Music theory courses address the elements of music, musical form, and musical structure, as well as the techniques for analysis that can be used to understand music’s inner workings and how it generates meaning. Undergraduate students will first encounter music theory in MUSC 120 (“Thinking Musically”), which is required of all music majors and minors. Students then proceed to a sequence of courses focused on tonal music.

As part of their study of music theory, students also cultivate aural skills, sight-singing skills, and musicianship techniques that help connect music theory to the world of sound through musicianship courses. Beyond the basic sequence of music theory and musicianship courses, we offer advanced courses in music theory that address the analysis of different traditions, types, and eras of music, including counterpoint, the analysis of 20th century art music, the analysis of popular music, world music and jazz, and the study of form within Western Art Music.

Basic undergraduate tonal theory courses:

MUSC 131 (Theory I)

MUSC 132 (Theory II)

MUSC 232 (Theory III)

Undergraduate musicianship courses:

MUSC 130 (Musicianship I)

MUSC 133 (Musicianship II)

MUSC 233 (Musicianship III)

Special-topic undergraduate theory courses:

MUSC 135 (Jazz Theory)

MUSC 234 (World Musics in Theory and Practice)

MUSC 331 (Form and Analysis)

MUSC 332 (Counterpoint)

MUSC 333 (Analysis of Popular Music)

MUSC 338 (Analysis of Art Music Since 1900)