Learning to read, understand and recognize music is a difficult task that can take many years to master, constant practice is needed, with any advantage welcomed. Music Theory is an application that, while focused on piano players, can help anyone increase their knowledge of musical theory, as well as the basics of music in general.

The application is not complicated despite the complicated subject it tries to teach, users can play with the interactive keyboard and both see and hear the notes being played. The application is fully capable of teaching someone how to read basic music. Though black keys are not available in the standard mode, the application does allow them in the chord exercises.

Music Theory is fun to use, with the configuration mode allowing the use of different instrument’s sounds coming from the piano keys. Users can have the sounds generated in the style of highly electronic or classical instruments, as well as different sound editing and tempo changes. Unfortunately, some of the instruments have an electronic type sound to them, especially the string instruments. The electronic hum is slightly off putting, yet more than compensated for by the wide range of choices.

The application includes a multitude of different games and modes that users can try, some harder than others. The listening mode plays a song, so users can both watch the keys and hear the notes being played. Another mode plays a note and users must try to place them correctly on the musical range, with yet another mode, that instructs users to listen to more complicated note combinations and mimic them.

All the different modes are relatively quick to understand despite a minimalistic interface with only a few explanations. The application does include extensive documentation however, that should make it significantly easier to learn for users new to music. The different modes are also instructive as well as fun, while they obviously benefit piano players the most, as they can match the keys on the application to a real piano.

All in all, Music Theory is an interesting and fun application. For those starting to learn the piano or wanting to learn the basics of music reading, it is a valuable tool. The program could use some improvements in sound quality in several areas, but that doesn’t detract from the appeal or quality too much. Music Theory remains a helpful application for musical beginners eager to learn.