Music Theory Content

Lesson 1: Rhythm Part I
  • Pulse
  • Meter
  • Notes
  • Rhythmic Notation Activities
Lesson 2: Rhythm Part II
  • Eighth Notes
  • Beaming, Dots, and Ties
  • Rhythmic Notation Tips
  • Rhythmic Dictation Activity
  • Rhythmic Notation Activity
Lesson 3: Pitch Notation
  • ABCs of Pitch Notation
  • Treble Clef Notes
  • Bass Clef Notes
  • Grand Staff
  • Octaves
  • Accidentals: Sharps, Flats, and Naturals
  • Enharmonics
Lesson 4: Major Scales
  • Half Steps and Whole Steps
  • Chromatic Scales
  • Whole Tone Scales
  • Major Scales
  • Other Major Scales
  • Key Signatures
  • Scales and Key Signatures
Lesson 5: Minor Scales
  • The Minor Scale Sound
  • The Relative Major/Minor Relationship
  • Parallel Minor
  • Harmonic Minor
  • Melodic Minor
  • The Descending Melodic Minor Scale
  • The Real Melodic Minor Scale
  • Minor Scale Key Signatures
Lesson 6: Intervals
  • Interval Number Names
  • Interval Sound
  • Unison
  • Perfect and Major Intervals
  • Major vs. Minor Intervals
  • Perfect/Major vs Diminished
  • Perfect/Major vs Augmented
  • Compound Intervals
Lesson 7: Chords I: Triads
  • Major Triads
  • Minor Triads
  • Diminished and Augmented Triads
  • Chord Symbols
Lesson 8: Triad Inversions
  • Triad Inversions
  • Bass/Chord Theory
  • Voice Leading
  • Parallel and Contrary Motion
Lesson 9: Chords II: Basic Seventh Chords
  • The Major Seventh Chord
  • The Dominant Seventh Chord
  • The Minor Seventh Chord
  • The Minor 7
  • The Diminished Seventh Chord
  • Chord Symbols and Review
Lesson 10: Inversions and Voice: Leading of Seventh Chords
  • Inversions of Basic Seventh Chords
  • Positions of Basic Seventh Chords
  • Voice Leading Seventh Chords
  • Voice Leading: Two Ways
Lesson 11: Using the Lead Sheet
  • Harmonizing the Melody
  • Creating Harmonic Accompaniments
  • Voice Doublings
  • Increasing Activity in the Bass
Lesson 12: Melody Writing
  • Making Melodic Connections
  • Repeating Phrases
  • Sequences

Continuing on from the concepts presented in Music Theory this course will further develop your background in music theory and provide you with the foundational knowledge you'll need to be a more effective writer and player. You'll master the fundamental concepts of rhythm and harmony - and learn more complex chords, progressions, and rhythms that will open up your understanding of the elements that together contribute to put the groove in jazz, pop, blues, and rock. You'll study topics including rhythmic anticipations and related notation issues; articulation markings; diatonic triads and seventh chords in both major and harmonic minor; harmonic function; the II V I chord progression; some additional chord types; melodic and harmonic tension; and the blues form and style. You'll understand why chords move from one to another the way they do; and learn to better analyze and write harmonic progressions and different rhythmic styles. Through ear training exercises, musical examples, and personalized feedback from your instructor, you'll be able to analyze, read, write, and listen more effectively as well as understand the fundamental knowledge essential to the beginning studies of harmony.

By the end of this course, you will:
  • Understand rhythmic anticipation and articulations
  • Understand diatonic triads and seventh chords in major and harmonic minor
  • Understand the II V I chord progression
  • Understand the melodic and harmonic use of tensions
  • Understand the blues form and st
Lesson 1: The Imaginary Bar Line
  • The Imaginary Bar Line
  • Note Values Smaller than the Half Note
  • Rest Values and the Imaginary Bar Line
Lesson 2: Diatonic Triads and Seventh Chords in Major
  • The Construction of Diatonic Triads
  • Diatonic Seventh Chords
Lesson 3: The Harmonic Function of Diatonic Chords
  • The Terms Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant
  • Harmonic Cadences
  • The IImin7 V7 IMaj7 Progression
Lesson 4: Additional Chord Types
  • Two Additional Dominant 7 Chords
  • Two Additional Major Chords
  • Two Additional Minor Chords
Lesson 5: Harmonic Function and Voice Leading of Additional Chord Types
  • The Major and Minor 6th Chords
  • The Minor and Augmented Major 7th Chords
  • The Augmented 7th and Dominant 7(sus4)
Lesson 6: Diatonic Chords in Harmonic Minor
  • Diatonic Chords in Harmonic Minor
  • Diatonic Function in Harmonic Minor
  • The II V7 I Progression in Minor
Lesson 7: The Upper Structures of Harmony/Tensions
  • The Theory of Tensions
  • Altered Tensions
  • The Melodic Use of Tensions
Lesson 8: The Harmonic Use of Tensions
  • Substituting the 9th for the Root
  • Substituting the 13th for the 5th
  • Using Altered Tensions
  • Using the 11th
Lesson 9: The Rhythmic Anticipation and Articulations
  • The Rhythmic Anticipation
  • Short Durational Value Anticipations
  • Articulation Markings
Lesson 10: Simple Binary Song Form
  • Examples of Simple Binary Form
  • Other Types of Variation and Contrast
Lesson 11: The Blues Form and Style
  • The Blues Form
  • The Blues Style and Its Effect on Harmony
  • The Blues Style and Its Effect on Melody
Lesson 12: A Closer Look at the Dominant Seventh Chord
  • Voice Leading Dominant Seventh Chords with Tensions
  • Stripping the Dominant Seventh
  • Chord down to the Basics
  • Adding a Third Voice to the Dominant Seventh Chord 

Establish a toolkit of musical expertise that will prepare you for any musical endeavor or opportunity. This advanced music theory course provides you with a professional command of the mechanics of contemporary music. You'll learn to write effective jazz, pop, and rock-influenced pentatonic and modal melodies as well as master anticipations and articulations that will give your music the necessary sound and "character" to fit these styles. You'll explore harmony related topics such as diatonic, natural/melodic, minor, and slash chords, which will help you to select the appropriate harmonic tensions to add color, character, and sophistication to your music. You'll also master triplets, swing eighths, and sixteenth notes in double time feel, as well as topics related to improvisation and melody including chord scales, avoid notes, approach notes, and modal and pentatonic scales. With this level of music theory, there will be practically no barriers between you and the music you want to create.

By the end of this course, you will:
  • Read and write rhythms that include triplets and swing eighth notes
  • Write and analyze diatonic chord progressions in minor
  • Read and write rhythms that include sixteenth notes in a double time feel
  • Construct modal scales and identify by sound
  • Construct pentatonic scales and identify by sound
  • Write a pentatonic melody over a basic blues progression
  • Understand and use slash chords and bass pedal points
Lesson 1: Triplets and Swing vs. Straight Eighths
  • Eighth and Quarter Note Triplets - Theory / Notation
  • Eighth Note Triplets as Basis for Swing Eighths
  • Swing Eighths vs. Straight Eighths - Musical Application
Lesson 2: Open Position Chords/Drop 2 Voicings
  • The II V I Progression in Two Positions of Drop 2
  • Extended Progressions Using Alternating Positions
  • Variations on the V7 Chord
Lesson 3: I VI II V I Progression; Root Motion/Bass Lines
  • The I VI II V I Chord Pattern
  • Voice Leading the I VI II V I Chord Pattern
  • Root Motion and the Bass Line
Lesson 4: Modal Scales
  • Lydian and Mixolydian - Comparison to Major
  • Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian - Comparison to Natural Minor
  • Writing Modal Melodies
Lesson 5: Chord Scales in Major Keys
  • Chord Scales as Chord Tones Plus Passing Tones from Key
  • Theory of Avoid Notes
  • Writing/Analyzing Melodies Using Chord Scales
Lesson 6: Approach Note Theory
  • Theory of Diatonic and Chromatic Approach Notes
  • Writing/Analyzing Melodies Using Approach Notes
  • Ear Training
Lesson 7: Diatonic Chords in Natural/Melodic Minors
  • Construction of Diatonic Chords in Melodic Minor
  • Construction of Diatonic Chords in Natural Minor
  • Recognition/Analysis/Ear Training
Lesson 8: II V I and I VI II V I in Minor - Mixing and Matching Scale Types
  • Theory of Minor Scale Type on Each Chord
  • Application of Theory in Variety of Keys
  • Recognition/Analysis/Ear Training
Lesson 9: Sixteenth Notes
  • The Sixteenth Note
  • Sixteenth-Note Anticipations
  • Double-Time Feel
Lesson 10: Pentatonic Scales
  • Constructing Pentatonic Scales
  • Fitting Pentatonic Scales over Chords
  • Writing Pentatonic Scale Melodies
Lesson 11: Slash Chords
  • The Dominant (sus4) as Slash Chord
  • Other Chord Types Written as Slash Chords
  • Recognition/Analysis/Ear Training
Lesson 12: Bass Pedals
  • The Tonic Pedal - Common Applications
  • The Dominant Pedal - Common Applications
  • Recognition/Analysis/Ear Training