Handouts and more!

Resources for Theory: http://bbamusic.wikispaces.com/Music+Theory+Resources

Table of Contents

Resources for Theory:Online SoftwareTheory Text Notes, Keys and ScalesRhythm Drills:TriadsInversionsIntervals:CadencesProgressionsBach TipsPart WritingNon Harmonic TonesSecondary DominantsInteresting Chord FormationsFormListeningEar TrainingFilm ScoringAdditional Links:
Staff Paper Generator
Musical Terms
external image pdf.png quickfacts THeory.pdf

Online Software

Music Trainers here
*Staves Pitches, Clefs and Keyboards
Self TestsTerm Games

Theory Text

external image pdf.png Basic Music Theory - How To Read,Write,And Understand Written Music.pdf
external image pdf.png Music Theory- University Oregon.pdf Serious text!
external image pdf.png Basic theory 2.pdf

Online Workbooks

Notes, Keys and Scales

Keyboard Trainer
Find the note on the Piano!
Note trainer
Speed read Note names
Notes and rests
*Notes Scales and Key Signatures
*More Scales and Key Signatures
Using the minor key
Circle of Fifths
Key Signatures
Another Drill for Keys
Key Trainer
Build Scales in Treble Clef
Build Scales in Bass Clef

Rhythm Drills:

Practice Sight Reading Ryhthms
Tap your Mouse
Rhythmic Dictation
*Rhythm Notation
*Reading Rhythm


Introduction to Chords
Diatonic Triads
Build Chords in Treble Clef
Build Chords in Bass Clef
Chords Explained
Triad Trainer
Chord Calculator
Voicing Choirds


Triad Inversions
Seventh Chord Inversion
The Six Four Chord
First Analysis
Using the Second inversion
Composing with the first inversion


Interval Trainer
external image msword.png WHITE NOTE INTERVALS.doc
external image msword.png Intervals.doc
external image pdf.png Intervals book.pdf
Generic Intervals
Specific Intervals
Writing intervals
Inverting an interval
Treble Clef Intervals
Bass Clef Intervals


Cadences Explained
Phrases and Cadences


Interactive Chord Chart
The Circle Progression - Down a fifth
Some additional ways to look at progressions
Analaysis example 2

Bach Tips

Counterpoint concepts
Counterpoint Defined

Part Writing

Great Website on Four Part Writing
Four part Rules and help
Consonance and Dissonance

Non Harmonic Tones

Non Harmonic Tones!
Non Chord Tones explained simply
Non Chord Tones explained in depth
Non Harmonic Tone Self test - no password required!

Secondary Dominants

Secondary Dominant Construction
Secondary Dominant Identification

Interesting Chord Formations

Neopolitan Page
Neopolitan Chords
Using the Neopolitan Chord
Analysis 3
Augmented Sixth Chords


Form links
Basic Assumptions concerning form
Motive, Phrase and Period
Binary form
Ternary form
Rounded binary form
Sonata form
Rondo form
Theme and variation
Dance forms
Moment form


Harmonic Dictations
Non harmonic Tone Examples
Analytical Listening
Cadence Aural Examples
Harmonic Progressions

Ear Training

Benward/Kolosick Ear Training Examples

Other Web Resources

Film Scoring


Additional Links:

  • Analysis of Masterpieces - Analysis of full-music 20th Century atonal pieces.
  • A-Natural Atonality - Claims that atonality is unnatural while tonality is acoustically and historically natural.
  • The Ancient Musical Modes - Ideas regarding the "classical modes" described by Plato and Aristotle.
  • Atonal Set Calculator - Interactive atonal set calculator for pitch class sets and twelve-tone rows. Enter one or two sets and find normal order, prime form, Forte number, interval vector, and symmetry.
  • Auto-Transposer - Transposes all twelve major keys of chord progressions.
  • A Beginner's Guide to Modal Harmony - A concise explanation of the Gregorian and Renaissance modes and their development in the Common Practice era.
  • Bimodalism - A contemporary alternative to atonal styles of composition.
  • Chaos Music Paper I: Aesthetic Evaluation - Essays explaining computer music theory providing detailed analysis.
  • Chordwizard: How Music Works - A concise summary of important concepts in music.
  • Creativelab - Visual representations of music expressed in terms of color. In English, Ukrainian and Russian.
  • Dolmetsch: Music Theory & History Online - Offers a musical dictionary, recorder lessons, instrument information and a composers listing.
  • Dynamic Spectrograms of Music - Provides a type of spectrogram suitable for understanding the structure of music.
  • eMusicTheory.com - Java applets designed to help students of music improve their basic music reading skills.
  • Eric Weisstein's Treasure Trove of Music - A reference resource on music theory, covering in brief a vast array of topics.
  • Essentials of Music Theory - Summarizes entry-level music theory through advanced topics. Includes beginners' drills.
  • The Fugue - An outline of the fundamentals of a fugue based on Hugo Norden's "Foundation Studies in Fugue."
  • Fugue No. 17: A-Flat Major - Introduction to the essential concepts of Schenkerian analysis applied to the Ab Major fugue of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I
  • Fugue Treatises, Analyses and Tools - Bibliography of fugue analysis research, writings and analysis.
  • Gems of Compositional Wisdom - Articles on advanced atonal and serial concepts.
  • Good Ear - Online ear training site.
  • Harmonic Bindings - A paper about the unification of Janecek's theory of imaginary tones with the two Risinger's principles of functional relations.
  • Harmony.org.uk - By Tom Sutcliffe. Aims to help students of music theory understand the role of chord progressions in musical structures. Site includes animated demos.
  • Interactive Circle of Fifths - A free music theory tool designed to help musicians interpret chord progressions, easily transpose music to a different key, compose new music, and understand key signatures, scales, and modes.
  • Interval and Chord Ear-Training - This site drills ear-training (aural skills), focusing on the aural recognition of musical sounds, including intervals and chords.
  • Modes and Scales in Indian Music - A historical look at concepts of Indian scales and modes comparing North and South Indian approaches.
  • Music Acoustics - The science of music. Explanations of how musical instruments work via waves and frequency modulation.
  • Music Theory - A guide to music theory that including chords, scales, music notation and other music theory topics. Has weblog format; includes links as well.
  • Music Theory - Covers intermediate and slightly advanced topics in tonal music theory.
  • Music Theory for the Short Attention Span - Essential music theory knowledge, briefly explained.
  • Music Theory Help Site - Intermediate music theory help covering basics through beginning formal analysis and counterpoint.
  • Music Theory Instruction - Online instruction for all musicians beginner or advanced. Covers scales, chordal theory, progression theory, modes and foreign scales.
  • The Music Theory Minute - Online music theory tutorials for beginning students.
  • Music Theory Society of New York State - Provides a forum for the exchange of information and to promote music theory as a scholarly and pedagogical discipline. Site also contains membership and scholarship information as well as open calls for papers.
  • Music Worksheets - Downloadable worksheets for elementary and middle school students.
  • The Musical Intervals Tutor - Offers interactive music intervals and self-testing.
  • The Musical Octave - Thomas V√°czy Hightower's study of musical scales. Discuses the meta-physical properties of music and the creation of musical scales from an acoustic and mathematical perspective.
  • Nuottila - Online ear training fundamentals site. [Requires Java]
  • Pattern Thinking in Music - Offers visual aid to recognizing musical patterns occurring in melody, harmony and rhythm. Provides online demonstration; requires download.
  • Polytempo Music Articles - Articles by John Greschak. Includes an annotated bibliography of polytempo music.
  • Ricci Adams' Musictheory.net - Includes introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, ear trainers, and books.
  • SchenkerGuide - An introduction to Schenkerian analysis for undergraduate music students. Includes background, working method, glossary and bibliography.
  • Schoen Musical Notation - Julius Schoens alternative to traditional musical notation, has music notation documents, reference, and discussion.
  • Sight-Reading Rhythmic Patterns - Rhythmic exercises with accompanying MIDI files.
  • Simplified Music Chord Theory - Explains scales and building chords from them.
  • Skytopia: Music and Art Aesthetics - Author's overview of how every piece of music, every sound, and every picture can be rated on its own merits outside (as well as inside) human opinion.
  • Society for Music Theory - Includes a database of journal article from the SMT Journal.
  • Solomon's Music Resources - Resources for composers, music theorists, and researchers of music, with sound files, papers and compositions.
  • Star Theory - Free preparatory syllabus in music theory and orchestration.
  • Technical Committee on Musical Acoustics - A group within the Acoustical Society of America, that concerns itself with the application of science and technology to the field of music. Contains members, a list of papers, acousticians and links.
  • Teoria - Includes software, books, exercises, and links.
  • Theory on the Web - Intermediate music theory review for college students.
  • The Tonal Centre - Interactive site for music composers and theorists which explains and demonstrates some of the key concepts of tonality; including chords, scales, cadences, and modulation.
  • Tonality Guide - Fundamentals of tonality and music theory created as an online teaching tool with written and aural examples.
  • 8-Tone Quarto-Modes Concept - Information with mp3 files, an introduction to the "diminished-major" and its applications.
  • VCU Music Theory Resources - Music theory and ear training resources from Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Visualizing Music: A Model of Harmony - Visual model of music which geometrically describes relationships in harmony.
  • What is Music - Solving a Scientific Mystery - Provide information on the book by Philip Dorrell which explains a new scientific theory about music: the super-stimulus theory.
  • WholeArts - Music Conservatory - Introductory dialogue for courses in music theory and composition.

More Links!

Index to music theory and history topics
Freshman theory resources, SMTP
Capistrano Elementary
Great website from an elementary school which explains all the basic

Theory exercises and lessons from Duke

Musicianship Quickfacts
An incredibly concise collection of info for reference

Basic Music Test
A practice test similar to our Freshman Theory Placement Test

Introduction to Music Theory and Aural Skills (a programmed course)

Free Music Theory Workbook

Donald in Mathmagic land Part 1

Donald in Mathmagic Land Part 2

Set finder

Matrix generator
Basic Rules for Species Counterpoint

Melodic organization and devices
Illustrated with real musi

Melodic Contour with listening excerpt

Mozart cells for composition ideas
Nonharmonic Tones
Real music examples
Neighboring tones, escape tones, appoggiaturas in .swf

Principles of melody

Decorative pitches (melodic embellishments)

MusicTheory.net lessons: Nonharmonic tones

How to develop a melody

Nonharmonic tones

Augmentation, diminution, inversion, retrograde

Phrases and cadences

Phrases and cadences

Picardy thirds in flash

Sequences excerpts in flash or pdf

Key signatures and other related fears

Scales and modes
Aural recognition in real music

Scale degrees
Illustrated in real music

Scale degree games

Scales and modes

Build a major scale

MusicTheory.net lessons: Major scales

MusicTheory.net lessons: Minor scales

Major & minor scales in classical excerpts

MusicTheory.net lessons: Scale degrees

Church modes

Octatonic scale

Jazz Keys
Scales and chords on a virtual piano

Drills in clef reading, intervals, scales, key signatures, chords

Flash shows staff & octave designation

Piano Mouse
Online drill to identify notes in bass and treble clef

Basic notation explained
Treble clef flashcards
Bass clef flashcards
Alto clef flashcards
Diagram of genesis of grand staff

Octave registers

Free software to download which teaches proficiency in reading notes in both clefs

Mensural Notation

Modulation Types
A handy table for step-by-step analysis

Modulation by diminished 7th

Modulation by augmented 6ths

Modulation by Neapolitan


Great page with midi examples for each type
Texture, aural recognition
Illustrated with real music

The Amazing Chord Keyboard
Chord Keyboard in minor
Chord spelling

Table of chord functions for musical analysis

Chord qualities
Illustrated in real music

Chord Calculator


Figured Bass in a nutshell

Circle progressions

Common chord progressionsl

Harmonic function and progression


Chord identification and labeling

Secondary dominants

Secondary dominants, aural recognition
Illustrated in real music

Basic rules of harmonic progression

Harmonic progressions

Sound files real music illustrate cadence types

When to use triads in first inversion

When to use triads in second inversion

6/4 chords

MusicTheory.net lessons: Triad inversions

MusicTheory.net lessons: Diatonic triads

MusicTheory.net lessons: Intro to Roman Numeral Analysis

MusicTheory.net lessons: Roman numeral analysis of "Oh Canada"

MusicTheory.net lessons: Roman numeral analysis of "Auld Lang Syne"

Building chords by intervals - M, m, d, A

Mode mixture

Borrowed chords
Hilarious song

Modal mixture and borrowed chords excerpts in .swf

Interchanging diatonic chords from the minor scales

Augmented 6ths/Neapolitans

Neapolitan 6th explanation and examples

Building Neapolitan chords

Using Neapolitan chords

Neapolitan analysis - excerpt from Moonlight Sonata

Neapolitan examples in .swf, .pdf. & .mov

Intro to 7th chords

Diatonic 7th chords - analyze each type in a scale

7th Chord Inversions

Dominant 7th chords, speed quizzes

Seventh Chords
7th chord identification drill

Harmonic dictation
Real music

Intervals aural recognition
Illustrated in real music

MusicTheory.net lessons: Intervals calculated by half-steps

MusicTheory.net lessons: Intervals, enharmonic mistakes

MusicTheory.net lessons: Interval inversions

MusicTheory.net lessons: M, m, d, A intervals

Principles of part-writing

Part-writing Quick Reference Guidelines

Voicing chords writing chords in each inversion


How to Harmonize a melody in 4 parts

Aural recognition of meters
Real music

Art Levine rhythms
2 measure rhythm patterns, Brazilian origin, for rhythm practice or ostinato

Hear and identify meters from excerpts

Odd meter

Simple/compound meter irregular meter

Simple and compound meter

Binary Form


Big Ears
Use to drill musical intervals

Excellent practice in drills and ear-training.

chord section includes aural drill in recognizing all types of 7th chords (2484!)

melodic dictation exercises

more melodic dictation

Good Ear
On-line ear-training exercises

Dictation drill in rhythm, bass line and melody

Ear-training exercises

Midi-based ear-training guide

List of songs to remember intervals

Analytical Listening

Form - Analysis - Composition

Video review of Form Stephen Lias

Quick Guide to Musical Forms Tim Foxon

Sonata form

Theme and variations




Form basics in order of size of section

Variation and rondo form


download a free figured-bass font

Textures and accompaniment types

Working with young composers

Jazz improvisation Primer

10 Technical Blunders Songwriters Make

Interactive composition of contemporary sounds

Poems in public domain for lyrics

Finale Page
Finale tips and instructions related to specific courses