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.
- 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
- 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.
- Complete understanding of
basic, diatonic harmonic progressions.
- Use of root-position
Dominant 7ths (8-7 at cadences + metric uses elsewhere).
- Knowledge and use of
Perfect Authentic Cadence (PAC), Imperfect Authentic Cadence (IAC), and
Half Cadence (HC).
- Introduction to
tonic-prolongational progressions. Be able to use I vii6 I6 (including the
parallel 5ths involving the soprano (3-4-5))
- Strict approach and
resolution of the leading tone
- Use of Passing Tones and
Neighbouring Tones only, accented and unaccented.
- 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
- Analysis using a
combination of large and small roman numerals to be consistent with the
Ear Training Program.
- 6/4 chords.
- harmonic syncopations
(except as anacrusis).
- Parallels except
those exceptions above.
- overlapping, except
known exceptions (tenor/bass at cadences).
Course materials in 206 have been reduced to permit additional time for
review of 100-level materials at the beginning of this course
- Addition of vi and iii in
Major and VI and III in Minor, as well as Deceptive cadences/resolutions.
- V7 in all inversions,
including I V4/3 I6 (same parallels as I vii6 I6 +rising 7th).
- 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.
- Emphasis on suspensions: 9-8,
7-6, 4-3, and 2-3 (bass suspension)
- 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.
- 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.).
- Dominant prolongational progressions (V
IV6 V6/5 & V IV6 vii6)
- 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.
- 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.
- Analysis of compositions
other than chorales, from the Baroque and Classical Eras to introduce
I.N.s and D.N.s
- 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
Review all of the above +
- Pivot Modulations to
closely-related keys when writing.
Pivot, direct and chromatic modulations in analysis.
- More complex suspensions.
- 7th chords of
all types (review of predominant 7ths), including half- and fully-diminished.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Continued harmonization
and analysis of chorales. Review of all 300-level chorale materials.
- More distant modulations.
- Chromatic chords -
Augmented Sixths, Neapolitan Sixth – mostly for analysis; should not be
- More advanced uses of the
- Modal counterpoint – at
minimum must reach 5th species in their writing.