Advanced Placement Music Theory Course Syllabus Joli Brooks, Jacksonville High School,

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1 Joli Brooks, Jacksonville High School, Primary Text Spencer, Peter The Practice of Harmony, 6 th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Course Overview AP Music Theory is for serious students of music. Students will study the fundamentals of written music, ear training, dictation, sight singing, simple composition, and principles of harmony and musical analysis. This course is the equivalent of two semesters of college freshman theory. Students are expected to take the AP Music Theory exam upon completion of the course. This course is weighted on a six-point scale. General Course Content 1. Fundamentals of musical pitch 2. Fundamentals of rhythm 3. Four-part vocal writing 4. Seventh chords 5. Nonchord tones 6. Secondary-dominant chords 7. Aural skills 8. Musical form 9. Musical terminology Course Objectives 1. Identify and notate pitch in four clefs: treble, bass, alto, and tenor 2. Notate, hear, and identify simple and compound meters 3. Notate and identify all major and minor key signatures 4. Notate, hear, and identify the following scales: chromatic, major, and the three minor forms 5. Define and apply appropriate musical terminology 6. Compose and arrange basic musical examples 7. Analyze musical score, demonstrating an understanding of harmonic progression, melodic line, rhythmic organization, texture and phrase structure 8. Demonstrate aural skills through melodic and harmonic dictation and sight singing Expanded Objectives 1. Name and recognize scale degree names: tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, subtonic, leading tone 2. Notate, hear, and identify all major, minor, diminished, and augmented intervals inclusive of an octave 3. Transpose a melodic line to or from concert pitch for any common band or orchestral instrument 4. Notate, hear, and identify triads, including inversions 5. Notate, hear, and identify authentic, plagal, half, and deceptive cadences in major and minor keys 6. Detect pitch and rhythm errors in written music from given aural excerpts

2 7. Given four repetitions, notate diatonic melodies from dictation, 4 to 8 measures in length, major and minor keys, simple and compound time 8. Sight-sing melodies using solfege, 4 to 8 measures in length, major and minor keys, simple and compound time 9. Realize figured bass according to the rules of eighteenth-century chorale style, in major and minor keys, including any of these musical elements: diatonic triads, seventh chords, inversions, nonchord tones, secondary dominant chords, dominant seventh chords 10. Analyze four-part chorale style examples using Roman and Arabic numerals and appropriate symbols to represent chord function, quality and inversion 11. Analyze and notate the following nonchord tones: passing tone, neighboring tone, anticipation, appoggiatura, escape tone, changing tone, pedal tone, suspension, retardation 12. Given four repetitions, notate the soprano and bass pitches and provide the Roman and Arabic numeral analysis of harmonic dictations in eighteenth-century chorale style, 7-9 chords in length, including any of these musical elements: seventh chords, secondary dominant chords, major and minor keys 13. Compose a melody or expand a motive, 4 to 8 measures in length, given specific directions about key, phrasing, rhythm, and harmony 14. Harmonize a 4- to 8-bar melody by writing a bass line, chords and chord symbols, given specific directions about key, phrasing, rhythm and harmony 15. Identify aurally and/or visually the following: modulation, transposition, melodic and harmonic rhythm, sequence, imitation, ostinato, augmentation, diminution, inversion, retrograde, and fragmentation 16. Recognize and identify basic compositional techniques: imitation, sequence, ostinato, repetition, contrast, variation Student Expectations 1. Each student must bring pencils, textbook, up-to-date Music Theory three-ring binder and assignments each day. Most students also find that highlighters and sticky notes are useful to organize information. Students should keep all handouts and assignments in a logical order in the binder. Some assignments will require the students to modify an earlier assignment, so it is very important that students correct and keep all work. 2. Each student will be issued The Practice of Harmony, by Peter Spencer, a combination textbook and workbook. Because students will complete many of their assignments by writing in the book, the same copies of the text cannot be used for future Music Theory classes. Students may keep the textbook at the end of the course. 3. Students will use free web-based music notation software for preparation of some of their assignments. 4. Students are encouraged to use appropriate web-based resources to help them with this course. A list of appropriate sites will be provided. Some of these sites are informational, but many are interactive. The sites include interactive ear-training exercises, piano keyboards, metronomes, and interactive self-tests. Students should practice with these sites regularly to strengthen their skills

3 5. Students are expected to learn from each other as well as from the teacher. Therefore, all students are required to participate appropriately in class discussions and group work. Students should ask questions, volunteer answers, and contribute thoughtful comments to class discussions. During group work, students should seek to contribute their best work to the group process. 6. Students will listen to selected works outside of class and maintain a music listening log. Each selection will include a focus for listening, about which the student should write a brief reflection. 7. Students are encouraged to attend appropriate musical performances outside of class. Students will attend one concert each six weeks and submit a brief paper about the concert, using an appropriate musical vocabulary. This paper should contain general information about the concert, the student s evaluation of it, and specific analysis of one selection from the concert. This analysis should include the following: a) melodic characteristics (conjunct/disjunct) b) harmonic characteristics (harmonic idioms present) c) rhythm (straight/syncopated) d) texture (homophonic, monophonic, polyphonic, heterophonic) e) timbre (instrumentation, tone color) f) dynamics (dynamic contrasts) g) tempo (tempo changes) h) meter (duple/triple, simple/compound, regular/irregular) i) mode (major, minor, modal, atonal) j) form (binary, ternary, sonata, rondo, etc.) k) articulation (legato, staccato, etc.) 8. Students are expected to maintain the highest standards for integrity in completing all class work, homework, projects and tests for AP Music Theory. While students are expected and encouraged to work together both in and out of class, students are cautioned to eschew situations that compromise one s integrity. Copying homework, sharing electronic files, plagiarism, and falsely reporting ear training homework activities are examples of cheating and have no place in the work of students of good character. Students who are caught cheating can expect to have their parents contacted and a grade of 0 assigned to all affected assignments. 9. Students must meet all deadlines for work except in case of emergency or unless special permission is granted in advance. 10. Students must apply themselves by completing homework, practicing ear-training skills, studying at home and learning all they can during class time. Although this is an intense and demanding course, it should also be fun and satisfying for students that love music, enjoy learning, and appreciate a challenge. Students with good work habits and study skills should find that the amount of work is manageable. Students should expect to complete about one to two hours of homework each night during the week. Students may want to use time on the weekends to work on longterm projects and practice ear-training skills. 11. Students should remember that most of the activities in this class will be new. Students are encouraged to approach new activities with enthusiasm, curiosity and an open mind

4 12. Students will complete one major arranging or composition project each six weeks, including correct notation, range, and transpositions. First Six Weeks Week 1-3 Chapter One- Clefs and Basic Pitch Notation: the staff, clefs, pitch class, keyboard Chapter Six- The Notation of Rhythm: note values, time signatures, meter, stemming practices, augmentation, diminution Chapter Two- Scales: major, minor, analysis of scale forms using tetrachords, aural identification of triads as major/minor Aural skills: simple rhythmic dictation, identification of scales as major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor, sing major and minor scales Elements of music: definition of all elements, binary form, instrumental and vocal timbres Assessments: Vocabulary Test #1, Test #1 (Chapters 1 and 6) NC Essential Standards: A.ML.1.3, A.ML.2.1, A.ML.2.2, A.ML.2.3, A.ML.2.4, A.MR.1.2, A.MR.1.3, A.CR.1.1, A.CR.1.2, A.CR.1.5 Week 4-6 Chapter Three- Key Signatures and Scale Degrees: scale degrees, key signatures, circle of fifths Chapter Four- Intervals: interval quality, inversions, compound intervals Chapter Five- Triads: quality, Roman numeral designations Aural skills: simple melodic dictation, identification of major and minor intervals by quality and quantity, solfege syllables, sing intervals, sing arpeggios Elements of music: ternary form, rounded binary form Composition: introduce notation software, basic procedures for arranging/composing, clef transposition Assessments: Vocabulary Test #2, Test #2 (Chapters 2 and 3, aural identification of scale forms), Test #3 (Chapter 4, solfege syllables), Test #4 (Chapter 5, aural identification of intervals), Arranging/Composition Project #1, Quiz: Songs for Interval Recognition Second Six Weeks Week 7-9 Chapter Seven- Four-Part Vocal Writing: partwriting rules, ranges, writing chords in open and close structure Chapter Eight- Primary Triads in Root Position: cadences, partwriting rules, voice leading procedures Chapter Nine- Primary Triads in First Inversion: figured bass - 4 -

5 Chapter Ten- Primary Triads in Second Inversion: special rules for second inversion chords Aural skills: melodic dictation, sight singing simple melodies in unison using solfege Elements of music: minuet and trio form, theme and variation form Composition: transposing for instruments Assessments: Vocabulary Test #3, Test #5 (Chapters 7 and 8, aural identification of triad quality) Week Chapter 11- Secondary Triads: partwriting rules, chord progressions, harmonic motion Chapter 12- The Harmonization of Melodies I: harmonization procedures Chapter 13- Nonchord Tones I: passing tones, neighboring tones, changing tones, appoggiaturas, escape tones, anticipations Aural skills: harmonic dictation, melodic dictation, sight singing in unison and in two parts using solfege Elements of music: rondo form, sonata form Composition: transposing for instruments Assessments: Vocabulary Test #4, Test #6 (Chapter 11, melodic dictation, aural identification of triads in inversion), Arranging/Composition Project #2 Third Six Weeks Week Chapter 14- Nonchord Tones II: suspensions, retardations Chapter 15- Diatonic Seventh Chords: identification of qualities, functions in four-part writing, strategies Chapter 16- Harmonization of Melodies II: strategies for four-part writing using nonchord tones Aural skills: harmonic dictation, melodic dictation, sight singing in unison and in two parts using solfege Elements of music: strophic form, da capo aria form Composition: transposing for instruments Assessments: Vocabulary Test #5, Test #7 (Chapter 13-16, sight singing, melodic dictation), Arranging/Composition Project #3-5 -

6 Week Chapter 17- Secondary Dominants: tonicization, modulation, procedures for analysis and part-writing Aural skills: harmonic dictation, melodic dictation, sight singing in unison and in two parts using solfege Assessments: Vocabulary Test #6, Test #8 (Chapter 17, sight singing, harmonic dictation) mock AP Theory Exam, course final exam Teacher Resources Kostka, Stefan, and Dorothy Payne Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music. New York: McGraw-Hill. Merryman, Marjorie The Music Theory Handbook. Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace. Ottman, Robert Music For Sight Singing, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall. Grading Practices 1. Daily grades: Daily grades count 50% of each six-week grade. Each student will earn a grade every day. Students earn points toward daily grades as follows: Materials and participation: 50 points Homework complete: 50 points 2. Test grades: Test grades count 50% of each six-week grade. Test grades can include written tests, sight-singing tests, combined quiz grades and projects. 3. Exam: The final exam is a simulation of the international Advanced Placement Music Theory exam. It counts 25% of the course grade and includes material from throughout the semester. Grading scale A: B: C: D: F: below 60 Make-up work Students are responsible for requesting, obtaining and completing missed assignments. Students who are absent from class should make up missed work immediately upon returning to school. Students will be allowed one day of make-up time for each day absent. Students who are absent for an extended period or who require additional make-up time should see Ms. Brooks personally to discuss a reasonable deadline

7 Technology Students will be allowed to use cell phones or other personal electronics as follows: as instructed by the teacher to enhance the lesson to manage assignment deadlines in their calendars to record contact information and reminders to contact parents with time-sensitive or urgent information Students must always request and receive permission before using personal electronics during class time. Discipline Plan Rules 1. Follow all school rules. 2. Treat yourself, classmates, teacher, equipment, and classroom with respect by using sensitivity and good judgment. 3. Maximize learning by following common-sense classroom procedures, including: Be inside the classroom before the late bell rings. Gather materials, store book bags and begin work quickly at the beginning of class. No food, drinks, or gum inside the building. Participate in a polite and respectful manner. Avoid actions that detract from the lesson (grooming, bathroom, off-subject comments, socializing, etc.) Follow directions when using personal electronics and classroom technology. 4. Give yourself every chance for success by being prepared every day. Positive Consequences A positive, enjoyable atmosphere in which to learn Increased learning by yourself and the class Special activities Negative Consequences Warning (-1 to -3 conduct points) Conference with Ms. Brooks Change of seating and/or procedures (-5) Isolation (-5) Detention (-5 to -10) Contact with parents: note, phone call, conference Referral to principal (-10) Constant disruption by any individual, whether through actions, words, or attitude, will not be tolerated. Everyone must work toward success for themselves and the class

8 Name of Student:, will be able to: Use the internet at school to access sites that will be used for supplemental educational purposes, as well as research. Use the internet at home to access sites that will be used for supplemental educational purposes, as well as research. Access and use the free web-based music notation program Noteflight at home at (For students without access to a computer and/or the internet at home) work in the Music Lab or Library after school hours to complete assignments. (Times to be scheduled in advance) I have read the course syllabus and will do my best to support the purposes intended by the course. Student Signature Date Parent/Guardian Signature Date Additional Comments: - 8 -

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