This course introduces students to strategies for style writing of common practice European art music. The issues of harmonic progression, voice leading, and texture are addressed in addition to relevant compositional concepts like repetition, variation, and elaboration. The course aims to offer a creative space even within the restrictions of stylistic emulation.
Week 1: Chords in Classical Music, Voicing Chords, Basic Harmony Progressions, Voice Leading, Introduction to Texture
Week 2: Basic Progressions with Inversions, Voice Leading 2, Keyboard Voicing, Creating Accompaniment, Textural Reduction
Week 3: Sequential Progressions, Non-chord Tones
Week 4: Diatonic chord substitution, Cadences, Parallel Period Form, Melodic Writing Techniques
Week 5: Chromatic Substitution, 2-voice counterpoint
Week 6: Progressions within Progressions, Alberti Bass, Rounded Binary Form
A background in basic music theory is needed. This should include familiarity with the following:
1. key signatures;
2. meter, time signature;
3. reading treble and bass clefs;
4. rhythmic note value names and meanings (eighth, quarter, half, etc.)
5. reading of intervals (melodic and harmonic) up to a 10th.
6. Chord types: major, minor, diminished, 7th chords (Mm7, m7, diminished 7, etc.)
7. Basic roman numeral analysis: I-IV-V, etc.
For those needing a refresher on music theory rudiments, the following website is recommended:
The class will consist of a series of video lectures between 8-12 minutes each in length. Quizzes for self-assessment will be integrated into many of these videos. In addition, there will be guided practice and self-assessment each week.
What will the grading be like?
There will be 3 graded online quizzes (week 1, 2, and 4) and 1 final peer-assessed project.
To earn a Verified Certificate, you must join Signature Track to verify your identity and earn a final grade of at least 70% in the course. If you verify your identity and earn a grade of 92% or above, you will receive a Verified Certificate with Distinction.
If you choose not to verify your identity, you can receive a Statement of Accomplishment or a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction according to the same passing thresholds.