Dr. Mark McFarland's

Music Theory WebCourse



Welcome to the GSU Music Theory WebCourse.  This webcourse has been designed primarily for students who would like to brush up on their music fundamentals skills before their classes begin.  The material contained in the following seventeen lessons comprises what is often referred to as "music fundamentals."  Students who have had some music theory in the past—whether in high school, private lessons, or summer music camp—will be able to master all seventeen lessons with diligence.  Those students who have never heard the phrase “music theory” before will still find much of the information very familiar, especially lessons 1-7.

         Music theory builds on itself, and so each of the following lessons are to be studied and mastered before the next is attempted.  Each lesson covers one or two related concepts, illustrated with plenty of musical examples to clarify each point. Some of these examples can even be heard by clicking on the music itself or on a nearby link. Viewing and hearing these musical examples will be a great help in the learning process, so if you have a slow modem please be patient and wait for the examples to load—they are worth the wait!  At the end of each lesson there is a test of ten questions.  Please write your answers down—many questions require manuscript paper—before checking your results against the answer sheet provided online.  If you do well and feel you understand the material presented in the lesson just completed, go on to the next lesson.  However, if you feel that you have not yet mastered the material, go back and review the lesson again.  Reading through the lesson once more often helps, as does playing or singing the musical examples.  After this type of thorough review, the lesson material will usually be made clearer.  If this is not the case, please feel free to ask a question via email.  You can write me, Dr. Mark McFarland, at mmcfarland@gsu.edu.  I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

The ultimate goal of this Music Theory WebCourse is the mastery of music fundamentals, which is a prerequisite class for those undergraduate students who do not pass the music fundamentals entrance exam given on the Wednesday before the beginning of the Fall and Spring semester each year. A description of this test, including the type of questions used and number of questions from each lesson, is described in lesson 18. This test can be found by clicking on "Lesson 18" below.

         Good luck with the following lessons!









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© Copyright 2005

Mark McFarland