I don't know anything about theoretical music, but i'm in love with classical music and by classical i mean baroque, classic and romantic era.

I've been listen to them almost all my life (24 years old)

i never played any instrument but i'm planning to start

i want to buy a book to learn the concepts of music, such as key, harmony, notes .... etc

i want to compose something (you may laugh at me, but i will do it)

any book suggestion please (it would be better if it comes with some audio maybe)?

closed as off-topic by Shevliaskovic, Tim, Todd Wilcox, Matthew Read Apr 21 '16 at 20:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking recommendations for specific equipment are off-topic, because they are primarily opinion based. Instead, describe the required function and setting in which the equipment will be used, and ask what you should look for to achieve that." – Shevliaskovic, Tim, Todd Wilcox, Matthew Read
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I'd strongly recommend getting a cheap keyboard in addition to a book. You don't need to learn to play it well, but just having it will let you pick out notes and play around with the concepts you are reading about. A chord is much easier to understand when you can hear how it changes as you change a single note. – Karen Apr 20 '16 at 23:32
  • Is it possible for you to get a teacher? – topo morto Apr 21 '16 at 6:04
  • I didn't start writing my own music until I was in my early 30's, and now I'm co-writing a musical, so I wouldn't laugh at all at the idea of getting started with composing at any age. I would almost look at learning an instrument before worrying too much about learning music theory. I'm not sure if asking for book recommendation is on topic here. Either way, in addition to looking for a music theory book, you might also look for a book on musical acoustics. – Todd Wilcox Apr 21 '16 at 11:31
  • @topomorto well i've been thinking about this for a long time, but I'm a student aboard, working to support my studies, so work during the day and university at night. Thus no time and not a lot of available funding. However, do you think that having a teaching is a necessity right now? or i can manage by myself ? – Marco Dinatsoli Apr 26 '16 at 14:55
  • @Karen could you give me please an example of this keyboard? stores to buy a cheap one please (i'm in Portugal now), and if possible to use a used one or new is a crucial one? – Marco Dinatsoli Apr 26 '16 at 14:56

I fear that your question is so broad that it might well be put on hold, or you might be asked to make your question a bit narrower, but have a possible recommendation:

Hindemith's book - "Elementary Training for Musicians" would certainly enable you learn all the basics of music, such as rhythm, notation, scales etc.

It is a tough book to work through, especially if you are starting from scratch and do not have the invaluable help of a teacher, but it would do the job, if you have the determination to stick at it. If you did manage to work through it, the same author has some other books which would introduce the concepts of harmony, counterpoint and composition.

It is a tough road - good luck!


I appreciate that you're interested in learning an instrument. Well, choose an instrument that you wish to play, I feel it might be little easier for you to find books on how to play that instrument after you find that out. If you want to learn basics of music, this website http://www.musictheory.net/ would be really helpful as the lessons are taught with respective to piano. Or if you wish to learn, this website could also help you. http://www.musicroom.com/tutormethods.html.

Happy learning :)


Some good suggestions in other answers, I'd suggest in addtion that you take an online course, as there are quite quite good ones and freely available on MOOC plataforms such as Coursera and edx. For your situation the course Developing Your Musicianship (from Berklee college), available in both plataforms, seems a particularly suited starting point.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.