If you enjoy music and would like to know more about what makes it work, this is the course for you. You’ll gain a complete understanding of rhythm, melody, and harmony, and you’ll be able to recognize pitches on the musical staff and on the keyboard. Each lesson will build on previous lessons, while also introducing new musical concepts.
You’ll explore the keyboard in full detail, with an emphasis on the structure of major scale and the signatures of major keys. You will examine the many significant contributions early music theorists made to our understanding of music and be able to build intervals, major scales, and chords. By the time you complete this comprehensive and full-featured course, you’ll be able to read, write, and even play simple pieces of music!
Examine the major elements of music—melody, harmony, and rhythm. You will understand and explore these general terms in many future lessons. Then, learn about the concept of rhythm and explore its various components: beat, meter, and time signatures.
Explore the concept of meter and examine aspects of rhythm such as syncopation and tempo. You will learn how and why syncopation is used. Then, learn to read the treble and bass clefs. You will learn to read notes found in musical compositions and how to notate pitches to create music.
Discover how to notate pitches that do not fall on the musical staff through the use of ledger lines. Then, identify the names of the keys on the keyboard and learn to match pitches from the staff to the keyboard.
Discover how to build major scales – the building blocks of music. You will find out how to construct a scale on any pitch. Then, learn the names of each member of the scale and examine the origin and influence of these names.
Examine the names of the major keys and learn how to recognize the name of a key by the key signature. You will also find out how to recognize a scale from the name of the key. Then, discuss harmony and focus on creating more than one pitch at a time.
Learn how to invert intervals and how this knowledge applies to working with chords. You will discover how to build three note chords, which are called triads. Finally, examine some of the simple relationships between triads. You will learn how to identify which chord should be used for harmony in simple two chord progressions.
Prerequisites / Requirements
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.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- You must have speakers or headphones.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
How does it work?
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.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
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.
What if I need an extension?
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.