Music Theory

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New for 2014-2015: The Music Department is offering two Music Theory electives. Both provide musically minded students -- whether or not members of an ensemble -- the opportunity to engage in a rigorous, scholarly exploration of music.

Introduction to Music Theory

This elective course is designed to develop students’ visual and aural understanding of the structure of music. Not only will students learn to read various musical elements, such as scales, chords, pitch notations, and time signatures, they will also learn to construct these elements themselves. The course also teaches students to understand basic forms in music compositions, including the skill of notation. As students learn these various aspects of music theory, they will undergo ear training to teach them to recognize these elements aurally as well. Students who complete this course earn 1 year of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-12).

AP Music Theory

This college-level course develops students’ understanding of music theory and prepares them for the AP examination. Led by faculty member Ma. Ricel Riley, students explore the inner workings of compositional techniques from the western classical style of music. As with all AP courses, a full point is added on to a student's final grade for purposes of calculating the grade point average (e.g., an "A" earn 5 points rather than the typical 4). Though there are no formal prerequisites for this course, students should have a musical background and/or strong interest in music theory.  Students who complete this course earn 1 year of Performing Arts credit (grades 10-12 only).