Music theory

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Not every piece conforms to the rigid rules of music theory as well as this one.

Music theory is the study of how music works. This article does not refer to existing music; instead, it relates to the composition and notation of it. After reading it, you will no doubt understand that all musicians are racist.


To understand music, we must first understand sound: the central ingredient of music. Sound is also an ingredient used to make tuna casserole. (It is disputed whether sound is sweet or savory.)

Sound is measured in Heinz. Pythagoras (c.a. 580-581 BC), noted predominately as the inventor of human reproduction (sex was not invented until 1899), noted that a tuning fork makes a different sound when it is sustained in a block of ice. Hence, temperature affects pitch (how high or low a sound is). Pythagoras (of the Pythag Pythag gangbangin’ brotherhood) discovered that the pitch of a note times a numerical constant equaled the cube root of a fraction whose numerator is the additive inverse of the acceleration due to gravity plus the multiplicative inverse of the height of the nearest tree and whose denominator is the square of the temperature in Kevin Bacon (1/6th of a degree) plus the integration of the chemical model of sugar divided by the temperature, also in Kevin Bacon. This model has proven to be irreducible. Both sides cannot be divided by c, as c might be zero. Division by zero would most likely trigger “the bomb.” In this case, music is meaningless and we can only wait for the world to end.

Although c appears to be a constant, its actual value was unrecorded by Pythagoras. However, there is evidence that it stands for catsup. Thus, Heinz is the central unit for sound.

The pitch of a sound is determined by its Heinz value. A lower value has a lower pitch, while a higher value has more ketchup.


Do you know the way to San Jose? Da, da da da, da, da, doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo...

Music theory was created by Dominic McFadden. He invented every note, pitch and scale on his Fender Stratocaster. Dominic's most prized musical invention was the harmonic minor scale. Dominic loved that scale so much that his first child was named Harmonic Minor McFadden. Dominic and his best friends, Screamin' Don and Cucci, traveled the world and told musicians about their discovery. Two musicians who did not like this were Nicolas, the world's greatest guitarist and his friend, King Bedbury. Nicolas was known for his random shredding and huge ego. Nicolas got into the biggest guitar battle with Dominic. It lasted two days and ended when Nicolas blindsided Dominic with his random triplet. Dominic was almost dead, but Andreas came and destroyed Nicolas and Bedbury with his sonic Telecaster and Fender amp. Dominic got up, awkwardly smiled, and walked away.

The Staffmeister[edit]

The staffmeister is used to show pitch, with the most ketchup-like pitches at the top and the lower pitches towards the bottom. The staffmeister consists of five parallel lines, which produce four empty spaces between them. Notes above or below the staff are considered heresy, and are punished by burning the music and harpooning the writer. Vertical lines drawn perpendicularly to the staff are called bar lines. They separate music into measures. Bar lines were invented during the Great Beer Shortage of 1969, though it is believed that the great squirrel race of 1211, held in Spain, gave rise to much of the terminology. Bar lines are parallel to the staff in the so-called "Perpendicular Universe."

The Piano[edit]

The piano is the central medium of music. A regular piano consists of 88 keys, racially segregated into black keys and white keys, with the notes on the right filled with more ketchup than those on the left. There are a lot less black keys than white keys, and white keys are used more. Several composers favoring affirmative action have vowed to break free from the tyranny of racial segregation and advocate the equal usage of black and white keys. With this in mind, it can be determined that Chopin was a black supremacist, at least for the afternoon he spent writing the "Black Key Etude". However, Chopin uses plenty of the white keys on lots of other pieces, calling into doubt his racial sentiments. On the other hand (actually, both hands), Dmitri Shostakovich wrote a piano piece which does not use any of the black keys at all, in an attempt to put the "Caucasus" back into Caucasian. Experts still disagree whether he was successful, since the piece loses its relevance when transposed. But then, so does the Chopin.

For reasons of fairness, we will refer to black and white keys as Caucasian and African, respectively.


Once, in Denmark, a piano was created which had one extra key between E and F, but sadly this never really caught on.

The central element of tonal music is knotes, pronounced knotes. Knotes are a way of visually representing pitch. By pressing a key on the piano, a knote is heard. There are seven knotes, which start on ALPHA and repeat throughout the course of the piano. These are traditionally known as: α, β, γ, δ, ε, ζ, and η.

These are pronounced:

  • Alpha,
  • Beta,
  • Gamma,
  • Delta,
  • Epileptic seizure (Previous name: Epsilon),
  • Zeta, and
  • Eta.
  • Etc.

For simplicity's sake, however, A through G are used. To establish a particular pitch for a knote, however, clivvies are used.


  • The TREBLE!!!© clivvy is perhaps the most common. The TREBLE!!!© clivvy is also known as the Eta clivvy, or for losers, the "G" clivvy. This is because its MIGHTY SPIRAL OF POWER!!!© circles around Eta. Eta is thusly on the second line. The TREBLE!!!© clivvy is used without the © sign in this article. Thus, Uncyclopedia should either keep a low profile or get some really good lawyers.
  • The next clivvy is the Bass clivvy. The Bass clivvy, according to rumors, is involved in an intimate relationship with the TREBLE!!!© clivvy. However, evidence goes to show that they have broken up. You may may notice that the Bass clivvy originally was a heart, but now it is broken into two. As a symbol of disgust the Bass clivvy placed two chunks of frozen gerbil liver next to it. The bass clivvy, also known as the Zeta clivvy (or F clivvy IF YOU MUST) situates its two chunks of frozen gerbil liver around Zeta, on the fourth line.
    • Together, the Bass and TREBLE!!!© clivvies form the Grand Staffmeister. In the middle of the Grand Staffmeister is the knote termed Middle Gamma (called Middle C by losers).
  • The Alto Clivvy: Nothing important here. Moving on. (It is shaped somewhat like the letter B, which is why the center of the clivvy is on Middle C -- oops, I mean Middle Gamma.)
  • The Moveable C Clivvy: The ultimate gamma clivvy: it can go wherever it pleases. It is shaped like the Alto Clivvy, but the center of the clivvy can be pushed around -- it will happily squeeze any of the five lines of a staff in its central pincers. Why one would want to use this clivvy is still a conundrum; nobody can read it (except a few cellists). This clivvy is important only to the most extreme of musical snobs (and cellists). There are very few instances of composers actually using this clivvy, but Bach was probably the last one. And good riddance.
  • The Funky Funky Inky Blinky Jesus Mango Clivvy is not commonly used except by trombone players and other fundamentally insane people. It, like the Alto Clivvy, uses the gamma clivvy (C clivvy) to express its personality.

Other clefs, i.e. the tuna clef and base clef, are mentioned but not explained in a scintillating discussion about bassoons.


Background Information: 5E-1 Steps and 1E1 Steps[edit]

I'm on the outside. I'm looking in. I can see through you, see your true colours...

The distance between two knotes is measured in 5E-1 Steps and 1E1 steps. The smallest interval in Western music is the 5E-1 Step. Two 5E-1 steps equal a 1E1 step. If we solely use Caucasian knotes, then 5E-1 steps will be encountered between E and F, and B and C. The distance between a G and A, for example, is a 1E1 step.

It is important to understand accidentals, alternatively called hullabaloova. (Plural form: hullabaloovas.) Since accidentals usually produce African knotes, it should be noted that music has an underlying racial bias to it.

Flats, Sharps, and Naturals and superjumps[edit]

A sharp raises a note by a 5E-1 step. A flat lowers a note by a 5E-1 step. They are sold on EBay for 25 cents per dozen. It has been shown that flats and sharps are in constant competition with one another, as is matter and antimatter. If a flat and sharp collide, they explode and produce a chemical substance known as a natural. Such a procedure, however, has never been witnessed by musicians, since accidentals are made in a Chinese factory by Taiwanese children. Most naturals seem to have been purchased on a black market. They are usually cheap and of poor quality, and cause Caucasian notes. Rumors of child abuse by exposure to flat-sharp pyrotechnics have been suggested, but not investigated.

Double sharps and double flats are similar to sharps and flats but they are twice as fat and cost twice as much.

Accidentals are cancelled by bar lines, which shows the fundamental power that bar lines have, and leads one to believe that, like naturals, they are of Chinese manufacture.

Time Classy-Fiction[edit]

Time classy-fiction are used to decide how music fits into a measure. If you have forgotten what a measure is, look it up!

Measures are made of a predetermined number of beatniks, or pulsations. The number, of course, was predetermined by God before time began. This is called Musical Predestinifimacation.

Meter is the pattern of beatniks.

Beatniks can also be purchased on EBay, despite the fact that this is in contradiction with their "no humans for sale" policy.

Tripped and Untripped Beatniks[edit]

Tripped beatniks, besides being a danger to society, are informally referred to as strong (beatniks). However, the term "strong beatnik" was changed in the Anti-Oxymoron Amendment in the Constitution of the United States of America. Untripped beatniks, though less common, are also called weak beatniks.

  • The sign > is used to denote a tripped beatnik.
  • The sign U is used to denote an untripped beatnik.

There are four main types of meter: duple meter, triple meter, quadruple meter, quintuple meter. Meters such as sextuple meter, septuple meter, and octuple meter have only been used quarce in music. Or maybe it was quince?

  • Duple measure has two beatniks, of the pattern > U.
  • Triple measure has three beatniks, of the pattern > U U.
  • Quadruple measure has four beatniks, of the pattern > U > U, with the first tripped beatnik being more tripped than the second tripped beatnik.
    • How many trips would a beatnik trip if a beatnik could trip beets?
  • Quintuple measure has five beatniks, of the pattern > U U > U or > U > U U.
  • For an example, listen to "Dance of the big fairies" by Sky.

Ritalin Division[edit]

Time siggies have two parts: beatniks and ritalin division. Ritalin is a form of the word "rythmic." Tripped beatniks have more ritalin.

There are two types of ritalin (division): simple and compound.

  • Simple ritalin divides each beatnik into two equal parts. This process is usually more painful for males than females.
  • Complex ritalin divides each beatnik into three equal parts.

Beatniks and Ritalin[edit]

A complete time classy-fiction has both a beatnik value and the ritalin division. For example, music set in a simple-quadruple time classy-fiction would have four beatniks per measure, each of which be divided into two parts.

Knote Values[edit]

Knotes are used to represent pitches. However, they also show duration. The basic note is a whole knote, which divides into two parts to become a half knote. The rest of the values are also divided into two. A diagram exhibiting the other values are listed below:

Knotes' values. Oh yeah!

If notes are under the same beatnik they are group together, as such:

Correct beaming. Yawn.

Dotted notes are 1.5 times the value of regular notes. This is because all dotted notes have syphilis, being dotted, and thus have more expensive hospital bills.

  • Undotted notes are used with simple ritalin to form the main beatnik. *Sexually diseased notes use complex ritalin as the main beatnik.

Let's talk about those siggies.

Time Siggies[edit]

Time siggies are the manifestation of time classy-fictions into quantitative values.

A time siggy has an upper number and a lower number. The upper number shows the number of beatniks per measure, while the lower shows the ritalin value. Let's discuss both. Form your discussion groups!

The Upper Number[edit]

With simple ritalin, the top number shows the beatniks per measure. With complex ritalin, the top number shows the beatniks per measure divided by three.

The Lower Number[edit]

If the number is 6, 9, 12, or 15, 'tis compound. Otherwise, the ritalin value is simple. Don't take Ritalin, kids!

Nowadays, Time Siggies are no longer in use and have been replaced by common step-time (aka 4/4 time).

Musical Intervals[edit]

Music is composed of various symmetrical gaps based on the weight of the object on the musical scale. Below is a list of Many of the intervals on the Musical Scale:


  • Nada (Zippo) C - -1
  • Perfect Unison C - C
  • Imperfect Unison C - C+
  • Minor Second C - C#
  • Mooner Second C - ( Y )
  • Major Second C - D
  • Minor Third C - Eb
  • Indecisive Third C - E?
  • Major Third C - E

  • Perfect fourth C - F
  • Faulty Fourth C - Ѯ
  • Try-tone C - F# ( o_o')
  • Perfect Fifth C - G
  • Wolf Fifth C - G%
  • Dog Fifth C - G$
  • Silent Harmonic C - X
  • Minor Sixth C - Ab

  • Indecisive Sixth C - A?
  • Major Sixth C - A
  • Minor Seventh C - Bb
  • Seven Eleven C - B7
  • Major Seven C - B
  • Cheap Octave C - C~
  • Better Octave C - C!
  • Perfect Octave C - C

In addition, at the end of the 17th century, the following intervals were expunged from music:

  • Satan's Third Removed by the Old Roman Catholic church
  • Gray Tone Removed for no gray area
  • Harmonic Ninth Removed because no one made use of it

  • Grimm Seventh Removed because it was too scary
  • Indecisive Unison Removed because of paradox
  • Slow Sixth Removed because it took forever to play

Rests[edit] na na na na, na na, na Katamari Damacy...

The exact date when rests were invented is disputed, while the existence itself of rests is also highly disputed, due to the fact that we know real musicians never need to rest. But some agree that rests are distributed throughout the score in order to make it possible to scratch oneself during a performance should the need arise.

Real musicians place the invention of rests near the beginning of the 19th century due to the fact that every other child was a prodigy during that time. It became apparent that parents couldn't exploit their children's talent when they had chicken pox because the need to scratch was simply too strong. It overwhelmed the music. To solve this problem, the federation of parents with gifted children (FPGC) randomly removed notes from a score and replaced them with random signs that later became known as rests. It is said that when Bach's great-great-great-great-great grandson (named Ludwig van Bach) saw the great masters music, he tore all the strings out of his piano, sat inside, closed the lid and died of starvation. This is why one never hears about a modern Bach.

Guitarists place the invention of rests much earlier. According to them rests were invented at the same time as the discovery of drugs, which uncoincidentally was during the same time as the invention of the guitar. Most guitarists had strong urges, not only to scratch, but to eat often.

Guitarists claim that rests were initially named "munchies" because during a "munchie" a guitarist had time to eat something. However, the name was later changed to "rests" because it become apparent that rests permitted amateur (non-talented people) to play music (also known as an accidental solo). The extra time given by the rests made it possible for "the rest" of society to play music (providing they didn't eat or scratch during a rest). For this reason, the name "munchies" was changed to "rests".

Harmonic Progressions[edit]

Contrary to popular opinion, cords are not formed from intervals, but rather, intervals are formed from cords. In any case, it makes the most sense to start with Harmonic Progressions, then go to Cords, then to Intervals. Why? I'm the teacher, that's why! God I need more ritalin...


Ahh. I'm sane now!

Harmonic Progressions[edit]

You don't want racial discord.

Good harmony is like watching an old man walk without farting. Well, sort of. That's only half of it, really. You see, harmony consists of tension, and release, so as good as it must feel not to have Great Uncle Oscar let off steam in your immediate vicinity, there's bound to be a release sooner or later. And that's the essence of harmony.

If you didn't read the above paragraph, you might wonder why people don't like studying harmony. Well, in addition to what was stated above, students of musick theery often face incomprehensible jargon such as the following:

(Note that I've chosen a key where both Caucasian keys and African keys are used, to avoid racial discord. I suggest you do the same. Well, that and because A major works well on guitar. So does C major, incidently. And of course if you use a capo, you-
That reminds me of something funny that happened down by the Cape. There was this squirrel- Cape "Cod", I think it was. Anyways, there was this squirrel and we tried to pet it but it didn't like it at least we think it didn't cause it ran away and that was the same day we went on the Ferris wheel which was a really cool movie y'know "Ferris Wheeler's Day Off" and...

Uhhh... where's the Ritalin?


Ahh. I'm sane now!


A chord is produced when between one and 145 knotes sound together. Stravinsky increased the upper limit just to be different. The typical kinds of chords used in contemporary composition are:

  • Major
  • Sergeant-Major
  • Minor
  • Miner
  • Moe
  • Seventh
  • Minor-Seventh
  • Minor-Sixth
  • Power

  • Diminished
  • Half-diminished
  • Half-diminished-minor-twelfth-add-seventeen
  • Cucumber
  • Neutral
  • Null
  • Augmented-major-seventh
  • Umbilical

  • Augmented
  • Frenching Augmented sixth (prohibited in most grade schools)
  • Slash
  • Disharmonic Twelfth
  • Neopolitan-flavoured-ice-cream-dominant-flattened-sixth
  • Three-and-a-half-into-sixteen-over-four-twice-removed add Minor 9th

The general idea is to place both elbows down on the piano and see what happens. More often than not one of the chords listed above will be produced. If not, you have inadvertently played one of the forbidden combinations, as defined by the theory of Euclidean space. The combination of sine and cosine waves emitted in sync will cause irreparable hearing damage and is notated thus:

Cm(maj)7/6/5(#4b3)/D#(^2x-7) (aka C Minor Major Seventh sixth Five Sharp Four Flat three Over D# Sub 2 Omit Flat Seven)

Caution is advised when using major and minor chords of flattened keys (especially Bb, Ab and also Eb depending on dialect). Many deaths of mining staff and also of high ranking military personnel (due to squishing) have been reported worldwide for centuries, usually due to ill-advised key changes.


A triad is a chord with three equal legs. These three legs make it especially maneuverable and fast. These advantages make it a winner on race day, which is why it continues to be the most popular chord type in use today. Some triads merely have a metaphorical third leg. The third leg is implied by its rather large D. These triads are known for their sexual prowess and like to have intercourse with so called "female" cords who lack the D. The result of this, disappointingly enough, is just a regular triad. Regular triads are considered more musical because they can augment and diminish themselves at will. They are equally capable as majors and minors, although the minors tend to be more diminished. This is another reason why triads are the favored chord among classical composers. However, modern composers have begun to reject triads as boring, and have begun exploring fetishes such as power chords (aka domination), dissonant chords (aka interracial) which implement African notes, and chords with 4 or five legs (aka gangbang).

Harmonic Progressions, Once Again, and Hopefully for the Last Time[edit]

The key (not to be confused with what "key" a song's in or the "key"s on a "keyboard") to harmonic progressions (a.k.a. cord progressions) is the Sickle of Fifths. In other words, power cords. (Oops, I wasn't supposed to tell you about cords until I finished with progressions. Well, what's the worse that could happen?)

Capo is a funny word, isn't it? It sounds like "cape", but it has an "O" in it!

So, yeah, all harmony is based off of power cords. But if you play a piano, you probably don't care about that. So I'll continue:

To write a cord progression, first pick a key. No, not the key meaning the "key" to something. And no, not the "key" that you pluck on a piano. No, I'm talking about a musical "key", which is something like a 'Cale, which will be discussed later. Much, much later at this rate.

Let's say we pick C major ("C" stands for Caucasian). Next, look at the Sickle of Fifths. I know we don't have one here, just imagine one in your mind and be careful your brain doesn't get cut. Now, to write a good cord progression, start by picking every cord from C major clockwise until you return to C. Now play them. If this sounds strange to you, it's because your music is too simple. Try this: Add 1 to each chord. Don't ask me what "add 1 to each chord" means, just do it! Now you metaphorically mash your cords together in a ceramic cooking pot with some pepper, tomato sauce, and some portabello minor cords. It might metaphorically resemble spaghetti. Add water. Boil for ten minutes. Think about penguins while you wait. Write down what you're feeling on some garlic bread sticks. Add the cord confection. Sit, serve yourself a plate, and eat. At least that's how it's supposed to be done.

But as any good composer knows, rules were made to be broken.


There are seven musical modes. You are supposed to guess which one you're supposed to be playing in any particular piece, because it will never, ever be given to you. The modes are:

  • Ionian- The music must be put into "Ion" mode; that is, broken down into sub-atomic particles and then reorganized to create stronger bonds.
  • Dorian- Don't even try to play this. Only Dora the Explorer can play it.
  • Phrygian (pronounced- Fridge-Ian)- Put the music in a cooler or refrigerator to let it chill, then serve with salt and pepper to taste. Add spices if desired.
  • Lydian- As the name suggests, it requires some travelling to Lydia for proper translation.
  • Mixolydian- Same as the above, except it requires travelling to anywhere but Lydia to be tossed in a campfire. The next step is to sing Kum Bye Ah around said campfire. In the Lydian mode.
  • Aeolian- This one just plain sucks.
  • Locrian (pronounced- Lock-Reean)- Put it in a safe, lock it (Eh?), throw away the key, and drop the safe in a river (or ocean).

Other Musical Scales[edit]

The Pentatonic Scale[edit]

The Pentatonic scale is a five tone scale as opposed to the normal diatonic scale as opposed to the chromatic scale as opposed to the fish scale. The Pentatonic Scale originated in east Asian Music in the 12th century. This caused a musical breakthrough throughout Asia. Some consider the Asians primitive in the Musical area as they use a simpler 5 tone scale rather than the western traditional 7 tone scales. Larry King once interviewed a Chinese Musician asking, "So, I hear people talking about your culture hasn't advanced much in the musical world as your still using pentatonics, am I correct?" The Asian musician replied "Oh, not at all, the truth is that we use pentatonic because we don't need seven notes to make a song as we don't need 5 hands to change one light bulb." The notes of the pentatonic scale are "Wong" "Si" "Chow" "Ming" "Yong"

The African American Pentatonic scale[edit]

The African Keys on the Piano are a symbol of asian culture. Upon migrating to America, the Asians discovered that they could play their scales on the "Black notes" on the Piano. Many Asians today continue this racist act.

The Bluezy Scale[edit]

Used by thousands of Blues musicians, the bluezy scale is a five tone scale with an included passing tone used in , you guessed it, the BLUES. The Six notes of the Bluezy scale are "My" "Baby" "Won't" "Take" "Me" "Back"

Musical notes[edit]

An example of the notes of what E, G, B, D and F means.

The example of the mnemonics in the musical scale E-G-B-D-F are:

  • Every Good Boy Does Fine
  • Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday
  • Elvis' Gutter Broke Down Friday
  • Ellen's Garments Broke Down Friday
  • Even George Bush's Democracy Fails
  • Evil Gods Bewitches Damn Fuckers
  • Excessive Garth Brooks Deranged Fans

For the spaces, the mnemonics that must be used under penalty of law are:

  • FACE

In the 1960s, musicologists with nothing better to do but with lots of grant money expanded this to:

  • Find A Convenient Expletive


Tempo is, of course, short for temperature, and is only relevant when playing in the Mixolydian and Phrygian modes (see above).


Dynamics is the study of superheroes, like Batman and Robin. A dynamic marking is used to indicate the superhero quality of a note. Dynamic markings do not affect heinz; rather, they alter to fabric of spacetime to make notes appear closer or farther away.

Even though this article is incomplete, here are some relevant links[edit]