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Basic Music Theory

Learn the language of music: scales, keys, intervals, chords, rhythm, and more

Pre-Register now - we have started posting course materials and plan to have everything in place before the end of fall!

We are committed to providing a full music curriculum here at the Mastering MuseScore School. Our courses will be focused primarily on practical applications to writing music - composing, arranging, transcribing, etc. We want to make sure you have the skills to create and express the music you want to, as well as the tool (MuseScore) to allow you to see, hear, and share the results!

The core of our music curriculum will be two courses on basic and advanced music theory. This is the basic course, designed to teach you the fundamentals of written music: notation of rhythm and pitch, and the construction of scales and chords, which are the building blocks of melody and harmony. In general, this is information one might be expected to know before entering college as a music major. The reality, however, is that many musicians are not as comfortable with this material as they could be, so this course is designed to serve as preparation for university-level music theory courses as well as for the advanced course we plan to launch soon here at the Mastering MuseScore School.

The advanced course will delve much deeper into the creation and development of melody, counterpoint, harmony, and other topics relating directly to creating music.

Music is a language, and music theory is its vocabulary and its grammar. Whether your goal is to compose new music, to transcribe or arrange music by others, to prepare for music school, to improve your sight-singing, to become a better improvisor, or just to work on your overall musicianship skills, learning the language of music is the key.

This course covers the basics of music literacy:

  • Pitch
  • Staff notation
  • Clefs
  • Meter
  • Rhythm
  • Other notations
  • Scales
  • Modes
  • Transposition
  • Intervals
  • Chords

These are the core concepts that provide the foundation for any deeper understanding of music. Completion of this course will prepare you for the advanced course to follow, as well as for other college-level music theory courses.


While there are many resources for learning music theory, my courses are unique in a number of important ways:

  • The theory is presented in a very practical way, focusing on applications to creating music of your own
  • Examples draw from a variety of genres to emphasize the universality of the concepts
  • Lessons include video as well interactive virtual handouts for further reference
  • Lessons are also accompanied by exercises with answers provided
  • Ear training and and sight singing are integrated with the theory
  • The instruction does not require proficiency on an instrument, as exercises can be completed and played back within MuseScore
  • Courses includes graded assessments and certification of successful completion
  • All materials are designed to be as accessible as possible for blind and visually impaired musicians

This course is under development and materials have already started to appear. New course materials will be added weekly and will remain up indefinitely, so you can follow along at your own pace.

Enroll now for a special discounted rate! This is a fantastic opportunity to join us on the ground floor as we embark on this innovative approach to learning music theory!

Your Instructor


Marc Sabatella
Marc Sabatella

My name is Marc Sabatella, and I am the Director of Education for MuseScore. I am one of the developers of the software, and I have been teaching music for over 30 years. I have worked with countless students in person through university courses, community programs, and private lessons, and I have been one of the pioneers of online music education since the dawn of the World Wide Web. From the publication of my groundbreaking "Jazz Improvisation Primer" back in the 1990’s, to my years on the faculty at major music schools, and culminating in this Mastering MuseScore School, I have dedicated most of my life to helping as many musicians as I can.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!