Syllabus for Music 3 - Fundamentals of Music
This course covers the basics of theory, notation, and composition of music of the European tradition. It is largely a skills based course, intended to give students tools to help achieve creative goals such as composing, reading music in performance, or analyzing scores. It is a prerequisite to more advanced music theory courses, such as MUS 101 at Scripps College and MUS 80 at Pomona College. Although students come to this class with a variety of backgrounds, from no musical experience at all to some years of experience reading music, all can benefit from learning or reviewing a consistent sequence of skills and applying them analytically and creatively.
The materials for this course will include the following:
Melos quizzes: Melos helps you practice your skills reading and interpreting musical notation and listening. A Melos "lesson," or sequence of several short quizzes will typically be due before each class. If you pass the lesson by the due date, you will get full credit for the assignment. If you do not pass some of the lesson quizzes by the due date, you will only get credit for those quizzes that you pass. If you have not passed any quizzes, I will give some reduced credit for late completion, but because each lesson builds on the last one, it's important not to fall behind. Each quiz should take only a minute or so. If you have prepared but you are still taking quizzes so many times that the Melos assignment is taking significantly more than half an hour, you should consult with Prof. Alves.
Other assignments: Before most classes, you will also have a brief assignment using the Musescore software or the Ultimate Fake Book. Late assignments will be penalized the equivalent of one letter grade for each class late. Although late assignments will always receive some credit, it's important not to fall behind on subsequent assignments. Unless otherwise indicated, these assignments are designed to take a half hour or so. If you are spending considerably more time, you should consult with Prof. Alves.
Final project: The final project will consist of a composition in the style of a song, with a melody accompanied by harmony. You must complete a final project in order to pass the class.
Class participation: Much of the learning in class will come from in-class group activities and discussions. Your attendance and conscientious participation will benefit not only yourself but others in the class. Therefore, unexcused absences after the first two will result in reduction in points of your final grade. Reasons for excused absences include illness (with documentation from student health), family death, and religious holidays. Reasons for unexcused absences include travel for clinic or athletics, grad school visits, and airline schedules for spring break. Also, in order to fully facilitate everyone's participation in discussions, there will be no open laptops during class except when required for an in-class activity. And please make sure your cell phones are switched off.
Accommodations: Harvey Mudd College strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you need accommodations for a documented disability, please talk to me or contact the Office of Disability Resources (ability@ hmc.edu). You will find information about disability resources on the college website: https://www.hmc.edu/ability.
|Date||Topic||Reading due||Assignment due||Vocabulary to know|
|Jan. 21||Introduction to the Class,|
|Jan. 23||The Organization of Pitches||Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, 19||1||al'ottava/8va, bass clef, clef,flag, frequency, grand staff, interval quality, key, leap, ledger line, mode, notehead, octave, octave equivalence, pitch, scale, |
scale degree, semitone, simple interval, solfege, staff, stem, step, tonality, tonic (tonal center, key center), treble clef, tuning system, whole tone
|Jan. 28||Rhythm notation 1||Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9||2||bar line, beam, beat, down beat, duple meter, flag, measure, meter, metric stress, repeat sign, rest, simple meter, rhythm, tempo, time signature, triple meter|
|Jan. 30||Rhythm and melody||Chapters 20, 22, 23, 24||3||accidental, courtesy accidental, enharmonic, flat, natural, sharp|
|Feb. 4||Rhythm notation 2||Chapters 7, 10, 11, 12||4||anacrusis or pick up, augmentation dot, fermata, repeat sign, syncopation, tie, triplet, volta|
|Feb. 6||Intervals||5||compound interval, consonance, dissonance, interval quality, interval inversion, non-diatonic interval|
|Feb. 11||Melody||6||antecedent/consequent, cadence, contour, motive, period, phrase, resolution|
|Feb. 13||Triads||Chapters 25, 26, 27, 28, 34||7||chord, harmony, inversion, root, seventh chord, triad|
|Feb. 18||Harmony and Melody||Chapters 38, 39||8||anticipation, consonance, dissonance, neighbor tone, non-harmonic tone, passing tone, preparation, resolution, suspension|
|Feb. 20||Harmonic Progressions||Chapters 34, 40||9||circle of fifths, harmonic progression, harmonic rhythm, normal progression, plagal progression, transposition|
|Feb. 25||Other Major Keys||Chapters 17, 18, 21, 33||10||key, key signature|
|Feb. 27||Compound Meter||Chapter 8||11|
|Mar. 3||The Minor Mode||Chapters 29, 30, 31, 32||12||natural minor scale, melodic minor scale, harmonic minor scale, parallel key, relative key|
|Mar. 5||Other Harmonic Progressions||13||deceptive progression, elision, modulation, retrogression|
|Mar. 10||Graceful Melodies||14|
|Mar. 12||Voice leading||Chapters 35, 36, 37||15||contrary motion, parallel motion|
|Mar. 17||Spring Break|
|Mar. 19||Spring Break|
|Mar. 24||Spring Break|
|Mar. 26||Spring Break|
|Mar. 31||Voice Leading Review|
|Apr. 2||Accompaniments, dynamics||arpeggio, dynamics, articulation, crescendo, decrescendo, pianissimo, piano, mezzo-piano, mezzo-forte, forte, fortissimo|
|Apr. 7||Other Diatonic Modes||Chapter 43||16|
|Apr. 9||Harmonic progressions and song form||17|
|Apr. 14||Song analysis||18|
|Apr. 16||Setting lyrics||19|
|Apr. 21||Song Analysis||Final Project Proposal|
|Apr. 23||Fun with Rhythm||Final project interim|
|Apr. 28||The Harmonic Series||Chapters 44, 45, 46|
|Apr. 30||Final Projects||Final Project due|
|May 5||Final Projects|
Back to my Home Page