Sunday, October 1st, 2023

Series Introduction – Music Theory – Level 2 – Part 20


Music Theory – Level 2 – Introduction

A Tonal System

Scales in Music – A Tonal System

Music Theory Section – Level 2

Series Introduction – Part 20

Welcome to the Series Introduction for Music Theory Level 2 in the overall series titled Scales in Music – A Tonal System.


Life has an ebb and flow to it. Sometimes everything is going quite well and all appears to be just as fine and as wonderful as it can get. We perform our various and different daily tasks in ways that save us time and get us the results we seek. Over time and at different times we learn to do this with a sort of flair that is unique to our selves and yet is somewhat similar to what others have experienced and have expressed.

Composers and performers always talk about how music is an independent way to express their deepest and most sincere self. They all seem to talk about this with such seriousness and intensity that you know there just has to be something extra special about music for the creators and for the artists who perform their musical works. It is through the depths of their soul that the creators generate new musical ideas and it is through the uniqueness and the incredible artistry, also from the soul of the performer, that musical beauty is brought forth. It is their gift to mankind and that my friends should be highly honored.

As many of you know there are certain ways to do things that produce the desired results in just about everything we do. Music is no different. Whether from the standpoint of the composer or the performer there are interesting ways and techniques to make the sounds of the notes as placed on a musical staff speak in the way we want them to. Not only does the composer need to know these ways and means but the performers must also practice with their instruments to perfect the performance quality of the musical expressions they are attempting to produce.

Music Theory Level 2 takes these ideas into account by demonstrating the various degrees of loudness, the rate and meter in which we play our instruments, how we actually express ourselves and through what techniques we use to produce the music we wish to express the music we create and perform.

Series Introduction – Part 20

This article is designed to act like a table of contents, much like the series introduction did for the Acoustics of Music series. Each article will be presented as a stand alone article however, the contents of the overall Music Theory – Level 2 series  is a presentation about how we as composers go about notating the way music is to be performed. This is a different focus than discovering or reviewing what specific tools such as notes, rests, repeats, etc., are used to make music.

Music is first an idea, a thought. It must be transferred from that thought stage and into the physical world via either music notation and/or performance. In this way, music becomes real!

In a general sense, the articles in the Level 2 series are about the many additional tools, symbols and words needed to compose music but more importantly, the idea of how we want our music performed, what form of expression or what techniques are to be used to create the sound the composer is seeking from the instrument. It still remains up to the performer as to how this is actually done on their respective instrument however the composer supplies the guidelines by using specific notation marks, symbols and words to represent his or her intent for a single note, a series of notes, a phrase or section of a musical work or for that matter the complete composition.

These articles are about the emotions too as music moves people in emotional ways. The tools described and included in this series, bring out that emotion for others to relate to and to enjoy. How well the audience receives the music is a direct reflection of the composers and performers artistry in expressing emotion through music.

With that said, the following is a listing of the articles included in the Music Theory Level 2 series with a brief explanation as to what each one entails. Links will be provided as the articles are posted.

Music Theory – Level 2

Table of Contents

Part 20 – Series Introduction – This is the one you are reading now.

Part 21a – Dynamics – Music Theory Level 2 – The dynamic symbols and marking to alter the intensity of the sounds written in music will be demonstrated along with their respective meaning.

Part 21b – Dynamics – Music Theory Level 2 – Will review more symbols and words which alter the dynamics or volume of the sound along with their respective meanings.

Part 22a – Time Signatures Theoretical Time – Music Theory Level 2 – demonstrates a philosophical approach to time with reference to Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz.

Part 22b – Time Signatures – Music Theory Level 2 – Presents the structure and meaning of the time signature symbols.

Part 22c – Time Signatures – The Symbols – Music Theory Level 2 – Presents the time signatures as related to time, meter, tempo and rhythm,  with examples . Simple and Compound time signatures are explored.

Part 23a – Expression in Music – Introduction – Music Theory Level 2 – Presents information and an overview of how to add emotion into the process of music creation from the standpoint and use of standard music notation practices. Adding emotion and movement making music interesting and causing specific reactions within the audience.

Part 23b – Expression in Music – Categories – Music Theory Level 2 – Defines the categories of the words related to musical expression marks.

Part 23c – Expression in Music – Words – Music Theory Level 2 – Defines and provides two basic lists of the most commonly used words which instruct performers on adding emotion to their performances.

Part 23d – Expression in Music – Word List – Music Theory Level 2 – A list of many words used as instructions for instrumentalists to play in a specific way in regards to creating expressive performances. English and Italian equivalents provided.

Part 24 – Musical Technique Symbols – Music Theory Level 2 – is about the various and specific symbols used to notate music which causes the performer to play the notes using a certain and specific method to create the desired sound character.

Part 25 – Series Conclusion – Music Theory Level 2 – provides review of article contents in the Music Theory – Level 2 article series. It also introduces the next level of music theory with a brief overview of its upcoming content.


We believe that this section or Music Theory Level 2 series will provide ample evidence of the amount of control a composer has over how the music is performed through the use of musical dynamics, time signatures, expression symbols and performance techniques. Hopefully, you will also learn the basic ideas of how these tools can be used and in what manner they are to be used.

Up Next

Part 21a is our next article and it begins by presenting the various means to notate into the music composition dynamics which alter the intensity of volume of a note, notes, phrase of music or as used through the entire composition.

Please proceed to Dynamics – Music Theory – Part 21a.

Mini Series Links

To return to the Music Theory – Level 1 directory for the article listings within the series, please proceed to Music Theory Section – Level 1 – Series Introduction – Part 10.

This is Music Theory – Level 2. The directory for the series is shown above.

To proceed to Acoustics of Music directory for the listings within the mini-series, please proceed to Acoustics of Music – Part 1 – Series Introduction.

Additional comment – All of the articles in the music theory – Level 2 series are not completed at this time. We reserve the right to make amendments to this article as needed or required.

Series Introduction – Music Theory – Level 2 – Part 20

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