Music Theory Curriculum

Approved by the Theory Area in A-06

The students will become proficient harmonizing given soprano melodies or bass lines, as well as analyzing chorales appropriate to each level. The pedagogical approach will emphasize the melodic coherence of the individual voices within an harmonic context. Terminology will be uniform between all sections and consistent with the current theoretical texts (Aldwell & Schachter). The terms used below are consistent with A & S.

Theory 106

  1. Ability to harmonize a given soprano or bass (emphasis on sopranos), without figures or roman numerals provided. Students must learn to make independent decisions about progressions.
  2. Use of all diatonic chords in root position and first inversion, excluding iii and vi in major and III and VI in minor. Diminished triads in first inversion only. NO 6/4s.
  3. Complete understanding of basic, diatonic harmonic progressions.
  4. Use of root-position Dominant 7ths (8-7 at cadences + metric uses elsewhere).
  5. Knowledge and use of Perfect Authentic Cadence (PAC), Imperfect Authentic Cadence (IAC), and Half Cadence (HC).
  6. Introduction to tonic-prolongational progressions. Be able to use I vii6 I6 (including the parallel 5ths involving the soprano (3-4-5))
  7. Strict approach and resolution of the leading tone
  8. Use of Passing Tones and Neighbouring Tones only, accented and unaccented.
  9. Complete and detailed analysis of the student's own harmonizations as well as selected works. Detailed analysis includes Roman Numerals, Figured Bass, non-chord tones, and Cadences. Popular chord symbols will also be introduced in new program.
  10. Analysis using a combination of large and small roman numerals to be consistent with the Ear Training Program.
  11. NO

Theory 206

Course materials in 206 have been reduced to permit additional time for review of 100-level materials at the beginning of this course

  1. Addition of vi and iii in Major and VI and III in Minor, as well as Deceptive cadences/resolutions.
  2. V7 in all inversions, including I V4/3 I6 (same parallels as I vii6 I6 +rising 7th).
  3. Non-chord Tones of all types including suspensions and anticipations. They should be introduced to Incomplete Neighbour (I.N.) and Double Neighbour (D.N.) terminology, as well as Escape Tone (E.T.) and Appoggiatura terminology.
  4. Emphasis on suspensions: 9-8, 7-6, 4-3, and 2-3 (bass suspension)
  5. 6/4s: Cadential (as V not I6/4!!), Passing (including IV6 P6/4 ii6/5), Neighbouring, Accented (which includes the cadential 6/4), (Arpeggiated 6/4 is considerably less important) - Using the terms found in A & S.
  6. Applied Chords (Secondary Dominants / Tonicizations and secondary diminished triads or 7ths). Analysis using established methods for analysis consistent with Aldwell & Schachter. Applied chords at this level are to be limited to those that resolve to the chords they are designed to embellish (i.e., V/ii to ii; vii/vi to vi etc.).
  7. Dominant prolongational progressions (V IV6 V6/5 & V IV6 vii6)
  8. Knowledge of all types of 7th chords (particularly ii6/5). Use of dominant 7ths and predominant 7ths (particularly ii6/5). Understanding of different approaches to 7ths: common-tone preparation for predominant 7ths, unaccented 8-7 (metric or submetric depending on the duration of V), as well as metric 7ths approached by step (normally non-cadential dominants) and common tone.
  9. Complete and detailed analysis of their harmonizations and selected works. Detailed analysis includes Roman Numerals, Figured Bass, non-chord tones, and Cadences. Popular chord symbols will be introduced in new program.
  10. Analysis of compositions other than chorales, from the Baroque and Classical Eras to introduce I.N.s and D.N.s
  11. Note that this level no longer includes modulation. Modulatory phrases could be analyzed; however, they will not be included on the final exam.


Theory 306 (as of H-06)

Review all of the above +

  1. Pivot Modulations to closely-related keys when writing. Pivot, direct and chromatic modulations in analysis.
  2. More complex suspensions.
  3. 7th chords of all types (review of predominant 7ths), including half- and fully-diminished.
  4. By the end of the semester, the student should be able to harmonize a complete chorale, from a given soprano or unfigured bass, involving modulations to close keys. Fluent use of appropriate non-chord tones. Emphasis on modulatory phrases.
  5. Formal analyses from various genres and eras (limited to tonal works). - motivic analysis may be included as part of phrase analysis, but should not dominate. The appropriate type of analysis would be determined by the particular work under examination.
  6. Motivic analysis: on the final exam, the motive would be provided and the student would find later instances of it and indicate how it has been developed/altered.
  7. Analyses in addition to chorales: Fugue, Small forms (binary and ternary), and basic main theme types (period and sentence).



Theory 406 (as of A-06)

406 must serve to complete the students' preparation for university placement exams.

  1. Continued harmonization and analysis of chorales. Review of all 300-level chorale materials.
  2. More distant modulations.
  3. Chromatic chords - Augmented Sixths, Neapolitan Sixth mostly for analysis; should not be overemphasized.
  4. More advanced uses of the diminished 7th
  5. Modal counterpoint at minimum must reach 5th species in their writing.