Embark on a musical journey.

With Our Interactive Books

Like a college course taught at a level a child can understand.

— SpaceCadet-528hz (iOS App Store Review)

Follow the Hooktheory Book Series in a smart, fun, skill-building journey. Learn how to craft melodies and chord progressions like professional musicians, and discover an intuitive and deep understanding of how music works. Validated by over 30,000 hobby and pro musicians like you, the Hooktheory Book Series is the best selling how-to series for musicians around the world for a reason.

Hooktheory vs. Other Books


Hooktheory music format

Written in an easy-to-understand music format that emphasizes chord and melody function.

Other Books

Treble clef and bass clef music format

If you don’t read sheet music, you’re out of luck. Also, sheet music really isn’t great for teaching how music works.


Audiovisual animation playing inline in the Hooktheory Book Series

Rich audiovisual animations that play along as you learn.

Other Books

No inline audio or video examples

No sound. No video.


Guitarist on stage looking out at the crowd

Popular Artists

Discover the tactics used by popular artists from the past and present. Together, we will dissect 324 popular songs and show you how the pros do it.

Other Books

Johann Sebastian Bach courtesy from Wikipedia

J. S. Bach

Song examples you probably aren’t interested in.


Screenshot of Hookpad songwriting software

Learn and immediately practice concepts and tactics with our accompanying musical sketchpad, Hookpad.

Other Books

Red circle with line through it

No other music teaching book has anything like this.

Fun to read. Easy to understand. Full of practical knowledge.

Learn from 124 interactive exercises and 324 audiovisual examples from artists like The Beatles, Journey, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, Coldplay, Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Maroon 5 and more!

Hooktheory Book 1 Cover

Created by Chris, Ryan, and Dave

 Hooktheory founders David Carlton, Chris Anderson, and Ryan Miyakawa

Hey there. We're Chris Anderson, Ryan Miyakawa, and David Carlton - the founders of Hooktheory (left to right). We all have PhDs from UC Berkeley. Our shared passion for music and education led to the creation of Hooktheory in 2011. You can find out more about us and our story here.

This book was phenomenal!

My time with Hooktheory was one of the most lucid and enjoyable educational experiences I've ever had. As an amateur piano player who has always just read and played the sheet music, the number of "aha!" moments I had while reading was enough to keep me going back to the website daily as I wait eagerly for the sequel.Justin (goodreads.com review)

Hooktheory makes learning so much more intuitive.

Hooktheory I is the quintessential example of technology being used in a modest and focused way to make learning so much more intuitive. The song examples perfectly illustrated the points in the text while letting me progress and repeat sections at my own pace.Justin (goodreads.com review)

Worth every penny!

I rarely write reviews, but I felt compelled to write this one. I have learned more from this book than any other music theory book I've read. The authors make the complex understandable. It is worth every penny I paid for it.John Conley (Google Play store review)

Love this.

Great for understanding music theory and love the way it shows you by playing examples, so the theory just jumps off the page and comes alive. This is the way teaching is supposed to be. Great work, worth every penny. Thank you so much.Estell South (Google Play store review)


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)

Almost perfect.

Props to the authors for a very easy to follow explanation of the basics of chord progressions. The text and graphics and audio made it very engaging.@elevensong (iBooks review)

Best music theory book period.

Best music theory book period. Don't look anywhere else because Hooktheory I has it all.Frank Bono (goodreads.com review)