Table of Contents

Course Syllabus, 2012



Chapter 1: Foundational Materials for the Study of Western Music Theory
1A Pitch
1B Staff Symmetry and Note Names
1C Meter and Rhythm
1D Metric Examples
1E Pentatonic Scales
1F Pentatonic Tunes
1G Recognizing Intervals in Staff Notation
1H Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths
1I The 6 basic modes of Western music
1J Understanding the major and minor scale
1K Singing with solfege: fixed and movable Do
1L Introducing Pythagoras, the musician
IM Music Math 1: Ratios and Commas, part 1
IN Music Math 1, continued: Pythagorean Comma and the Circle of Fifths

Chapter 2: Beginning Composition: Melody Writing and Counterpoint
2A The relationship of meter and poetic text
2B Setting a text to a modal melody

Interlude: Guide to identifying intervals by ear

2C Consonance and Dissonance
2D Music Math 2: Pythagorean Intonation
2E Music Math 2, continued: Just Intonation
2F Music Math 2, concluded: The Syntonic Comma and the Great Diesis
2G Introduction 2-part Modal Counterpoint
2H First Species Counterpoint
2I Second Species Counterpoint
2J Fourth Species Counterpoint
2K Writing a Modal Canon
2L Free Counterpoint and Dissonant Counterpoint
2M The Harmonic Series
2N 3-part Counterpoint and the Harmonic Triad
2O The Harmonic Triad in Renaissance Vocal Music
2P The Harmonic Triad in Renaissance Instrumental Music (The Stock Bass)
2Q The Harmonic Triad in Popular Music
2R The Harmonic Triad and the Figured Bass (introduction to Figured Bass)
2S Singing with Solfege

Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Harmony and Part Writing.

3A Modality and Tonality
3A.1 Harmonic Polarity, major/minor dualism, and the outward/inward experience
3B Relative Major/Minor Scales and the names of the steps
3C Building Triads on Scale Degrees
3D Introduction to four-part Chorale style
3E Inversions of Triads.
3E.1 Chords along the central spine
3F Dominant Seventh Chords, Part 1
3G Dominant Seventh Chords, Part 2
3H The Blues Progression
3I Musical Examples of Harmonic Progressions
3J Diminished Triads and Sevenths. Major and Minor Seventh Chords
3K Major and Minor Chord Progressions
3L The Blues (part 2) and Dominant Seventh Chords

3M The Three Essential Chord Progressions in Major
3N The Three Essential Chord Progressions in Minor



1. Chord Voicing and Chord Doubling
2. Voice Leading
3. Embellishing Tones
4. Chorale Analysis __________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 4: Putting it Together
6A The Bach Chorale and the St. John Passion
6C Introduction to Symphonic Form (Beethoven's 5th Symphony)
6D Full Circle: Musical Aesthetics and the Harmony of the Spheres

Topics for this chapter

Assignments for this chapter

Musical Terms