Music Theory for Computer Musicians 09/12/12
Music Theory for Computer Musicians explains music language fundamentals in a simple and accessible way.
It’s obvious how Michael Hewitt’s book Music Theory for Computer Musicians is helpful to music producers seeking to understand the language of music. In the introduction, he talks about the flip side of the democratized Web:
Now anybody can post music online, even if they are just starting out. In some ways this can be useful, because feedback obtained from listeners enables a musician to make improvements. But it also means that there is a lot of bad music out there. One of the biggest mistakes would-be producers make is believing that by carefully listening to and studying their genre, they can acquire all of the knowledge necessary to be a successful producer. This knowledge can certainly get them a long way toward that point. But sometimes it simply is not enough.
In the book, he starts with the nature of sound and progresses to notes, scales and beyond.
So how could music theory help video editors?
Often we are given only 1 or 2 royalty-free songs to use for our video projects. More often than not, these are stereo .wav files and the different parts cannot be separated. Our choices are limited to different ways of chopping up the track or adding audio effects to it.
Having a solid foundation in music theory gives us the ability to augment our music on a more fundamental level. By understanding basic things like what key the song is in and other harmonics, it’s possible to build out parts.
And if you really want to go deeper down the remixing rabbit hole, I also recommend The Complete Guide to Remixing by Erik Hawkins.
With the technology barriers long since removed, we can now focus on craft and playful discovery.