Music Theory for a Digital Age is a foundation course in music theory created and taught by lecturer, author and composer Dr Michael Hewitt.
The course offers a comprehensive foundation in musical theory, both in terms of Western musical traditions and the theory underlying the process of modern methods of musical production.
Hi, I’m Dr Michael Hewitt - welcome to my course ‘Music Theory for a Digital Age’!
In my work as Head of the Music Technology Department of an adult education college, an important part of my job was developing and teaching courses that would prepare students to go on to study music at university. For this purpose I developed an in depth one-year music theory course that covered absolutely everything students would need to know in order for them to be able to thrive in a university environment. What helped me to do this was that I also teach ABRSM music theory up to grade 8.
It became clear as I developed this course that teaching standard music theory was not going to be enough to meet my students’ needs. This is because music theory as generally taught is predominantly based upon the traditions of Western written classical music. Yet many of my students came from musical backgrounds that were different to this and often had musical interests that went beyond the classics.
Some of my students were DJs, keen to create their own dance music tracks using music production software. Some were rap artists whose interests primarily lay in that particular genre. Others were gigging musicians who could pick up the essentials of a song using no more than their own ear. Still others were classically trained musicians who wanted to keep pace with the rapid developments of modern music technology. And at one time, all of the members of an entire punk rock band enrolled.
Conventional music theory did not cover a lot of the topics that these students needed to know about. An example of one such topic is the science of sound. Music today is not just composed of notes written into a score. A wide variety of different sounds are used, many of which are then recorded, used as samples and integrated into musical compositions. And some of these compositions consist entirely of sounds that have been recorded and sampled in this way. To get to grips with this process an understanding of the science of sound and its properties is essential.
Another example is the impact of the internet upon music, not just in terms of distribution and marketing but also in exposure to styles of music originating from other cultures, something standard music theory does not tend to take into account. So the challenge here was to create a course that not only covered conventional music theory topics, but also enabled the student to sympathetically embrace all styles of World Music as a part of our global musical culture.
Then there is the impact of technology upon music. This includes the increasing relevance of the modern recording studio to all types and styles of music, the development of synthesizers, samplers and drum machines, the development of general MIDI standard protocols, the use of digital audio workstations, and so much more. A student only familiar with standard music theory would not be properly equipped to embrace the benefits of all of this, let alone understand how modern music technology can be used to their advantage.
Because of all this, I felt compelled to upgrade music theory and bring it into line with the actual practice of music as we find it in this digital age. The result was a music theory course that my students really loved and could engage with on a practical level. Now you too can gain this valuable knowledge for yourself – the equivalent of a complete college level music theory course – for a very small amount of money considering the costs of education today.
On this course, you will learn conventional music theory to help prepare you for your ABRSM exams. But you will also learn the vital knowledge you need to be able to thrive in a digital environment. So come and join me and participate in my course Music Theory for a Digital Age.
By doing so you will benefit from the wealth of experience I bring to the course as a:
· Former head of both Music Technology and Creative Media college Departments.
· University tutor of classical music harmony, music history, counterpoint and composition.
· Author of best selling music textbooks used in universities all round the world.
· Working professional in the music industry.
· Composer of music for films and TV.
· Composer of modern classical music working to commission.
Recommendations from Former Students
“Dr Mike Hewitt is the teacher I never had, and I consider myself very lucky to call him my tutor. He’s managed to get the best out of me and pushed me further than I ever thought imaginable, reaching goals I thought were way out of my reach.”
Dafydd Jones Composer, music producer and guitar/drums tutor.
“I highly recommend Mike Hewitt. He’s a respected and inspirational tutor.”
“Best teacher I’ve ever had.”
“One of the best educators ever.. Michael Hewitt is without a doubt one the best educators I have ever had the good fortune to be under the tutelage of.. Thanks for the knowledge Mike!”
“Compassionate and inspirational.. Mike Hewitt is an inspirational teacher...He succeeds in instilling positive change and empowering the lives of all his learners, including many of those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Ronnie Parry, Guitar tutor PGCE, BA (Hons)