Music Theory


Lesson 1

Introduction to Music

Music, in its most simple definition, is sound through time. Time is a crucial element, since music cannot be experienced at once, the way a painting or sculpture can. Some may argue that a quick glance at a score (the actual notation of a musical work) is equivalent to viewing a painting or sculpture, but music notation is really just a recipe for the performer to follow, and not the artwork itself. Music notation has evolved gradually over the centuries to better reflect contemporary musical thought.

This course covers the notation and organization of music written during what has been called the common practice period (1600-1900). This is a rough approximation, since popular music to this day is written according to these rules. Therefore, this webcourse in music theory will allow you to analyze art music written between 1600 and 1900, as well as popular music from 1900 to the present.

Ultimately, the purpose of this webcourse it to explain the notation and organization of music's two elements: sound and time. We will delve into these two issues in ever greater detail in the following lessons.



© Copyright 2005 

Mark McFarland