Music Theory for Non-Music Majors by Peter SpencerMusic Theory for Non-Music Majors by Peter Spencer

Music Theory for Non-Music Majors

byPeter Spencer, D. Brummitt

Paperback | July 8, 2004

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Written to provide a fundamental understanding of how every day music essentially works, without compromising a solid theoretical approach. It is written in a simple and straightforward manner, using the piano keyboard as a starting point for developing notational and analytic skills. Covers the basic elements of notation; major and minor scales; scale degrees, key signatures, note values, and simple meter; melodic intervals; melody; triads, compound meter, and principles of notation; seventh chords, chord symbols; and harmony and melody. For anyone who wishes to discover the basic principles of music theory.

Title:Music Theory for Non-Music MajorsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 10.9 × 8.7 × 0.8 inPublished:July 8, 2004Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0131487558

ISBN - 13:9780131487550

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Music Theory for Non-Music Majors is a text/workbook for students who are not necessarily planning to make a career out of music, but who wish to reach an understanding of how most of the music they hear every day on the radio or television essentially works. Using the piano keyboard as the starting point, the author systematically introduces the various elements of notation and related concepts that culminate first in the analysis and writing of Melody (Chapter 5), and second in the analysis and writing of Harmony and Melody (Chapter 8). To this end, the chapters are organized in a similar manner. Following an introduction that lays down the groundwork for each chapter, the author combines concise text with clear musical examples and diagrams in preparation for several carefully graduated exercises that test the students' knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, and that gradually sharpen their technical and creative skills. Throughout the text, the author does not compromise a solid theoretical approach for one that allows easy gratification but delivers little substance. On the contrary, he firmly believes that the subject matter must be made accessible through a sound pedagogy; otherwise, students' attention soon wanders and their interest consequently wanes. He believes, also, that to understand and enjoy music more thoroughly, even at a relatively elementary level, its fundamentals must be absorbed by the amateur generally in the same way as they are by the professional, for the musical language is the same for both. The difference lies largely in the breadth of the vocabulary, and in the complexity of the syntax. The page layout of Music Theory for Non-Music Majors is designed to take full advantage of the text/workbook format. The pages are perforated so that students may tear out their exercises for grading. However, to prevent any loss of information, exercises and text are not printed back-to-back on the same page. Furthermore, to allow for rapid feedback and reinforcement, exercises are printed on one side of the page only (on the reverse side there are spaces for the student's name, class, date, and instructor's comments), enabling the student to hand in exercise pages one at a time. The instructor, therefore, has the opportunity to correct and return them with the minimum of delay. Even more immediate feedback is available to students through several of the exercises in which a "mirroring" technique is employed. These exercises, which are designed to be self-graded, involve matching of one kind or another, so that in the first group one part of the matching is given, and in the second group, the other. These mirrored exercises may be found in the following chapters: Chapter 1: Exercises A and B Chapter 2: Exercises A and B Chapter 3: Exercises A and B — C and D Chapter 4: Exercises A and D — B and E — C and F Chapter 6: Exercises A and B Chapter 7: Exercises A and B — C and D Music Theory for Non-Music Majors was conceived for a course of the same name that is a component of the undergraduate liberal studies sequence at Florida State University. There is no reason, however, why this book should not serve as the text for an introductory theory class in high school, for a similar class in an adult continuing education program, or even for a theory class in a private music studio. This text, although initially intended for the undergraduate non-music major, may be of benefit to anyone who wishes to discover the basic principles of music theory. Although the third edition includes extra pieces for analysis in Chapters 5 and 8, the two most significant additions are: (1) simple exercises in ear training—with introductory text—for the aural identification of scales, intervals, triads, and seventh chords (Chapters 2, 4, 6, and 7); (2) online materials, written specifically for this text, at the author's Web site, which include graduated drills in ear training, and all of the pieces for analysis in both video and audio formats. The ear training exercises have been added in response to many wellreasoned requests from adopters of the text. In class, instructors may make use of Exercises A as source material for the ear training exercises (the last set of exercises in Chapters 2, 4, 6, and 7) , or they may, of course, invent their own. The online examples of the pieces for analysis are set for different instrumental sounds, and are intended to help students to answer the analytical questions when they are working on their own. The link to all the online materials may be found at http://mailer.fsu.edu/~pspencer . PETER SPENCER

Table of Contents



1. The Keyboard and Basic Elements of Notation.


2. Major and Minor Scales.


3. Scale Degrees, Key Signatures, Note Values, and Simple Meter.


4. Melodic Intervals.


5. Melody.


6. Triads, Compound Meter, Principles of Notation.


7. Seventh Chords, Chord Symbols.


8. Harmony and Melody.


Appendix A: Additional Pieces for Analysis.


Appendix B: International Acoustic Society Note Designations.


Appendix C: Tempo, Dynamic and Expression Marks.


Index.