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Music Theory

Not all courses are offered every term. Please see Wolverine Access or the Office of the Registrar's website for detailed course offerings.

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Graduate Course Descriptions

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

 

  • THEORY 111 The Foundations of Rock (3 crs)
    This course will explore the historical background, musical foundations, and styles of rock music.
  • THEORY 135 Introduction to Music Theory (3 crs)
    Musical Theatre majors only; Prerequisite: Music reading ability; Course leads to 236.
  • THEORY 137 Introduction to Theory of Music (3 crs)
    For non-SMTD majors. Prerequisite: Music reading ability. Course leads to 238.
  • THEORY 138 Introduction to College Theory (3 crs)
    Emphasizes aural and writing skills to support entrance into the basic musicianship core requirement of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
  • THEORY 139, 140 Basic Musicianship: Aural Skills I, II (1 cr each)
    139 is a prerequisite to 140 (Parallels 149, 150). Sight-singing, vocal chord arpeggiation, keyboard and dictation exercises, major and minor keys including diatonic sequences, most frequent patterns of modulation, and special techniques associated with 5-3 and 6-3 chords.
  • THEORY 149, 150 Basic Musicianship: Writing Skills I, II (2 crs each)
    149 is a prerequisite to 150. (Parallels 139, 140) Review of rudiments; introduction to harmony and voice-leading involving triads, seventh chords, figured bass, and procedures for four-voice writing; writing activities with diatonic harmony including cadential 6-4, analyses of harmony, phrase-structure, texture, elements of figuration in shorter pieces, basic conducting skills, and rehearsal techniques.
  • THEORY 150 (sect 004) Accelerated Basic Musicianship: Writing Skills II (3 crs) 
    Prerequisite: 139, 149. By invitation only. Encompasses all of 150 and part of 249 in one term.
  • THEORY 211, 212 Basic Theory at the Keyboard: Realization, Improvisation and Score Reading (2 crs each)
    211 is a prerequisite to 212. Prerequisite: Theory 140, 150, and piano proficiency at least at level of 112.
  • THEORY 236 Introduction to Musical Analysis (3 crs)
    Musical Theatre majors only. Prerequisite: Theory 135. Emphasizes conceptual aspects of theory with some rigorous practice of aural and writing skills.
  • THEORY 238 Introduction to Musical Analysis (3 crs)
    For non-SMTD majors. Prerequisite: Theory 137. Emphasizes conceptual aspects of theory with some rigorous practice of aural and writing skills.
  • THEORY 239, 240 Basic Musicianship: Aural Skills III, IV (1 cr each)
    239 is a prerequisite to 240. (Parallels 249, 250). Prerequisite: Theory 140, 150. Deals with modulation to wider range of keys, harmony involving mixture, tonicization in major and minor and Neapolitan and augmented sixth chords. Last half of 240 introduces 20th-century materials.
  • THEORY 249, 250 Basic Musicianship: Writing Skills III, IV (2 crs each)
    249 is a prerequisite to 250. (Parallels 239, 240). Prerequisite: Theory 140, 150. Writing activities involving melodic and rhythmic figuration, leading-tone seventh chords, diatonic modulation, and chromatic voice-leading techniques; analysis of period structure, binary form, ternary forms. Last half of 250 introduces 20th-century materials such as atonality, exotic scales, pitch-class sets and 12-tone serialism.
  • THEORY 250 (sect 004) Accelerated Basic Musicianship: Writing Skills III (3 crs)
    Permission of instructor. Prerequisite: Theory 140, 160. Combines part of 249 and all of 250 in one term.
  • THEORY 405 Special Courses (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240. Offerings relating to such topics as analysis and performance practice of Mozart; analysis of ethnic, pop, and jazz music; music cognition, etc.
  • THEORY 407 Directed Individual Studies (2 - 4 crs)
    Permission of instructor. Prerequisite: Theory 240 and 250 or 259. Special topics that vary from term to term.
  • THEORY 408 Senior Project (2 crs)
    Senior Music Theory majors only.
  • THEORY 430 Advanced Analysis of Tonal Music (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and 250. In-depth analysis emphasizing elements of structures evident in various important examples, offering a variety of analytical problems; readings on tonal forms.
  • THEORY 433 Analysis of 20th-Century Modernist Music (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and one of the following three: Theory 250, 259 or Jazz 221. Primary emphasis is on the development of analytical and aural skills in significant 20th-century music. Varied repertoire; varied aural and analytical approaches.
  • THEORY 435 Pop/Rock Music Theory (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and one of the following three: Theory 250, 259 or Jazz 221. Explores tonal analysis of American and British pop/rock music from early rock-n-roll to the present.
  • THEORY 436 Analytical History of Jazz (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and one of the following three: Theory 250, 259 or Jazz 221. Treats the evolution of jazz in the United States through the 1940s; involves aural transcription of music and the creation of musical scores for works available only on record; analyzes sheet music, autographed scores, first editions, etc., to induce theory of the evolution of musical styles in jazz.
  • THEORY 440, 441 Species Counterpoint I (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or permission of instructor. A study and practice of fundamental principles of counterpoint during the 16th century.
  • THEORY 442 18th-Century Counterpoint I (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and 250. Involves analysis and practice of the craft of counterpoint based upon 18th century repertoire of Western music and scholarly treatises of both that period and the present. A diet of species counterpoint is emphasized in the first half, then varieties of contrapuntal craft of the difficulty of two-and three-part inventions of J. S. Bach.
  • THEORY 443 18th-Century Counterpoint II (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 442. Sequel to 442, moving ahead in analysis and practice of craft to sophisticated settings of 18th-century contrapuntal forms, especially with the creation of fugues in the styles of representative composers. Pedagogical treaties of that era as well as contemporary scholarship are dealt with in analytical and creative tasks.
  • THEORY 444 Practical Ornamentation and Elaboration (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or permission of instructor. Analysis of scores and treatises of the 17th and 18th centuries undergirds creative invention of ornamentation and elaboration in the specific style of major composers of these eras.
  • THEORY 454 Orchestration I (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and one of the following three: Theory 250, 259 or Jazz 221. Emphasis on original compositions or arrangements for various instruments in string, wind, brass and percussion families. Also reading and listening assignments. Final project is selecting and orchestrating a short piano composition for chamber orchestra. Undergraduate credit only.
  • THEORY 455 Orchestration II (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 454. Techniques used by composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries will be compared and analyzed. Reading and listening assignments as well as attendance at School of Music, Theatre & Dance ensemble rehearsals. Final project involves composing or arranging an extended work for wind ensemble or orchestra.
  • THEORY 458 Practicum in Arranging (2 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or permission of instructor.
  • THEORY 460 Special Courses (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 240 and 250. Offerings relating to such topics as analysis and performance practice of Mozart; analysis of ethnic, pop, and jazz music; music cognition, etc. May be repeated for credit.

 

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Graduate Course Descriptions

  • THEORY 334 Survey of Sophomore Theory: Writing Skills (2 crs)
    Enrollment for graduate students placed into 334 by Theory Placement Exam. Fall Term only.
  • THEORY 461 Analysis of Tonal Music (2 crs)
    Enrollment only for graduate students placed into 461 by Theory Placement Exam. Remedial review course for graduate students.
  • THEORY 507 Directed Individual Studies (1 - 4 crs)
    Permission of department chair. May be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 531 Schenkerian Theory and Analysis I (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Teaches the basic techniques of Schenkerian analysis; emphasizes basic concepts of linear, contrapuntal, and harmonic structure in tonal music; analyzes excerpts and short compositions Students learn to express their analytical insights through the preparation of voice-leading graphs.
  • THEORY 532 Schenkerian Theory and Analysis II (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: permission of instructor. A continuation of 531, emphasizing analysis of complete compositions or movements from multi-movement works. Compositions chosen reflect a variety of formal types and a variety of styles, ranging from Bach to Chopin and Brahms.
  • THEORY 533 Analysis of 20th Century Modernist Music (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: 250 or equivalent. Primary emphasis is on the development of analytical and aural skills in significant 20th-century music. Varied repertoire; varied aural and analytical approaches.
  • THEORY 534 20th-Century Music: Theory and Analysis I (3 crs)
    Prerequisites: 433 or permission of instructor. A systematic and critical study of theoretical systems treating music of the 20th century. Practice in applying these systems in analyses of significant repertoire.
  • THEORY 535 Pop/Rock Music Theory (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250. Explores tonal analysis of American and British pop/rock music from early rock-n-roll to the present.
  • THEORY 536 Analytical History of Jazz (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or equivalent. Treats the evolution of jazz in the United States through the 1940s. Aural transcription of music and the creation of musical scores for works available only on record; analysis of sheet music, autographed scores, first editions, etc., in order to induce theory of the evolution of musical styles in jazz.
  • THEORY 537 Proseminar in the Analysis of Music (3 crs)
    Prerequisites: Theory 430 or permission of instructor. Each proseminar treats varied repertoire presenting different approaches for analysis. Each may be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 540 Species Counterpoint I 1450-1600 (3 crs)
    540 is a prerequisite to 541.
  • THEORY 541 Species Counterpoint II (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 540. Continuation 540.
  • THEORY 542 18th-Century Counterpoint I (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or equivalent. Involves analysis and practice of the craft of counterpoint based on 18th-century repertoire of Western music and scholarly treatises of both that period and the present. A diet of species counterpoint is emphasized in the first half, then varieties of contrapuntal craft of the difficulty of two-and three-part inventions of J. S. Bach.
  • THEORY 543 18th-Century Counterpoint II (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 542. Moving ahead in analysis and practice of craft to sophisticated settings of 18th century contrapuntal forms, especially with the creation of fugues in the styles of representative composers. Pedagogical treaties of that era as well as contemporary scholarship are dealt with in analytical and creative tasks.
  • THEORY 544 Practical Ornamentation and Elaboration (3 crs) 
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 or equivalent. Analysis of scores and treatises of the 17th and 18th century undergirds creative inventions of ornamentation and elaboration in the specific style of major composers of these eras.
  • THEORY 551 Advanced Aural Skills (3 crs)
    Graduate students only; permission of instructor.
  • THEORY 552 Project in Tonal Composition (2 crs)
    Theory majors only. Creative work to model traditional composition forms, with careful attention to development processes attendant to the common practice period.
  • THEORY 560 Special Studies (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 250 with permission of instructor. See Time Schedule for description in any particular term. May be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 590 Teaching Tonal Theory (2 crs)
    Permission of instructor. Integration of practical teaching techniques with evaluation of texts and anthologies. Coverage includes fundamentals, harmony, ear training, sigh-singing, keyboard harmony, counterpoint, tonal analysis, and various integrated approaches; introduction to some computer-assisted materials.
  • THEORY 595 Practicum in Teaching (1 cr)
    This course is designed to satisfy the training/orientation requirement for graduate student teaching assistants.
  • THEORY 621 History of Music Theory I (3 crs)
    Also listed as MHM 621. Survey of the intellectual history of music theory, from antiquity to 1600.
  • THEORY 622 History of Music Theory II (3 crs) 
    Also listed at MHM 622. Continuation of 621. Survey of the intellectual history of music theory from 1600 to 1900.
  • THEORY 631 Canon and Fugue (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 473, 474. Study and practice of advanced principles of counterpoint as evident in canon and fugue in repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • THEORY 651 Topics in Analysis (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 511 or equivalent with permission of instructor. Illustrative offerings: Chromatic Harmony, Compositional Systems. May be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 721 20th-Century Theories of Tonal Music (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 511 or permission of instructor. A comparative, critical exploration of different analytical systems that treat music of the common practice period.
  • THEORY 723 20th-Century Music Theory and Analysis (3 crs)
    Prerequisite: Theory 722 or permission of instructor.
  • THEORY 805, 806 Seminar in Music Theory (3 crs each)
    Permission of instructor. Recent offerings: Theory of Rhythm in Tonal Music; Generative Theory of Music. May be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 807 Research Project (2 - 4 crs)
    Permission of department chair. Collaborative or directed research project other than dissertation. May be repeated for credit.
  • THEORY 900 Preliminary Examination (1 cr)
    For students not otherwise enrolled. May be repeated.
  • THEORY 990 Dissertation/Precandidate
    Fall, Winter, Spring-Summer Terms (1 - 8 crs) Spring-Half, Summer-Half Terms (1 - 4 crs). Election for dissertation work by a doctoral student not yet admitted to status as a candidate.
  • THEORY 995 Dissertation/Candidate
    Fall, Winter Spring-Summer Terms (8 crs only) Spring-Half, Summer-Half Terms (4 crs only). Prerequisite: Graduate school authorization for admission as a doctoral candidate. Only a full-term enrollment is permitted for the period in which the candidate takes a final examination on his or her dissertation.

 

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Department of Music Theory Website

 

 

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