Course Code: lrm
In this first lesson, you'll go through an overview of the major elements of music—melody, harmony, and rhythm. It's important that you understand these general terms because you'll explore each of them in detail in the coming lessons.
This is your introduction to the concept of rhythm. You'll explore its various components: beat, meter, and time signatures. You'll also learn how to read and apply time signatures to music.
You'll continue exploring meter in this lesson and then look at aspects of rhythm such as syncopation and tempo. You'll learn how and why syncopation is used.
In this lesson, you'll delve into the musical concept of melody. You'll learn to read the treble and bass clefs. You'll find out how to read notes found in musical compositions and how to notate pitches to create music.
For many compositions, pitches are used that do not fall within the pitch range of the musical staff. With this lesson, you'll discover how to notate these pitches through the use of ledger lines.
If you've wanted to learn how to play piano, you'll love this lesson. The focus is on learning the names of the keys on the keyboard. You'll match the pitches from the staff to the keyboard, so you'll be learning to read and play at the same time. By the end, you'll be able to read and play simple songs.
Today, you'll learn how to build major scales. The scale is the building block for composing a piece of music. You'll find out how to construct a scale on any pitch.
This lesson introduces you to the names of each member of the scale. Knowing these names will enable you to discuss the functions and roles of each pitch in any key. These concepts have roots in ancient Greece, so you'll learn a little about those who have influenced how people create music.
Having covered major scales, today you'll examine the names of the major keys. You'll learn how to recognize the name of a key by the key signature. You'll also find out how to recognize a scale from the name of the key.
This lesson will discuss the last musical element, harmony. It will focus on creating more than one pitch at a time—the layering of musical pitches. You'll begin by looking at two simultaneous pitches, known as intervals.
You'll continue to explore intervals today, learning how to invert them, which is helpful when you work with chords. You'll also discover how to build three note chords, which are called triads.
In this final lesson, you'll examine some of the simple relationships between triads. You'll learn how to identify which chord should be used for harmony in simple two chord progressions.
Marianne Murawski earned her Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Maryland, her M.M (master of music) in Music Theory, and her B.A. in Music. Her dissertation, Theory through World Music, focused on developing an introductory music theory course that used world music examples. She has been teaching courses in music fundamentals, music appreciation, history of rock music, and world music at several colleges and universities. She is an active member of the College Music Society, giving presentations at Conferences including an International Conference in Vienna, Austria.
This course is geared towards those who have no musical background, those who play but do not read music, or anyone who is interested in understanding the fundamentals of music. There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
I'm amazed how much I learned about reading music and music theory in such a short time and with such little effort. The course is well organized and interesting. Thanks!"
I must admit that when I first read about this course, I laughed and thought there was no way that in 6 weeks I would be able to read and write music. I will now eat my words. I not only understand what I am doing when it comes to reading and writing music, but I am feeling a lot more confident when I perform. Thank you so much."
I truly enjoyed this course. Thank you for having this music refresher course at such an affordable price."
It was nice to see a different perspective to music instruction. The extra lessons were interesting too. It was nice to learn more about the composers and history of music."
What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about a topic without getting overwhelmed!"
Thank you very much. I gained so much knowledge! I am going to start taking piano lessons which I always wanted to take."
Thank you very much for this course. I learned a lot and truly enjoyed it."
Great course, with a very knowledgeable instructor who made difficult concepts easy to understand. I highly recommend both the course and the instructor!"
Marianne put together an outstanding course. This was at the outer edges of my experience, and I learned so much. I got so much more out of this course than I was expecting."
I really enjoyed this class. I am completely new to music, and was amazed that I never had the need to ask any questions. It was all right there in the lessons, explained perfectly."