notes and the staff.

Dotted Notes, Rests, Time Signatures and More

Dotted Half Note
Public Domain Image
Learn what are dotted notes, rests, the position of Middle C, time signatures and more in this tutorial that will guide you through different music notations.

Natural Notes and Natural Sign

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
As a beginner you may be realizing that music has its own language and in order to be able to play correctly there are many musical symbols and concepts you must first learn. What are natural notes and what does the natural sign do? Learn the answer here.


Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons
Enumerates the different types of rest symbols and their meaning.

Double Accidentals

Double flat
Image Courtesy of Denelson83 from Wikimedia Commons
Sharps and flats are also called accidentals. But what are double accidentals? The quick answer here.

Repeat Signs

de capo
Image Courtesy of Denelson83 from Wikimedia Commons
In music there are certain repeat signs used to indicate which measure or measures should be repeated. Here's more information on repeat signs.

Ties and Triplets

Image Courtesy of Denelson83 from Wikimedia Commons
There are music symbols used to signify if a note should be held and/or when three notes should be played in equal duration. In this case the tie and triplet sign is used. What are ties and triplets? The answer here.

Expression Marks

Image Courtesy of Denelson83 from Wikimedia Commons

Dynamic signs and articulation marks are abbreviations or symbols used to signify the volume of a piece of music. It also indicates whether there is a change in volume as well as the musical phrasing. Here are the commonly used expression marks.

Beats and Meter

Beats are used as a way of counting time when playing a piece of music. Beats gives music its' regular rhythmic pattern.


The Italian word at the beginning of a music piece indicates how slow or fast the piece should be played.
Related Video
Time Signature and Rhythm Basics

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.