• Music Theory Syllabus


    Course Overview


    This course has been designed for the student who may go on to study music as a major or minor at the college level. The course is also designed for the student who wishes to learn basic skills in writing choral, vocal, or instrumental music. Music Theory is an ongoing study of basic literacy, scales, and key signatures, melody, harmony, chords and their function, realization of figured bass and harmonization of a soprano line with harmonic function. In addition, there is an ongoing study of score analysis and form, sight-singing, ear-training and a little music history.



    Course Objectives:

    • At the end of the course, students will be able to:



    • ·        Notate pitch and rhythm in accordance with standard notation practices
    • ·        Read melodies in treble, bass and movable C clefs
    • ·        Write, sing, and play major scales and all three forms of minor scales
    • ·        Recognize by ear and by sight all intervals within an octave
    • ·        Use the basic rules that govern music composition
    • ·        Harmonize a melody with appropriate chords using good voice leading
    • ·        Analyze the chords of a musical composition by number and letter name
    • ·        Transpose a composition from one key to another
    • ·        Express musical ideas by composing and arranging
    • ·        Understand and recognize basic musical forms (ternary, binary, rondo, etc)
    • ·        Write simple rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation.


     Supplemental course materials will be provided in classes packets, some of which will be located on Mr. Tangredi’s website. These materials will include

    PowerPoint presentations, book excerpts and exercises.


    Course Procedures and Expectations:


    Grading Breakdown

    ·        Unit tests 100pts

    ·        Homework 25pts

    ·        Daily assignments 25pts

    ·        Sight-Singing 10pts

    ·        Dictation 10pts

    ·        Listening 5pts

    ·        Compositions/Projects 75pts


    Class Materials

    ·        The textbook for this course will be: Music Theory and Practice Eight Edition Volume 1 by Bruce Benward.

    ·        The Ear Training will be: Music For Ear Training 3rd Edition by Michael Horvit.

    ·        I will be compiling a sight reading packet from many reproducible and free resources.


    Students are expected to bring the following materials to class EVERYDAY:

    ·        3-ring binder, 5 dividers and notebook paper

    ·        Set of #2 pencils, a small pencil sharpener, three hole punched thin plastic pencil/zipper pouch

    ·        Staff paper (either purchase from a music store or print at http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/)


    Student Expectations


    The overarching principle in my classroom regarding conduct is RESPECT. Respect the instructor. Respect your classmates. Respect school property, including the textbooks, chairs, classroom equipment, and instruments. Respect my time (and yours) by being ON TIME and behaving in a mature manner while in class. Respect your own experience by listening, engaging in the class.  LISTENING is the key to your success in this class. When you are listening, you are absorbing information.  This class is like no other music class in the Fine Arts wing, it is structured and as demanding as any core subject.


    Disruptive or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and will result in a meeting to discuss respectful classroom conduct. There will be study sessions during flex and after school as needed, music theory as a whole takes a number of well understood concepts for it to “click”. Once those concepts fall into place the projects will become easier and creativity can begin.


    You will find that when you engaged, thinking and problem solving, the study of music theory is fascinating and somewhat addictive. I guarantee it will make you a more intuitive, creative, knowledgeable and appreciative musician.

    As Jon Washburn, conductor of the Vancouver Chamber

    Chorale says, “Knowing your music theory makes all the difference between being just a player and being a musician.”


    Course Planner


    I fully expect that my time line will be slower than what I’m thinking in my head. As this is my first year teaching Music theory for LCPS how fast or slowly the students latch on to main concepts will dictate the pace of the class. Each month represents 10 classes (90 in total), it doesn’t account for vacation days. Written homework and reading assignments are given at each class meeting. Each block will be divided between development of written skills, sight-singing, ear-training and dictation.


    Each Class is started with a listening of a piece that pertains to the lesson of the day. We will discuss and point out different composing techniques, progressions, and instrumentation. Starting at Species Counterpoint, I will start at medieval music and work my way forward in time.


    September (Ch. 1,2 and part of 3)

    ·        Review note names, scale degrees, key signatures, intervals.

    ·        Parallel major and relative minor.

    ·        Basic Vocabulary.

    ·        Writing short melodies.

    ·        Practice hand writing music.

    ·        Basic sight reading. Do-Sol.

    ·        Identifying major/minor chords by ear.

    ·        How to use internet resources.

    ·        Simple melody dictation

    ·        Spelling Major and Minor Scales

    ·        Rhythmic dictation.


    October (Ch. 4 and 5)

    ·        Chord triads.

    ·        Circle of 5ths

    ·        Spelling Modal Scales

    ·        Inversions.

    ·        Roman Numerals, Chords in Major and minor scales.

    ·        Chords on the grand staff.

    ·        Cadences.

    ·        Basic chord progression rules.

    ·        History of music notation.

    ·        Sight reading. Do-sol

    ·        AP practice test for returning students.

    ·        Writing a Bass line to a given melody.


    November (Ch. 6, 7, 8 and part of 9)

    ·        Voice leading,  Species Counterpoint

    ·        Basic Chord Progression rules.

    ·        Realizing simple roman numeral progression

    ·        Spelling Whole tone and Pentatonic Scales

    ·        Melody, passing tones, non harmonic tones, phrasing.

    ·        Combining melody and chords.

    ·        History of melodic/rhythmic complexity.

    ·        Identify different cadences by ear.

    ·        Composing melodies with simple triads.

    ·        Simple melody dictation


    December (Ch. 10 and 11)

    ·        Four part harmony.

    ·        Phrases, periods, cells.

    ·        Piano Skills

    ·        Functional baseline, Figured Bass, realizing complex Roman numeral progressions.

    ·        Texture, textural analysis.

    ·        Homophonic, monophonic, polyphonic writing.

    ·        7th chords

    ·        Sight singing

    ·        Chord recognition, interval recognition by ear.

    ·        Rhythm and melody dictation.


    January (Ch. 16, 17, part of Ch.9)

    ·        Voice Leading

    ·        Instruments

    o   Ranges (extreme and comfortable)

    o   Transpositions

    o   Families and ensembles

    ·         Form (ABA’, Rondo, Binary, Ternary, Theme and Variations…)

    ·         Sight Singing low sol-high do.

    ·         Two part dictation

    ·         Interval, chord, and rhythmic recognition by ear.

    ·         AP Written practice test.


    February (Ch.12, 14 and part of 15)

    ·        Composition project

    ·        Four part choral

    ·        Analysis of motivic treatment

    ·         Sequences (Circle of Fifths)

    ·        Counterpoint, Fugue, imitation.

    ·        Three part dictation

    ·        Secondary Dominants

    ·        Modulation to the 5 closely related keys


    March (Ch. 15 and part of 13)

    ·        Macro Analysis

    ·        More Modulation

    ·        Composition Projects

    ·        Ear training

    ·        Sight Singing

    ·        Atonal History

    ·        Student lead compositional history by composer.

    ·        AP Test Review



    ·        Composition Projects

    ·        AP Sight Singing

    ·        AP Ear Training

    ·        AP Test Review



    ·        Composer’s Concert

    ·        Over flow

    ·        Review for Final

    I fully expect that my time line will be adjusted last year most students worked at a fast pace. Each month represents 10 classes (90 in total), it doesn’t account for vacation days.