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Undergraduate Music Theory

Trains all music majors and minors in the theoretical foundations and composition techniques of Western classical music.  Also prepares some students for graduate work in music theory.

Undergraduate Studies in Theory for Music majors/minors   (see Subplans and Courses below)

Core studies for all undergraduate music majors include five semesters of music theory and four semesters of aural skills. The theory curriculum begins in the first semester with a review of rudiments, then focuses on species counterpoint - the same method studied by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Hindemith, and countless other musicians for centuries.

The second semester proceeds into basic harmony, part writing, analysis, and compositional exercises. In the third and fourth semesters, students learn advanced harmony and form, and write their own "model compositions" in a range of styles.

The fifth semester moves into the 20th and 21st centuries, as students study and imitate the wide variety of techniques, devices, and styles of Western music since 1900. The aural skills curriculum - designed by an internationally-recognized expert in aural-skills pedagogy - develops students' music reading and listening skills through sight singing, dictation, and other activities.

Undergraduate students seeking more advanced training in music theory may wish to pursue a B.Mus. with concentration in theory and composition. These students take advanced electives in counterpoint and orchestration, and graduate-level theory seminars, in addition to composition courses.

Prof. Hooper teaching

Undergraduate B.M. Theory Subplans and Courses

Links to detailed Course Subplans (pdf format) in Music Theory:
Wind/Brass/Percussion
Strings
Voice
Keyboard

 

Undergraduate Theory Courses for Music majors/minors:

Theory I (Music 112; fall). Rudiments (review); two-voice counterpoint; fundamentals of harmony and voice leading. Analysis and composition.

Theory II (Music 113; spring): Diatonic harmony, sequences; basic forms (period, sentence). Analysis and composition.

Aural Skills I (Music 114; fall): Music listening and reading skills: basic rhythm and meter; diatonic melody. Sight-singing, dictation, transcription, and error detection.

Aural Skills II (Music 115; spring): Music listening and reading skills: basic rhythm and meter; diatonic melody and harmony. Sight-singing, dictation, transcription, and error detection.

Theory III (Music 212; fall): Chromatic harmony: applied chords, tonicization/modulation, modal mixture, the Neapolitan sixth chord, the augmented sixth chords, chromatic sequences. Analysis and composition.

Theory IV (Music 213; spring): Form: binary, ternary, sonata, rondo. Analysis and composition.

Aural Skills III (Music 214; fall): Music listening and reading skills: intermediate rhythm and meter; chromatic melody and harmony. Sight-singing, dictation, transcription, and error detection.

Aural Skills IV (Music 215; spring): Music listening and reading skills: advanced rhythm and meter; modulation; form. Sight-singing, dictation, transcription, and error detection.

Theory V (Music 312; fall, spring): Twentieth-century compositional techniques: diatonic modes and artificial scales; free atonality; serialism. Analysis and composition.