Wednesday, April 1, 9057

Music Theory

Diablo Valley College
Pleasant Hill, CA
Theory and Musicianship I
Music 122-1313
Spring 2018
Dr. Mark Alburger


Course Information

Unit Credit:
4, Grade Code SC - grade or credit / no credit. Please decide before Week 6.



Meeting Times:
TTH 8:00-10:50am

It is the student's responsibility to notify the records office of a formal withdrawal.

N.B. Music 150 (Beginning Piano I) is additionally recommended for those without keyboard background.



(707) 474-7273



Office Time and Place:


Online: (Music Theory - selected chapters)

Mark Alburger. Music Theory.
Owen J. Lee. Music 122 Reference and Workbook.

Mark Alburger. Performance: Analysis, Keyboard, and Solfege.
Kate Bastien. Music Flashcards.
Thomas Benjamin. Music for Sight-Singing.
Mark Levine. The Jazz Theory Book.
W.A. Mathiew. Harmonic Experience.
Walter Piston. Harmony.
Eric Salzman and Michael Sahl. Making Changes.


No. 2 pencils

8.5" x 11" 12-line music manuscript paper (loose-leaf or notebook)

Computer access, and music notation software program (the latter optional)

Course Description

This is the first course in the Music Transfer Program Theory Sequence. Music 122 is the study of the fundamentals of music (primarily Western), including notation, basic theoretical concepts, melodic and rhythmic reading, ear training, and beginning composition.


1. Write and visually identify pitches, note values, meters, selected scales/modes, key signatures, intervals, triads, and chords in treble and bass clef staves.

2. Arrange simple progressions in appropriate styles.

3. Read, perform, and count rhythms.

4. Sing at sight simple melodies using solfege syllables (movable "do")

5. Take simple melodic and harmonic dictation.

6. Perform basic selected scales/modes, intervals, chords, and simple melodies at the keyboard.

7. Analyze simple musical examples from the perspectives of key/mode, form, harmony, rhythm, and melody.

8. Compose short compositions, including a musical setting of a poem.

9. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the historical development of harmony in Western music.

Student Learning Outcomes

A. Utilize the modern, Western system of notating music.

B. Recognize and apply fundamental Western theoretical concepts.

C. Demonstrate basic musicianship skills including sight singing, rhythm reading, aural recognition, dictation, and keyboard realization.

D. Discuss the historical aspects of the development of the theoretical concepts presented throughout the course.

E. Compose music using fundamental Western theoretical concepts.

Grading and Evaluation (point scale)

Daily Attendance / Participation (2000)

Weekly Quizzes / Exam (2000)

Compositions / Reviews / Class Teaching (1000)

Score Legend

90-100% / A

80-89% / B

70-79% / C

60-69% / D

0-59% / F

DVC Music Technology Center (and elsewhere)

Frequent use of online tutorials via the absolutely wonderful DVC Music Technology Center (MTC) or wherever is encouraged -- 15 minutes per day are recommended.

Concert Attendance

Students are required to attend two concerts per semester. At least one should be by the DVC music department and (not necessarily the same presentation) primarily of Western Classical music (band, chamber, choral, opera, orchestral). Reviews of each event will identify the concert (who, what, when, and where), and comment on salient elements. The first review will be due by mid-term; the second by the week before the final.

Reviews should have a:
Lede Sentence
Basic News Facts
Good Mechanics / Style (endeavor to avoid 1st person)
Perceptive Content

For example formats, feel free to check reviews at
The New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle
21st-Century Music (

Late Assignments

There will be a 10% grade penalty on all assignments up to a week late. Assignments more than one week late will receive a failing grade. Only quizzes missed due to excused absences may be made up. Such quizzes must be made up within one week or receive a failing grade.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Required texts only supplement class meetings. Thus, attendance to all class meetings is essential to the successful completion of the course. Poor attendance has always resulted in a poor grade, while excellent attendance has always been a prerequisite to an excellent grade. Students who miss more than two weeks of class may be dropped without notice. Students who need to take a leave of absence during the term should ask a counselor for a petition and then receive written approval from the Instructor and the Dean of Students. Leaves of absence are limited to ten instructional days.

Academic Dishonesty

Students found cheating or plagiarizing will be subject to Student Code of Conduct disciplinary procedures. Please refer to the Diablo Valley College Catalog.

Artistic Borrowing

Students found borrowing, gridding, modeling, or troping will be congratulated. Please refer to the history of art, the universe, and everything.


Week 1
Prehistoric / Treble
Notation of Rhythm
Notation of Pitch / C Major Scale

Week 2
Ancient / Treble and Bass
Half and Whole Steps / F Modes
Interval Number
Bass Clef /Interval Quality

Week 3
Medieval I / Steps and Modes
D Dorian / D Minor / E Phrygian
Perfect Fifths and Fourths

Week 4
Medieval II / Keys and Modes
Larger Intervals
G Modes

Week 5
Renaissance / Major and Minor
Chord Names and Numbers
Chords in Am and C / Scales of Am and D

Week 6
Baroque / Intervals and Chords
E Scales / C Minor / A Major
Interval Inversions

Week 7
Classical / Triads
Bb Eb Major / C Melodic Minor / B F# Minor
Typical Forms in the Common Practice Era

Week 8
Romantic/ Stacked Chords
Seventh Chords
Fm / Ab, Db / Chromatic / Triad Qualities in C

Week 9
20th-Century I / Bitonal, Inverted, Quartal
Whole Tone / Gb, F# / Bbm, Ebm / Inversions
Bitonality / Syncopation

Week 10
20th-Century II / Counterpoint
Neighbor Tones, Passing Tones, Suspensions
C#m, G#m, D#m / B / I-IV-V in C and Eb

Week 11
20th-Century III/ Chord Cycles
Chord "Progression"
W-H & H-W Octatonic / C Blues / C I-IV-V Syncopation

Week 12
20th-Century IV / Voice-Leading
Two Basic Rules
12-Bar Blues

Week 13
20th-Century V / Figured Bass
Inverted Chords in Figures

Week 14
21st-Century Music / Analysis
Seventh Chords in G, C, and F

Week 15-16

Week 17

[9057 - Music Theory Syllabus]