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Music Theory and Ear Training Course Syllabus
 
Course:        Advanced Placement Music Theory
Credit:        One Carnegie Unit
Course Description
Advanced Placement Music Theory is a third or fourth year course for advanced instrumental and vocal seniors; it is equivalent to a first year college theory course. At the end of the year students are required to take the Advanced Placement Music Theory Examination, which may earn them credit at some colleges. Students who have completed this course generally place into college sophomore theory or above. A third or fourth year of music theory is required for graduation as a vocal or instrumental music major. Prerequisites for AP Music Theory are completion of requirements for Theory III and permission of the instructor.
 
Content Standards
DCPS music content standards make up the core skills, concepts and knowledge for Advanced Placement Music Theory:
1. Perform a variety of repertoire.
2. Improvise, compose, and arrange.
3. Read and notate music.
4. Listen, analyze, and evaluate.
These standards are incorporated in the course outline below.
Course Outline
The student will:
1.  read and notate pitch in treble, bass, alto, and tenor clefs.
2. identify and write all major and minor key signatures; explain and construct a diagram of the circle of fifths.
3. write, sing,* and identify within the context of a piece of music on the page and by listening: major, three forms of minor,  chromatic, whole tone, pentatonic, and blues scales, and dorian, phrygian, lydian, and mixolydian modes.
4. identify on the page and by ear, construct, and sing all intervals; write interval inversions and their enharmonic equivalents; distinguish between consonant and dissonant intervals.
5. identify on the page and by ear, construct, and sing the following chords on any given pitch:  major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads, and major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, diminished seventh, and half diminished seventh chords.
6. sight-sing* advanced-level melodies in major and minor keys outlining tonic, dominant, and subdominant harmony and incorporating secondary dominants and modulations to closely related keys.
7. write a melody from dictation, 4-8 bars, given 4 playings in a major or minor key.
8. compose a melody or expand a motive according to given criteria.
9. write a contrapuntal line to a given melody following 18th century voice leading procedures.
10. identify the functional name of a note or chord in a key, e. g. Tonic, Submediant, etc.
11. identify on the page and by ear and write
- authentic, plagal, deceptive, and half cadences in all keys.
- non-harmonic tones:  passing tone, neighbor note, anticipation, suspension, appogiatura, changing tone, escape tone, and pedal point.
12. analyze a 4 part chorale-style piece using Roman numerals to represent the chords and figured bass notation to designate the inversions; identify within the context of a piece of music on the page and by listening: modulations, formal structures, and tonal relationships in longer works.
13. harmonize a given melody and realize a figured bass in 18th century four part vocal style utilizing triads and seventh chords in all inversions, and incorporating secondary dominants or modulations to closely related keys.
14. write from dictation the soprano, bass, and harmonic analysis of a chorale in a major or minor key utilizing triads and seventh chords in all inversions, and incorporating secondary dominants or modulations to closely related keys.
15. transpose a chorale to a given key; arrange a chorale for instrumental ensemble using appropriate transpositions; identify instrumental transpositions and melodic and harmonic structures in an orchestral score.
16. sight-read and write from dictation rhythm sequences utilizing all rhythm patterns and meter types, 2-6 bars, 4 playings.
17. identify types of meter on the page and by ear: duple or simple; simple or compound.
18. define standard music terms; identify compositional devices within the context of a piece of music in the score and by listening: transposition, sequence, ostinato, imitation, canon, augmentation, diminution, inversion, retrograde, retrograde inversion, fragmentation, stretto, modulation, syncopation, hemiola, etc.
19. Use Finale music notation software to write assignments.
20. demonstrate responsibility and commitment to music theory through regular attendance, participation, and preparation.
*Note:  Students will sing all songs and exercises using solfege syllables (moveable “Do” system with minor tonic on “La”) and letter names, including accidentals (see attached singing requirements). Students will sing scales and chords by rote or from memory and will sight-read tonal patterns and melodies. See attached singing requirements.
 
Materials: Workbook or worksheets, sight-singing materials, pencil, eraser, manuscript paper, theory notebook; computer with MIDI keyboard.
 
Course Requirements
1. Students must be in class on time each day. Any absence must be supported by a note from home. Five or more unexcused absences within an advisory could result in failure for that advisory (see student handbook).
2. Students must take all tests, quizzes, and final examinations. Make-ups will be given only for excused absences.
3. Students must turn in all class assignments at the end of the class and homework assignments on the designated due date. A student who has missed a class for any reason, including legitimate school performances, must make up all class and homework assignments that were missed.
4. Students must keep a theory notebook with all class notes, completed assignments, and handouts.
5. Students must bring all required materials to class each day: pencil, eraser, theory notebook, workbook. All written work must be done in pencil.
6. Students may not eat, drink, or chew gum in class. Students may not bring radios, tape recorders, CD players, or headphones to class; the use of these items is strictly prohibited.
7. Students must participate in classwork. Sleeping or misbehaving in class will not be tolerated.
 
Grading will be based on the following areas, to be weighted at the discretion of the teacher:
Class participation and performance
Written class and homework assignments
Tests and quizzes
Final advisory examination
Attendance
 
See the AP Theory Overview and AP Theory Weekly Plan for more information.