What are the best YouTube videos for music theory?

This post is an ongoing one where YouTube channels and other websites that cover music theory and history will be recommended. The channels are going to be added in a rather random order initially. The first website mentioned is a Wiki created by the Society for Music Analysis, the UKs leading learned society for the promotion of the study of music history and theory. The Wiki has links to recommended sources for the study of music theory, history, and skills.


Early Music Sources

This channel discusses early music sources (no surprise there) and is probably the best channel for this topic on YouTube at the moment.


Mozart circa 1780 by Johann Nepomuk della Croce, detail
Mozart circa 1780 by Johann Nepomuk della Croce, detail

Olaf the Violin Maker

While this channel is not specifically about music history or theory, it does give some fascinating insights into the the history of the violin from a maker, plus loads of interesting information about the instrument.



Piano music discussed and performed by a French pianist based in Cambridge, England. Discussions of music by composers such as JS Bach, Medtner.


Open University (UK) Music Department

An introduction to voice leading and Schenkerian analysis by Dr Robert Samuels from the Open University (UK). There are 8 videos on this topic. This is not a YouTube channel in its own right but is part of the channel OpenLearn from the Open University. The first video is embedded below, but if you go through to YouTube you will see the others.

Check out these great free courses from the Open University (UK)

Each course involves 20 hours of study and is at level 3: Advanced.

Voice-leading analysis of music 1: the foreground


Voice-leading analysis of music 2: the middleground


Voice-leading analysis of music 3: the background


Society for Music Analysis

A small number of videos on analytical topics but there is also a video of an SMA study day featuring YouTubers such as Adam Neely.


Classical piano technique and improvisation

Cedarvillemusic is a channel from Cedarville University Department of Music.


Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim, as they say, needs no introduction.


Tudor Music

This channel is about the restoration of partbooks written by Tudor musician John Sadler. The restoration of the partbooks was a project carried out by the University of Oxford.


Cello playing

emilyplayscello is a channel all about the cello.


The Spanish (or Classical) guitar

The Spanish guitar Hub with Edina Balczo.


Beethoven’s pianos

This channel is by Mark Beelharing and gives fascinating insights into how Beethoven’s pianos affected his music. There are not many videos on the channel but they are of very high quality.


Team Recorder


This is an excellent channel about all things recorder.

Von Huene Workshop, Inc.


There is only one video on this channel but it is an excellent one giving a detailed account of how a top quality recorder is made.

There will be more channels added soon.

3 thoughts on “What are the best YouTube videos for music theory?

    1. Barry Mitchell Post author

      Thanks for getting in touch, it is great to hear from you. I will add your videos. I am particularly interested in adding channels that have high quality content but do not get as many views as the most popular channels such as Rick Beato. Everything is going to be a bit random until I get around to organising them into categories later on.

      1. Robert Samuels

        If you’re not being strict about sticking to YouTube, the courses that those videos belong with are here — they’re all free to study:


        https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/music/voice-leading-analysis-music-2-the-middleground/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab (dunno why they’ve put a microphone on the front page of that one)

        https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/music/voice-leading-analysis-music-3-the-background/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab (ditto. It’s a nicer microphone, though)


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