1 Course Description: A.P. Music Theory Class Expectations and Syllabus Pd. 1; Days 1-6 Room 630 Mr. Showalter This course is designed to give you a deep understanding of all compositional aspects of vocal and instrumental music. You will study elements of pitch, rhythm, harmonic progression, inverted chords, non-chord tones, cadences, phrases, secondary functions, and musical forms in relationship to music composition. Music studied will consist primarily of Western Classical music as this is where musical notation and composition has developed over the past 2,000 years. The following outline is and estimated look at how this course will be broken down during the school year. Classroom Guidelines: 1) Always bring a PENCIL to write with in class. 2) Always bring your FOLDER to class you will receive many worksheets!! 3) Homework assignments are always due the very next class period unless told otherwise. Late assignments will receive a 25% decrease in possible value per class period unless you are absent from school - the assignment will be due to me the very next day that you return to class. 4) Cell phones they are a distraction to you and those around you during class. They will become mine for the remainder of the class period, you will not receive any participation points for that day, and a lunch detention will be assigned. If this becomes a consistent issue, administrative consequences will occur. 5) Cheating of any sort will NOT BE TOLERATED! Cheating will result in a grade of ZERO on the assignment or test. Respect Guidelines: 1) Raise your hand to a. Answer or ask a question b. Sharpen your pencil c. Throw something away d. etc. 2) Act appropriately when others are speaking (sitting up straight, sitting quietly, chair flat on the floor, etc.) Grading System: 1) Tests/Quizzes ( points each) 2) Pop Quizzes (10 points each, these will always be on material covered during the previous class.) Hint: Look over your notes for five minutes each night! 3) Homework Assignments (10-25 points, worksheet, research, etc.) 4) Daily Participation (5 points every class period; you must participate in order to earn all 5 points. This can be a huge grade booster!) a. Participation includes: i. Answering or asking multiple questions pertaining to the class material ii. Completing in-class assignments when given iii. Acting appropriately and contributing to the class discussion iv. etc. 5) Extra Credit (This will be given at the discretion of the teacher.)
2 Advanced Placement Music Theory Course Syllabus Weeks 1-2: Pitch Notation, Scales, Modes Clefs, octave registers, notation, major and minor key signatures, key relationships, major and natural/harmonic/melodic minor, blues, pentatonic, chromatic, whole-tone scales and medieval modes. Pitch register, direction of the melodic line, difference between major and minor scales/modes. Repetition of correct notation will be reinforced using primarily previous knowledge (prior to the start of the course) from the students. Ear training focusing on the direction of the melodic line will help to introduce very basic melodic dictation where the students will draw a line in the shape or contour of various melodies that will be played on the piano. Homework, quiz on key signatures and key relationships, ear training quiz differentiating between high and low pitches, simple melodic dictation quiz (melody contour), classwork. Weeks 3-5: Scale Degree Names, Intervals, Inversion of Intervals Students will learn to use the correct symbols to represent interval qualities, including inverted intervals. Aural identification of intervals (both melodic and harmonic). Heavy repetition is practiced with ear training involving intervals and review of major/minor scales/modes. Sight-singing is introduced, using solfeggio syllables, with the major scale and diatonic intervals. Homework, basic sight-singing quiz, classwork. Weeks 6-7: Rhythmic Notation, Simple and Compound Meter, Division of the Beat Notation of various duration symbols, time signatures, proper beaming of the division of the beat in various time signatures; rhythmic dictation is introduced. Using aural skills to hear the difference between simple and compound meters. Clapping/chanting both simple and compound meters and their appropriate subdivisions. Homework, simple/compound meter quiz, basic rhythmic dictation, classwork. Weeks 8-9: Chords: Triads, Seventh Chords, Inversion of Chords
3 Triad construction and inversion, seventh chord construction and inversion, appropriate chord qualities of both triads and seventh chords. Aural identification of major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads, major, major/minor, minor, half-diminished, and fully diminished seventh chords, distinction between triads and seventh chords. The Human Chord Quality Activity The students will assume various stances to physically demonstrate the relative size of diminished, minor, major, and augmented chords in comparison to one another. - Diminished Triad: crouch down on the floor - Minor Triad: kneeling on the floor, upper body straight up - Major Triad: standing straight up, feet flat on the floor - Augmented Triad: standing safely on a chair (several students holding the chair and the student s hands for safety purposes) Homework, quiz on chord qualities and inversions (triads and seventh chords), classwork. End of First Marking Period Week 10: Diatonic Chords in Major and Minor Keys Diatonic chords in major and minor scales (triads and seventh chords), proper notation of these chords in various key signatures. Aural identification of major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads, major, major/minor, minor, half-diminished, and fully diminished seventh chords, distinction between triads and seventh chords. Basic piano skills will be introduced through the performance of diatonic triads and seventh chords. These chords will be introduced on the piano in the key of C major. All of the students will practice playing these chords in root position in order to visually understand and see how these chords are stacked in root position. Homework, quiz on diatonic chord qualities, and classwork. Week 11: Notating the Melodic Line, Principles of Voice-Leading Various components included in creating and notating the melodic line, notating chords in association with the melody, and voicing each chord appropriately.
4 Students will create and perform basic melodies on their respective instruments in order to introduce aural training of different timbres or voices. Sight-singing of basic melodies created by the students, students will also perform these melodies on their respective instruments, melodic dictation as melodies are played on new instruments. Homework, melodic dictation quiz, melody-writing classwork. Week 12: Instrumental Ranges, Transpositions, Part-Writing Notating melodies and the appropriate accompanying chords in order to introduce partwriting, transposing notated melodies to different keys, identifying the appropriate range of various instruments. Melodic dictation and sight-singing will continue along with an aural review of intervals. Students will notate melodies for their respective instruments the students will do a peer-review of the melodies ensuring that the melodies are not written out of the appropriate instrument range, after revisions have been made the partner will transpose the melody for their own instrument and the students will perform the melody together for the rest of the class. Homework, melody-writing/transposition class exercise, part-writing quiz. Weeks 13-14: Circle of Fifths, Harmonic Progression and Sequence Circle of fifths, notation of diatonic chords using Roman numerals, introduction of basic harmonic sequence through notation and harmonization of a simple melody. Repetition of aural interval identification and continuation of melodic dictation. Melodic dictation is expanded to include simple syncopated rhythms and leaps up to a perfect fifth. The students will create the Human Circle of Fifths where students will each represent a specific key signature and then must place themselves in the correct order. Students will then be rearranged and will be asked to complete the task again to reinforce understanding. This will be done with major key signatures as well as relative minor key signatures. Homework, quiz on circle of fifths and harmonization of a simple melody using Roman numerals, classwork. Week 15: Phrases, Cadences, and Periods
5 Musical phrases, period organization, identifying and creating perfect/plagal/half/deceptive cadences. Aural identification of perfect/plagal/half/deceptive cadences, aural identification of similar and contrasting phrases. Melodic dictation and sight-singing will continue for reinforcement. The students will complete a 16-measure composition project, where they compose a motive and develop that motive in order to create a four measure phrase. The students will then compose a second phrase to form a period and repeat this process to complete the 16-measure composition project. Homework, 16-measure composition project, classwork. Weeks 16-17: Non-Harmonic Tones, Figured Bass Symbols Identification and construction of non-harmonic tones (an emphasis will be placed on suspensions), identification and realization of figured bass symbols. Aural identification of non-harmonic tones with an emphasis on suspensions. Melodic dictation and sight-singing will continue. Each student will notate an 8-measure melody, with the appropriate 4-part harmony, containing NO non-harmonic tones, the students will give the melody to their partner and the partner will add a minimum of 6 non-harmonic tones and will identify each one. Roman numeral analysis of Bach Chorales will commence. Homework, 8-measure melody assignment as described above, quiz on figured bass symbols. Week 18: Review for Mid-Term Exam During this week, the students will be reviewing all material covered thus far in the course. The students will prepare for the mid-term exam which will take place at the end of this week. The mid-term exam contains written as well as aural sections which must be completed in the allotted time. The midterm exam will be administered in conditions similar to that of the A.P. Exam in preparation for the exam at the end of the year. End of Second Marking Period and First Semester Week 19: Functions of the V7 Chord Identification and construction of the dominant seventh chord in root position and its three inversions, study of the dominant seventh chord using 3 and 4 notes, approach and resolution of the seventh.
6 Aural identification of the dominant seventh chord in root position and all three inversions. Harmonic dictation, realization of figured bass and melodic harmonization will now include the dominant seventh chord, sight-singing will now continue in compound meter and harmonic minor. Homework, analysis of excerpts which include the dominant seventh chord, classwork. Week 20 Functions of the II7 and VII7 Chords Identification and construction of minor, half-diminished, and fully-diminished supertonic and leading tone seventh chords and their three inversions, approach and resolution of the seventh. Aural identification of each chord differentiating between minor, half, and fully diminished chord qualities. Harmonic dictation, realization of figured bass and melodic harmonization will now include the supertonic and leading-tone seventh chords, melodic dictation and sightsinging will now expand to include melodic minor. There will be a graded harmonic dictation which will include all harmonic material covered up until this point. Students will also harmonize a folk melody using all known chords at this time. All dictations, realizations, Roman numeral part-writing, and compositions will be timed from this point on. Week 21: Non-Dominant Seventh Chords: I7, III7, IV7, and VI7 Chords Identification of all non-dominant seventh chords including the I7, III7, IV7, and VI7 chords in both major and minor keys, resolution of the seventh. Aural identification of each of the non-dominant seventh chords. Harmonic dictation, figured bass realization, and melodic folk harmonization to now include the vii7. Melodic dictation and sight singing continue in melodic minor. Works by Bach, Mozart, Debussy, and Brahms, are analyzed in regards to all seventh chords dominant and non-dominant. Figured bass realization that includes all harmonic material studied to this point. Weeks 22-23: Chromaticism, Secondary Dominant Chords, Tonicization Introduction to chromaticism/altered chords and identification of secondary dominants.
7 Aural identification of secondary dominant chords and leading tones, focusing the students on the temporary tonicization these chords provide. Sight-singing and melodic dictation to include altered tones indicating underlying chords that have a secondary function. Harmonic dictation will now include secondary dominant chords. There will be analysis of hymns that include secondary dominant chords. Students will realize figured bass and part-write numerous examples of chord progressions that include secondary dominant chords and their proper resolution. Graded melodic and harmonic dictation assessments, homework assignments of figured bass realizations, part-writing from both figured bass and Roman numerals. Week 24: Secondary Leading-Tone Chords Identification and construction of secondary leading-tone chords, harmonic sequences involving secondary functions, deceptive resolutions of secondary functions. Aural identification of secondary leading-tone chords and leading tones, focusing the students on the temporary tonicization these chords provide. Sight-singing and melodic dictation to include altered tones indicating underlying chords that have a secondary function. Harmonic dictation will now include secondary leadingtone chords. There will be analysis of hymns that include secondary leading-tone chords. There will also be analysis of works by Schumann, Brahms, Joplin, and Mozart that include secondary function chords. Students will realize figured bass and part write numerous examples of chord progressions that include secondary function chords and their proper resolution. Graded melodic and harmonic dictation assessments, homework assignments of figured bass realizations, part-writing from both figured bass and Roman numerals. Weeks 25-27: Modulation Identification of modulation and change of key, construction of modulatory common chords, and chromatic modulations to closely-related keys. Aural identification of modulations/change of key. Figured bass realization and part-writing of common-chord, chromatic, and direct modulations. This unit generally falls around the time of the school musical. Music excerpts from the current musical are used as examples to identify various modulations. Music from the current musical is also included in ear-training during this unit. Figured bass realization that includes identification of modulations and part-writing, homework, classwork.
8 End of Third Marking Period Week 28: Review and Reinforcement of Secondary Functions and Modulations (This week is a strict review and reinforcement of the previous two units on secondary functions and modulations due to the complexities of the two units. It is also meant as a flex week time to catch up, if need be, due to many in-school events which occur during the school-day this time of year and can decrease instructional time.) Identification and construction of secondary functions, harmonic sequences involving secondary functions, and deceptive resolutions of secondary functions. Identification of modulation and change of key, construction of modulatory common chords, and chromatic modulations to closely-related keys. Aural identification of secondary functions and modulations/change of key. Sight-singing and melodic dictation to include altered tones indicating underlying chords that have a secondary function. Harmonic dictation will now include secondary leadingtone chords. There will be analysis of hymns that include secondary leading-tone chords. Figured bass realization and part-writing of common-chord, chromatic, and direct modulations. This unit generally falls around the time of the school musical. Music excerpts from the current musical are used as examples to identify various modulations. Music from the current musical is also included in ear-training during this unit. Graded melodic and harmonic dictation assessments, homework assignments of figured bass realizations, part-writing from both figured bass and Roman numerals. Figured bass realization that includes identification of modulations and part-writing, homework, and classwork. Weeks 29-31: Forms: Binary, Ternary, Theme and Variation, and Strophic Identification and construction of musical compositions in binary, rounded-binary, ternary, theme and variation, and strophic forms. Aural identification of compositions in binary, rounded-binary, ternary, theme and variation, and strophic forms. Students will study pieces by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Schumann. The students will distinguish the form of each piece and complete a formal analysis of each piece. The formal analysis will be reviewed and graded for accuracy. The will be a sight-singing assessment taken from previous AP exams that will be graded using the AP scoring system. Weeks 32-33: Review and Preparation for A.P. Exam
9 During these two weeks, the students will take practice A.P. exams from past years in preparation for the actual A.P. exam. Students will take these practice exams in testing conditions as close as possible to the authentic testing conditions. Weeks 34-36: Culminating Project After the A.P. exam has been administered, the students will create 16-measure melody (minimum) with the appropriate 4-part harmony. The students must include a minimum of 10 nonharmonic tones throughout the composition, at least 2 appropriate cadences of their choice, and at least one modulation. The students will then be taught the basic skills needed to input their compositions into a computer using Finale 2012 notation software. This acts as a very brief introduction to the benefits of music technology. At the end of these two weeks, the students will then present their compositions to the class and will use Finale to play their compositions. The students must provide a paper copy of the composition, with non-harmonic tones, cadences, and modulations identified, to the teacher who will photocopy the composition for the other students in the class to use to follow along with the presentation. Primary Texts Used: Kostka, Stefan, and Payne, Dorothy. Tonal Harmony With an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music, 6 th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Kostka, Stefan, and Payne, Dorothy. Tonal Harmony With an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music, 6 th ed. Workbook. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Benjamin, Thomas, Michael Horvit and Robert Nelson. Music for Sight Singing, 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1994.