MUST 101 Fall 17

Basic Musicianship Fall 2017

Announcements, links, and information. As I add new posts, the old posts will move down the page.


10/19 Intervals First Homework and Quiz

We’ve now had two class going over the basics of intervals. You have a homework due Tuesday and we’ll have our fifth quiz on Tuesday as well.

Intervals Reading

1st Intervals Homework (Due Tues 10/24)

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Exercises” on the top of the page.
  3. Under “Staff Identification” choose “Interval Identification.” (Click on this link to go directly this page.)
  4. Go the gear wheel in the upper right hand corner to change the following settings:
    1. Change the clefs to include both treble and bass clefs, but not the grand staff.
    2. Keep range the same (two ledger lines above and below).
    3. Do whatever you like for key signatures. I recommend changing it to only the empty key signature.
    4. Leave “require quality” on.
    5. Under intervals, change it so that you are only doing the major, minor, and perfect intervals. Remove the check marks for diminished and augmented.
    6. Leave “compound mode” off.
    7. You can leave it on difficulty level 2. If you would live to make it harder, feel free to.
    8. Do whatever you like with “next question” and “challenge mode.” The defaults here are fine.
  5. Now do 100 intervals. Note that it keeps track for you at the top of the screen. You should be able to get most of them correct, but I’m grading it based on that you did 100, not how many you got correct.
  6. Then click on the “…” in the upper right hand corner.
  7. Select “Progress Report” at the bottom of the menu that appears.
  8. Enter your name to “sign the report.”
  9. Then select “print” on the top left and print the report.
  10. Bring this report to class on Tuesday. If you can figure out a way to email it to me, I’ll also take it that way.

Quiz 5 Intervals

  • I will ask you to correctly name 5 intervals in either bass or treble clef, like the homework.
  • I will ask you to correctly write 5 intervals in either bass or treble clef from a given note.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Tuesday!


10/5 Test 2 on Tuesday

Today’s quiz on key signatures took much longer than I expected, so the test on Tuesday may take some of you the whole class period to complete. Here’s what’s on the test.

Test 2

  • You will write 5 major scales in either treble or bass clef with accidentals.
  • You will write all 3 scale versions (natural, harmonic, melodic) of 1 minor key with accidentals.
  • You will write 10 key signatures in either clef from given major and minor keys.
  • You will give the major and minor keys that go with 5 given key signatures.
  • You will answer two questions about parallel and relative key relationships.
    • Ex. What is the parallel minor of C major? C minor.
    • Ex. What is the relative minor of C major? A minor.
  • You will write out the circle of fifths with all 15 major and 15 minor keys on a given circle.
    • I highly recommend that you memorize the circle of fifths and complete this section of the test first and use it to help you complete the rest of the test.

Let me know if you have any questions or need help before Tuesday. I have time on Monday to help anyone.

See you on Tuesday!


10/3 Key Signatures Homework and Quiz

I hope today’s class on key signatures was helpful. On the test, I will ask you to write a few by giving you a key, and I will have you identify keys from given key signatures. You have homework due next time and we will have a quiz next class. We will spend the rest of class on Thursday reviewing for next Tuesday’s test on Scales and Key Signatures.

Key Signatures Homework (Due THurs)

  • Due next class: Thursday 10/5
  • Write out all 15 key signatures in both treble and bass clefs, and label each with its corresponding major and minor keys.
  • We did this is class together today, I recommend you write it out a few more times for your own practice. You want to have this information memorized as soon as possible.

Key Signatures Quiz (on THurs)

  • You will write 10 key signatures in either treble or bass clef from a given key.
  • You will identify 10 keys from 5 given key signatures in either treble or bass clef, that is both the major and minor key for each key signature.

See you on Thursday!


9/28 Circle of Fifths Homework and Updated Calendar

I hope today’s class focusing on minor scales was helpful. As I said, I will ask you to write the three minor scales for one minor key on the test. So make sure you take some time to work on these.

Circle of Fifths Homework (Due Tues)

  • Due next class: Tuesday 10/3.
  • Write out a circle of fifths on your own paper that includes all 15 major keys and 15 minor keys like we did the past two classes.
  • You will be given a blank circle on the test and you will have to supply all 30 keys.

Updated Calendar

  • T 10/3
    • Circle of Fifths Homework due
    • Work on Key Signatures: both writing them and identifying them
    • Assign Key Signature Homework due Thursday.
  • R 10/5
    • Key Signature Homework due
    • Quiz 4 on Key Signatures: write and identify. Will see similar stuff on test.
    • Test 2 Review
  • T 10/10
    • Test 2 covering Scales, Key Signatures, and the Circle of Fifths

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Tuesday!


9/21 Major Scales Homework

I hope you found our playing and singing tour through the 15 major scales today helpful. Next time we’ll work more on these, talk about the circle of fifths, and add minor scales (you don’t need your instrument). Here’s info on readings, the homework, and the next quiz.

Scales Readings

  • Pitch Collections, Scales, and Key Signatures (This reading covers most everything we’ll do before the next test).
  • Transposition (This reading goes more in depth into transposing instruments like we talked about today. I want to you know this stuff happens. I’ll mostly just ask questions about this stuff as extra credit.)

Major Scales Homework (due Thurs)

  • Due Thurs 9/28
  • Write out all 15 major scales on your own staff paper.
  • I would recommend using both clefs along the way to make sure you can do both.
  • Write in each accidental. Do not use key signatures.
  • I only need each scale written out once, ascending only.
  • If you would also like to write out the minor scales in a few keys, that would be good practice.

Quiz 3 on SCALES

  • On Thurs 9/28
  • I will ask you write out four or five specific major and minor scales in a few minutes.

See you on Tuesday!


9/19 Bring Your Instrument to Class on Thursday

I hope you enjoyed listening today in class to Mitsuko Uchida play chunks of two Mozart Piano Sonatas (No. 5 in G major, and No. 12 in F major). This second portion of the class leading up the the next test (on Tues 10/10) is about scales and key signatures. If you have an instrument you can bring to play scales on in class next time, please bring it with you. The rest of us will either play the piano or sing on note names.

See you on Thursday!


9/11 What’s on the Test on Thursday

I didn’t update the website at the end of last week, but I wanted to give you a written down version of what will be on our first test on Thursday (9/14). Tomorrow in class we will be reviewing for the test.

Test 1 (Thurs 9/14) Stuff

  1. 10 pitches including accidentals on a staff (5 in treble clef, 5 in bass clef). You will have to tell me each note name on a line below.
  2. 10 note names including accidentals below a staff. You will have to write each note, including accidental if needed, in the staff above (5 in treble clef, 5 in bass clef).
  3. A diagram of a piano keyboard. You will identify each of the 12 piano keys on lines provided: the names of the 7 white keys, and both names for each of the 5 black keys. 17 note names total.
  4. 3 lines of 2 measures each with time signatures provided. You will notate the rhythm I give you in counts above each line.
  5. 4 time signatures. You have to tell me how many of what note value there are per measure. 2 eighth notes, for example in 2/8.
  6. Another 4 time signatures. You will circle 2 meter words for each: 1) whether it is simple or compound meter and 2) whether it is duple, triple, or quadruple meter.
  7. There are two possible extra credit points. You will me what note value gets the beat in 2 time signatures.

See you tomorrow!


9/5 Rhythm Quiz Next Class and Readings about Meter

I hope our work on notating rhythm in various time signatures today was helpful. As I said in class, I will give you 2 or 3 two-measure chunks of simpler rhythms as a quiz on Thursday (9/7). I will give you counts and a time signature like the homework, but it will be closer to what we did in class after going over the homework. Good practice would be trying to fill up measures with 1 note, 2 notes, 3 notes and so on in various time signatures.

We will spend next class exploring meter. Please read the following two pages on my online music resource before next class.

Also, as I said in class today, our first test is a week from Thursday: 9/14. It will over the stuff we’ve talked about so far. Reading and writing pitches on the staff, identifying notes name on the keyboard, reading and writing rhythms, and meter. We’ll spend next Tuesday reviewing.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Thursday!


8/31 New Rhythm Homework, Peer Mentor Opportunity

I hope today’s class on notating rhythm was helpful. I know it got complicated fast, so we’ll spend more time on this next class. In the meantime, you have a homework due on Tuesday.

Rhythm Homework Due Tuesday (9/5)

  • Due next class (Tuesday 9/5)
  • Here are 5 rhythms written out as counts. Each in two measures long. Vertical lines show measure lines. Please write them out in rhythm notation like we did in class in the provided meters. Beats in parentheses show beats you do not clap or start a new note on. Please try to avoid using rests. Fill up each measure with notes.
    1. In 2/4: 1 e + 2 | 1 +a 2 e |
    2. In 3/4: 1 + (2) + 3 | 1 (2) (3) + |
    3. In 4/4: 1 (2) 3 + a 4 + | (1) 2 (3) 4 e + a |
    4. In 2/2: 1 e + a 2 | 1 + 2 |
    5. In 6/8: 1 (2) 3 4 5 6 | 1 2 + 3 4 5 (6) |
  • We will go over this on Tuesday and spend time figuring out the things you found difficult.

Paid Peer Mentor Opportunity

Another student in our class, Christopher Roe, needs a peer mentor, if one of you is interested. He is a participant in Winthrop’s Think College, which is a program that helps people with intellectual disabilities take college classes like this. I have taught multiple students in this program before, and it’s always been a worthwhile experience. For Christopher to benefit from this class, he needs a peer mentor to sit next to him, help him with notes, and study with him. And because of the nature of this class, it’s best if a student already enrolled (or who can read music) to be this person. If you choose to be this person, you will be paid. Please let me know if you are interested in doing this. It would be a great help to Christopher and I’m pretty sure you would learn a lot as well.

See you on Tuesday!


8/29 Homework due Thursday, Reading on Rhythm

Most of you did quite well on the quiz. If you got less than all 5 correct, I recommend you redo the quiz after practicing some more. Let me know if you would like to retake it.

I handed our a homework packet today that is due on Thursday. Make sure you can read all the notes in the excerpt from Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep” and the Christmas carol “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.” If writing in note names is helpful that is good practice. If you can read music easily in both clefs, make sure you speak and/or sing through all parts on note names. We will go over both pieces at the beginning of class on Thursday.

I’ve started a page on “How to Read Rhythm” on my online theory resource. I should have it completed today. [Updated 8/30: It’s done.]

We will start working on notating rhythm ourselves on Thursday and start talking about meter.

See you on Thursday!


8/24 First Quiz on Tuesday and Musical Pitch

I hope today’s class was helpful on some of the basics of our musical universe. Here’s some info for you about Tuesday’s class and some resources for you.

Quiz 1 on Tuesday (8/29)

As I explained in class, our first quiz will go as follows.

  • Each of you individually will come up to the piano.
  • I will ask you to play 5 notes on the piano by asking for a note name like ‘A’ or ‘B flat’ at random.
  • You will have 1 minute maximum.
  • I am verifying your musical fluency with note names and the piano keyboard.

Basic Musicianship Resources

I am in the process of adding pages to my online music theory resource here on my website. I will be finishing these up today [UPDATE: The three pages linked below are done]. Here are links to some stuff we covered today.

We will do the quiz, I will assign a homework assignment on pitch, we will look over some hymns, and then work on how to read rhythm.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you need to meet with me individually to work on learning this stuff.

See you on Tuesday!


8/22 Syllabus and First Day Email

Welcome (back) to Winthrop! It was good to meet you this morning. This is our course website for Basic Musicianship. I will be posting links, announcements, and other information for you here regularly.

  • For example, if you click on the Syllabus link above, you can see our syllabus. I recommend you print it out for yourself. I went through some of it this morning in class, but please make sure you read through it. Here is another link to it.
  • As I asked at the end of class, please email me telling me two pieces of information about yourself before next class:
    1. Tell me about you musically. Your skill level with reading music would be helpful, if you play any instruments, etc.
    2. What do you want to learn in this class? What do you want to know?
  • Bring some staff paper to class on Thursday, if you can get some by then. I will have some, if needed.

I look forward to our time together this semester.

See you on Thursday,