Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint Core

The tonal harmony and counterpoint core, in combination with arrangingharmonyconducting, ear training, and music technology courses, will provide you with a broad-based musical vocabulary, important skills for your major studies, and a well-rounded musical background.

Through the successful completion of the tonal harmony and counterpoint core courses, students will be able to analyze and compose music based on harmonic and formal models from the common practice period (baroque, classical, and romantic eras of European classical music), and understand and be able to articulate how the common practice period techniques form the basis for harmony and melody in the bulk of contemporary popular music. The tonal harmony and counterpoint series provides additional context for students in their MHIS-200 level series of courses, which explore the history of music in the European tradition.

For composition, film scoring, and contemporary writing and production majors, this sequence forms the essential background for much of their more advanced work. Music education majors take CM-251: Traditional Materials and Structure 1 and CM-252: Traditional Materials and Structure 2 instead of CM-211 and CM-212. Those cover the same subject matter, but require teaching by the students as part of the course workload.

Entrance Requirements

Successful completion of PW-111: Music Application and Theory.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of this program, students will:

  1. Compose short works based on the formal, harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, contrapuntal, and textural practices of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras of European classical music;
  2. Analyze the harmony, melody, formal, and contrapuntal components of music from the common practice period;
  3. Understand and articulate connections between common practice period musical techniques and those of contemporary popular music and jazz; and
  4. Incorporate common practice period musical techniques into their own creative work.
Department: 
Required Courses

CM-211: Tonal Harmony and Composition 1

CM-212: Tonal Harmony and Composition 2

CP-210: The Art of Counterpoint