Music Theory

Music Theory

Spring Semester 2012

Mrs. Kirwin, Director of Instrumental Music


Course Description:

Music Theory will examine the basic concepts of melody, harmony, rhythm, and form as they relate to composition.  Class activities will include the development of notation skills, music reading, active listening, music dictation and ear training.  Students will engage in the study of harmonic progression, chord analysis, and examining the rules that have developed in composing classical western music.  As skills develop, students will write their compositions using the acceptable model of western music. 


Grading Policy:

Class Participation and Preparation 50%

Class Work 30%

Tests and Quizzes 20%


Class Expectations:

Students are to be on time and prepared.  They should have their assignments completed and ready to discuss.  Quizzes and writing assignments will be given periodically.  There will be homework every night.

Extra help is available before or after school, students should make an appointment with Mrs. Kirwin.

You will receive a weekly participation and preparation grade. 



Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programmed Course Sixth Edition. Paul Harder. Allyn and Bacon. Boston. 1986.


Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth Century Music Fifth Edition. Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne. McGraw Hill. Boston. 2004. 


Topics discussed include:

Elements of Pitch, keyboard and octave registers, notation on the staff, the major and minor scales, scale degree names, intervals, rhythm, metre, time signatures, triads, seventh chords, inversions of chords, lead sheet symbols, triads in major and minor, seventh chords in major and minor, principles of voice leading, root position part-writing, harmonic progression, triads in first inversion, triads in second inversion, cadences, phrases, non-chord tones, the V7 chord, the II7 and VII7 chords and other diatonic seventh chords