Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 1 - How to Read Music Intro

A Complete College-Level Music Theory Curriculum. This is Part 1: Reading Music & The Symbols of Music Notation
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 (273 ratings)
9,950 students
Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 1 - How to Read Music Intro
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 (273 ratings)
9,950 students
Read Music Using Proven Techniques
Understand All the Symbols (Not Only the Notes) of a Music Score
Read, Play, and Count Rhythms Accurately
Chords on the guitar
Augmented triads
Diminished triads
Finding fifths by finding thirds
The thirds inside of a chord
Finding chords by formula
Roman numeral analysis
Diatonic chord progressions
Building triads (chords)
Popular song analysis
How to identify key signatures
What it means to be "in key"
Analyzing melodies
Writing melodies with major scales
Scale Degrees
The pattern of a Major Scale
Ordered Pitch Class Collections
Chromatic and Diatonic scales
Time Signatures
Dotted Rhythms
Downbeats and Upbeats
Beat and Beat Divisions
Identifying Notes on the Keyboard
Identifying Notes on the Staff
Naming Octaves
Half-Steps and Whole-Steps
The Black Keys (not the band!)
The White Keys
Pitch Classes
Pitch Names
The elements of the Score


  • I'll be using a piece of software in this course that I would like students to get. Don't worry - it's free! And works on Mac and PC programs. I'll tell you more in the first few videos.

This is an introductory class that leads to the complete Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 1 - How to Read Music. The complete course is a Udemy Best Seller, has over 230 4+ star reviews, nearly 2000 students, and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.

Welcome to the COMPLETE DJ Techniques Guide!

This is a class designed for the average person who is ready to dive in to music!  Whether you are a beginning musician, an active musician, or an aspiring musician - this class is perfect for you.

For years I've been teaching Music Theory in the college classroom. These classes I'm making for Udemy use the same syllabus I've used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost. I believe anyone can learn Music Theory - and cost shouldn't be a barrier.

My approach to music theory is to minimize the memorization. Most of these concepts you can learn by just understanding why chords behave in certain ways. Once you understand those concepts, you can find any scale, key, or chord that exists. Even invent your own. If you've tried to learn music theory before, or if you are just starting out - this series of courses is the perfect fit.

Dr. Allen is a professional musician, top-rated Udemy instructor, and university professor. In 2017 the Star Tribune featured him as a "Mover and a Shaker," and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes. 

Throughout this class, If you get stuck, you can review the videos or post a question, and I'll back to it as fast as possible. 

This class is Part 1: How To Read Music. In it we will work through all the elements of notated music, and how it all works.

In this class, we will cover:

  • My approach to Music Theory

  • Tools you will need to learn Music Theory quickly and efficiently

  • Music software: Notation programs

  • The elements of the Score

  • Pitch Names

  • Pitch Classes

  • Octaves

  • The White Keys

  • The Black Keys (not the band!)

  • Half-Steps and Whole-Steps

  • Clefs

  • Intervals

  • Naming Octaves

  • Identifying Notes on the Staff

  • Identifying Notes on the Keyboard

  • Beat and Beat Divisions

  • Tempo

  • Downbeats and Upbeats

  • Dotted Rhythms

  • Time Signatures

  • Ties

  • Accidentals

  • Form in Music Notation

  • ...and much, much more!

And of course, once you sign up for Part 1 - Reading Music & The Symbols of Music Notation, you automatically get huge discounts to all the upcoming parts of this class.

You will not have another opportunity to learn Music Theory in a more comprehensive way than this. 

All the tools you need to successfully learn Music Theory are included in this course and the entire course is based on real-life experiences - not just academic theory.

Test Prep: 

This course is perfect for prep for the Praxis II Test (ETS Praxis Music), The ABRSM Music Theory Exam (up to Grade 8), AP Music Theory Exam, College Placement Exams (Music Theory), and other common secondary and post-secondary placement exams.

Please click the "Take This Course" button so you can launch your music career today.

** I guarantee that this course is the most thorough music theory course available ANYWHERE on the market - or your money back (30 day money back guarantee) **

Closed captions have been added to all lessons in this course in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.


Praise for Courses by Jason Allen:

⇢  "It seems like every little detail is being covered in an extremely simple fashion. The learning process becomes relaxed and allows the complex concepts to get obsorbed easily. My only regret is not taking this course earlier." - M. Shah

⇢  "Great for everyone without any knowledge so far. I bought all three parts... It's the best investment in leveling up my skills so far.." - Z. Palce

⇢  "Excellent explanations! No more or less than what is needed." - A. Tóth

⇢  "VERY COOL. I've waiting for years to see a good video course, now I don't have to wait anymore. Thank You!" - Jeffrey Koury

  "I am learning LOTS! And I really like having the worksheets!" - A. Deichsel

⇢  "The basics explained very clearly - loads of really useful tips!" - J. Pook

⇢  "Jason is really quick and great with questions, always a great resource for an online class!" M. Smith


Students who register for this course will receive ongoing exclusive content and discounts to all future classes in the series. 

Who this course is for:
  • This course is designed for students who have either never tried to learn music theory before, or tried and couldn't come grasp the concepts.
  • This course is designed for students who have either never tried to learn music theory before, or tried and couldn't come grasp the concepts.
3 sections • 14 lectures • 1h 6m total length
  • Introduction
  • My Approach to Music Theory
  • Tools You Will Need For This Course
  • Update! MuseScore 3.0
  • Download: Staff Paper
  • About Notation Software Programs
  • The Elements of the Score
  • Pitch Names
  • Pitch Classes
  • Octaves
  • Worksheet No. 1 (DOWNLOAD)
  • Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 1 - The Symbols of Music
  • Bonus Lecture: Why We Use a Keyboard
  • Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List

Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer
Jason Allen
  • 4.5 Instructor Rating
  • 38,601 Reviews
  • 162,999 Students
  • 98 Courses

** J. is the #1 best selling music teacher on Udemy. He is the author of the #1 best selling music theory course on Udemy, "Music Theory Comprehensive" (12 parts), and Music Theory for Electronic Musicians (3 parts), which have been purchased by more than 70,000 students in 11 languages in 196 countries.**  

** He is a PhD in music, and a best selling music producer. He brings this authenticity to all of his Udemy courses. **

Jason Allen (better known as J. Anthony Allen) has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers. 

J. Anthony Allen teaches at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, where he runs the Music, Media, and Management program. He is also an Ableton Live Certified Trainer,  co-founder, owner and CEO of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis, the CTO of Ion Concert Media, and sole owner and producer of music education courses under the umbrella of Punkademic Courses. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music. 

J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way. 

If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)