Ap music Theory



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AP Music Theory

Course Overview: AP Music Theory is a rigorous course for students who wish to

develop their musical skills in composition and theory. Students who

plan to pursue a career in music performance, composition or music

education will benefit greatly from the skills learned in this course.

The course is not limited to these students, however, and any student

who wishes to better understand the language of music for their own

personal enrichment will find the course very beneficial. AP Music

Theory is, therefore, open to all students without pre-requisite

requirements though a basic background in reading music through

participation in piano, orchestra, choir or band is recommended.

Course Description: Introduction to diatonic harmony including the elements of pitch and

rhythm, major and minor scales, major and minor key signatures,

functional harmony of all diatonic chords in major and minor keys,

voice leading and root position part writing, diatonic harmonic

progression including inverted triads, cadences, phrases, periods,

non-chord tones, and diatonic seventh chords. Development of aural

skills including diatonic sight-singing, dictation, computer assisted

instruction in major and minor keys and in simple meters.

Course Objectives: Students will be able to –

*define basic musical terms and theoretical concepts

*understand and construct major, minor, chromatic, whole tone

and modal scales

*demonstrate the ability to construct and analyze major, minor,

augmented and diminished intervals and triads

*recognize, audiate, and sing or play scales, intervals, triads,

rhythms and melodies

*sing simple conjunct and disjunct diatonic melodies on sight

*construct compositions in four-part texture

*analyze harmonic structure utilizing Roman numerals and figured

bass

*identify basic form and cadences



Primary Texts: Ottman, Robert. Music for Sight Singing, 7th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:

Prentice Hall, 2004.

Kostka, Stefan and Dorothy Payne. Tonal Harmony, 6th ed. New York:

McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Other resources: Ricci Adams’ Music Theory Web site: www.musictheory.net

Usama Minegishi & Hidetomo Katsura’s Phobia Bundle:

www.majorthird.com

Teoria.com music theory and ear training website and software.

Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory Software

Course Planner



Week 1-3

Introduction to the elements of music writing

Review of basic pitch and rhythmic notation including the staff, clefs, ledger lines, grand

staff, half steps and whole steps, intervals, chromatic alterations, enharmonic equivalents,

accidentals, beat, tempo, meter and measure, time signatures, simple and compound

meters, syncopation, dots, ties, rests, dynamic and articulation markings

Text: Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory Vol. 1



Aural Skills

Introduction to solfege, melodic dictation of 3-5 note patterns, simple rhythmic dictation

without rests

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 1



Week 4-6

Written Skills

Notation, key signatures, time signatures, scales and modes

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 1 & 2

Aural Skills

Scale line melodies, intervals from the tonic triad in major keys

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapters 2 & 3

***Six-Weeks Exam***

Review Tonal Harmony Chapters 1-2 and Music for Sight Singing Chapters 1-3. Also

review all notes, discussions and exercises on dictation from weeks 1-3.

Week 7-8

Written Skills

Intervals including inversions, continue to drill scales and key signatures

Text: review Tonal Harmony Chapters 1 & 2

Aural Skills

Intervals from the tonic triad in major keys

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 4

Week 9-10

Written Skills

Triads and seventh chords

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 3&4

Aural Skills

Minor keys-intervals from the tonic triad

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 5

Introduce ear training exercises from Practica Musica and daily class participation on

exercises from Chord Phobia bundle

Week 11-12

Written Skills

Triad and chord identification, introduction to part writing and harmonic progression

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 5-6

Aural Skills

Intervals from the dominant triad in major and minor keys

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 6

***Six-Weeks Exam***

Review Tonal Harmony Chapters 1-6 and Music for Sight Singing Chapters 4-6



Week 13

Written Skills

Review triads, chord identification, part writing and harmonic progression

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 5-6

Aural Skills

Review intervals from the dominant triad in major and minor keys

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 6

Week 14-16

Written Skills

Writing short progressions with given soprano or bass using primary triads in root

position and good melody writing

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 6-7



Aural Skills

More extensive use of diatonic intervals

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 8

Continue on ear training exercises from Practica Musica and daily class participation on

exercises from Chord Phobia bundle

Week 17-18

Written Skills

Extended progressions adding some first inversion triads.

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 8

Aural Skills

Intervals from the dominant seventh chord

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 9

Continue ear training exercises from Practica Musica and daily class participation on

exercises from Chord Phobia bundle

***Six-Weeks Exam***

Review Tonal Harmony Chapters 5-8 and Music for Sight Singing Chapters 6-9



Week 19-20

Written Skills

Introduce second inversion triads

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 9

Aural Skills

Rhythmic dictation practice

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 10

Continue class participation on exercises from Chord Phobia bundle



Week 21-23

Written Skills

Introduce V7 and inversions

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 13

Aural Skills

Melody: Intervals from the tonic and dominant triads

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 11

Week 24

Written Skills

Review chapters 9, 10, & 13

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 9, 10, & 13

Aural Skills

Further use of diatonic intervals

Text: Music for Sight Singing Chapter 12

***Six-Weeks Exam***

Review Tonal Harmony Chapters 9, 10, & 13 and Music for Sight Singing Chapters 10-

12.

Week 25-26

Written Skills

Introduce secondary triads and their inversions

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 7

Aural Skills

Eight measure phrases from choral literature

Students compose 8 measure phrases for future use

Week 27

Written Skills

Introduce non-chord tones

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 11-12

Aural Skills

Eight measure phrases from choral literature and teacher composed 8 measure phrases



Week 28-29

Written Skills

Review all triads and non-chord tones in given melodies, given bass lines with figured

bass, fragments of soprano and bass mixed, drill part-writing skills

Text: review Tonal Harmony Chapters 7-13



Aural Skills

Eight measure phrases from choral literature and teacher composed 8 measure phrases



Week 30

Written Skills

Administration of the first AP practice exam



***Six-Weeks Exam***

Completion and review of the AP practice exam’s results will count as the six weeks

exam grade

Week 31-32

Written Skills

Introduce secondary functions and phrase structure

Modulation to closely related keys

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapters 16 & 19



Aural Skills

Begin individual student recordings of sight singing exercises for evaluation



Week 33

Written Skills

Small forms-binary, ternary, rounded binary, theme and variations

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 20

Administration of second AP practice exam



Week 34

Written Skills

Introduction to twentieth-century scales, chordal structures, and compositional

procedures

Text: Tonal Harmony Chapter 28

Student Compositions: Students will compose an original 32 measure piece for an

instrumentation determined by the members of the class and what instrument/voice they



perform on.


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