The music theory book you'll love.

Hooktheory I

By Ryan Miyakawa, David Carlton, and Chris Anderson Cover of Hooktheory I: The music theory book you'll love

What people are saying:

Outstanding!
A great explanation of music theory, and the relationship between melody and chord progressions. Having the video/audio examples built-in makes this book really stand apart from others I have read. I wish all music books were made this way!Jeffrey Hall (iBooks review)
Worthy of multiple re-reads
Hooktheory I was a great book. In less time than it takes to learn how to play an instrument I learned how music works! I have been looking for a resource that made writing music comprehensible. This is that resource. The graphs and explanations were clear and easy to follow. The various examples from popular songs helped a great deal. Jeremiah Spassion (iBooks review)
Loved this book!
The explanations are easy to understand and the audiovisual examples made the concepts easy to internalize.@harlandjp (iBooks review)

A modern take.

Hooktheory is an intuitive, modern take on music theory that answers the questions you care the most about: Why do certain chords fit together easily, and others not so easily? How can I get from this chord to that chord? How can I create a great sounding melody?

The concepts we teach are applicable to all types of music, but examples are drawn from popular songs you’ve probably heard on the radio. Also, because the explanations are drawn from our TheoryTab format, people that don’t read conventional sheet music will benefit from the concepts we cover just as much as those that do.

The book is 6 chapters long with 41 exercises and 94 audiovisual examples from artists like: Aerosmith, Avicii, Beyonce, Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, Daughtry, Diana Ross, Green Day, John Mayer, Journey, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, Pink, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Four Seasons, The Killers, Tom Petty, … and more.

Integrated with other parts of the Hooktheory ecosystem.

Hooktheory I was written from the ground up to be used alongside our free HookPad music editing software. Hookpad simplifies songwriting by helping you choose chords that sounds good together and guiding you to write a good melody. It’s musical sketchpad with music theory “built-in” to make it easier and more intuitive to find the sound you’re looking for. You can learn more about Hookpad here.

So who's behind this?

Hey there. We're David Carlton, Chris Anderson, and Ryan Miyakawa - the Hooktheory team (left to right). We all have Ph.D's from U.C. Berkeley. Our shared passion for music and education led to the creation of Hooktheory in 2011.

The Hooktheory team: David Carlton, Chris Anderson, and Ryan Miyakawa

Hooktheory I is available now:

What if I don't like it?

If you don't love the book, we will gladly refund your money. Just send us an email at with your receipt and we will issue you a full refund.

Do I have to be able to read sheet music?

No. Hooktheory I uses TheoryTabs to explain the function of chords and melody so knowledge of conventional sheet music isn’t necessary. TheoryTabs make it easy to see and hear what is going on in a song.

What about other formats?

Hooktheory I is currently available for web browsers and iBooks (iPad/OSX Mavericks). Other formats like .ePub, .mobi, and .pdf don't support as rich of an experience so we have not released the book in those formats.

What if I have questions?

We would love to hear from you. To get help, ask a question, etc. please leave us a message on Facebook or email us at . We make our best effort to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.