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Music Theory A

Course Description

Music provides a way for students to express themselves artistically, but music also enhances intelligence and creativity. Music Theory A is a semester-long elective course designed to develop students’ visual and aural understanding of the structure of music. In this course, students will study the language and symbols of music. Not only will students learn to read various musical elements, such as scales, chords, pitch notations, and time signatures, they will also learn to construct these elements themselves. The course also teaches students to understand basic forms in music compositions, including the skill of notation. As students learn these various aspects of music theory, they will undergo ear training to teach them to recognize these elements aurally as well.

Course Organization

Modules. The Modules are practice assignments. Each Module is a non-graded exercise that allows you to build your knowledge and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Graded Assignments. Graded Assignments are the tasks you will submit to your instructor for a grade. Each assignment contains specific information about how your work will be assessed and how credit will be given for your responses. The average of your assignments will count for 75 percent of your course grade.

Course Objectives

Upon completing of this course, you will be able to:

  • understand the language of music;
  • identify and use the symbols in music;
  • read various musical elements;
  • construct musical elements; and
  • recognize musical elements.

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all of the units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.
Format: Objective
Time Allowed: 3 hours

Course Outline

Total Number of Units: 6
Total Number of Activities: 29
Total Number of Graded Assignments: 17

Unit 1: Defining Music
Module 1: Unit 1: Defining Music Unit Introduction
Module 2: Elements of Music Theory
Graded Assignment 1: Defining Music
Graded Assignment 2: Unit Test: Defining Music
Graded Assignment 6:

Unit 2: Building the Basics
Module 1: Unit 2: Building the Basics Unit Introduction
Module 2: Staves and Notes 
Module 3: Treble, Alto, and Bass Clefs 
Module 4: Ledger Lines, Additional Clefs 
Module 5: Tenor, Baritone, and Octave Clefs
Graded Assignment 1: Basics of Music I
Graded Assignment 2: Basics of Music II
Graded Assignment 3: Unit Test: Building the Basics

Unit 3: Finding the Pitch
Module 1: Unit 3: Finding Pitch Unit Introduction
Module 2: Intervals
Module 3: Major and Minor Intervals
Module 4: Major Scales
Module 5: Minor Scales
Module 6: Modes
Module 7: Key Signatures
Graded Assignment 1: Pitch I
Graded Assignment 2: Pitch II
Graded Assignment 3: Unit Test: Finding the Pitch

Unit 4: Getting the Rhythm
Module 1: Unit 4: Getting the Rhythm Unit Introduction
Module 2: Note Duration
Module 3: Types of Notes and Methods of Note Duration
Module 4: Taking a Rest
Module 5: Dotted Notes
Module 6: Notes and Slurs
Graded Assignment 1: Rhythm I
Graded Assignment 2: Rhythm II
Graded Assignment 3: Unit Test: Getting the Rhythm

Music Theory A Midterm Exam
This Midterm Exam counts as a graded assignment and does not need to be taken at a testing center.

Unit 5: Staying on Beat
Module 1: Unit 5: Staying on Beat Unit Introduction
Module 2: Time signatures 
Module 3: Simple and compound time 
Module 4: Syncopation and off beats 
Module 5: Subdividing and changing time signatures 
Graded Assignment 1: Beat I
Graded Assignment 2: Beat II
Graded Assignment 3: Unit Test: Staying on Beat

Unit 6: Keeping the Tempo
Module 1: Unit 6: Keeping the Tempo Unit Introduction
Module 2: Tempo
Module 3: Dynamics
Module 4: Articulation
Graded Assignment 1: Keeping the Tempo
Graded Assignment 2: Unit Test: Keeping the Tempo

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