110 - Elements of Music
Download printable version of this syllabus
in .pdf format.
INSTRUCTOR: Bruce Hammel, Rm. 105 Music Center. Email: email@example.com.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: To master fundamentals of music theory and aural
skills! (Nothing to it!) The class is divided into two basic areas:
written and aural. Although the written aspects of theory will
take precedence at this point of your study, the aural skills
component is extremely important. The following specific competencies
will be mastered (or I'll be very disappointed....):
1. Identify at least 46 of 50 notes (25 in treble clef, 25 in
bass clef - up to 2 leger lines above and below) within 2 minutes.
Key signatures up to 3 sharps and 3 flats will be included.
2. Accurately play at least
18 of 20 notes on the piano. Notes will be presented in the grand
staff and must be played in the correct octave.
3. Identify or define terms,
symbols, and concepts with 90% accuracy. A list of required terms
will be distributed in class.
4. Correctly notate at least
18 of 20 of the following: grand staff, time signatures, key signatures,
flats, sharps, all rhythmic values (including notes, rests, and
5. Correctly indicate equivalent
rhythmic durations, add bar lines to unmeasured examples, and
provide correct note values to make incomplete measures complete.
6. Correctly notate 9 of 10
major and minor scales (all 3 forms) within 5 minutes.
7. Correctly identify 9 of
10 key signatures providing both major and relative minor within
8. Identify the quantity and
quality of 18 of 20 intervals up to an octave within 3 minutes.
9. Identify the quality of
18 of 20 major and minor triads within 3 minutes.
10. Identify simple and compound
time signatures. Correctly beam duple and triple divisions in
simple and compound time. Correctly provide most appropriate time
signature for a given rhythmic example.
1. Rhythm: Perform and conduct rhythms in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8
time. Duple divisions in simple time and triple divisions in compound
time. Download rhythm tests in .pdf format.
2. Sight-singing: Accurately
sing major scale, melodic minor scale, and simple melodies using
moveable do solfege. Download sight-singing examples
in .pdf format.
3. Dictation: Identify major
and minor scales, whole and half steps (M2/m2), and major/minor/diminished
triads. Notate short rhythmic and melodic patterns.
4. Keyboard: Play scales at
the piano. Hands apart, keys of C, G, D, A, and F major. Correct
fingering required! Download fingerings
in .pdf format.
TEXTS: There are no required texts for this course. All
concepts will be covered thoroughly in class, so an ample quantity
of staff paper is recommended. Most of the material (eventually
all!) will be available online at http://people.vcu.edu/~bhammel/theory.
This website is under construction and will be updated frequently
during the class. If you find that you need additional textbook
support, I will be glad to let students check out books as needed.
I also recommend that all students purchase the computer software
program MacGAMUT. You will be required to have this program for
Aural Skills in the fall and there are a number of excellent sections
of this program that would give you good practice for many of
the skills to be mastered in this class. However, you will find
excellent online resources that will accomplish similar things.
Bottom line - have lots of staff paper!
EVALUATION: Grades will be determined as follows.
Each of ten theory competencies
Each of three sight-singing tests
Each of three rhythm reading tests
Each of three dictation tests
Each of three piano tests
TOTAL 1,300 pts.
The theory competencies are
pass/fail. You will have three opportunities to pass each one.
There will be 5 bonus points awarded for passing a competency
on the first try! Other exams will be given once each and will
receive a grade. Sound fun?
Grades will be determined as
= 1,200 or more pts.
B = 1,000 or more pts.
C = 900 or more pts.
D = 800 or more pts.
F = less than 800 pts.
DISCLOSURE OF DISABILITY: If you need course adaptations or accommodations
because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information
to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case
the building must be evacuated, please notify me at the beginning
of the course by making an appointment with me.