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Welcome to Advancing Music Theory, a collaborative wiki for sharing ideas and resources pertaining to a new curricular approach to undergraduate music theory.
About this site
This site is managed by Stefanie Acevedo, Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Connecticut, and Toby Rush, Associate Professor of Music Theory and Technology at the University of Dayton.
At the 2020 annual conference of Music Theory Midwest, we presented a new approach to undergraduate music theory which we have put into place at the University of Dayton. During and after the presentation, we were delighted to hear from others in the field who were interested in pursuing similar efforts in their own curricula, and in November 2021 we were honored to receive an Honorable Mention for the inaugural SMT Award for Diversity Course Design for this ongoing work.
The first step in our process toward creating a textbook to support our new curriculum was to create a list of resources — course objectives, worksheets, research, software, and so on. We realized that opening this process to others would not only allow us to benefit from the diversity of talents that our curricular approach celebrates, but it would allow others to reap the same benefits. This site is the product of that decision.
How the site works
The core of the wiki are the LESSON PAGES, each of which is devoted to a specific lesson topic. A lesson may comprise one or more days of classroom instruction. You can find the lessons arranged below into a four-semester course sequence (please see SAMPLE SCHEDULES for some possible week-to-week arrangements) or by topic.
Each Lesson Page has five sections:
- Objectives, which lists relevant lesson objectives;
- Resources, which lists learning resources: readings (for student assignments), instructor references (for more in-depth/advanced information), videos or listening (audio and video resources), and tools (demos, software, and other teaching aids).
- Class Activities, which includes lecture notes and other activities for in-class learning;
- Assignments, which include individual worksheets, quizzes, sample questions, and other assignments; and
- Notes, which can include general information about the lesson.
The GENERAL RESOURCES page contains a categorized list of commonly used websites and other resources with brief descriptions.
The lesson pages are arranged in a four-semester course sequence. However, given the modular design, this affords a variety of arrangements and experimentation. You can see some ideas of how these are implemented on our SAMPLE SCHEDULES and SYLLABUS SAMPLES pages.
Discussion among authors about specific lessons should be included on each page's Discussion page (see the tabs along the top to find the discussion page). Also feel free to email us (Stefacev and TobyRush) with any questions!
How to participate
- Using materials: You are welcome to use any and all content on this site in your own courses, and to modify it for your own use. You may also republish this material in whole or in part, but you must include proper attribution of the original. For more information, see Advancing Music Theory:Copyrights.
- Adding to the Wiki: You are also welcome to add to or edit this wiki. Please do not remove any material; if you find erroneous or inappropriate information, please contact one of the editors (Stefacev and TobyRush).
- Proposing materials: If you would like to propose a new lesson not currently included in the semester sequence below, we invite you to add an entry in the Other Lessons subsection.
By adding content directly to the wiki, you agree to release under the license that governs the entire site. You may also add links to external resources, which may have any type of license; however, we encourage you to link to open and accessible resources whenever possible.
- Introduction to Music & Music Theory
- Acoustics: Sound Creation & Propagation
- The Ear: Sound Reception
- Introduction to Notation Systems
- Recording Methods
- Frequency & Pitch
- Pitch Notation
- Loudness & Dynamics
- Timbre & Articulation
- Instrument Families
- Melody & Texture
- Duration, Rhythm, & Meter
- Rhythm Notation
- Meter Notation
- Tonality: Scales & Chords
- Major Scales & Key Signatures
- Minor Scales & Key Signatures
- Tuning Systems & Interval Ratios
- Solfège Systems
- Triads & Inversions
- Seventh Chords
- Extended Harmonies & Popular Chords
- Roman Numeral Analysis
- Introduction to Melodic Harmonization
- Meters & Beats
- Poetic Meter & Text-Setting
- Major Diatonic Harmony
- Melodic Writing & Harmony
- Rhythm & Melody
- Motivic Development
- Harmonic Cadences
- Harmonic Rhythm
- Non-Harmonic Tones
- Phrase Forms
- Minor & Modal Harmony
- Writing for Instruments & Transposition
- Modal Melody
- Metrical Deviations & Dissonances
- Meet the Composer
- Harmonic Progressions & Syntax
- Formal Function
- Improvisation & Performer Creativity
- Form in Popular Music
- Texture, Timbre & Form
- Chromatic Harmony
- Other Scales
- Large Forms
- The Music Business
- Film & Television Music
- Stage Music
- Video Game Music
- Pantriadicism & Chromatic Mediants
- Pandiatonicism & Soundmass
- Extended Techniques
- Quartal Harmony
- Emotion in Music
- Eclecticism, Quotation & Sampling
- Set Theory
- Colotomic Structures