eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals in 4 weeks


Students can usually complete the course in 4 – 6 week, but you’ll have 6 months of access from the purchase date.

This innovative online music theory course prepares first-year music majors for music theory placement exams.

In addition to the presentation of basic music theory concepts and terminology, eTheory includes over 200 sets of writing, playing, listening, singing, and conducting exercises. These lessons provide a smooth transition between high school and college-level academics. The course can be completed in four to six weeks. Students will gain the most from eTheory by working on the program at least one hour daily.

eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals was designed by a team of professionals at the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership. Steven Laitz, a nationally recognized figure in music theory and analysis, authored the course.

To learn more about how this course is designed, click HERE

For more information on the Eastman School of Music’s theory department, click HERE

Interested in eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals in 4 weeks? Here is the Course Syllabus, describing the topics and concepts you can expect to cover.

PDF-download eTheory: Music Theory Fundamentals - Course Syllabus

Table of Contents

Module 1: Pitch

Lesson 1.1: Pitch notation

Staff and clef
Pitch and pitch class
Division of musical space: the interval

Lesson 1.2: Scales

Scale-degree numbers and names
Specific scale types: major
Key signatures and circle of fifths

Lesson 1.3: The minor mode

Building scales in the minor mode: Natural, harmonic, and melodic
Relative and parallel relations

Module 2: Intervals

Lesson 2.1: Generic intervals

Contour, melodic and harmonic, simple and compound

Lesson 2.2: Specific intervals

Quality, perfect, major and minor, diatonic

Lesson 2.3: Transforming intervals

Augmented and diminished intervals
Interval inversion
Consonant and dissonant intervals

Module 3: Rhythm and Meter

Lesson 3.1: Pulse, beat, and rhythm

Durational symbols; standard notation

Lesson 3.2: Meter

Beat division
Simple and compound meters
The meter signature

Lesson 3.3: More rhythmic procedures

Clarifying meter
Borrowed divisions
Conducting patterns

Module 4: Melody: Characteristics, Writing, and Listening

Lesson 4.1: Characteristics

Phrase, cadence, contour and climax
Guidelines for writing melodies
Melodic dictation

Lesson 4.2: The role of rhythm and meter

Consonant leap, passing tone, neighbor note
Structural importance of pitches

Module 5: Introduction to Two-Voice Counterpoint

Lesson 5.1: First species counterpoint

Contrapuntal motions
Voice leading
Hearing two voices

Lesson 5.2: Second species counterpoint

Oblique motion, neighbor tone, and passing tone
Voice leading

Module 6: Triads, Inversions, Figured Bass, and Harmonic Analysis

Lesson 6.1: Triads

Types, components
Voicing triads: spacing and doubling
Triad inversion

Lesson 6.2: Figured bass

Analysis and realization
Chromatic alterations

Lesson 6.3: Triads and the scale: harmonic analysis

Roman numerals and analytical procedure
Keyboard and chorale style

Module 7: Seventh Chords and Musical Texture

Lesson 7.1: Seventh chords

Types, inversion, and labeling

Lesson 7.2: Musical texture

Monophonic, polyphonic, homophonic

Module 8: Phrase & Cadence, Tonic & Dominant, and Connecting Chords

Lesson 8.1: Phrase and cadence

Types (authentic, half)
Tendency tones
Phrase model and period

Lesson 8.2: Introduction to connecting harmonies

Harmonic progression and voice leading
Texture and register, range and tessitura
Voice-leading rules and guidelines for triads

Lesson 8.3: Chordal dissonance: V7

Voice leading and dissonance treatment