Music lessons are offered in our music studios in Coquitlam and Port Moody, and online.

Rudimentary Theory and Musicianship



This course focuses on a study of the foundational materials of tonal music, from four perspectives: conceptual, theoretical, perceptual, and practical.


The concepts and theories discussed in this course include: sound and its basic properties such as intensity and timbre; the idea of pitch in natural and instrumental sounds; intervals between pitches and their different aural qualities; durational ratios at different time scales, from a single note to a complete composition; the fundamental rhythmic cells of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras; pulsation and the grouping of the beats; the resemblance of tonality and a planetary system; the harmonic series and the origin of chords in nature; some of the successful musical structures in the history of tonal music; as well as others.


Throughout the course these concepts and theories are associated with human perception and put into practice in the context of ear training sessions. Methods used for the development of aural skills include: listening to individual pitches and singing them back; finding the different scale degrees within a tonality using a special melodic pattern based on pitch centricity; identifying melodic and harmonic intervals; focusing on the individual pitches within chords, and singing them as broken chords; extracting the rhythmic skeleton from a melodic line and clapping it back; reading stepwise melodies at sight; singing simple polyphonic music in a group; among others.


Assignments are designed for the review and practice of the course content. For the composition project, students will compose a short tonal piece employing some of the theories studied in the course in their own creative work. Students’ compositions will be performed at the end of the term. Class awareness and participation is also a very important component of this course.


By the end of this course students are expected to have developed the rudimentary theoretical knowledge and basic aural skills for tonal music that will serve as a solid foundation for their future performing and creative musical endeavors.





No textbook is required. Listening, reading and practicing material from various sources will be assigned during the course. A pencil and a music notebook are required for taking notes.

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