Sunday, February 24, 2008

no class on Saturday, March 1st

just a reminder that theory classes are cancelled on the 1st - you still have regular rehearsals though!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

reading Hebrew music

Per our discussion in CO Theory class today, here is the answer to the question regarding reading Hebrew music right-to-left or left-to-right.

So, it turns out that Hebrew music is still read left-to-right. However, the text under each individual note would still be read right-to-left when using the Hebrew language.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Non Chord Tones

We have limited our discussion of non-chord tones to passing tones and neighboring tones. There are quite a few more types of non-chord tones - if you are interested in learning more, check out this awesome website (make sure you have Flash installed):

Other websites with useful information on non-chord tones:

Friday, February 08, 2008


Come prepared to do some composing in the next few classes. (Don't worry - we'll still do sightsinging and work on our pentatonic scales.)

Also, I'm always happy to look over any "extra credit" composition exercises you'd like to bring to class. Feel free to challenge yourself in class exercises - you can write pieces as simple or as complex as you like, as long as they follow our class guidelines.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pentatonic Scales

Did you practice your pentatonic scales this week? Sing them through in the car/on the train/on the bus on your way to class this Saturday!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Welcome back!

Welcome back to theory class! I hope you all had the chance to look through our new workbook. We will definitely be doing some composing this semester, so make sure you always bring a pencil to class.

At some point during the week (or at many points!) try to sing through the "do"-pentatonic scale, and all of the intervals from M2 to m7. Use a piano or your instrument to help you out - use C for "do" (your pentatonic scale will be C, D, E, G, A, C')

Thursday, December 06, 2007

See you in January!

Just a reminder that your next class will be on January 12th. Same time, same room. Come ready to do some composing!

Have a happy holiday season!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Intervals and Triads

Sorry it has been a while since I posted - I wasn't sure if anyone was actually checking the blog! Both classes have spent time learning about intervals and triads in music. These are the basic "building blocks" of music theory, so I hope you understand them before we move forward.

There is always some confusion about how intervals and triads become "smaller" or "larger". The notes of an interval or a triad must always stay the same. Accidentals (double flats, flats, naturals, sharps, and double sharps) are used to alter the notes to make the interval or triad smaller or larger. Perhaps this chart will help:

diminished <---> minor <---> Major <---> Augmented
diminished <---> Perfect <---> Augmented
When moving LEFT to RIGHT, you are adding half steps to the interval or triad, making the interval or triad LARGER
When moving RIGHT to LEFT, you are subtracting half steps from the interval or triad, making the interval or triad SMALLER

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Minor Scales

How do you find the relative minor scale to a Major scale?
  1. find the 6th note of the scale (the "la")
  2. find the note in the scale that is 2 notes down from the tonic note (the "do")
  3. find the note that is a minor 3rd lower than the tonic note (the "do")

What is the relative minor key for C Major? D Major? Ab Major? Eb Major? (answers below)

Don't forget to use CAPITAL LETTERS for Major scales and lowercase letters for minor scales

Do you remember what a parallel minor scale is?

(Answers: C Major = a minor; D Major = b minor; Ab Major = f minor; Eb Major = c minor; also, C Major and c minor are examples of parallel scales)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Circle of Fifths

Do you understand how tetrachords are put together to create not only major scales, but also the entire Circle of Fifths? This example shows how the circle of fifths is put together, starting with a C-tetrachord, and ending with a G#-tetrachord.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Post a comment!

If you read this blog, leave me a comment (saying whatever you'd like) to let me know you checked it out.

See you Saturday!

Welcome to Theory!

Welcome to Theory class, and thanks for checking out our blog! Let me know if you have any questions about our class schedule, or the topics we will be covering this fall.

Do you understand what a half step and a whole step are? Knowing this information will be very important in learning about major and minor scales, as well as in learning about intervals.

Also, do you understand what an enharmonic note is? Most enharmonic notes are the black keys on the piano keyboard, but there are a few white keys that have 2 names as well - do you know which ones?