Theoretically Speaking

Stephanie Claussen

Stephanie Claussen is a professional freelance harpist in St. Paul, Minn.

 Reap the practical benefits of mastering your music theory.

What’s worse than getting lost in a dark forest at night? The consensus among harpists seems to be that learning music theory is worse than getting lost in any number of dark forests.

I took six semesters of music theory in college and I struggled. My impression is that I’m not alone—most people struggle with music theory. My comprehension of chords, key signatures, and harmonic progressions developed slowly, and I received partial credit on enough homework assignments to make me seriously question my abilities. Only now, half a dozen years later, can I see why my music school required those classes; as a professional harpist I use those music theory skills every day.

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About Author

Stephanie Claussen writes about life as a professional harpist at She teaches and performs in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

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