Section menuClose menu Columbia College


Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: MUSI 134
Course Title: Music Theory I
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Introduction to the fundamental materials of music. Includes a review of music fundamentals, the tonic, dominant, subdominant and leading tone triads, the triad in inversion, and the C clefs. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Advanced Placement Music Theory in high school or satisfactory score on Music Placement Exam or a grade of C or higher in MUSI 102. Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in MUSI 135.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Advanced Placement Music Theory in high school or satisfactory score on Music Placement Exam or a grade of C or higher in MUSI 102.

Co-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in MUSI 135.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Tonal Harmony: With an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music
By Kostka, Stefan & Payne, Dorothy (McGraw-Hill)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Student will demonstrate basic understanding of musical terms and notation.
  2. Student will apply fundamental principles of rhythm and pitch.
  3. Student will demonstrate effective use of current technology to prepare course assignments.
  4. Student will demonstrate developing ability for self-evaluation and assessment.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  1. Elements of pitch
    1. The keyboard and octave registers
    2. Notation of the staff
    3. The major scale
    4. The major key signatures
    5. The minor scale
    6. Minor key signatures
    7. Scale degree names
    8. Intervals
    9. Perfect, major, and minor intervals
    10. Augmented and diminished intervals
    11. Inversion of intervals
    12. Consonant and dissonant intervals
  2. Elements of rhythm
    1. Rhythm
    2. Durational symbols
    3. Beat and tempo
    4. Meter
    5. Division of the beat
    6. Simple time Signatures
    7. Compound time signatures
    8. Time signatures summarized
    9. More on durational symbols
  3. Introduction to triads and seventh chords
    1. Triads
    2. Seventh chords
    3. Inversions of Chords
    4. Inversion symbols and figured bass
    5. Lead sheet symbols
    6. Recognizing chords in various textures
  4. Diatonic chords in major and minor keys
    1. The minor scale
    2. Diatonic Triads in Major
    3. Diatonic triads in minor
    5. Diatonic seventh chords in major
    6. Diatonic seventh chords in minor
  5. Principles of voice leading
    1. The melodic line
    2. Notating chords
    3. Voicing a single triad
    4. Parallel motion
  6. Root position part writing
    1. Root position part writing with roots a 4th (5th) apart
    2. Root position part writing with roots a 3rd(7th) apart
    3. Instrumental ranges and transpositions

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 12

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Nollie Moore Date: April 15, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

Office of Academic Affairs