All students enrolled in a Bachelor of Music program at the School of Music are required to take the following sequence of music theory courses; these courses are offered in sequence, and they are typically begun during the student’s first fall semester.
- Music Theory I (MUS 141) topics include elementary tonality, counterpoint, and basic concepts of melody, rhythm, and form.
- Music Theory II (MUS 142) topics include simple (diatonic) harmony, tonicization and modulation, phrase structure, and more advanced melodic and rhythmic concepts.
- Music Theory III (MUS 241) topics include advanced (chromatic) harmony and small-scale form.
- Music Theory IV (MUS 242) topics include twentieth-century (post-tonal) pitch, rhythm, and formal structures.
- Analysis I (MUS 347) topics include small-scale and large-scale form.
Students enrolling in Music Theory I are expected to show competency in music fundamentals by successfully completing a fundamentals test; instructions for the test are given on the fundamentals page.
Within the core curriculum, students study and learn music theory topics by performing the following tasks:
- Sing prepared or unprepared melodic excerpts using “moveable do” solfège syllables.
- Sing prepared or unprepared rhythmic patterns using “takadimi” rhythm syllabes.
- Perform harmonic passages (“chord progressions”) at a piano or keyboard.
- Write down (dictate) heard musical excerpts.
- Compare written notation with heard musical excerpts (error detection).
- Analyze aspects of harmony and form in written and heard musical excerpts.
- Compose or improvise musical passages in notation (writing) or sound (singing and/or keyboard playing).
All who enroll in Music Theory I–IV courses must purchase the following materials:
- Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis, 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. ISBN 9780393930818.
- Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. Workbook for The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis, 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. ISBN 9780393931327. (Note: Used workbooks are not acceptable.)
- Hall, Anne Carothers. Studying Rhythm, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2005. ISBN 9780130406026.
- Rogers, Nancy, and Robert W. Ottman. Music for Sight Singing, 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2014. ISBN 9780205938339.
- Rising Software. Auralia 4, cloud edition. http://www.risingsoftware.com/auralia/
- Rising Software. Musition 4, cloud edition. http://www.risingsoftware.com/musition/
Instructions on purchasing and installing Auralia and Musition are given on the computer-based training page.