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I released a new project. It’s not a GUI, not a soundset…It’s a free music theory website!!

The site is called SoundQuest. I’ve been running a website in Japanese for nearly 15 years since I was a student, and this is its English translation. Read the article for more information regarding the site.

In fact, in Japan, I’m more famous as the operator of this website than as a GUI/sound designer—I also work as a music theorist, writing essays about music theory and supervising music books to ensure the accuracy of theoretical expressions.

Liberal Music Theory

At SoundQuest, we are proposing a new school of thought called “Liberal Music Theory.” Simply put, it is a system and curriculum reconstructed to primarily target various 21st-century popular music genres—rock, EDM and hip-hop, among others, are main target genres, and all the content is written with the practical application to these types of music in mind.

Current mainstream music theory is mostly based on Western classical music or bebop jazz.

By studying orthodox theories, learners are able to create music as above. Yes, they’re beautiful and elegant. There is no reason to deny that these are great music. However, in reality, there are many, many musicians who want to create different kinds of songs like these:

Here, timbre matters more. The power of melody matters more. The rhythmic groove of the hi-hats determines whether you dance or not. There are many important topics in modern music that are not covered in standard music theory books, leading to a growing demand for content that consolidates such practical knowledge.

However, it is extremely challenging to find content that strikes a balance between considering such new styles of music while never disregarding traditional music theory as well. The world needs a good “designer” of the music theory.

Illustration: a Good Designer

“First, clear everything out and begin with a blank canvas. Then simplify and reorganize the unnecessary clutter, and incorporate new elements that everyone desires in an ideal form, and finally, present it with an attractive appearance.” — this is what I’ve done with UI design for years, and I applied the same approach to music theory❣️😉

And the result is astonishing. Over 30,000 people have registered on the Japanese version of this site, enjoying learning new music theory. And so, I decided to translate this content into English to make it accessible to people overseas.

The site also features a forum. Through this site, I hope to engage in discussions about music theory with people from around the world and further deepen my own knowledge too.

Visit the site and experience the excitement of learning theory!

Yuta Yoshimatsu

Ohayo. I'm a Japanese graphic and sound designer. I love u-he products and speak u-he's theming language as fluently as any man.