Is there a downloadable cheat sheet for music theory? (about basic terms and nomenclatura)

Edit: ... as basic information for absolute beginners, like I gave to pupils of secondary school. Maybe for different levels like high-school, too.

e.g. scales, triads, Circle of Fifths, basic terms of chord progression.

  • I wonder what is wrong of this question. I haven’t known the term cheat sheet until now and I’m sure some posters like these I’ve mentioned in my answer would be quite helpful and on the other hand they will evoke many questions! I would have been happy if someone here had told about a year ago that something like this exists. This would have saved me from looking up 100 of wiki pages to find the correct terms. Obvious English speaking people have no idea how difficult it is for foreigners to find the correct translation for music terms like e.g. relativ and parallel chords and many others. Oct 14, 2019 at 13:38
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    I wasn't the downvoter, but I'm curious as to the scope of the question. What should such a sheet cover? Key signatures? Scales and intervals? Just translations of terms? Modulation? Schenkerian analysis? Set theory? Transformational theory? Theories of early music? Different tuning systems throughout history? I worry that such a cheat sheet quickly just becomes a book!
    – Richard
    Oct 14, 2019 at 14:31
  • @ Richard: Ok, I’ll write it more precisely: basic information for absolute beginners, like I gave to pupils of secondary school. Maybe for different levels like high-school, too. I will poste later my own, if I’ll found it ;) Oct 14, 2019 at 14:56
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    This seems too broad, for one. Plenty of these resources exist, but no "cheat sheet" can provide everything about music theory. Plus, this seems to be a recommendation for specific equipment, whoch would render it off-topic.
    – user45266
    Oct 14, 2019 at 16:08
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because requests for external resources are off-topic.
    – Dom
    Oct 14, 2019 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Requests for resources are supposed to be off topic, so you got some downvotes.

Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite cheat sheet(s)


  • I‘ve seen this one too, but it might be toooooo broad, you could paper all four walls of your room. But as it so broad it must very fine to my to broad question. Accepted! ;) Oct 14, 2019 at 17:21

There are several posters available that show the most important information for beginners like these:

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and surely many others! Print them out and oin them on the wall ahead of you computer or use it as cover or protection envelope of you song books and study books.

  • I wouldn't call these relevant to "theory" but rather that they are quick reference sheets for nomenclature. Oct 14, 2019 at 14:04
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    @ Carl: Pupils and students, for whom this Site seems to be thought call everything that is not practice like singing playing instruments Theory. I don’t think that anyone of all those who are asking here questions about “elementary theory” like guitar chords, ledger lines, clefs, signs etc. could do anything with the term or tag nomenclature. Oct 14, 2019 at 15:10

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