Curious do you think Music Theory can be conquered

I’m a novice but seems all musicians are using ideas first developed 100’s of years ago. I prefer the more primitive music like metal and rock and dare I say hip hop. Or will my eyes soon be open to how deep it goes.

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Hmm, what do you mean by conquered?

Hey Alexander,

Not sure if I’m viewing theory correct but I figure it’s all the rules and logic behind music and has an end. Kinda of like a programming language. What you create with this knowledge will have more options and possibly be endless.

I think theory is a lifelong journey of discovery.
Its what you do with it and how you apply it over time that shows up in your playing and eventually becomes your voice and style. Getting good tone and applying theory and techniques makes you who you are. Theory makes your understanding deeper the more you dig deeper.

So theory is really an explanation of things sounding a certain way, not so much a set of rules and logic unless you are trying to write a piece in the vain of (insert composer/writer here).

Hey Ron,

I figure the application or execution of theory can be a lifelong journey considering you can also break the rules. But the study of theory not the application I think this has an end being not limitless. Maybe I’m wrong but kinda what I’m thinking.

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Possibly I used the wrong wording. This is a creative and artistic group of people but a programming language analogy was the first one that came to mind. I do agree that music is more based in emotion. Maybe a different analogy theory is like the border or outline of a painting and all the color and shading is the application or execution of theory applied. But in being so I do feel I will eventually learn all theory. My thought there hasn’t been any new additions in 100’s of years. But maybe I’m wrong.


So you mentioned about learning and breaking the rules. The “rules” really only exist within whatever category of music you are referring to. You could look at music like a phylogenetic tree with most things we consider under a western umbrella which has a lot of similarities across the board, but if you start analyzing some old folk music from ancient china the same you would Bach, then you would have a rough time. Again, it’s more an analysis than a set of rules to apply. And as far as not having anything new in 100s of years, just watch any horror movie. The music is often atonal and it would often be rough trying to analyse it the same way as a Beethoven sonata.


I look at music the same as I look at astrophysics – mysterious, beautiful, and pretty intimidating. One of those things that every new discovery opens up new questions, which can be fun, but also very frustrating.


I hear you T. Not gonna quit my day job just yet.