Practical Music Theory for Producers
Jesper ‘Noosfære’ Skovgaard, teacher of Electronic Music Theory
Personally I find music theory to be an important part of the foundation for any musician/producer for several reasons.
First, it deepens our ability to understand the structure of music. Music theory, like language, enables us to understand the structure and meaning behind a musical composition. Secondly, music theory allows us to speak with other musicians/producers in a common language and it serves as a short-hand for referring to important points in the music.
As a musician and producer I use my knowledge of music theory all the time. By knowing how music works as a language I’m able find chords that work together nicely and how to write a matching baseline underneath and how to create a catchy melody on top. If I do not know my musical language these tasks would be extremely difficult and I would constantly be writing music in a more random trial and error way and the result would typically not be that great. It’s like trying to create meaningful sentences in a language you do not speak.
Beneath all of the enormously different styles of modern electronic music lie certain fundamentals of the musical language that are exactly the same no matter what kind of music you write. It is very important to acquire an understanding of these fundamentals if you are to develop as a musician and music producer. Put simply, you need to know what you are doing with regard to the music that you are writing 🙂