Students are not required to know much at all about music upon entering this course, other than being able to read at least one clef fluently. Theory I explores a number of different topics that look in detail at what music is in the Western tradition, the different parameters of music (melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, etc.), and the vast literature in that tradition. In the first semester, students will review basic topics such as clef-reading, notation, intervals, chords, scales, key signatures, and transposition. Students will learn the basics of diatonic 4-part writing in the second semester. Homework assignments will be given approximately every other week.
Music Theory II
Theory II continues the study of diatonic harmony using the Roman numeral/figured bass system of analysis. Students will examine melodies and will write melodies on models by great composers. Later, they will compose their own melodies, harmonize them, and set a short poem for voice and piano. Non-chord tones, form, and secondary functions will be studied in Theory II. Homework assignments will be given approximately every other week.
Music Theory III
Please visit our electives page for the full Music Theory III course description for advanced students who have successfully completed or can test out of Theory II.
Ear Training I and II
In the dictation component of the class, students will learn to correctly identify (by ear) specific intervals and chords, and will learn how to correctly transcribe melodies and rhythms played for you by the instructor. The sight-singing component of the course consists of correctly singing specific intervals, chords, scales, and melodies, both practiced (prepared) and never-before-seen (unprepared). Students will learn the fixed-do system of solfège and how to read movable clefs. Homework assignments are given weekly.