Posts Tagged 'music theory'

Frank Sikora’s Jazz Harmony: The Best-Selling Practical Approach to Jazz Now Available in English

“There is no truth in theory – only in music!”

Frank Sikora

That’s Frank Sikora‘s creed.

Frank Sikora is also in charge of the theory department and the Master’s program in Jazz Composition & Arrangement at the University of the Arts Bern and is the author of a best-selling and widely acclaimed jazz theory book, Neue Jazz-Harmonielehre, that is now available in English: Jazz Harmony: Think – Listen – Play – A Practical Approach.

While this coincidence might seem puzzling or even contradictory at first, it is exactly what lends Sikora’s approach the nuance and balance to successfully bridge the gap between theory and practice. In Jazz Harmony: Think – Listen – Play – A Practical Approach, Sikora sets out to mold musicians who can adapt to anything, regardless of how novel and unexpected it may be. To achieve this, he establishes a close relationship between theory, the ear and our instrument, forging a dialogue between theory and spontaneity that helps musicians connect with music both intuitively and analytically.

Jazz Harmony: Think – Listen – Play – A Practical Approach is divided into three sections: Think, Listen and Play. Contrary to our natural instincts to first listen, then play and finally think, Sikora turns this order around to cultivate a knowledge of theory as a way to work past what’s ingrained and instinctive and open a playground of new possibilities. The skilled musician can then begin applying this newfound knowledge to their exploration of the sounds around them and also incorporate this new toolset into their practice until it has become part of their subconscious, intuitive vocabulary.

Ultimately a practical aid rather than a textbook, Jazz Harmony: Think – Listen – Play – A Practical Approach draws from the jazz canon to demonstrate theoretical principles and gives practical lessons on both listening and playing. In addition to a wealth of examples, exercises and assignments, there are downloadable MP3 play-along tracks and additional materials and solutions available online.

For more visibility into Sikora’s landmark text, click on the cover image below to browse through sample pages containing the table of contents and the introduction, titled “Why yet another Harmony Book?” in which Sikora himself explains his approach in detail:

Learn How to Read Sheet Music: Notes for Music

Sheet music, the written form of music notes, may appear very complex to the untrained eye. While reading notes for music is like learning a whole new language, it is actually much less complicated than you may think. This article will discuss how to read music notes. Check out our article “Learn How to Read Sheet Music: Rhythms” for information on music note values, time signatures, counting rhythm and more. Continue reading ‘Learn How to Read Sheet Music: Notes for Music’

Glossary of Non-Italian Musical Terms

By Charles Moehnke

As musicians we all are familiar with Italian musical terminology. From our first glimpse of sheet music we are exposed to words like andante, crescendo, accelerando and meno mosso until they become a natural part of our lexicon.
However, many composers choose to write instructions in their native language, which can lead to Continue reading ‘Glossary of Non-Italian Musical Terms’

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