Theory and Practice of Tonal Music I


Diatonic harmony; two-part species counterpoint; introduction to classical form and composition of small forms; analysis of popular music and study of popular idioms; and aural skills including singing, dictation, keyboard harmony, and score reading.


Students may take a music theory and aural skills placement exam to pass out of Music 261. The theory portion of the exam tests students’ knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, form, and popular idioms; the aural skills section tests their keyboard, sight reading, and dictation abilities. The theory faculty administers the music theory and aural skills placement exam once before (or near the beginning of) the start of each semester.

Please contact the Coordinator of Music Theory, Nicholas Stoia ( to find out when the test is given. Please keep in mind that AP Theory does not automatically—or even typically—exempt a student from Music 261.

Students majoring or minoring in Music MUST complete the core requirements (MUS261, MUS361, MUS461, MUS255S, MUS256S, MUS257, MUS258) for a letter grade. S/U grading will NOT count toward the completion of the Music major or minor.

Curriculum Codes
  • ALP
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring