Music Theory course III


Aim: to build on the knowledge gained in Popular Music Theory I and II and to prepare the student to sit either a grade 6, 7 or 8 Music Theory exam (optional)




Scales and Keys: this section includes the following:


* Knowledge of the following scales in all keys:


* Major scale *Natural Minor scale * Harmonic Minor scale * Jazz Melodic Minor scale * Minor Pentatonic * Major Pentatonic * Blues Scale * Chromatic scale * Dorian mode * Phyrigian Mode * Lydian Mode * Mixolydian Mode * Locrian Mode * Phyrigian Dominant * Lydian Dominant *Altered scale/Super Locrian * half-whole diminished * whole - half diminished *Whole tone scale


objective: the student will be able to write out any of the scales mentioned above for any key using either the treble or bass clefs; will be able to recognise these scales in notated or letter form.


Chords: this section includes the following:


* Knowledge of the following chords for all possible roots and their notation on the bass and treble clefs


* Major triads * Minor triads * augmented triads * diminished triads * sus 2 * sus 4 * power chords * major 7th * Minor 7th * Dominant 7th * Minor 7th b5 * Major 6th * Minor 6th * Major 9th * Minor 9th * Dominant 9th * Major/Minor 7th * Major 7th #5 * Major 7th b5 * Major 13th * Minor 13th * Dominant 9th sus 4 * Dominant 7th #5 * Dominant 7th b5 * Minor 7th #5 * Dominant 7th b9 * Dominant 7th #9 * Minor 7th b9 * Diminished 7th *plus all other altered dominants

* chord inversions

* slash chords

* polychords

* secondary dominants


objective: the student will be able to write out all of the chord types above for all possible roots; be able to name chord types as abovel and be able to work out chord notes for all of the above.


Rhythm notation: this section includes the following:


* All note types and their equivalent rests including hemidemisemiquavers

* All dotted note types and equivalent rests

* Triplets: including quaver triplets, semi quaver triplets and crotchet triplets

* knowledge of how notes and rests are grouped for both simple and compound time  signatures

* syncopated rhythms

* knowledge of counting strategies for understanding rhythms


Harmony: this section includes the following:


* Knowlege of cadential harmony: perfect, imperfect, interrupted and plagal

* Knowledge of chord progressions built upon major, minor scales and modes

* The application of major, pentatonic major,  natural minor and pentatonic minor scales in  improvisation.

* Diatonic chord progressions (triads and 7ths formulas) for Major, Minor scales and Modes

* The composition and identification of chord progressions involving key changes to near and related keys

* Direct modulation and modulation using pivot chords

* chord substitution: extended chords and the use of passing chords including altered  chords

* Analysing non-diatonic chord progressions

* The application of modes in improvisation

* Playing through chord changes versus playing over chord changes

* Recognition of key changes


objective: by the time the student has reached grade 8 level, the student should be able to analyse any chord progression and choose the correct scales to improvise over it.


Transposition: this section includes the following:


* the student will learn how to transpose both individual lines (bass lines, melody lines) as well as chord progressions into any key and between the treble and bass clefs.