Ongaku Concept is a YouTube channel which dissects the music of anime and video games, produced by composer and music theorist Joshua Taipale.

Music theory is often feared to be a tyrannical system of law, waiting to ensnare creative young musicians and banish their imaginative new ideas to the shadow realm. And unfortunately, there are some who do teach it this way, taking points off students' music for colouring too far outside the lines. It doesn't have to be like this.

A better way of conceptualising music theory is to think of it like a map. A map doesn't tell you where you are, where you're going, or how to get there; that's up to you to decide. The map only shows you where everything is. Music theory is similar — it shows the relationships between notes, rhythms, etc. (relationships which exist with or without our explanation), and categorises them, to aid in the understanding and application of this knowledge.

You might wonder why this is worth learning at all. There are many reasons, but the primary practical reason is this: An understanding of music theory allows you to write music more intentionally, with more self-awareness, and greater coherence of mind. In short, music theory is like a shortcut to writing the kind of music you want to write, when you want to write it. It is no replacement for creative intuition; rather, it works with it and fortifies it.

To have knowledge without an understanding of when and why to apply it is to lack wisdom — and it is this wisdom which defines such legendary composers as Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu. This wisdom is the ideal which Ongaku Concept seeks to move forward towards.

Let us begin.