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Effective: Summer 2015
MUS 3ABEGINNING MUSIC THEORY, LITERATURE & COMPOSITION5 Unit(s)

Advisory: Advisory: MUS 12A strongly recommended.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
5 hours lecture, 1 hour laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will produce a simple musical composition applying the principles of basic four-part harmony.
  • Analyze simple compositions identifying triads in root position and inversions using Roman numerals, figured bass, and popular chord symbols.
  • Training in hearing the different musical intervals.
Description -
Introduction to the fundamentals of music and their application to composition and music literature. Notation, scales, intervals, triads, and their use in basic composition. Includes a study of how social, political, philosophical, and other artistic developments outside of music influenced compositional thinking and how these were integrated into the Baroque period of Western musical theory.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. notate correctly and read pitches on the treble, bass, and alto clefs using letter names, solfege syllables, and scale degree numbers.
  2. notate correctly and read simple and compound duple, triple, and quadruple meters.
  3. notate and read various rhythmic patterns.
  4. notate major and minor scales and recognize their use in simple melodies.
  5. notate the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes and recognize their use in simple melodies.
  6. notate non-diatonic scales (Pentatonic, Whole Tone, Chromatic, Blues).
  7. notate and identify major and minor key signatures.
  8. notate and identify diatonic intervals (Major, minor, diminished, augmented) in both simple and compound forms.
  9. notate and identify triads in root position and inversion using Roman numerals, figured bass, and popular chord symbols.
  10. notate and identify standard cadences (perfect authentic, imperfect authentic, half cadence, plagal, and deceptive).
  11. notate and identify unaccented and accented non-harmonic tones.
  12. write and complete simple four part harmony exercises.
  13. write a simple composition demonstrating understanding of these fundamentals.
  14. aurally identify styles and devices of music utilizing these fundamentals.
  15. sight-sing simple compositions utilizing these fundamentals.
  16. Discuss in small groups different stylistic practices of other world cultures as related to Western harmonic diatonic principles.
  17. notate from melodic and harmonic dictation.
  18. understand the different effects that social, political, philosophical, and religious thinking had on artistic expression with particular emphasis on music.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Classroom with midi keyboards and/or pianos, staff-lined blackboards, stereo/CD player.
  2. when taught on campus: access to a cassette player; classroom sound equipment for compact discs, audiotape and records, screen, overhead projector, slide projector, VCR.
  3. when taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities; Email address; Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Notation: notation of pitch (letter names, solfege, scale degree numbers), the clefs, octave identification, accidentals, intervals, notation of duration, irregular division of notes, meter signatures, dynamic markings.
  2. Scales, Tonality, Key, and Modes: diatonic scales, major scales, minor scales (natural, melodic, harmonic), non-diatonic scales (Pentatonic, Whole Tone, Chromatic), Modes (Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian), Key signatures, scale relationships (parallel and relative).
  3. Intervals: Major, minor, and perfect intervals; augmented and diminished intervals, enharmonic intervals, inversion of intervals, compound intervals, invertible counterpoint.
  4. Chords: Harmony, triads, triad roots, major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads, scale degree names, primary triads, seventh chords, analysis symbols, root positions and inversions, figured bass, popular music symbols.
  5. Basic principles of music theory, literature and composition.
  6. Identification of the political system of Absolutism and the religious thinking of the 18th century and how this influenced the music of the Baroque.
  7. Correlations between music theory and music literature.
  8. Direct observation of student work at the blackboard, keyboard, and in ear training.
  9. Outside reading, listening and writing assignments.
  10. Discuss in small groups different stylistic practices of other world cultures as related to Western harmonic diatonic principles.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Homework assignments based on textbook chapters.
  2. Written tests on notation, scales, modes, intervals, triads, and cadences.
  3. Aural tests on simple melodies, rhythmic patterns, scales, intervals and triads.
  4. Comprehensive midterm and final examinations.
  5. A graded final composition.
Representative Text(s) -
Benward, Bruce and White, Gary, Music in Theory and Practice, Volume 1 8th ed. Madison, WI, Brown and Benchmark, Publishers, 2009.

Collections of scores available at Foothill College Library and Music Laboratory.

Disciplines -
Music
 
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Laboratory.
 
Lab Content -
Laboratory Exercises: Weekly supervised lab exercises in the Theory/Piano Lab. Each lab exercise may be individual or consist of group activities and covers assigned reading and lecture topics as well as applied musical skills such as sight-singing (solfege), ear training, and rhythmic and melodic dictation.
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading Assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, online curriculum, lab manual, and outside sources ranging from 40 to 60 pages per week.
  2. Lecture: Weekly lecture covering subject matter from text assignment with extended topic information.
  3. Laboratory Exercises: Weekly lab exercises in the Network Lab. Each lab exercise may be individual or group activities and covers assigned reading and lecture topics.