Music Theory Grades 9-12

This course is open to all students who have an interest in studying music in an analytical and historical context. Music fundamentals will be examined. The course is recommended for students who read music and have some performance experience.

Performing and Creating
1-5a. Develop compositional skills.
1-3b. Learn solfege.
1-4c. Transpose melodies and harmonies to different keys.
1-4d. Compose and arrange four parts using basic chord progressions, inversions, and bass line patterns.
1-4e. Arrange pieces for voices or instruments other than those for which the pieces were written, in ways that preserve or enhance the expressive effect of the music.
1-3f. Demonstrate the ability to read a score by describing how the elements of music are used.
7968g. Investigate careers in music fields.
History and Culture
1,3,4a. Understand musical forms related to compositional styles.
1,2,41,2b. Classify by genre or style and by historical period or culture unfamiliar but representative aural examples of music and explain their classifications.
1,2c. Identify sources of American music genres, trace their evolution, and cite well-known musicians associated with them.
7968d. Identify various roles musicians perform and describe those musicians’ activities and achievements.
Evaluation Analysis
1-4a. Learn the fundamentals of music notation: note and rest values, articulations, simple and compound meters and rhythms, dynamics, tempos, note names, time and key signatures, interval and chord structures.
31-31,3b. Analyze aural examples of a varied repertoire of music representing diverse genres and cultures, by describing the uses of music and expressive devices.
1-3c. Demonstrate extensive knowledge of the technical vocabulary of music.
1-41,2d. Identify and explain compositional devices and techniques used to provide unity, variety, tension, and release in a musical work and give examples of other works that make similar use of those devices and techniques.
1-31,2e. Develop specific criteria for making informed, critical evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of performances, compositions, arrangements, and improvisations.
1-31,2f. Evaluate a performance, composition, arrangement, or improvisation by comparing it to similar or exemplary models.
Aesthetic Appreciation
1,2a. Recognize music as an art form.
1, 3-5b. Develop a listening style.
1,34,7c. Explain how elements, artistic processes, and organizational principles are used in similar ways in the various arts, and cite examples.
1,3,61-31,2d. Compare two or more arts within a particular historical period or style and cite examples from various cultures.
1-7 e. Explain ways in which the principles and subject matter of various disciplines outside the arts are interrelated with those of music.


  • Analyze written music
  • Aural perception
  • Oral/written exams

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