Music Theory

An in-depth and straight forward approach to understanding music.
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  • Lectures 75
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 5/2014 English

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how the musical scale came about? Or why certain pitches sound better together than others? "Music Theory", by award-winning composer, Jonathan Peters, is a comprehensive course in the study of music. Much more than just memorization of musical terms and definitions...this course explains the "why".

Please click on "What am I going to get from this course" below to see all of the topics covered in this course.

What are the requirements?

  • No previous musical knowledge is needed.
  • A computer with internet connection, a monitor, and speakers to hear audio samples.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 352 Diagrams
  • 89 Audio examples
  • 45 Quizzes
  • 910 Quiz questions
  • 369 Memory Questions
  • 16 Exercises
  • Experiments and free downloadable music apps
  • This course covers all of the following concepts and subject material: Definition of Music ● The elements of music (rhythm & pitch) ● Division of pitch into melody and harmony ● Rhythmic notation (parts of a note) ● Discussion on relative durations of sound ● Notes - whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth ● Why notes are named the way they are ● Relative durations vs. assigning numerical values ● The unit of measurement ● Beat ● Tempo ● Meter ● Distinguishing between rhythm and meter ● Bar lines and measures ● Time signatures ● 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 meters ● Determining the meter without a time signature ● Natural division of rhythms ● Strong and weak pulses ● Rests - whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth ● Assigning numerical values to rests ● The whole rest and meter ● Dotted notes ● Numerical values of dotted notes ● History of dotted notes ● Dotted rhythms ● The 3:1 ratio in dotted rhythms ● The tie ● Ties vs. dotted notes ● Advantages and disadvantages of notating with ties vs. dots ● Re-designation of the unit ● 3/8 and 6/8 meters ● New numerical values of notes ● Understanding relative durations with regard to a new unit of measurement ● Strength of pulses ● Designating the half note as the unit ● Notating 2/2 meter or “cut” time ● Numerical values of note durations in 2/2 meter ● Comparison of 4/4 meter and 2/2 meter ● Reasons for 2/2 meter ● Classifying meters ● Simple meter ● Compound meter ● Duple meter ● Triple meter ● Quadruple meter ● Complex meter ● Artificial divisions of the beat or beats ● Artificial division of parts of the beat ● Common types of tuplets ● Definition of triplets ● Identifying triplets ● Ratio of triplets ● Numerical value of triplets ● Definition of duplets ● Identifying duplets ● Ratio of duplets ● Artificial divisions in relation to simple and compound meters ● Sound waves ● Frequency ● Indefinite vs. definite pitch ● Modern vs. ancient definition of pitch ● Pitch experiment ● Introduction to the staff ● How the mind sees number ● Ledger lines ● Clefs ● Movement on the staff (step, skip, repeat) ● The musical alphabet ● Letter names on the staff ● The grand staff ● Direction of note stems (and rationale) ● Introduction to the keyboard ● Groups of black keys ● Letter names of keys ● Correlation of staff to the keyboard ● Half steps and whole steps ● Sharps and flats on the keyboard ● Enharmonic equivalents ● Enharmonic keyboard notes ● Reading sharps and flats on the staff ● Sharps and flats within measures ● The natural sign ● The definition of interval ● Melodic vs. harmonic intervals ● Identifying intervals on the keyboard ● Identifying intervals on the staff ● Ratios and intervals ● Pythagoras and the monochord ● Consonance and dissonance ● Definition and history of the modern scale ● The major scale ● Intervals and the major scale ● Basis of the scale ● Basis of the whole tone ● Greek Tetrachords ● Greek Semi tone and whole tone ● Constructing scales on the keyboard ● Constructing scales on the staff ● Definition of "key" ● The key signature ● The circle of 5ths ● The order of sharps ● The order of flats ● How to determine the key from the sharps/flats ● How to determine how many and which sharps/flats are in a given key ● Enharmonic keys ● Interval number vs. interval quality ● Major, minor and perfect interval qualities ● Determining an intervals’ number and quality ● Connection of interval qualities to the major scale ● Identifying intervals on the staff ● Augmented and diminished interval qualities ● How augmented and diminished intervals are formed ● The double sharp ● Why the double sharp is necessary ● The double flat ● Why the double flat is necessary ● The tritone ● Abbreviations for interval qualities ● Enharmonic intervals ● Complementary intervals ● Which qualities, when inverted, become which qualities ● Simple intervals ● Compound intervals ● Reducing compound intervals ● How to determine the quality of compound intervals ● Open and closed harmony ● Difference between intervals and chords ● Major and minor chords ● Deriving the ratio of the major and minor 3rds using the monochord ● The Pythagoras experiment and the major chord ● Block and broken chords ● Augmented and diminished chords ● Music’s move from the horizontal to the vertical ● Mathematical proportions of the major, minor, augmented and diminished triads ● Understanding the harmonic mean ● The harmonic mean and the major chord ● Understanding the arithmetic mean ● The arithmetic mean and the minor chord ● The geometric mean and the augmented and diminished chords ● Relation of chords to the major scale ● Number of possible triads constructed from the pitches of the major scale ● Order and quantity of triad qualities formed from the major scale ● Roots of chords, scales, and keys ● Comparison of the major and minor scales ● Tetrachords in minor scales ● The natural minor scale ● Constructing natural minor scales on the keyboard ● Constructing natural minor scales on the staff ● The harmonic minor scale ● The melodic minor scale ● Ascending vs. descending melodic minor scale ● Constructing harmonic minor scales on the keyboard ● Constructing harmonic minor scales on the staff ● Constructing melodic minor scales on the keyboard ● Constructing melodic minor scales on the staff ● Relative keys ● Determining the relative minor ● Determining the relative major ● Determining the key of music with shared key signatures ● Parallel keys ● Difference between parallel and relative keys ● Relation of chords to the natural minor scale ● Order and quantity of triad qualities formed from the natural minor scale ● Relation of chords to the harmonic minor scale ● Order and quantity of triad qualities formed from the harmonic minor scale ● The major scale degrees ● Naming the scale degree using Roman numerals ● Naming triads using Roman numerals ● Benefit to using degree vs. letter name ● Primary chords and their importance ● Relationship between chords ● Chord inversions ● Root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion ● Intervals in chord inversions ● The root rule ● How to identify chord inversions by name, quality and inversion ● Voices of a chord ● Voice leading ● Inversions and the primary chords ● Chord progressions ● Use of inversions to improve transition between chords ● Introduction to function ● Function names of the scale degrees ● Extending the triad ● Dominant seventh chords ● Other names and notation of the dominant seventh chord ● Why the dominant seventh chord is named the way it is ● Inversion of the dominant seventh chord ● 3rd inversion ● Finding the root in a dominant seventh chord ● How to identify a dominant seventh chord ● Dominant seventh chords with missing notes ● Major 7th chords ● Minor 7th chords ● Diminished 7th chords ● Musical punctuation ● Perfect authentic cadence ● Imperfect authentic cadence ● Half cadence ● Plagal cadence ● Deceptive cadence ● Hexatonic scale ● Whole tone scale ● Chromatic scale ● Pentatonic scale ● Tonal music ● Tonal centers ● Polytonal music ● Atonal music ● Free atonal ● Strict atonal ● Twelve-tone technique ● Tone rows ● The ancient Greek modes ● History of the church modes ● Modern modes ● The harmonic series ● Overtones ● Fundamental of a pitch ● Complex vibration of a string ● What the numbers of the harmonic series express ● Hearing overtones (and experiment) ● Timbre ● Nature’s hierarchy of harmonic sound ● Objective measurement of consonance and dissonance ● History of consonance and dissonance ● Tuning pitches ● Brief history of tuning systems ● Pythagorean tuning ● Just intonation ● Equal temperament ● Definition of cents ● Tuning of the modern piano ● Benefits and shortcomings of the different tuning systems ● Apps that demonstrate and compare some of the tuning systems ● Overview of the four main periods of western art music

What is the target audience?

  • Any person wanting to learn about music.
  • Beginners to advanced music students.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: DEFINING MUSIC
1 page

A brief overview of how the course is structured.

3 pages

In this lecture you will learn about what music is and how to define it. You will also learn about the historical uses of music and its relation to mankind.

Lesson 1 Quiz
8 questions
Section 2: RELATIVE DURATIONS OF SOUND
2 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

The elements of music (rhythm & pitch)

Division of pitch into melody and harmony

04:28

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Rhythmic notation (parts of a note)

- Discussion on relative durations of sound

- Notes - whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth

- Why notes are named the way they are

Lesson 2 Quiz
29 questions
Section 3: ASSIGNING VALUES TO NOTE DURATIONS
04:52

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Relative durations vs. assigning numerical values

- The unit of measurement

- Beat

2 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The relation between beat and tempo

- Metronome markings

- Common tempo markings

Lesson 3 Quiz
32 questions
Section 4: METER
02:49

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The definition of meter

- Distinguishing between rhythm and meter

- Bar lines and measures

01:45

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Time signatures

- 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 meters

- Origin of "C" for common time

03:16

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Natural division of rhythms

- Strong and weak pulses

Lesson 4 Quiz
26 questions
Section 5: RESTS
01:40

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Rests: whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth

- Assigning numerical values to rests

- The whole rest and meter

Lesson 5 Quiz
13 questions
Section 6: DOTTED NOTES
02:46

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Dotted notes

- Numerical values of dotted notes

- History of dotted notes

- The divisiblity by 3 of all dotted notes

Lesson 6 Quiz
16 questions
Section 7: THE TIE
01:21

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The definition of a tie

- The playing of tied notes

01:28

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Ties vs. dotted notes

- Advantages and disadvantages of notating with ties vs. dots

Lesson 7 Quiz
11 questions
Section 8: REDESIGNATING THE UNIT
02:42

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Re-designation of the unit

- 3/8 and 6/8 meters

- New numerical values of notes

- Understanding relative durations with regard to a new unit of measurement

00:51

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The location of the strongest pulses in 3/8 & 6/8 meters

Lesson 8 Quiz
12 questions
Section 9: CUT TIME
02:57

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Designating the half note as the unit

- Notating 2/2 meter or “cut” time

- Numerical values of note durations in 2/2 meter

- Comparison of 4/4 meter and 2/2 meter

- Reasons for 2/2 meter

Lesson 9 Quiz
14 questions
Section 10: CLASSIFYING METERS
5 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Classifying meters

- Simple meter

- Compound meter

- Duple meter

- Triple meter

- Quadruple meter

- Complex meter

Lesson 10 Quiz
21 questions
Section 11: TRIPLETS
5 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Artificial divisions of the beat or beats

- Artificial division of parts of the beat

- Common types of tuplets

- Definition of triplets

- Identifying triplets

- Ratio of triplets

- Numerical value of triplets

Lesson 11 Quiz
12 questions
Section 12: DUPLETS
3 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Definition of duplets

- Identifying duplets

- Ratio of duplets

- Artificial divisions in relation to simple and compound meters

Lesson 12 Quiz
11 questions
Section 13: PITCH
4 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Sound waves

- Frequency

- Indefinite vs. definite pitch

- Modern vs. ancient definition of pitch

- Pitch experiment

Lesson 13 Quiz
15 questions
Section 14: INTRODUCTION TO THE STAFF
01:01

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Staff lines and spaces

- Placement of notes on the staff

02:28

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Ledger lines

- How the mind sees number

- Reasons for the number of staff and ledger lines

02:23

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Treble clef

- Bass clef

- The reason for clefs

01:50

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Movement on the staff (step, skip, & repeat)

Lesson 14 Quiz
21 questions
Section 15: LETTER NAMES OF THE STAFF
01:18

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The musical alphabet

- Letter names on the treble staff

- Letter names on the bass staff

01:15

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The grand staff

01:42

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The note stem rule (and rationale)

Lesson 15 Quiz
32 questions
Section 16: INTRODUCTION TO THE KEYBOARD
02:14

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Introduction to the keyboard

- Groups of black keys

- Letter names of keys

01:07

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Correlation of staff to the keyboard

- Difference in movement (horizontal vs vertical)

01:22

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The definition of a half step

- The definition of a whole step

- Keyboard examples of half and whole steps

Lesson 16 Quiz
29 questions
Section 17: SHARPS & FLATS ON THE KEYBOARD
02:16

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Sharps on the keyboard

- Enharmonic equivalents

- Enharmonic keyboard notes

01:48

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Flats on the keyboard

- Enharmonic equivalents

- Enharmonic keyboard notes

Lesson 17 Quiz
15 questions
Section 18: SHARPS & FLATS ON THE STAFF
02:20

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Reading sharps on the staff

- Sharps within measures

01:48

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Reading flats on the staff

- Flats within measures

01:30

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The natural sign

- The use of the natural sign within measures

Lesson 18 Quiz
13 questions
Section 19: INTRODUCTION TO INTERVALS
8 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- The definition of interval

- Melodic vs. harmonic intervals

- Identifying intervals on the keyboard

- Identifying intervals on the staff

- Ratios and intervals

- Pythagoras and the monochord

- Consonance and dissonance

Lesson 19 Quiz
41 questions
Section 20: INTRODUCTION TO THE SCALE
6 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Definition and history of the modern scale

- The major scale

- Intervals and the major scale

- Basis of the scale

- Basis of the whole tone

- Greek Tetrachords

- Greek Semi tone and whole tone

- Constructing scales on the keyboard

- Constructing scales on the staff

Lesson 20 Quiz
38 questions
Section 21: MAJOR KEYS
10 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Definition of "key"

- The key signature

- The circle of 5ths

- The order of sharps

- The order of flats

- How to determine the key from the sharps/flats

- How to determine how many and which sharps/flats are in a given key

- Enharmonic keys

Lesson 21 Quiz
38 questions
Section 22: MAJOR, MINOR, & PERFECT INTERVALS
5 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Interval number vs. interval quality

- Major, minor and perfect interval qualities

- Determining an intervals’ number and quality

- Connection of interval qualities to the major scale

- Identifying intervals qualities on the staff

Lesson 22 Quiz
28 questions
Section 23: AUGMENTED & DIMINISHED INTERVALS
8 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Augmented and diminished interval qualities

- How augmented and diminished intervals are formed

- The double sharp

- Why the double sharp is necessary

- The double flat

- Why the double flat is necessary

- The tritone

- Abbreviations for interval qualities

- Enharmonic intervals

Lesson 23 Quiz
21 questions
Section 24: COMPLEMENTARY & COMPOUND INTERVALS
7 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Complementary intervals

- Which qualities, when inverted, become which qualities

- Simple intervals

- Compound intervals

- Reducing compound intervals

- How to determine the quality of compound intervals

- Open and closed harmony

Lesson 24 Quiz
27 questions
Section 25: INTRODUCTION TO CHORDS
4 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Difference between intervals and chords

- Major and minor chords

- Deriving the ratio of the major and minor 3rds using the monochord

- The Pythagoras experiment and the major chord

- Block and broken chords

Lesson 25 Quiz
53 questions
Section 26: AUGMENTED & DIMINISHED CHORDS
4 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Definition of augmented and diminished chords

- How to form augmented and diminished chords

Lesson 26 Quiz
18 questions
Section 27: THE MATHEMATICAL PROPORTIONS OF TRIADS
6 pages

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Music’s move from the horizontal to the vertical

- Mathematical proportions of the major, minor, augmented and diminished triads

- Understanding the harmonic mean

- The harmonic mean and the major chord

- Understanding the arithmetic mean

- The arithmetic mean and the minor chord

- The geometric mean and the augmented and diminished chords

Lesson 27 Quiz
5 questions
Section 28: CHORDS OF THE MAJOR SCALE
01:14

This lecture covers the following concepts:

- Definition of a chord root

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Instructor Biography

Jonathan Peters, Award-winning Composer

Jonathan Peters is an award-winning composer currently residing in the beautiful state of Colorado. Since 1990 he has worked as composer, director, arranger, recording artist, educator and author. Mr. Peters holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College and continued his graduate work at California State University Northridge where he studied advanced composition, theory, orchestration, and film scoring.

Mr. Peters’ music has been performed both internationally and by orchestras across the U.S., having won many awards and recognitions including 1st place in the 1996 Composers Today Contest. He has completed nearly 50 works including 2 full length operas, a symphony, orchestral works, chamber music, choral pieces, and works for solo piano. Mr. Peters’ music can be heard on the radio, and his many albums sell in stores world-wide.

He is also the author of the Scholastic Music Series, a collection of educational CDs that use music as a tool to teach various academic subjects. The series has received starred reviews fromSchool Library Journal and is carried in libraries throughout the country.

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