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I learned solfège as a kid long ago, and have been playing ever since without interruption, but I seem to have forgotten quite a few things that I haven't really needed all those years, and might not be aware of many other interesting things since I haven't studied at the conservatory.

Is there any comprehensive book on music theory that you could recommend? (References in French are fine too.) I would be mostly interested in modes, scales, "musical patterns" and the relations between them, as well as their uses in various kinds of music. Please recommend only books you've had experience with, and explain how they cover the topics I mention.

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Please make sure you read the FAQ, Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and is it a Real Questions Have Answers to understand what types of questions are appropriate here. I'm not sure a recommendation question like this fits. –  Rebecca Chernoff Apr 28 '11 at 17:44
    
This would be an "opinion" question, certainly, but to give a reasonable answer, I need a little more information. What specifically are you wanting to know? Are you looking for something along the lines of an undergraduate harmony text, or something else? –  Andrew Apr 28 '11 at 18:41
    
@Rebecca Chernoff♦: Why not on meta then? But I have the feeling that this question can be of help for musicians in their daily practice, so IMO it could be acceptable here, right? –  Benoit Apr 28 '11 at 18:54
    
@Rebecca Chernoff: I read the links, but I still fail to see how my question is inappropriate. Could you be more specific about how it should be corrected, or whether it should just be removed? @Andrew: I would be more interested in modes, scales, "musical patterns" and the relations between them. Does that help narrowing things down? @Benoit: I don't think this could move to meta, because meta is supposed to be about the website. –  Anthony Labarre Apr 28 '11 at 19:00
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@Anthony Labarre: I have opened a question on Meta that attempts to elaborate a list of music glossaries online. I think it is an appropriate place… –  Benoit Apr 28 '11 at 19:28
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1 Answer

In French, the most well-known theory book is the Danhauser's book. It is still old but it is very pedagogous. The linked version is the original one. You can purchase revised versions which are not in public domain. It should be available in music paper stores too, at least in France.

Another interesting link is this one, still in French, oriented towards jazz harmony theory. I did not take time to read it, so I cannot tell you whether it is a document of quality.

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Thanks, this seems like a handy reference. –  Anthony Labarre Apr 28 '11 at 19:03
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Ah, on va lire en français! –  Babu Apr 28 '11 at 23:22
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