MUS-138: Music Theory 1

Liberal Arts
Fine & Performing Arts
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Music Theory 1
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Read Music
Catalog Course Description

The first class in the music theory sequence. Requires the ability to read music and have a basic understanding of key signatures and time signatures. Covers tonality, intervals, triads, and basic voicings. Recommended to be taken in conjunction with MUS 141: Aural Music Skills 1.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. The review of rudiments. Exercises in note writing, clefs, stems, rhythmic values, major and minor scales, proper writing of key signatures, and identification of modes
  2. Study of major, minor, perfect augmented, and diminished intervals
  3. Chord spelling
  4. Chords derived from major and minor scales
  5. Analysis of all above factors in music the student is currently performing
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Compose rhythms in basic time signatures
  • Identify the melodic and harmonic elements within major and minor keys
  • Construct major and minor scales
  • Construct triads and determine their quality
  • Construct major, minor, perfect, diminished, and augmented intervals
  • Identify melodic and harmonic elements in music the student is currently performing*
  • Correlate all written theory with the co-requisite Aural Music Skills 1 (MUS 141) course

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • Homework assignments
  • Written quizzes, tests
  • Basic Compositions

Basic Materials in Music Theory, by Harder, P. & Steinke, G., Chapters 1-11

Allyn and Bacon/Longman Publishers


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Details

Determined by department

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2015
ILT Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2015