11 Best Music Theory Courses online

Curated collection of music theory certification avaible online to learn music theory fundamentals online.

11 Best Music Theory Courses online

Learn music theory lessons with the best music theory classes avaible online for beginners and kids.

Music theory refers to the study of possibilities of music and it is mainly concerned with the processes like tuning systems and composition methods that musicians and composers use to produce music. Here, we have some of the best courses hand-picked that will enlighten you in the field of Music theory but before we get started let us answer two of the most asked questions about this topic.    

  1. Why should we care about music theory?

we get that all of us do not want to be "composers" but having a basic understanding of music theory will help you understand what you are hearing. If you write music, or produce it, having this knowledge about how to create certain impressions, or emotions, in a clear way can help raise your work to the next level.

2. Why do we think this theory matters?

The subject of Music theory is not at all limited to composers. It will be beneficial and applicable to you even if you are a performer or teacher. People use this theory in all aspects of their work.

List of Best Music Theory Classes online

  1. Fundamentals of Music Theory
  2. Learn Electronic Music Theory (Complete Music Course)
  3. Music Theory: Musical Form - Free Online Courses
  4. Music Theory for Electronic Producers - The Complete Course
  5. Getting Started With Music Theory
  6. Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals
  7. Music Theory: Melody and Harmony
  8. Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony
  9. The Complete Piano & Music Theory Beginners Course
  10. Free Online Training Course in Instruments and Rhythm
  11. Developing Your Musicianship

1. Fundamentals of Music Theory

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of Music Theory from The University of Edinburgh. This course introduces students to the theory of music, providing them with the skills needed to read and write Western music notation, as well as to understand, analyze, and listen informedly.

This course covers materials such as pitches and scales, intervals, clefs, rhythm, form, meter, phrases and cadences, and basic harmony. It covers the fundamentals of Western music theory, from the absolute basics to some more advanced concepts and, as such, is the perfect course for beginners and more experienced musicians alike.

  • Course rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 (1,249 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 7 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • acquire the skills and techniques for reading and writing western music notations.
  • understand and analyze the music informedly.  

You can take Fundamentals of Music Theory Certificate Course on Coursera.

2. Learn Electronic Music Theory

(Complete Music Course)

This course is a combination of three Music Theories for Electronic Musicians classes: The first one is the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, the second one is the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, and the third is Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 3. In this class, you will learn how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks, and then we expand on those ideas and work with harmonic patterns (harmony) that is richer than just major and minor.

If your Music is missing something then you are in the right place. If you are finding that you are writing track after track, and while they sound good, there is something they are missing. You are missing the sense of harmony that professional producers have. In this class, you will be given all the tools you need to produce those tracks just like you imagine them. By the end of this course, you will have improved your tracks by understanding how to build chords and melodies that work together.

  • Course rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 (6,207 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 12.5 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • understand and apply minor chords.
  • use the circle of fifths to generate new ideas for your own tracks.
  • work within minor keys to writing compelling melodies and basslines.
  • use the Piano Roll editor, octaves and their use in basslines.
  • find the black keys and the C and Middle C.
  • Finding notes, chords, and keys in your audio program.
  • put all the 7 intervals together and find the key of your track.
  • use the most common chord progressions and steps to use inversions to take your track from good to amazing.
  • utilize the 4 types of 7th chords and top techniques for writing a melody to fit a chord progression and vice-versa.
  • understand the use of all the 7 mods.

You can take Learn Electronic Music Theory (Complete Music Course) Certificate Course on Udemy.

3. Music Theory: Musical Form - Free Online Courses

Learn all about musical form from the six models of musical form, the difference between verse and chorus, and different genres of music.

Course rating: 3.1 out of 5.0 ( 5,693 Ratings total)

In this course, you will:

  • list different sorts of genres.
  • list the six models in music.
  • define what a coda is.
  • explain ternary form
  • discuss the differences between verse and chorus.
  • differentiate between the four functional types that will show up in sonata-allegro form.
  • describe the difference between rondo and ostinato.
  • explain what a rondo is.
  • define "pedal point".

The course includes:

  • Introduction to Form in Music
  • Sonata-Allegro
  • Form in Mozart and Beethoven
  • Sonata-Allegro Form
  • Theme and Variations
  • Theme and Variations in Brahms's Composition
  • Rondo Form

This free online music theory course teaches you about musical form. In this course you will study the six models in classical music from sonata-allegro to rondo form and how each model was formed including their differences.

You will also look into the features of verse and chorus and the four functional types that will show up in a sonata-allegro form, how the same material can return at certain points in a musical piece, and more!

You can take Music Theory: Musical Form - Free Online Courses Certificate Course on Alison.

4. Music Theory for Electronic Producers - The Complete Course

The main aim of this course is to educate you on how to write and create music effectively which will dramatically improve the quality of your music and the speed you create it. Basically, this course will improve your Music Theory in general.

In this course, you will gain a deep understanding of Music Theory and ideas techniques and formulas to use when creating your own electronic music to allow you more options. You'll learn the beauty and the power of music theory that's used by professionals today.

  • Course rating: 4.4 out of 5.0 (1,035 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 8.5 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn about the:

  • keyboard layout and major and minor scales.
  • chords and Inversions to help you write your own music from scratch.
  • major and Minor chord progressions and how to write memorable melodies and melodic tunes to make your songs really stand out from the crowd.
  • process of writing Bass parts that will give your music more rhythm.
  • analysis of music theory in electronic tracks that you can use for new ideas for your own songs.
  • modes and other scales to help add some interesting elements to your music.

You can take Music Theory for Electronic Producers - The Complete Course Certificate Course on Udemy.

5. Getting Started With Music Theory

This course is a brief introduction to the elements of music theory for those with little or no music theory experience. You will explore pitch, rhythm, meter, notation, scales, keys, key signatures, meter signatures, triads, seventh chords, and basic harmony. If you listen to music or play music by ear, and you want to know more about how music is organized and notated, this course is for you.

By the end of the course, you should know all major and minor keys, how to read and write in treble and bass clef using standard meters and rhythmic values, and how to notate and harmonize a simple melody. In the end, you should also be able to identify and spell major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads in root position and inversions, and identify and spell major, minor, dominant, half-diminished, and fully diminished seventh chords in root position and inversions. This course can serve as a stand-alone basic music theory course, or it can be a springboard to more advanced theory and composition courses.

  • Course rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 (580 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 13 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn about the:

  • discuss the elements of music.
  • difference between tonal and atonal music.
  • process of identifying the fundamentals and partials of a note.
  • difference between chord and harmony and the process of five-line staff.
  • process of reading and writing notes using treble and bass clefs.
  • identification of rhythmic values in notation.
  • difference between pitch and pitch class.
  • octaves and how to label pitches based on octave placement.
  • identification and writing of accidentals and find them on the piano keyboard.
  • definition of equal temperament (the artificial scale used on the modern piano) and tell how it differs from other tuning systems.

You can take Getting Started With Music Theory Certificate Course on Coursera.

6. Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals

The course, Music theory for songwriters: The Fundamentals demonstrates the basics of music theory through the lens of songwriting. Here, you will learn about intervals, chord progressions, their vitality and voice leading, and using common song forms to organize your own musical ideas.

  • Course rating: 33,498 total enrollments
  • Duration: 2.9 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn about:

  • intervals in music and their importance.
  • chord progressions and its implications.
  • voice leading and using common songs to organize your own musical ideas.

You can take Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals Certificate Course on LinkedIn.

7. Music Theory: Melody and Harmony

In this course, learn about melody and harmony, such as how to build chords in a melody, through the works of Mozart and Wagner.

  • Course rating: 2.8 out of 5.0 ( 11,675 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn:

  • describe the differences between the major and minor scales.
  • explain the different scales you might hear in different parts of the world.
  • distinguish between conjunct or disjunct melodies.
  • define melodic sequence.
  • explain the difference between an authentic cadence and a deceptive cadence.
  • explain what a harmony is.
  • describe how to focus on the rate of harmonic change.
  • define what an irregular rate of harmonic change is.
  • explain what a chord progression is.

The course includes:

  • The Development of Notes and the Scale Major, Minor, and Chromatic Scales
  • Cadences and Sequences
  • Exploring Wagner's and Mozart's Melodies
  • Introduction to Harmony
  • Harmonic Progressions
  • Chord Progressions
  • Three and Four Chord Progressions

This free online music theory course will introduce you to the concepts of melody and harmony, improving your music comprehension drastically. Learn how to identify different musical scales and build chords with ease with this free online music theory course.

In this course you will study important music genres, learn how to recognize different chords and harmonics, and study famous composers such as Mozart and Wagner and their various musical techniques. If you're looking to improve your musical understanding, this course is a great place to start.

You can take Music Theory: Melody and Harmony Certificate Course on Alison.

8. Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony

This course is about how music works and what is the relationship between the technical and aesthetic details of the music. Here, you will also know about how developing a meaningful theoretical vocabulary can help you think and talk about musical style, and how learning that vocabulary can expand your appreciation for music. In this course you will learn music theory not by looking at theory itself, but by listening to, looking at, and—Yes!—writing your own musical examples.

By hearing, seeing, and writing yourself, you will learn about classical, modern, ancient, pop, jazz, and folk styles. Through lectures, relevant examples, and numerous practice assignments, we will examine fundamental aspects of a melody. It starts with two voices and counterpoint, and finally to three voices and the beginnings of harmonic function. This is an intermediate-level course for musicians and composers who already have some understanding of music theory through the previous study. If you are a musician or composer looking to build a deeper understanding of music theory for composing, performing, or improvisation, you have come to the right place. If you are an amateur lover of music or, perhaps, play a musical instrument and want to develop a deeper sense of appreciation for music theory, aesthetics, and history, you are also in the right place!

In this module, initially, you will develop a vocabulary that is useful in describing the technicalities behind musical expression. To do this, you will start right away closely examining some actual, real music. First, you will look at some Gregorian Chant (which, come on, can be stunningly beautiful). Second, you will use some slow classic Jazz to thoughtfully build our vocabulary. After that, still looking at single melodic lines, you will start to branch farther afield to describe some useful technical descriptions of the differences between different simple and complicated musical styles.

  • Course rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 (82 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 22 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • analyze the relationship between the technical details and aesthetics of music.
  • explore how culture, psychology, physics, formal context, and a sense of play all shape musical language.
  • discover ways in which music theory may be relevant to enjoying, communicating a love for, and performing music.
  • demonstrate confidence in the kind of musical self-analysis that can help you develop your own musical ideas.

You can take Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony Certificate Course on Coursera.

9. The Complete Piano & Music Theory Beginners Course

The course, Complete Piano & Music Theory beginners course is mainly aimed towards learning all the piano and music theory basics quickly and saves big on months of initial private lessons. This course will give you a solid foundation to pursue more advanced study.  

Whether that advanced study is with a private teacher or more advanced piano courses on Udemy. On top of all that, learning the keyboard or piano is also a great start and will help you learn other instruments faster.

  • Course rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 (2,094 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn about the:

  • proper piano technique and how to read sheet music.
  • elements of music (black and white notes, intervals).
  • major, minor, diminished, augmented chords, and also major and minor scales.
  • rhythm fundamentals and the Circle of 5ths.
  • 12 major keys and relative minors.

You can take The Complete Piano & Music Theory Beginners Course Certificate Course on Udemy.

10. Free Online Training Course in Instruments and Rhythm

Alison’s free course on Instruments and Rhythm will introduce the learner to aspects of music theory such as musical genres and instruments in an orchestra.

  • Course rating: 3.3 out of 5.0 ( 13,084 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 1.5 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will:

  • explain how to listen to music properly.
  • describe the most common type of form in pop music - verse and chorus.
  • differentiate between rhythm and melody. Distinguish between major and minor chords.
  • distinguish between tremolo, pizzicato, and vibrato. Define what tempo in music means.
  • explain the term syncopation and how it is used in music.
  • distinguish between polyphony, monophony, and homophony.

The course includes:

  • Introduction to Music Theory
  • Diagnostic Quiz
  • Introduction to Instruments and Musical Genres
  • Instruments and Acoustics
  • Musical Notation
  • Identifying Meters in Musical Excerpts
  • Features of Rhythm
  • Counting Measures and Musical Dictation

This free online music theory course teaches you about Instruments and Rhythm. Becoming a skilled and versatile musician takes more than just learning how to play an instrument, you must improve your musical abilities by listening and understanding, and with constant practice.

Learn to identify different rhythms and instruments in a piece of music with this free online music theory course. In this course, you will learn about music theory, instruments, and rhythm which can help you improve your listening skills and become familiar with basic musical rules.

You can take Free Online Training Course in Instruments and Rhythm Certificate Course on Alison.

11. Developing Your Musicianship

The main aim of this course is to learn the fundamentals of music theory, including major and minor tonalities, chord scales, song forms, and chord qualities. You will also practice training your ear to hear and recognize various intervals, chord progressions, and chord qualities. For the Capstone Project, you will directly apply the knowledge you’ve gained to write and perform a short musical composition. If you have a passion for music and are curious about how it works, or if you are a musician who learned to play by ear without formal study, this course will provide you with an engaging introduction to key concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music.

The course includes six lessons that delve into harmony and ear training—two areas of intensive focus for every entering Berklee student. The course will teach you the major scale and minor pentatonic scale, and how they are constructed. You will learn what intervals are, how to sing them, and how to find them in music. The course explores tonal centers and how to find the key a song is in, in addition to common time signatures such as 4/4 and 3/4. You will learn how to build chords—major and minor triads, and major and dominant seventh chords—and how to build a common chord progression—the I IV V. You will also learn how to recognize the blues and AABA song forms, and write a basic chord sheet to express your song ideas.

This course will guide you through the final project for the development of your Musicianship specialization. This course will also continue to help you apply the musical concepts you learned throughout the specialization, enabling you to create and perform a 36-measure composition. Through peer feedback and discussion, practice, and applying what you’ve learned, this final project will hone your skills as a musician.

  • Course rating: 4.9 out of 5.0 (1,963 Ratings total)
  • Duration: 60 Hours
  • Certificate: Certificate of completion

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • aurally identify musical intervals, chords, and chord progressions.
  • write and practice major and minor scales in a variety of keys.
  • compose a 12-bar blues with a melody.
  • define and discuss the harmonic function and modal interchange.
  • use the basic concepts and approaches for understanding, creating, and performing contemporary music.

You can take Developing Your Musicianship Certificate Course on Coursera.


Thank you for reading this. We hope our course curation would help you to pick the right course to learn Music Theory. In case you want to explore more, you can take the free Music Theory courses. You can also learn Composing and Producing Electronic Music.

Hey! If you have made it this far then certainly you are willing to learn more and here at Coursesity, it is our duty to enlighten people with knowledge on topics they are willing to learn. Here are some more topics that we think will be interesting for you!