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Undergraduate Harmony and Counterpoint

The four semester harmony and counterpoint sequence provides the means and the vocabulary to understand, imitate, and analyze music of the Common Practice Period; Baroque, Classic, and Romantic (1600–1900).

Harmony & Counterpoint 1

MU 115 
Fall Semester
Credits: 2 
Prerequisite: placement
Meetings: two 50 minute classes weekly and one 5 minute keyboard playback meeting weekly

Course Objectives

The objectives specific to Harmony & Counterpoint 1 are the ability to write and to make a harmonic analysis of four-part chorale style exercises using root position and first inversion triads. These skills will be achieved through an understanding of, and proficiency in applying the following:
• 1st, 2nd, and 3rd species counterpoint
• inversion symbols and figured bass
• diatonic triads in major and minor keys
• identification of 7th chords
• principles of voice leading
• root position part writing
• 1st inversion part writing
• harmonic progression
• harmonizing a melody
• harmonizing a bass line

Midterm Project

Composition of a non-modulating four-part Chorale

Final Project 

Composition of a keyboard prelude modeled on Bach's Prelude No.1 in C Major BWV 846

Textbooks

THE MUSIC THEORY HANDBOOK 
Marjorie Merryman
Wadsworth Publishing
ISBN: 9780155026629

371 HARMONIZED CHORALES AND 69 CHORALE MELODIES WITH FIGURED BASS
Johann Sebastian Bach, ed. Albert Riemenschneider           
G. Schirmer
ISBN: 9780793525744

Grading 

Class Participation and Homework 40%
Piano Playback 15%
Midterm Project 10%
Final Project 15%
Final Exam 20%



Harmony & Counterpoint 2

MU 116
Spring Semester
Credits: 2
Prerequisite: Music Fundamentals, or Harmony & Counterpoint 1
Meetings: two 50 minute classes weekly and one 5 minute keyboard playback meeting weeklyy

Course Objectives

The objectives specific to Harmony & Counterpoint 2 are the ability to write and to make a harmonic analysis of four-part chorale style exercises and of baroque and classical keyboard literature incorporating non-chord tones, seventh chords,  second inversion triads, and tonicization. These skills will be achieved through an understanding of, and proficiency in applying the following:
• 4th species counterpoint
• triads in second inversion
• cadences, phrases, and periods
• non-chord tones
• usage and resolution of diatonic seventh chords
• secondary functions
• tonicization

Midterm Project

Composition of a Theme and Variations in the style of Mozart

Final Project

Composition of a Minuet in the style of Haydn

Textbooks

THE MUSIC THEORY HANDBOOK 
371 HARMONIZED CHORALES AND 69 CHORALE MELODIES WITH FIGURED BASSsee MU115 Harmony & Counterpoint 1

Grading 

Class Participation and Homework 40%
Piano Playback 15%
Midterm Project 10%
Final Project 15%
Final Exam 20%



Harmony & Counterpoint 3

MU 215 
Fall Semester
Credits: 2 
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 2 or placement
Meetings: two 50 minute classes weekly and one 5 minute keyboard playback meeting weekly

Course Objectives

The objectives specific to Harmony & Counterpoint 3 are the ability to write and to make an analysis of simple sonata form, to write and make a harmonic analysis of four-part chorales, accompanied song, chamber works, and keyboard works incorporating mode mixture, Neapolitan chords, and augmented sixth chords. These skills will be achieved through an understanding of and proficiency in applying the following:
• secondary leading-tone chords
• common chord modulation
• modulation by common tone, altered chord, and sequence
• augmented sixth chords
• Neapolitan chords

Midterm Project

Composition of a strophic song in the style of Schubert

Final Project

Composition of a piano prelude in the style of Chopin

Textbooks

COMPLETE PRELUDES & ETUDES
Frederic Chopin
Dover Publications
ISBN: 978-0486240527

COMPLETE SONG CYCLES             
Franz Schubert                                     
Dover Publications 
ISBN: 9780486226491 

Grading 

Class Participation and Homework 40%
Piano Playback 15%
Midterm Project 10%
Final Project 15%
Final Exam 20%



Harmony & Counterpoint 4

MU 216 
Spring Semester
Credits: 2 
Prerequisite: Harmony & Counterpoint 3
Meetings: two 50 minute classes weekly and one 5 minute keyboard playback meeting weekly

Course Objectives

The objectives specific to Harmony & Counterpoint 4 are the ability to make an analysis of works written in the harmonic language of the late Romantic and early modernist era (up to Debussy and Scriabin). These skills will be achieved through an understanding of and proficiency in applying the following:
• borrowed chords
• enharmonicism
• extended chords
• expanded tonality
• modal harmony
• pentatonicism
• whole tone scales

Midterm Project

Harmonic analysis of a sonata exposition 

Final Project

Composition of a solo piano work in the style of a chosen early 20th century composer

Grading 

Class Participation and Homework 40%
Piano Playback 15%
Midterm Project 10%
Final Project 15%
Final Exam 20%

 

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