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Syllabus


Course Syllabus AP Music Theory

Instructor: Mike Bright

Text:  Stefan Kostka, Dorthy Payne, Byron Almen. Tonal Harmony. Seventh edition McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2013, 2009, 2004

Materials for dictation and sight-singing are teacher generated. Testing materials and additional worksheets are teacher generated. These will include part-writing, aural skills, rhythmic and melodic sight-reading quizzes, worksheets, and tests. They will be formatted similarly to the AP Music Theory exam.

Supplemental test examples:
Nancy Scoggin. AP Music Theory. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2010, 2014

Course Outline

The AP® Music Theory class meets during 2nd period five days a week for 36 weeks with each class period lasting fifty minutes. This syllabus is organized week by week following the text with minor changes in chapter organization. There will be visual and aural exercises for each new skill acquired throughout this course. Students will demonstrate mastery of the material through exercises, tests, quizzes, sight-singing, ear-training, dictation and composition. Ear Training and Sight-Singing sessions will not only include new material, but will incorporate review of previously covered material at all times. Written homework/class work assignments will be given at each class meeting. Throughout the course, appropriate vocal and instrumental repertoire will be studied, often within the textbook itself. Quizzes and tests will be given for each chapter and will be teacher generated or taken form the text itself. Comprehensive teacher generated sight-singing will also be given for each chapter .

Materials Needed

Every student is expected to have all supplies, books, and notes at every class period. Here is a list of supplies that students must provide for themselves:

  • A 1 1⁄2 -2” 3-Ring Binder (to keep all class work and notes in)

  • Several sharpened #2 pencils (pens are not allowed in this class)

  • A set of sharpened colored pencils or highlighters.

  • A staff paper notebook (if a notebook cannot be purchased, staff paper can be generated on a computer)

    Here is a list materials provided for the students: Textbooks/Workbooks
    Worksheets

  • Access to pianos and CD players

  • Listening CDs to accompany assignments Course Objectives

Upon completion of the AP Music Theory Course, the students will gain proficient knowledge in the following areas of music and be able to demonstrate this knowledge through written and aural means:

  • Fundamentals – musical terminology, notation, scales (major, minor, pentatonic, whole-tone, chromatic, and modal), keys, tonality, intervals, transposition, and chords.

  • Melody – composing and using melodies as an integral part in studying harmony.

  • Voice Leading – analytical skills in proper voice leading to provide music with the essential ebb and

    flow from one chord to another.

  • Harmony – clear perception of the “vertical” aspect of music.

  • Texture – understanding how chord and non-chord tones affect the texture of music.

  • Harmonic Progression – functional harmony in the baroque through romantic periods

  • Form – identifying various forms in music such as binary and ternary form.

  • Analysis – the “backbone” of this course will be included in almost every aspect of it through

    realizations of Roman numeral progressions

    Music Theory and Technology

    Although the curriculum described in the AP Music Theory Course Description will be followed, students will also be exposed to some of the wonderful music technology available to us. Throughout this AP course the students will acquire knowledge on computer generated music, and composition software. The students will be able to turn in assignments, post comments, ask for help, and communicate with others in the class through their school network accounts.

    Grading Policy

    In AP Music Theory, the grade percentage will be determined by dividing the points earned by the points possible. The grading scale will be 0-69% F, 70 D, 71-79% C, 80-89% B, and 90% and above A. Final Exams will be 20% of the overall grade, as set by our County School Board.

    Course Planner

    Weeks 1-2

    Preface: Developing the “hearing eye” and “seeing ear”
    Introduction: Sound, vibration, four properties of sound
    Chapter 1: Elements of Pitch
    Octave registers, major scales, major key signatures, minor scales, minor key signatures, scale degree names, pentatonic scale, whole tone scale, intervals, (perfect, major, minor and minor) intervals, augmented intervals, diminished intervals, inversions of intervals, consonant harmonic intervals, dissonant harmonic intervals.

    Ear Training: melodic and harmonic intervals, and rhythmic dictation. Drill scales and key signatures Sight-Singing: melodies in stepwise motion

    Week 3
    Chapter 2: Elements of Rhythm
    Rhythm, durational symbols, beat, tempo, meter, division of the beat, simple time signatures, and compound time signatures
    Ear Training: melodic and harmonic intervals, and rhythmic dictation. Drill scales and key signatures Sight-Singing: melodies in stepwise motion

    Chapter 3: Introduction to Triads and Seventh Chords
    Triads, Seventh Chords, Inversions of Chords, Inversion Symbols and Figured Bass, Lead-Sheet Symbols, Recognizing Chords in Various Textures

  • Week 4

Ear Training: identifying melodic and harmonic intervals, identifying modes through use of interval relations. Continue to drill scales and key signatures

Sight-Singing: melodies in stepwise motion

Week 5
Chapter 4: Diatonic Chords in Major and Minor Keys
Diatonic Triads in Major, Minor Scale, Diatonic Triads in Minor, Diatonic Seventh Chords in Major, Diatonic Seventh Chords in Minor
Ear Training: identifying melodic and harmonic intervals, identifying modes through use of interval relations. Continue to drill scales and key signatures
Sight-Singing: melodies in stepwise motion

Week 6
Chapter 5: Principals of Voice Leading
The Melodic Line, Notating Chords, Voicing A Single Triad, Parallel Motion
Ear Training: continue drilling melodic and harmonic intervals, triads using Roman numerals, and melodic dictation
Sight-Singing: melodies major/minor with triadic skips

Week 7
Chapter 6: Root Position Part Writing
Root Position Part Writing with Repeated Roots, Root Position Part Writing with Roots a 4th and 5th Apart, Root Position Part Writing with Roots a 3rd and 6th Apart, Root Position Part Writing with Roots a 2nd and 7th Apart Ear Training: continue drilling melodic and harmonic intervals, triads using Roman numerals, and melodic dictation
Sight-Singing: melodies major/minor with triadic skips

Week 8
Chapter 7: Harmonic Progression and the Sequence
Sequences and the Circle of Fifths, The I and V Chords, The II Chord, The VI Chord, The III Chord, The VII Chord, The IV Chord, Common Exceptions, Differences in Minor Mode, Progressions of the Seventh Chords, Harmonizing a Simple Melody
Ear Training: various musical samples of cadences – continue drilling melodic and harmonic intervals, triads using Roman numerals
Sight-Singing: arpeggios, and simple 4-part exercises

Week 9
Not in Book - Species Writing
Ear Training:
identifying different textures within a composition Sight-Singing: arpeggios, and difficult single line exercises

Week 10
Chapter 8: Triads in First Inversion
Bass Arpeggiation, Substitued First Inversion Triads, Inversions in Lead Sheets, Parallel Sixth Chords, Part Writing First Inversion Triads, Soprano – Bass Counterpoint
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and melodic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material

Week 11
Chapter 9: Triads in Second Inversion
Bass Arpeggiation and the Melodic Bass, The Cadential Six-Four, The Passing Six-Four, The Pedal Six-Four, Part Writing for Second Inversion Triads
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and melodic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material

Week 12
Chapter 10: Cadences, Phrases, Periods, and Sentences
Musical Form, Cadences, Cadences and Harmonic Rhythm, Motives and Phrases, Period Forms, The Sentence Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and melodic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 13
Chapter 11: Non-chord Tones
Classification of Nonchord Tones, Passing Tones, Neighboring Tones, Suspensions and Retardations, Embellishing a Simple Texture, Figured-Bass and Lead-Sheet Symbols
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises
Special Project: Composition assignment – there should be enough vocabulary and theory learned by now for each student to creatively write their own short composition. I will establish the parameters for this assignment, but you will be the composer! All compositions will be due by the end of the term.

Week 14
Chapter 12: Non-chord Tones II
Appoggiaturas, Escape Tones, The Neighbor Group, Anticipations, The Pedal Point, Special Problems in the Analysis of Nonchord Tones
Ear Training: harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 15
Chapter 13: The V7 Chord
General Voice-Leading, The Approach to the 7th, The V7 in Root Position, The V7 in Three Parts, other Resolutions of the V7, The Inverted V7, V6/5, V4/3, V 4/2
Ear Training: harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 16
Chapter 14: The II7 and VII7 Chords
The II7 Chord, The VII7 in Major, The VII7 in Minor
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 17
Chapter 15: Other Diatonic Seventh Chords
IV7, VI7, I7, and III7 Chords
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 18
Chapter 16: Secondary Functions I

Chromaticism and Altered Chords, Secondary Functions of Tonicization, Secondary Dominant Chords, Spelling Secondary Dominants, Recognizing Secondary Dominants and Their Context
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 19
Chapter 17: Secondary Functions II
Spelling and Recognizing Secondary Leading-Tone Chords and Their Context, Sequences Involving Secondary Functions
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 20
Chapter 18: Modulations Using Diatonic Common Chords
Modulation and Change of Key, Modulation and Tonicization, Key Relationships, Common-Chord Modulation, Analyzing Common-Chord Modulation
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 21
Chapter 19: Some other Modulatory Techniques
Altered Chords as Common Chords, Sequential Modulation, Modulation by Common Tone, Monophonic Modulation, Direct Modulation
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 22
Chapter 20: Larger Forms
Formal Terminology, Binary Forms, Ternary Forms, Rounded Binary Forms, 12 Bar Blues, Other Forms in Ternary Design, Sonata Form, Rondo Form
Ear Training: Listening to Jazz Forms; Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 23
Chapter 21
Mode Mixture and the Neapolitan
Borrowed Chords in Minor and Major, Neapolitan Chord, Modulations Involving Mode Mixture and the Neapolitan
Ear Training: Listening to Wagner; Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 24
Chapter 22
Augmented Sixth Chords
The Interval of the Augmented Sixth, The Italian Augmented Sixth Chord, The French Augmented Sixth Chord, The German Augmented Sixth Chord
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 25 Chapter 23

Enharmonic Spellings and Enharmonic Modulations

Enharmonic Spellings, Enharmonic Reinterpretation, Enharmonic Modulations Using the Major-Minor Seventh Sonority, Enharmonic Modulations Using the Diminished Seventh Chord
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 26
Chapter 24 - 25
Further Elements of the Harmonic Vocabulary
The Dominate with a Substituted (6th, raised 5th), 9th, 11th, and 13th Chords, The Common-Tone Diminished Seventh Chord, Counter Point and Voice Leading
Ear Training: Listening to Bach Chorales and easy harmonic dictation
Sight-Singing: class singing of 4-part material, and difficult single line exercises

Week 27
Review Part One Chapters 1 – 4

Week 28 - 29 Review Part Two Chapters 5 – 12

Week 30
Review Part 3 Chapters 13 – 15

Week 31
Review Part 4 Chapters 16 – 20 Week 31
Review Part 5 Chapters 21 -25

Week 32
**AP Music Theory Exam Monday, May 8, 2017

Final Projects


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