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What is the most common text book for learning jazz music theory?

I have a strong background in classical music theory and would like to supplement it. I particularly am looking for something for younger players and beginners because I will be teaching it to high school students as well as to myself.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" is quite popular, and very thorough. If you have classical theorical background, you will definitely be able to peruse it. It is however not meant as a course, more like a reference text.

Jazz Theory Ressources by Bert Ligon (3 vol) is also a nice introduction.

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The best jazz theory book is Berklee Jazz Harmony by Barrie Nettles. You can get it from this blog

When you are done with it you can continue with Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book! Highly recommended!

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Welcome to Music SE! Thanks for your suggestions. +1 to get you started. – American Luke Aug 3 '12 at 1:39

There is a new book out titled The Art of Jazz improvisation --for all instruments. Covers the three clefs can be used for ensemble practice. Or alone. All basics plus student exercises. I found mine on line.

Lloyd Abrams is a long time teacher. Lots of pros as students.

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I was coming at it from a classical background too, and have been using Charles Austin's "An Approach To Jazz Piano"

It's unbelievably thorough. The first half of the book is set up like a course -- everything in order. After that there are topic chapters where you can dive into what interests you.

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