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Links to Websites and Papers related to pop music theory. If you'd like yours, or someone else's, "Site" or "Study" listed in this page, please ask in the Comments!
Facebook group with over 1,000 members. Read the Feed!
Interactive midi and chord-numeral song-mapping. Very cool way to visualize tonality in real time! Plus they also have a video blog you should be watching by Ryan Miyakawa.
For true-blue music theory scholars who "construe this discipline (music theory) broadly as embracing all approaches". They construe, how about you?
"A new kind of music school for today’s musician." A diverse group of internet music educators with an even more diverse list of topics!
Good songwriting and general music resource site. Blogs, forums, more content than most songwriting sites I've seen.
Stopmotion black marker music theory.
Very prolific and polished songwriting blog! Offers subscription level content. Short on traditional Music Theory.
Blog with staff music examples, what it sounds like.
A podcast about the making and meaning of popular music hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding.
All thing music by the guy who fathered that wunderkid who with a perfect ear.
Video Game Music Theory!
More Game Music Theory!
Pop Music Masterclasses from the piano!
Music Theory Blog focusing on Pop Music examples. Strong contender for tonaltrends.com's favorite favorite.
Alex Ross music blog. He's from the New Yorker.
Stumbleupon's Music Theory Interest Page. Happy procrastinating.
Basically Billboard Charts with Music Theory Stats next to the songs listed: Key, Chord Progressions, Tempo, Genre, and Meter. Rob Risley is a saint for doing this.
Free Music Notation Software! Get Composin'!
Plug in any youtube or spotify link, and this little site will generate EVERY CHORD TRIAD used in the audio from the link!!! As of yet, it only recognizes major and minor triads, and no adds, 7s, suses, etc. Still, I’m keeping my eye on this link!
Need some help analyzing a tough tune? You can get a dandy of an app that will slow down the music up to 30% and shift the pitch, up or down, one full octave! Theres a free version and a pay-for more features version.
Music Theory, and bass guitar.
It's dot 'net', not dot 'com'. "Musictheory.com" is the devil's seed sent to lead us astray (seriously you guys don't type it into your browser, BeatleJuice shows up). Oh, also - don't forget to check out musictheory.NET's Tenuto App, and also their Roman Numeral Analysis generator: just plug in the notes and key! For some reason, doesn't recognize bVII... Oh well, still cool!
A very-lot of no-frills links to theory concepts you should know if you're from the northern part of South Dakota. Also check out his Music Theory Links!
Free Theory Lessons in digi-chalkboard format, straight to ya from The Royal College of Music. Very High Tech!
Yuotube channel with lots of real time roman numeral analysis, and other cool stuff.
Realtime youtube analysis, classical.
Produces "Music Minute" videos, blogs about his favorite music theory concepts.
Podcast where musicians tell you all you need to know about how and why their songs were made. Pretty sure the guy from episode 9 is a convicted felon or something, cause they did that thing where you distort the voice real low.
First off, here are four links to the work of professors Trevor de Clercq and David Temperley, scholars of the holy RS500, and preeminent minds in the field of pop music theory. Read these papers folks; these are the droids you've been searching for.
A study that "suggests an array of six tonal systems ranging from the traditional major mode through modal (including minor-pentatonic) practices having increasing structural value, to chromatic relations with little basis in any deeper diatony." Interesting fare, read it. Everett has also written the books: The Foundations of Rock and The Beatles As Musicians (Volumes I and II) which people have siad good things about.
An early paper (1982), that still holds much resonance for today's pop music theorists. Quite prophetic even.
"Similar to the standard textbooks on tonal theory, but explores the unique aspects of rock and roll" - Amazon Review.
"We examined whether emotional cues in American popular music have changed over time, predicting that music has become progressively more sad-sounding and emotionally ambiguous. Our sample comprised over 1,000 Top 40 recordings from 25 years spanning five decades."
A catalogue of 1300 songs' chords taken from a random sampling of Billboard charts, one of the side projects of The Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries Lab. WARNING: the study is only available in .xz, .bz2, or .gz files, which--as far as I can tell--don't work with Windows or Mac OS directly. I think they're for Linux users. In order to view the study, I had to download a Winzip reader and open in Word... and pour the tears of a fairy into my USB jack.
Part 1 of 3 from the blog at HookTheory.com--a very insightful take on the McGill data, with nice visuals.
The top Amazon review reads thusly: "How Music Really Works is the most comprehensive and useful book that I have ever read on music and songwriting. Chapters 8 & 10, in particular, introduce elements of songwriting that have never been addressed before in any of the 30+ books I have read on songwriting. If anyone is truly serious about writing songs that will stand the test of time, then this book is a must read."
This website's 'about' paragraph states: "the dataset consists of almost all the information available through The Echo Nest API for one million popular tracks." And as far as I've gathered "Echo Nest API" is something that helped gather over 50 fields of Data for each song. I haven't figured out how to read it yet because it's formated in HDF5, which is a format developped by NASA to handle...um, large things of things. I'm learning as I go. Oh, andalso, if you dive in, beware of rickrolls! They got me good.
Modern Music Theory Teaching Techniques with fiver star reviews. Here's chapter six if you'd like to taste before you buy.
The title just about covers it.
An 'Amazon Editors' Favorite Book of the Year' for 2014. Very easy on those without a PHD in theory, which you may appreciate, or you may not. Very deep book either way.
Trove of in depth analysis of beatles tunes.
EEEEEE!!! More beatles music theory please. This one covers mostly Harmony, Voice Leading, and Form.
Appetizing little paper outlining the modes in metal. If you ever wondered like, "who in the heck uses Locrian?" Your answer is Sabbath, Rush, Metallica, and Judas Priest--that's who!
Further examination of pop tunes via Temperley. I'm not sure where to find the first paper this one suggests, but when it pops(pun intended) up I hope someone lets me know.
Realtime audio-video splices of (paper) analysis of classical tunes. 20 videos and counting!
"Sesquiquinquetone Progression"? (book-page 136.) Go home Music Theory, you're drunk.
"Is a set of tools for helping scholars and other active listeners answer questions about music quickly and simply. If you’ve ever asked yourself a question like, “I wonder how often Bach does that” or “I’ll bet we’d know more about Renaissance counterpoint (or Indian ragas or post-tonal pitch structures or the form of minuets) if I could write a program to automatically write more of them,” then music21 can help you with your work."
Mainly, "Two parsimonious methods of modulating between modes of limited transposition are explored, one by bridging and the other by coupling components of mode graphs."