Music Theory and Ear Training Course Syllabus
Course:        Music Composition
Credit:        One Carnegie Unit
Course Description
Music Composition is a third or fourth year course for advanced instrumental and vocal seniors. A third or fourth year of music theory is required for graduation as a vocal or instrumental music major. Prerequisite for the course is prior completion of or concurrent enrollment in Advanced Placement Music Theory. Students analyze works from the standard repertoire and use them as models in composing original pieces.
Content Standards
DCPS music content standards make up the core skills, concepts and knowledge for Music Theory II:
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. analyze, harmonically and formally, scores in various styles written in various periods.
2. compose original pieces using as models pieces that have been analyzed. Projects usually include a setting of a text for voice; an invention in the style of Bach; a set of theme and variations.
3. sight sing advanced-level melodies and perform complex rhythm patterns.
4. write a melody from dictation, 4-8 bars, given 4 playings in a major or minor key.
5. write a rhythm sequence from dictation, 2-6 bars, 4 playings.
6. write from dictation the soprano, bass, and harmonic analysis of a chorale in a major or minor key.
7. demonstrate knowledge of standard instrumental transpositions.
8. arrange pieces for various ensembles.
9. write compositions and arrangements using Finale computer software.
10. demonstrate responsibility and commitment to music theory through regular attendance, participation, and preparation.
Materials: Music for analysis, 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