Course Syllabus


Course Intro and Objectives

This course is designed for upper-division undergraduates and new graduate students in music theory. After completing this course, students should have a strong understanding of common notation, the physics behind music theory, as well as the basic concepts of music theory and a few slightly advanced but useful topics, such as transposition.

In this course you will learn to:

  • Demonstrate the use of key signatures, meter, simple diatonic harmony, and historically traditional styles of music
  • Demonstrate the use of chromatic harmony nonharmonic tones, compound meters and modulation
  • Use the keyboard to realize common scales, triads and chord progressions
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify common rhythms, harmonies and melodies by listening to them
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the physical attributes of sound (acoustics)
  • Explain and demonstrate the commonly accepted principles of twentieth-century musical techniques
  • Arrange and transpose music appropriate for classroom and performance needs

Lecture & Notes

Visit the following pages for lecture notes


Basic Music Theory by Jonathan Harnum
This book is available online as a free PDF here:

Additional Online Resources

In addition to the textbook, this course will engage with several online resources.  I am providing a list of the major resources here but please note that there may be others as we go along.

Blank Sheet Music (in case you do not want to buy one of those expensive notebooks) -

Teoría Music Theory Web -

Furmanczyk Academy of Music's YouTube Channel -

Kahn Academy Music -

Required Work

Participation (30%) -  Each week you will be expected to review all sections of the corresponding course Module. Course Modules can be found in the Left Hand navigation menu or here: Course Modules. Reviewing the course module consists of reading all assigned chapter(s) or article(s) listed as well as completing all assignments. A recap video of each week's topic will be recorded and placed online so you can watch (and rewatch) them at your convenience.  This class has a Wednesday Friday meeting schedule for the Face to Face (f2f) class.  You are expected to attend all class meetings as part of your participation grade.

Quizzes (35%) - Every week you are required to take a quiz specifically on the readings for the week. Quizzes are not timed and questions may be randomized.  You have 3 attempts for each quiz; the highest score out of the attempts will be counted. All quizzes are due by Friday of a given week, however your first quiz attempt must be complete before we meet f2f on Wednesday.  'Why?' you may be asking right now - I want to be sure that you are engaging with the class materials prior to coming in!

Midterm and Final Project (35%) - Write a report or essay based on one of the topics in the class. You’ll write two drafts of this paper and participate in a peer review process. This is described in the online course.


In addition to our face-to-face interaction you can expect to receive regular communications from the teacher from within the course web site. Be sure to configure your Canvas profile to receive notifications the way you want to.  But in general I’ll be using:

Assignment Schedule

Course Summary:

Date Details Due