Class Syllabus/Grading

Class Description

This is an elective class for students in grades 9-12.  The Music Theory curriculum takes students through the most basic of musical fundamentals, through advanced techniques of listening, analysis and composition.

  • AP Music Theory:  Recommended for students who intend on majoring in music, are advanced in music, take private lessons on an instrument or voice, and/or have a serious interest in music as an area of study.  Students have an understanding that classical music is the foundation for all styles of “Western” music study today.
  • Music Theory II:  All of the above, plus students who are interested in music as a hobby, and students who do not take private lessons.
  • Music Theory I: All of the above, plus students who may not sing or play an instrument, but are interested in learning more about how music works.

 

Prerequisites

Music Theory I is open to all students.  Theory I is a prerequisite for Theory II, and Theory II is a prerequisite for AP Theory.  Freshmen are allowed to schedule Theory I and II, but may not schedule AP Theory without permission.

 

Even though Music Theory is split into three separate courses, it is highly recommended that students take all of the classes they wish to take in the same year.  Taking AP theory a year after taking Theory I and II is very difficult, as full responsibility will be on the individual student to review all materials from Theory I and II before taking the AP test.

 

All students should be prepared for the class to move at the pace of an AP course.  Because students who take Music Theory all year through AP must be prepared to take the AP test at the end of the course, it is necessary for Music Theory I and II to move at an advanced pace.

 

Expectations

  • Skipping class is a serious offense.  If you skip class, you will be referred to the Office and forfeit all participation points for that week.
  • If you need to leave and don’t have a signed pass from another teacher (or had that teacher communicate with me ahead of time), don’t ask me to go anywhere.  I will not call the teacher to verify your whereabouts and I will not allow you leave to get a pass to bring it back to me to sign.
  • Having a signed pass from another teacher does not mean I have to let you miss class or will let you miss class.
  • To leave class to use the restroom, you need permission to take a lanyard—don’t just leave the room.  Leaving the room without a pass will be considered the same as skipping class.
  • No gum, food or drink is allowed in class without permission, and you are expected to play an active role in keeping our room neat and organized.

 

 

 

Daily Expectations:

  • Be on time and be prepared for class every day.  “Being prepared” includes, but is not limited to bringing: a pencil (not pen!), staff paper, class handouts and supplements, class notebook, 3-ring binder, computer, etc.
  • Students are expected to keep an open line of communication with the teacher regarding their progress in the class.  The nature of the class allows for more individualized instruction and the nature of the subject matter requires it.  It is the responsibility of the individual student to ensure that they are receiving the help they require in order to be successful in the course.
    • Organizational skills are a must in this class.  You are required to keep an organized binder with all of your materials—you will essentially create your own theory “textbook” with the materials that you receive from me in class.  This binder will be a major grade at the end of each term.
    • If for some reason you have to miss class, it is YOUR responsibility to meet with your teacher to receive makeup work and extra help if needed.  Generally, I will allow 3-4 days for makeup work.
    • Full participation in all class activities.
    • Completion of all homework and in-class assignments.
    • Students are expected to show respect for the classroom and to treat school-owned equipment and property with care.
    • Because of the nature of the class, music players such as iPods will be permitted with permission.
    • Compliance with all rules and responsibilities as set forth by the Student Handbook.
  • You’re expected to be in your seat and ready to go when the bell rings.  If you don’t meet this expectation, you will be marked late—even if you are physically present in the room.
  • The objectives for each day’s class will be written on the board when you arrive.
  • Active participation in the class is a must to pass the course.            In-class activities are essential “guided practice” that you will need to be successful in the class.  In-class activities will often include singing and peer reviewing work.
  • All other aspects of student expectations for the class shall be according to the Student Handbook.

Grading

All aspects of the music theory class will be graded with the following weights:

  • “Summative” assessments (tests, quizzes, projects, class binder): 80%
  • “Formative” assessments (homework, classwork): 20%

All grades are updated weekly and may be found on PowerSchool.

 

 

Unit Information

 

I. TONALITY, NOTATIONAL SKILLS, SCALES

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Basic Notational Skills

b. The Grand Staff and Ledger Lines, Treble Clef, Bass Clef and C Clefs

c. Generic Inverals

d. Accidentals

e. Enharmonicism

f. Major Scales

g. Minor Scales

h. Modes, Whole-Tone Scales and Pentatonic Scales

i. Solfege and Kodaly Handsigns

j. Scale Degree Numbers and Names

k. Key Signatures

l. Circle of Fifths

 

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Melodic Proficiency Hearing I

4. Scale Anthology

 

 

II. PULSE, RHYTHM AND METER

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Rhythm and Durational Symbols

b. Rhythm Syllable System (Ta-Ka-Di-Mi)

c. Simple Meters and Time Signatures

d. Compound Meters and Time Signatures

e. Asymmetrical Meters and Time Signatures


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Rhythmic Proficiency Hearing I

4. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

III. INTERVALS AND MELODY

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Interval Quality (Specific Intervals)

b. Consonance and Dissonance

c. Interval Characteristics

d. Melodic Writing and Analysis

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Interval Proficiency Hearing

4. Scale Proficiency Hearing

5. Melodic Composition and Analysis

6. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

IV. TRIADS, INVERSIONS, FIGURED BASS AND HARMONIC ANALYSIS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Triads

b. Triad Inversions

c. Figured Bass Notation of Triads

d. Introduction to Roman Numeral Analysis

e. Analyzing and Composing Triads With Figured Bass/Roman Numerals

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

V. SEVENTH CHORDS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Types of Seventh Chords

b. Seventh Chord Inversions

c. Figured Bass Notation of Seventh Chords

d. Analyzing and Composing Seventh Chords With Figured Bass/Roman Numerals

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

VI. TWO-VOICE COUNTERPOINT

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. First Species Counterpoint

b. Basic Contrapuntal Motions

c. Second Species Counterpoint

d. Harmonic Implications

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test (Vocabulary Only)

3. First Species Counterpoint Quiz

4. Second Species Counterpoint Quiz

5. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

VII. TONIC AND DOMINANT FUNCTIONALITY

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. The Cadence and Types of Cadences

b. Doubling, Spacing, and Complete vs. Incomplete Triads and Seventh Chords

c. Four-Part Voice Leading

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Melodic and Rhythmic Proficiency Hearing II

4. Four-Part Voice Leading Quiz I

5. Harmonic Proficiency Hearing I

 

 

VIII. FUNCTIONALITY OF TONIC AND DOMINANT INVERSIONS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Chordal Leaps

b. Neighbor Chords

c. Passing Chords

d. Arpeggiations

e. Second-Level Analysis/Tonic and Dominant Extensions and Expansions

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

4. Four-Part Voice Leading Quiz II

 

 

IX. DOMINANT SEVENTH CHORDS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Characteristics of the V7 Chord

b. Resolving the V7

c. Use of V7 in Four-Part Voice Leading

d. Use of V7 Inversions in Four-Part Voice Leading

e. Substituting vii-diminished for V7

f. Secondary Dominants and Modulations

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Four-Part Voice Leading Quiz III

4. Harmonic Proficiency Hearing II

 

 

X. PRE-DOMINANT FUNCTIONALITY

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Subdominant Chords

b. Supertonic Chords

c. Part Writing and Voice Leading with Pre-Dominant Chords

d. The Phrase Model (Tonic, Pre-Dominant, Dominant, Tonic)

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Four-Part Voice Leading Quiz IV

4. Harmonic Proficiency Hearing III

 

 

XI. ACCENTED AND CHROMATIC DISSONANCES

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Accented and Chromatic Passing Tones

b. Accented and Chromatic Neighbor Tones

c. Appoggiaturas

d. Suspensions

e. Anticipations

f. Pedal Tones

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Four-Part Voice Leading Quiz V

4. Harmonic Proficiency Hearing IV

 

 

XII. MOTIVES AND MELODIC FIGURATIONS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Motivic Repetition

b. Strict Repetition

c. Modified Repetition

d. Pitch Transformations

e. Rhythmic Transformations

 

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Melodic Composition and Analysis

4. Standard Literature Analysis

5. Melodic and Rhythmic Proficiency Hearing III

 

 

XIII. BINARY FORMS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Variation Form

b. Continuous Variations

c. Sectional Variations

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

XIV. TERENARY FORMS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Transitions and Retransitions

b. Da Capo Form

c. Minuet and Trio

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

XV. RONDO AND STROPHIC FORMS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Basic Strophic Form

b. Classical Rondos

c. Five-Part Rondos

d. Coda, Transitions and Retransitions

e. Compound Rondos

f. Seven-Part Rondos

g. Double Bars and Repeats

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

XVI. SONATA FORM

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Binary Model

b. Formal Model

c. Characteristics and Elements of Sonata Form

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

XVII. EXTENDED TERTIAN HARMONY, TWELVE-TONE AND SET THEORY

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Extended Tertian Harmonies and Planing

b. Tonal Sets and Matrices

c. Rhythmic Sets and Matrices

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Daily Homework

2. Unit Test

3. Standard Literature Analysis

 

 

XVIII. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

 

Content and/or Skills Taught:

a. Transcribing

b. Arranging

c. Composing

 

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

1. Transcription Project

2. Arrangement Project

3. Composition Project