Music Theory Basics


Music theory provides a language that allows you to express your ideas to others—whether you are a performer, a composer, or just someone who loves to listen to and talk about music. Using a diverse selection of music from the 20th and 21st centuries, this course will explore the fundamental elements of music, looking closely at sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, and growth (how the elements change to create a musical structure or form). Whether you have studied an instrument for years or never played a note, this course will help you make important connections between the music you hear and how it works.

You’ll begin to master the elements of music, including clefs, notation, intervals, pitch, musical texture, and chord construction. You’ll also learn the core principles of melody and harmony, including range, flow, and contour, as well as rhythmic elements that help give structure to music, such as beat, pulse, and duration. 

By the end of this course, you will be able to use the elements of music theory to better understand and communicate about the music you know and love, which, in turn, will enable you to create meaningful and expressive performances and compositions of your own.

What you will learn:

✔ Identify and use the elements of Western music notation, including clefs, notation, intervals, pitch, musical texture, and chord construction
✔ Apply the core principles of melody and harmony, including range, flow, and contour
✔ Identify and use rhythmic elements that help give structure to music, such as beat, pulse, and duration
✔ Create short, original melodies in a monophonic style

Register Now

What you need to participate:

  • MuseScore (free music notation software) or another music notation software that you are comfortable using and that allows you to export music as PDF (notation) and MP3 (audio) files
  • Computer with Internet (Note: Make sure your computer is compatible with MuseScore. You should have a minimum Internet speed of 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload.)

Program Snapshot

Course Dates

Jan. 17, 2023 - Feb. 11, 2023

Tuition

$495

Age

Grades 7-12

Next Term Begins

Feb. 21, 2023

Full Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

Andrew Martin Smith, D.M.A.

Instructor of Music Composition & Theory

Access Free Resources from Interlochen Online

What Are Intervals tutorial thumbnail

Experience Interlochen Online with free tutorials and guides that teach you practical skills in the arts.

Complete this form to view this exclusive music theory tutorial from Interlochen Online
Yes, I consent to receive Interlochen Center for the Arts communications.