Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony

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  • Course Overview
    • This introductory module lets you know what is involved in the course. Come on in!
  • Melodic Structures: Lines, Shapes, and Simple Modes
    • In this module, we will being to develop a vocabulary that is useful in describing the technicalities behind musical expression. To do this, we will start right away closely examining some actual, real music. First we will look at some Gregorian Chant (which, come on, can be stunningly beautiful). Second we will use some slow classic Jazz to thoughtfully build our vocabulary.
  • Melodic Structures: Simplicity, Repetition, and Change
    • In this module, still looking at single melodic lines, we will start to branch farther afield to describe some useful technical descriptions of the differences between different simple and complicated musical styles.
  • Combining Pitches: Consonance and Dissonance
    • Now we will start to describe different ways to think about playing pitches simultaneously. Carefully considering our terms, we will listen to a wide spectrum of styles before settling in to focus on the basics of common practice rules.
  • Cadences and Basic Harmonic Function
    • Beginning with a fuller examination of cadences, we will come up with ways to describe chords and harmonic function that help us talk and think about different styles of music. Finally, we will consider how our newly constructed vocabulary can help us describe the function and aesthetics of more and more complete pieces of music.