Online Music Theory Courses 2021

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Do you get confused when someone asks you to play the Cadd7 chord? Or do the terms such as ‘minor third’ or ‘perfect seventh’ sound confusing to you? If any of these sound familiar, then you really need to take music theory courses online. Music theory can be daunting at first. You may be confused, and it’s totally okay – you’re here to learn!


In this article, we’ll discuss the top online music theory courses that you can learn from. So, let’s get started!

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(Last Updated On: October 12, 2021)

Music theory is much simpler than it seems once you get the hang of it. Do you need to learn theory? Obviously. While a lot of players tend to defend their statement that “You don’t need music theory” saying that it limits your creativity, we disagree. We recommend learning music theory if you want to play with a band, or with a backing track.

Why Take Online Music Theory Courses?

Taking music theory courses online is one of the best things you can do to boost your understanding of music. In this section, we’ll discuss exactly why you should take these courses online. 

Saves Time

Online courses tend to save a lot of your time. You won’t need to wait for your instructor, nor do you need to spend hours commuting just to reach the college or the studio you’re learning in. Online courses make your life easy by allowing you to take the courses whenever you’re free and ready to learn something new. This not only helps you save a lot of time, but it also boosts your creativity. 

Relevant Content

Irrelevant information in such courses can be very frustrating. You don’t want to spend a second more on any topic that isn’t relevant to the course. Online courses are usually designed to be direct and to the point, and we’ll recommend relevant courses in this article only! With these courses, you can be sure that every second you spend on these is well-spent. 

Designed by the Best

There’s a lot of confusion regarding music theory. This isn’t rocket science, and moreover, it’s a creative aspect. So, it’s only natural that there are a lot of differences between different players. However, all of the music theory courses that you’ll find here are designed by professionals and industry leaders. You can be sure that whatever you’re learning from these are universally accepted. That’s another plus of learning from online music theory courses.


The music theory courses online are all-encompassing courses that teach you a lot of stuff about music theory. Not all of the courses mentioned here will teach you all there is to know about music theory. However, they will provide a considerable amount of knowledge on the topics that you learn from them. 

Then again, there are many courses that will teach you all there is to know about music theory. These comprehensive courses will help even a beginner polish his understanding of music and will take him to an advanced level in a matter of months. This is why we highly recommend going for online music theory courses.

Top Online Music Theory Courses

Berklee College of Music’s Music Theory 101

Most people who are learning music or are playing any instrument want to study at Berklee College of Music at least once in their lives. Berklee needs no introduction to the veterans. For the newbies, it’s the mecca of music. Berklee has been producing the very best musicians since 1945, and many of them have become famous.

What We Liked 

This time, Berklee College of Music is offering its Music Theory 101 course. This is a comprehensive course that will help you get started with music theory easily. This course covers the fundamentals at first, so it’s possible to catch up with this even if you’re a complete beginner.

This course will teach you rhythm, major scales, minor scales, intervals, triads, triad inversions, basic seventh chords, and more. All of these are basics that you need to know if you want to write your own music, solos, or chords. Once you’re done with this course, you’ll also learn how to write melodic music on your own. 

What We Didn’t Like

This is a very expensive course. You need to spend more than $1700 just for this one course. Is it worth it? Yes, definitely it is, given that it’s from Berklee and it’s crafted for providing you an all-encompassing knowledge of music theory. However, there are much cheaper, and even free courses that can teach you music theory. If you can do without the Berklee experience, then you shouldn’t go for this course. 

Coursera’s Fundamentals of Music Theory

Coursera is one of the most popular and widely used online learning platforms on the internet. The best course on music theory that you can find on Coursera is “Fundamentals of Music Theory”. 

What We Liked 

You can enrol in this course for free! In fact, it also provides some level of financial aid that can help you pay for the certificate if you wish to take one. From this course, you’ll gain extensive knowledge of chords, music theory, shapes, and scales. If you’re willing to learn western music theory, then this is one of the best ones for you. 

This course is offered by the University of Edinburgh, and it’s a very well-crafted course. You will start this course off by learning pitches, modes, and scales. You’ll also learn a great deal about minor scales, chords, intervals, and clefs. 

The third module of this course is designed to teach you rhythm and form, two of the most important things that you need to master in order to master music theory. The last module is designed to teach you functional harmony, which is another interesting thing about music theory. What we liked is that not a lot, of course, teaches so extensively about functional harmony. This is one of the things that makes this course better than the rest. 

What We Didn’t Like

This course doesn’t provide any certificate if you take it for free. Plus, you won’t be able to take part in the real-time projects with the free version either. If you want a certificate, you’ll have to pay for it. However, the price isn’t that high. Another thing that we didn’t like was that the instructors weren’t that responsive in the forums. You’ll still get some feedback from your peers, but those won’t be much effective. 

Music Theory Comprehensive Complete!

Another amazing platform for learning music theory is Udemy. Let’s take a look at an affordable course from Udemy that you can take without having to spend much!

What We Liked 

This course is designed for complete beginners. You don’t have to know much about music or don’t have to be a producer to learn the materials offered in this course. All you’ll need is enthusiasm to explore and learn new things. 

This course teaches you all the things about music theory that you need to know to produce music or to get started with a certain instrument. It’ll start by teaching you how to read music theory properly. You’ll also understand different symbols used in writing music scores. 

What we loved about this is that it provides a lot of details on the very basics of music theory. You’ll learn about octaves, clefs, tempo, dotted rhythms, scale degrees, and more. Other amazing things that you can learn from this course are seventh chords, minor seventh chords, tendency chords, compound meter signatures, and more. 

There’s this huge list of things that you can expect to learn from this course, and all of them will help you understand the very essence of music theory. This is why we highly recommend this course from Udemy. 

What We Didn’t Like

Unlike Coursera, Udemy doesn’t allow you to take any free courses. It would’ve been better if it had a scope like Coursera where you can take a course and learn without having to pay. However, the amount that you have to pay for this course is completely worth it. This is one of the best music theory courses online.

Yale University’s Music Theory

If you’re looking for online music theory courses, you should definitely try out this one from Yale University. This is one of the easily available music theory courses online that you can find on the internet now. 

What We Liked

The best thing about this course is that it’s completely free, and it’s available on a YouTube playlist.  If you think that this course doesn’t offer much because it’s on YouTube and it’s free, think again! This course offers detailed information on musical instruments, music theory, and more. You’ll learn a lot about harmonies, chord building, melody, notes, scales, and rhythm. You’ll also learn a ton about bass patterns that you can find in blues and jazz music. It also offers an hour-long lesson on Sonata-Allegro and themes. 

This course is heavily influenced by classical players like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. It offers in-depth discussions on the playstyles of these players, so you’ll learn a lot about them and learn how to extract their styles and play those in your own way. 

What We Didn’t Like

This course is a great place to learn about music theory and the history of music theory. However, it doesn’t get as technical as some other modern courses. With that said, it is still a great place to start learning.

Music Matters

Music Matters is a great online platform for learning music. We highly recommend taking the Music Theory- Grades 1 to 5 courses from this platform if you want to learn more about music. 

What We Liked 

All of the five grades of this course are designed to teach you from basic to advanced stuff. The first grade will teach you rhythms, bar lines, rests, ties and dots, semitones and tones, tonic triads, and more. 

As you ascend the grades, things become much more challenging as they start teaching you advanced stuff. For example, the 5th grade teaches you transposition, tenor clef, irregular time signatures, voices in scores, ornaments, naming chords, irregular time divisions, and more. These are definitely very advanced, and you won’t require these unless you’re absolutely enthusiastic about learning all there is to learn about music. 

What we absolutely loved about these courses is that they offer a comprehensive learning experience. If you want to learn only a bit of music theory, you’ll be fine with taking a grade 1 course. If you want to step up your game, you can take a few more grades from them. If you want to learn all there is to know about music, you can take all five courses, and you won’t be left with a single question at the end of the day. This is why we highly recommend these online music theory courses from Music Matters. These are truly amazing. 

What We Didn’t Like

Each of the courses costs quite a lot, and you’ll need to spend hundreds of dollars if you want to learn all of them. So, this course isn’t actually free. However, if you can spend that money, we recommend doing so. 

Online Music Theory Courses – Our Conclusion

These are the top online music theory courses that you should check out if you want to learn music theory properly. Which ones are the best music theory courses online? There is none! All of them are amazing, and you need to find out which course provides what you need properly. 

This is why we highly recommend checking out all of these courses. No matter which one you pick, you can’t go wrong, as all of them offer great value!

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