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Course : Music Theory I

Course Number
MUSC 1603
Section Number
Fall 2022
Fain Fine Arts Center, C111
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time

The curriculum for all four music theory courses are developed from the same five themes. Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) for Music Theory I are listed under each theme. SLOs are also aligned with the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) EC-12 music standards.

Theme 1

Technical terminology allows musicians to communicate efficiently and accurately in order to enhance the creation and performance of music. 

SLO 1: (SBEC 001:A-B, D; SBEC 004:A-C, E; SBEC 009:D) Students who successfully complete Music Theory I will strengthen their written and oral communication skills by demonstrating fluency with technical terminology through the identification and/or construction of the following music fundamentals:

  • Pitches on Treble, Bass, Alto and Tenor Clefs
  • Pitches on Keyboard
  • Major/Minor 2nds
  • Simple Meter Rhythmic Patterns
  • Compound Meter Rhythmic Patterns
  • Major Scales
  • Major Key Signatures
  • Minor Scales
  • Minor Key Signatures
  • Major/Minor 3rds
  • Major/Minor/Diminished Triads
  • Dominant Seventh Chords

Theme 2

Music is an aural art form that can be visually captured through music notation in order to improve its longevity and performance accuracy.

SLO2: (SBEC 004:A; SBEC 005:A) Students who successfully complete Music Theory I will strengthen their written communication skills by demonstrating proficiency in the construction of the following musical notation fundamentals:

  • standard placement of notepads, stems, and accidentals
  • standard placement of staff elements such as time signatures and key signatures
  • standard placement of expressive elements such as articulation and dynamic markings
  • style-specific spacing and placement used in species counterpoint and Common Practice Period chorale-style and keyboard-style 4-part writing 

Theme 3 

Musical genres and eras are defined by shared expectations of composers, performers, and listeners across a variety of musical elements (melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, orchestration, form, etc.). The interaction of these elements create a distinctive sound for a piece of music or music of a particular composer, era, region, or genre. 

SLO3: (SBEC 001:A, SBEC 002:A,C; SBEC 003:A,C; SBEC 004:A-E; SBEC 005:B,D) Students who successfully complete Music Theory I will strengthen their cultural awareness and analytical and critical thinking skills by summarizing basic stylistic characteristics of various styles of Western music through the analysis of musical scores and performances. 

Theme 4 

The theory of music is based upon a set of expectations that composers and performers can meet, exceed, and thwart to elicit emotional response from their listeners.

SLO4: (SBEC 001:A-E, SBEC 003:A,C; SBEC 004:A-E; SBEC 005:B,D; 007:B-C, 009:D-E) Students who successfully complete Music Theory I will strengthen their analytical and critical thinking skills by analyzing how the following musical elements elicit emotional response by comparing these characteristics to oral communication and motion principles in the physical world:

  • rhythmic & metric devices
  • melodic contour
  • dynamic contrast
  • tendency tones
  • treatment of dissonance
  • cadences

Theme 5 

Musicians must develop a “hearing eye” and a “seeing ear” through essential aural and performance skills in order to convey and understand meaning in musical contexts.

SLO5: (SBEC 005:A-D) Students who successfully complete Music Theory I will strengthen their written, technological, and analytical and thinking skills by composing the following musical structures:

  • melodic phrases
  • melodic periods
  • short chord progressions
  • 2-line species counterpoint exercises

All students are expected to attend synchronous face-to-face sessions in the classroom. A synchronous Zoom option or an asynchronous option will be available to students who are currently ill/quarantined or who have direct conflicts with the class time (e.g. medical appointment). Students who need one of these options for a particular date should send an email to the instructor by 8 a.m. of the day they will miss.

Attendance for both options will be taken through D2L. An attendance assignment will be posted in the course for every class session. If you attend a synchronous face-to-face session, you will submit a photo with a daily posted image during class or you will log into the day’s Kahoot. If you attend a synchronous Zoom session, you will be required to submit a screenshot of the posted image or log into the day’s Kahoot. If you view an asynchronous video of a class session, you will be required to submit a screenshot of the day’s posted image.

Students who have failed to submit attendance assignments for 3 or more consecutive classes will be reported to the Early Alert monitoring system. Students who have failed to submit attendance assignments for 6 or more total classes by October 1st will be dropped from the course for non-attendance.

All course content is posted on the course site on D2L. There is no need to ask what was missed during a particular session, as a video from each class will be posted in the attendance assignment for that day.

If you encounter any emergencies during a particular week that make any of the attendance options impossible, please contact the instructor via email as soon as possible. Please designate a roommate or loved one who will email your professors in case you become incapacitated and cannot attend class. The instructor is unable to reply to your designee unless you have signed a FERPA release form in the registrar’s office allowing them access to your educational records.

Initial submissions of homework and composition projects must be made by the due date for each assignment. If the initial submission is late, a 10% penalty will be incurred. There is no penalty for resubmissions.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

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We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

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