The Language of Music Revealed

A Real Easy Way for ANYONE to Learn to Read and Write Music

by Barry A. Kolman


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View First 25 Pages: (free download)


There are millions of self-taught musicians in this world. Some can't read a stitch of music and can only play by ear. If this describes you and you want to learn how to read and write music in a step-by-step, easy to follow fashion, you have come to the right place. Knowing the fundamentals of music will make playing even more fun. This book is also designed for all those non-musical types who are taking a college music fundamentals course and don't have a clue about what is going on. This book will come to your rescue. Music professors teaching such a course will find this text perfect for their students.

Just reading about music fundamentals won’t do much for you. You’ve got to jump in and begin to write music. At the end of each chapter, there are exercises for you to do to see if you’re catching on. Informational (occasionally entertaining) icons in the left margin guide you along as you learn to read and write music.

Click here for Accompanying Audio Files (large 41MB zip file)


"Barry Kolman describes his useful, well-written book as: 'a real easy way for anyone to learn to read and write music.'....this book is a good text that makes the subject anything but dry. Kolman’s inventive writing keeps the material interesting. I find this book to be useful for adult beginners and suggest that music teachers keep it on hand. Even advanced students sometimes need a few pointers and exercises on music theory."-Maria Nockin

This article originally appeared in Issue 37:4 (Mar/Apr 2014) of Fanfare Magazine.

About the Author

Dr. Barry Araújo Kolman is Professor of Music at Washington and Lee University and has been teaching and conducting orchestras for 35 years. At W&L, he teaches music fundamentals (a course he introduced to the curriculum), conducting, clarinet, and conducts the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. He has guest conducted throughout the world and has recorded several CDs which are commercially available. Maestro Kolman graduated with high honors and received his Doctorate of Arts in Conducting along with the Dean's Citation for Excellence from the University of Northern Colorado. He lives with his wife Grace in Virginia, and has six children.