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Introduction to Music Theory

theory

Overview

Learn the basic skills needed to begin any serious study of music. Topics include: music notation, time signatures, key signatures, rhythmic training, major scales, intervals, transposition, chord structure, harmonic progression, ear training and an introduction to musical form and composition. Required texts: Practical Theory Complete by Sandy Feldstein (available at the CJC Bookstore). Prerequisites: None, open to all instrumentalists and vocalists.

Thursdays 8:15 – 9:45 pm
9/21 – 11/30 (10 weeks) no class 11/23
Dave Len Scott • $395

Registration

DEPARTMENT: Theory/Musicianship

COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Music Theory

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course covers the basic skills needed to begin any serious study of music. Topics include: music notation, time signatures, key signatures, rhythmic training, major scales, intervals, transposition, chord structure, harmonic progression, ear training, and an introduction to musical form and composition.

COURSE PREREQUISITES: None. Open to all instrumentalists and vocalists.

COURSE PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES: Class participants will complete a 84-lesson Music Theory Workbook: “Practical Theory” by Sandy Feldstein. This course requires regular homework. In-class instruction will include rhythm reading, the practice of note, scale and chord constructions on a piano, and ear training. Students must be focused and willing to work outside of class time.

REQUIRED READING/MATERIALS: Practical Theory Complete, Sandy Feldstein.

COURSE OUTLINE:

Week 1

Understanding the major scale, and how to construct one starting on any note. Understanding the names of the notes on the piano. Understanding the concept of sharps and flats. Half steps and whole steps. Treble clef. The grand staff. Whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 1-10.

Week 2

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 1-10.

Understanding rests. Time signatures. Dotted notes. Dotted rests. Ties and slurs. Repeat signs. First and second endings. More practice scale construction.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 11-20.

Week 3

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 11-20.

Eighth notes. Natural signs. Chromatic scale. Practice counting eighth note rhythms. More practice scale construction, and practice rhythm reading.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 21-30.

Week 4

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 21-30.

Key signatures. Circle of Fifths. Memorizing the order of sharps and flats. More practice with scales, and piano fingerings for each major scale. More practice rhythm reading.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 31-40.

Week 5

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 31-40.

Dynamics. D.C., D.S, Coda, and Fine. Tempo markings. Sixteenth notes and rests. Intervals. Practice major and minor chord construction in all keys.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 41-50.

Week 6

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 41-50.

Chromatic intervals. Time signatures. Triplets. Chord Progressions as related to a key. The blues progression.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 51-60.

Week 7

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 51-60.

Four-note chords. Inversions. Transposition. Review of major and minor triads. Ear training to recognize the sound of major and minor triads. Augmented and diminished triads.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 61-70.

Week 8

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 61-70.

More transposition. Harmonic Minor. Melodic Minor. Harmonizing a Melody. Passing and neighboring tones. Composing a melody.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 71-80.

Week 9

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 71-80.

Review. Ear Training. Chord construction drill. Rhythm reading drill. Composing a melody.

Homework assignment: “Practical Theory”, Lessons 81-84.

Week 10

Check homework assignment “Practical Theory”, Lessons 81-84.

The sharing of homework: Composing a complete song.

Jason Levis (percussion)

Ph.D. and M.A. in Composition, UC Berkeley; B.A. in Music, Naropa University. Two-time Meet the Composer award recipient; Eisner Prize for Music winner; Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (UC Berkeley); Interaktion Festival finalist (Berlin), drummer and composer Jason Levis has led and been a collaborator in numerous jazz, improvised music, and chamber ensembles in the San Francisco Bay Area and Berlin, Germany. These include the Heftpistole Chamber Ensemble; duo B.; Married Couple; DRY; live dub-reggae ensemble Joseph’s Bones; the Echo Chamber Ensemble; most recently the Berlin Boom Orchestra, and many more.

jasonlevismusic.com

 

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