Fundamentals of Music Theory

Michael Edwards, Zack Moir, Richard Worth, Nikki Moran, John Philip Kitchen , The University of Edinburgh

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Course Description

This course, from the University of Edinburgh's Reid School of Music (recently ranked first in the UK), is suitable for those who have never studied music academically. It will introduce you to the theory of Western music, providing you with the skills needed to read and write Western music notation, as well as to understand, analyse, and listen informedly.  

It will provide the basis for the further study of music both from a theoretical and practical point of view: musicology, pastiche and free composition, analysis, performance, and aural skills. 

It will also be useful to experienced musicians without music notation skills who wish to extend their practice through a grounding in the tools of Western music theory and notation.



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Week-by-Week breakdown

  1. Pitches, scales, modes, and chords
  2. Keys and intervals
  3. Rhythm and form
  4. Harmony 1: functional harmony
  5. Harmony 2: inversions, cadences, and sequences
  6. Final Assignment
  7. Peer Review


No background required.

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Reviews on Springboard

  1. Fundamentals of Music Theory

    I am learning so much. I have played piano for years. Teach some. But I have not spent enough time on intervals before now. This course is just what I need. Also, I know all the rest of the course will be as informative as the first two weeks have been. Complex meter is also hard for me generally. I'm a really good sight-reader, and can usually figure out the timing. Eventually. But, I know I will be smarter about my music with this course.The Professors are also very articulate and succinct where need be. Thank you so much.

Fundamentals of Music Theory

by Michael Edwards, Zack Moir, Richard Worth, Nikki Moran, John Philip Kitchen, The University of Edinburgh