MUST 111 Spring 16

Music Theory I Spring 2016

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


4/21 Last Update and Final Exam Info

I hope today’s review class for the the final exam was helpful, and I hope you enjoyed our semester together.

Final Exam Info

  • Wednesday 4/27 8:00am-10:30am in our usual classroom, 403.
  • The exam is cumulative: you have to know and be able to do most of everything we’ve done throughout the semester.
  • It is longer: 4 pages instead of 3, but you have 2 1/2 hours to complete. It shouldn’t take most of you anywhere close to that long, but you have the whole time if you want it.
  • On the test:
    • 4 measure Bach chorale analysis (part writing texture)
      • Key, Roman numerals, leadsheet symbols, cadences, and circle and label all NCTs
    • 4 chord part writing
      • part write the following progressions in the given keys and add leadsheet symbols
        • i iv V i
        • I ii V I
        • I ii6 V I
    • A 5 chord basic figured bass (given bass with symbols below)
      • Key, Roman numerals, leadsheet symbols
      • part write with a voice exchange in measure 1
      • add, circle, and label 3 specified NCTs
    • 3 measure melody harmonization like on test 3
      • Key
      • Choose a good harmonic progression from given chord possibilities
      • Root position, except specified first inversions
      • Roman numerals and leadsheet symbols
      • Part write with specificed voice exchanges
      • label the cadence
    • 8 measure Bach chorale analysis like the first thing
      • Keys given, label leadsheet symbols, roman numerals, cadences, and then find all 17 NCTs (there is a list of them you need to find).
    • A whole slew of bonus questions.
Good luck on all of your finals.
See you on Wednesday!

4/14 Test No. 3 on Tuesday

Good luck on your preparations for Test 3, which is next class (Tuesday 4/19). See below on previous posts for specific information about what will be on the test. If you would like some analysis practice: workbook p. 301.

On Thursday, we will review for the final exam and I will return your graded projects.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Tuesday!


4/12 NCTs continued continued and Quiz

We spent today part writing and adding NCTs, which is something you need to be able to do for the final exam. I assigned no homework, but I recommend you practice adding all the various NCTs to part writing you create. Let me know if you have any questions.

There will be a quiz next class (Thursday 4/14) where I give you part written music and ask you to add specific NCTs. The rest of class will be review time for Test 3, which is on Tuesday 4/19. Come to class with questions and things you want to practice. Double check the calendar below (3/31 post) where I list the various things you will do on the test.

See you on Thursday!


4/7 NCTs continued

We looked at the jazz tune “Satin Doll” today and analyzed it for NCTs. You will see something like this on the test, where you have to analyze a melody that has leadsheet chord symbols for NCTs. I recommend you continue practicing finding and labeling NCTs with “My Favorite Things” on the back of the sheet I handed out. Next time we will practice writing NCTs in a part writing context.

See you on Tuesday!


4/5 Project due Thurday, NCTs stuff

I hope today’s focus on analysis was helpful to figure out chords and note nonchord tones. Here’s the pdf of the analysis (pp. 11 and 12 of the pdf (Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22, Adagio).

Remember that the project is due next class (Thursday 4/7). Check the 3/29 posting below for a checklist of what to do.


  • Page on my website: Nonchord Tones.
  • if you want, Chapter 6 in the book: pp. 118-204.
Next time in class we will be analyzing two famous jazz tunes for NCTs.
See you on Thursday!

3/31 Chapter 5 Homework and Calendar

I hope today’s focus on part writing with ii was helpful. Your homework for tonight due Tuesday (4/5) is pp. 61-62 from the workbook. We will go over the homework at the beginning of class next time. Make sure if you are having trouble or working slowly, to please come see me for help.


Read from either


Here’s a tentative calendar for the rest of the semester.

  • Tues 4/5
    • HW p. 61-62 due.
    • Piano music analysis.
    • No homework assigned. Finish project.
  • Thurs 4/7
    • Introduce all NCTs and practice analyzing them with jazz tunes. Finish analysis for homework.
    • PROJECT due.
    • You will get your graded projects back on 4/21.
  • Tues 4/12
    • Go over NCT analysis homework.
    • Practice part writing all NCTs. Quiz next class on adding NCTs to part writing.
  • Thurs 4/14
    • Last Quiz for semester: Add NCTs to part written music.
    • Review for Test No. 3
  • Tues 4/19
    • Test No. 3
      • Short part writings: given first bass note and Roman numberals, then label key and add leadsheet symbols
        • Part write voice exchanges: i i6, i6 i, I I6 IV
        • Part write V6 as neighbor chord: i V6 i, I V6 I
        • Part write progressions with iiI IV ii V I, I ii6 V I
      • Melody Analysis
        • Given melody and leadsheet symbols, label key, and circle and label all NCTs.
      • Analysis in piano texture.
        • Label the key.
        • Label the chords with leadsheet symbols and Roman numerals.
        • Circle and label all NCTs.
        • Name cadences and functions of specific chords.
      • Melody harmonization and part writing.
        • Give melody, first chord, and limit chord pallette (i i6, iio6, iv, iv6, V, V6).
        • Label the key.
        • Choose a good chord progression, making sure to use root position and first inversion as marked.
        • Write in roman numerals and leadsheet symbols.
        • Part Write.
        • Label the cadence you write.
  • Thurs 4/21
    • Go over test and review for cumulative final. Make sure you can do everything we’ve done all semester.
  • Wed 4/27
    • 8am Final Cumulative Exam.
Let me know if you have any questions.

3/29 Project Stuff

I hope you found today’s class time for working on your project useful. The homework I assigned last class is due Thursday (3/31). We will go over it then.

Remember that the project is due a week from Thursday (4/7). I am happy to look at your project in person again before that day (before/after class, office hours).

A list of things to remember about the project:

  • Double check that all of your chords
    • have the right pitches in them,
    • have the correct doubling,
    • follow our chord progression guidelines,
    • and avoid all our part writing problems.
  • Then, make sure it is in Notation Software.
    • Enter a title. Project is a fine title. Something creative to make me laugh is always fun.
    • Put your name in the place for composer, since you are the composer.
    • Enter the notes and rhythms. Use the layers function to get the correct stem directions.
  • And finally write in your analysis. And make sure you label the following
    • your chosen key (CM, Am, GM, Bm, FM, Dm)
    • the 4 cadences
      • HC in m. 4
      • IAC in m. 8
      • HC in m. 12
      • PAC in m. 16
    • circle and label each of your NCTs (2 PTs, 2 NTs, 2 ANTs)
    • please bracket each of your required progressions.
      • I-IV-I (i-iv-i)
      • IV-V (iv-V)
      • I-V6-I (i-V6-i)
      • I-I6-IV (i-i6-iv)
    • label all of your chords with Roman numerals below.
    • and label all of your chords with leadsheet chord symbols above.

See you on Thursday!

3/24 First Inversion HW and Project Time Next Class

I hope today’s focus on part writing first inversion with me walking around was helpful. Next class will be spent working on your project during class time.

The homework due Thursday (3/31) is pp. 54-55 Exercises 3, 4, and 5 only. Make sure you include leadsheet symbols above each chord.


Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Tuesday!

3/22 Adding IV and Guest Artist Concert on Wednesday

I hope today’s class on melody harmonization with I, IV, and V chords was helpful. Your homework due Thursday (3/24) is workbook pp. 49-50. We’ll go over it at the beginning of class.

Please also read the following:

The next step in the project is due a week from today Tuesday, 3/29. That class will be a day for you to work on the project in class. I will be there to check your progress and help you make corrections.

Also, my friend composer Nate May and his collaborator bass vocalist Andrew Robert Munn will be at Winthrop tomorrow and Thursday doing multiple events. They are performing Nate’s monodrama for bass and piano Dust in the Bottomland tomorrow 3/23 at 7:30pm in Barnes Recital Hall. It is a free cultural event.

They are also giving a talk on socially-engaged artistry on Thursday (3/24) at 11:30am in the recital hall right after the 11am student recital. I’m also working to schedule vocal and composer masterclasses on Thursday. Please come here these guys perform. They are awesome.

See you on Thursday!


3/8 Test 2 on Thursday and Project Update

I hope today’s review day was helpful. I will see you on Thursday (3/8) for Test No. 2. See previous posts for information about the test. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

I only got a chance to look at one person’s progress on the project today. We will have time for me to see your progress when we come back from spring break (Tues 3/22). You will have a full class period to work on the project the next week (Tues 3/29).

See you on Thursday!


3/3 Some More Readings, Project Part 1, and Review for Test

Next class is our review day. I will check your progress on the project, which I went over how to do in class today. I mentioned a quiz in class today, I’ve decided that we won’t have one to have more time for review.

Important info for the test:

  • You will see chorale analyses similar to today’s quiz on the test where you will have to label the leadsheet symbols, roman numerals, and cadences.
  • Also, you will have to part write two longer root position progressions on the test. We ran out of time before I could get to this. Apply the 3 basic movements to these progressions:
    • I vi IV V I (i VI iv V i)
    • I iii IV V I (i III iv V i)
    • Don’t forget to include the accidental for Ti in minor on the V chord.
    • We will practice this in class on Tuesday.

Here are two readings to look at discussing things we went over at the end of class today.

See you on Tuesday!

3/2 Online Readings for Chapter 2

I am back from NYC, and here are some readings for you on Chapter 2 you went over with Tobi yesterday in class.

  • Part Writing Tonic and Dominant (and/or Chapter 2 in your textbook)
    • This page includes a video where I part write all the possibilities.
    • Make sure you can recreate p. 132 in your textbook. I will ask you to write specifically each of the 5 part writing possiblities of the I-V-I (i-V-i) on the test. Note that only one of these fits our 3 basic movements pattern.
  • Classical Cadences
    • Read about PAC, IAC, and HC. You need to be able to label a few of these cadences in the chorale analysis (and in your own part writng as a check) on the test.
Remember that the homework (pp. 43-44) is due tomorrow and there will be analysis quiz tomorrow as well.
See you tomorrow!

2/25 Part Writing! and Tobi Teaching Next Class

I hope some of my reworking of figured bass, leadsheet symbols, and roman numerals was helpful today, but make sure you practice these things. I don’t have time to reexplain much anymore. We have lots of information to go over.

Part Writing Beginnings

Your multi-semester odyssey in part writing begins today. Here’s some readings to explain what and why.

You need practice writing lots of basic 2-chord progressions.

I recommend you also write them multiple times. Write them in multiple keys, both major and minor. And remember that the notes in the S, A, and T are interchangeable. So, for example, try writing I-V with Sol in the S. Our goal is fluency with the three basic ways to get from one root position chord to another. Practice these progressions a lot.

Analysis Quiz Next Thursday (3/3)

I will give you a short hymn to analyze. Make sure you label the key and roman numerals below, and add the leadsheet symbols above.


Here is a link to the page about our project for this semester. Please start on this soon. I will look over your progress on Step 1 on Tuesday 3/8, which is our review day for the test. I can over this more fully in class on Thursday.

Test No. 2

Our second test is very close (Thursday 3/10). It is over chapters E, F, 1, and 2. Here’s a list of things you want to make sure you can do.

  • Modes and Counterpoint
    • Write any white-note mode (ex. Dorian: D to D) and any mode starting on C.
    • Write one first-species counterpoint above a given cantus firmus.
  • Roman NumeralsFigured Bass, and Leadsheet Symbols
    • Given a bass line with figured bass, add leadsheet symbols and Roman numerals.
    • Given Roman numerals, write the correct triads and seventh chords.
    • Given music to analyze, add figured bass, leadsheet symbols, and Roman numerals.
    • Analyze a hymn (chorale texture music) using Roman numerals and leadsheet symbols.
  • Part Writing and Harmonic Syntax
    • Know the Basics of Classical Harmonic Syntax.
    • Part Write 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-chord progressions using the correct root position guidelines.
    • Part Write I-V-I and i-V-i using various methods (discussed in Chapter 2).
    • Know these cadences: PAC, IAC, HC (discussed in Chapter 2).

Tuesday with Tobi

Tobi will teach you stuff out of Chapter 2, which is the last page of the test. He will also assign you pp. 43-44 out of the workbook due Thursday 3/3.
We will have time on Thursday to go over the part writing stuff we did today and the stuff you will learn on Tuesday.
Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Thursday!

2/23 Roman Numerals Homework and Quiz Next Class

I hope today’s introduction to Roman numerals through “Silent Night” was helpful. Things to do before class next time:

  • Read either of the following:
    • From my website: Roman Numerals
    • From the textbook: pp. 68-69 “Roman Numerals”
  • Finish the homework we began in class today (due Thursday): pp. 23-25
    • Make sure you add Leadsheet Symbols above every chord.
  • Prepare for the open-note quiz: Similar to Exercise 6 on p. 25.
    • You will be given a seven-note figured bass. You will have 10 minutes to add the correct leadsheet symbol above and roman numeral below.
Keep that hymn practice, and use it for chord labeling practice like we did in class. We’ll use it again when we use more later.
We’ll start part writing next class, so make sure you have have staff paper.
See you on Thursday!

2/18 Figured Bass, Lead Sheet Symbols, and Course Calendar

I hope today’s class on figured bass and lead sheet symbols was helpful in thinking about where these symbols come from. To do before next class:


Please read either of the following before class next time.

Homework Due Next Time

Please complete the worksheet we worked on in class today for homework due next class (2/22). Remember that you are

  • writing the correct notes implied by the figures above the bass line (this is the optional part to help get the right chord),
  • and then writing the correct leadsheet symbol above the the chord you’ve written.
Here are the materials from our look at “And the Glory of the Lord” from Handel’s Messiah.

Calendar for the Next Few Weeks

  • Tues 2/22
    • Figured Bass HW due
    • Labeling harmonies in hymns: Roman Numerals and Leadsheet Symbols
    • HW due Thurs: workbook pp. 23-25
  • Thurs 2/24
    • FB, RN, LS Quiz
    • Assign Project
    • Part Writing Basics and Root Position 3 Basic Movements
    • Part Writing Handout for practice
  • Tues 3/1
    • Kulma out of town, Tobi as sub
    • Chapter 2: Part Writing I-V-I (i-v-i)
    • HW due Tues: pp. 43-44
  • Thurs 3/3
    • Hymn Analysis Quiz (Key, RN, & LS)
    • Classical Harmonic Syntax and Function
  • Tues 3/8
    • Part Writing Quiz
    • Review for Test No. 2
    • Look over first stage of the project
  • Thurs 3/10
    • Test No. 2: Chapters E, F, 1, and 2
Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Monday!

2/16 Counterpoint Continued and HW

I hope today’s focused class on counterpoint was helpful. Remember that I will ask to write one first-species counterpoint on the test.

Your homework due Thursday (2/18) is to write one first-species counterpoint above or below one of the other cantus firmi on p. 86. I will look over your counterpoint during class next time.

Meanwhile, on Thursday we will learn about figured bass and leadsheet symbols.

See you on Thursday!


2/11 Modes and Counterpoint

I returned the tests today, and most of you did quite well. If you got less than a 90, please come talk to me so that I can help you succeed.

Now, counterpoint. Counterpoint is an important part of understanding how classical composers write their music, but will be a very small part of this semester of theory. My goal is to give you an understanding of how first species works, then you can write one good first species counterpoint on the second test. For modes, you will need to be able to write them out in their white-note versions, and also transposed so they’ll start on C.

Next class, we will continue writing, singing, and playing first species counterpoint in class. So before next class, please read the following.

  • On my website (This is the packet I gave you in class)
  • Or in the textbook
    • pp. 46-48 “Other Modes and Scales”
    • pp. 84-90 Counterpoint intro stuff including First Species


Due for class next time is to write your own first species counterpoint with the Dorian cantus firmus on p. 86 in your textbook. Either above or below is fine. If you were in class today, you can also fix the counterpoint we wrote below that had no focal point. During class next time, we will continue to write some more first species counterpoints.

Let me know if you have any questions.
See you on Tuesday!

2/4 Preparing for Test No. 1

Our first test on Tuesday (2/9) is over chapters A-D. To prepare, look over all the homework we’ve done so far. You will see things like this on the test.

Then make sure you can identify and write these things quickly (p. in workbook):

  1. Pitches with octave designations in treble and bass clefs. (p. 3)
  2. Intervals (pp. 3-5)
  3. Identify correct time signature from rhythmic notation (pp. 7-9) (Also review the different kinds of meter (simple, compound, duple, triple, quadruple.)
  4. Key Signatures in treble and bass clefs (pp. 11-12 )
  5. Major and Minor Scales (all three versions of minor) in any clef. NOTE: Tenor and Alto clef here! (p. 12) [No modes]
  6. Triads and Seventh Chords in root position. (pp. 17-20) Also be able to figure out chords built on specific scale degrees. (Know your inversions, although the test will only have root position.)
  7. Write a circle of fifths that includes all 30 keys.

Let me know if you have any questions.

See you on Tuesday!


2/2 Chord Quiz on Thursday and Test No. 1 on Tuesday

Thank your for your work in class today. Everyone looks like their doing well with triads and seventh chords. Here’s the info we talked about in class.

  • Homework due Thursday: pp. 17-20 Exercises 1-9. Do not do Exercise 10.
  • We will go over the homework at the beginning of class next time.
  • Quiz on Triads and Seventh Chords like the interval one last week. Write 5 and Identify 5 each.
  • Review Day next class, make sure you know how do everything we’ve done on all the homeworks so far, and can write a circle of fifths with all 30 keys on it.
  • Test No. 1 on Tuesday (2/9) over Chapters A-D.
  • We will practice for the test as you need it in class individually and in groups next time.

See you on Thursday!


1/28 Reading about Chords

I hope you enjoyed listening to songs and figuring out their harmonies today. Many of you already seem to know a lot about chords, which is great. For those of you who don’t yet, don’t worry. The reading and our practice in class next time will help you learn.

So before next class please read the following:

We will spend all next class doing the homework, where you will write and identify chords until you’re ears bleed (figuratively). Our focus on intervals for two classes and now chords for two classes is to really set a great foundation for us to begin analyzing and writing music in a couple of weeks.

Here are links to the songs we worked with today.

Make sure you are practicing writing scales, key signatures, intervals, and now chords to increase your speed. Let me know if you need help with ways to do this.

See you on Tuesday!


1/26 Interval HW and Quiz Next Class

I hope today’s class day for the interval homework was helpful. Here’s two things you need before class on Thursday.

Interval Homework

  • Workbook pages 3, 4, and 5. Due Thursday (1/28). Will go over at the beginning of class.

Interval Quiz

There will be a quiz on intervals during class on Thursday (1/28). In five minutes, you will need to be able to:

  • Identify five intervals with the correct size and quality in either treble or bass clef.
  • Write five intervals above a given pitch in either treble or bass clef.

The rest of class will be an activity introducing chords and then practice writing them.

See you on Thursday!


1/21 Intervals and Integers Readings

I hope today’s activity with Bach’s First Invention helped you with thinking about intervals. To prepare to do the homework in class on Tuesday (1/26), please read the following:

Remember what I said about identifying intervals: compare the interval with the notes you find in the key of the lower note (is G-D sharp in G major?). This will help you learn intervals in tonal contexts rather then the slow, laborious work of counting half steps. Of course, learning the integer notation will speed up your half-step counting.

Also, please make sure you are using your weekend to practice reading in treble and bass clefs, major and minor scales, and all key signatures. You need to be able to read and write these things fluently as soon as possible. The more work you put it in now, the better you will handle the rest of your life as a musician (as well as in theory classes).

If you need individual help, please contact me via email and we can set up a time for me to meet with you.

See you on Tuesday!


1/19 Scales and Keys HW and Quiz Next Time

Thank you bringing instruments, playing scales, and transposing with me in class today. Please make sure you know all of your major and minor scales in all keys. This also applies to key signatures. Today’s work on transposition was an introduction. You need to understand and be able to transpose as a working musician and teacher, but we will focus on other things.

So before class on Thursday (1/21):

Read the Online Materials and/or the Book

On Flippin’ Theory!:

In your textbook:

  • Chapter C: pp. 38-46 (ignore other modes and scales).

Complete the Homework and Prepare for the Quiz

  • Workbook pp. 11 and 12
  • Make sure you can write a circle of fifths (with both major and minor keys) from a blank circle.
  • The quiz at the beginning of class next time (9/3): 10 minutes
    • write 5 key signatures in both treble and bass clefs
    • write 5 scales (major and minors) in treble or bass clef.

After going over the homework and the quiz next time, we will spend the rest of class doing an activity with intervals and J.S. Bach’s Invention No. 1.

See you on Thursday!


1/14 A little of Chapter A and a lot of Chapter B, Homework, and Quiz; Also, Bring Instruments to Class on Tuesday

I hope you enjoyed today’s class on recognizing note names in standard clefs, recognizing meters aurally, and starting the homework on rhythm. You now have four things to do for class next time.

1. Read the Online Materials and/or the Book

Please go to my online music resource and read the following pages:

  • Introduction: this will tell you more about this website.
  • Note Names and Clefs: to review notes on all four clefs, learn about octave designations, and prepare for the quiz.
  • Meters: to get a clear description and listing of the various kinds of meters we talked about today.
  • Basic Notation: to learn some about notating music correctly, which is important for the homework.

You may also read the pertinent places in the textbook:

  • Chapter A: pp. 2-6 (not intervals, we will spend two days on intervals soon).
  • Chapter B

2. Complete the Homework

The homework due Tuesday (1/19) is workbook pages 7, 8, and 9. Remember that in theory class we are going to talk about 6/8 and the like as compound meters with dotted beats (6/8 as compound duple) rather than simple meters with more nondotted beats (6/8 as single sextuple?!). Both of these ways are valid, so please learn this other way that we heard and identified in mutliple pieces of music by ear today in class.

I will go over the homework at the beginning of class next time.

3. Prepare for the Note Name Quiz on Tuesday

I will give you a short quiz next class (1/19) on note names (not including octave designations) near the beginning of class. This timed quiz will verify your ability to name pitches in treble and bass clefs quickly. So make sure you practice whichever clef you are less fluent with. 20 notes (10 each clef) in 5 minutes.

4. Bring Instruments to Class on Tuesday

We will play scales and melodies in class on Tuesday. If you play a portable musical instrument, bring it with you. Everybody else, you will use the piano in the room.

Let me know if you have any questions or difficulties.

See you on Tuesday!


1/11 Syllabus and First Day Survey

Welcome (back) to Winthrop! I’m David Kulma, you’re music theory teacher for the semester, and this is our course website for Theory I. 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, since I’m not supposed to make photocopies of syllabi anymore. Take a look through it. I’ll go over some during our first class tomorrow, but make sure that you have read and understand it before the end of this first week. If you are too lazy to move back up the page, here is another link to it.
  • Please also fill out this First Day Survey to tell me a little about yourself and your theory knowledge. This is the first homework assignment and is due by classtime on Thursday (1/14). The sooner you do this the better for me. I would like to be able to read all of them sometime on Wednesday.
  • Finally, if you would like to see some of the online resources I have made for this class, you can click on this link, or the words “Music Theory” on the right-hand side of this page.

I look forward to our time together this semester, and I will see you tomorrow morning at 8am in CMUS 403.