Commercial Music Theory


If you are going to be working in the music business, you need to know the difference between “off-key” and “on.” This class covers music theory, ear-training and harmony in a way that relates to commercial and contemporary music.


1. Introduction to the importance of commercial music theory.

2. Eighth notes and rests, beaming eighth notes, dots and ties, rhythmic notation guidelines, eighth-note and eighth-rest placement, other time signatures.

3. Pitch notation, treble clef, bass clef, grand staff, accidentals, key signatures, enharmonic equivalents.

4. Half steps and whole steps, the chromatic scale, the whole tone scale.

5. The major scale, scale degrees, major scales using sharps, major scales using flats, I, IV, V.

6. The natural minor scale, relative major/minor relationship, minor scale syllable names, harmonic minor scale, ascending melodic minor scale, descending melodic minor scale, minor scale key signatures, I, IV, V.

7. Interval naming, perfect and major intervals, major vs. minor, perfect and diminished intervals, augmented intervals, compound intervals, I, IV, V.

8. Final exam.