View Full Version : A good book

05-07-2003, 04:49 AM
Hi guys

Could you tell me, wich the best Jazz theory book is?


05-07-2003, 01:58 PM
I think there is no answer to this question - at least that's my opinion. I gained my knowledge from many different sources, starting out with classical music theory books, general harmony books, more jazz specific books, rock harmony, etc ....

If you have the chance pay a visit to a public library / or comprehensive store and browse through all they have in there. You'll for sure find at least 5 books that will grab your attention.

Some of these books will deal with the same topics but present them in different ways - this is what is important and shows you the full range of applications of the theory.

Also you should keep in mind that music harmony, jazz harmony, composition, arranging, although related, are all huge topics - there will never be one single book that will be able to cover them all.


Doug McMullen
05-07-2003, 02:30 PM

Guni's right of course. And I think anyone who knows a decent amount of theory will tell you something similiar to : "I was highly motivated to learn the subject because it interested me... I sought out information from a wide variety of sources and had to do a lot of putting together of info from source X with info from source Y to learn"

All that said, I do think there are some very good specific books to recommend for jazz oriented theory:

"The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine
"Improvising Jazz" by Jerry Coker

for applicable general theory:

Harmony and Theory by Keith Wyatt and Carl Schroeder.

Finally don't neglect ear training! Theory can't help much if you don't hear clearly what folks are doing.


Bongo Boy
05-10-2003, 03:06 AM
I really don't mean to be a smart-***, but the best jazz theory book I've found so far is The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia. Well, okay, so I'm being a smart-***. But get this book anyway and read it while you're letting your fingers rest. It just might be as significant a book as any 'book about jazz' can be.