03507 - Musical Theory

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students: - know and acquire the basic instruments of musical notation and reading; - read and interpret a musical score; - understand the essential elements of musical analysis and mature specific skills in reading the elements that characterize the score; - learn the basic instruments to analyze the main forms of Western art music, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, with references to the previous and subsequent repertoire.

Course contents

The basic notions of grammar and logic of Western music will be dealt with, with reference to musical notation, the concepts of time, metre and rhythm, tonality and construction of scales, classification of intervals, chords, transposing instruments.

The students will be able to practice, with laboratory methodology, on:

- reading and writing of modern musical notation;
- elements of music theory and grammar;
- elements of harmony;
- elements of musical analysis, vocabulary and musical forms;
- scales and keys;
- intervals;
- melody and harmony;
- chords and cadences;
- modulations;
- basso continuo.


Basic bibliography

  • J. W. Solomon, Music Theory Essentials, New York and London, Routledge, 2019;
  • W. Ziegenrücker, ABC Musica. Manuale di teoria musicale con esercizi, Milan, Rugginenti, 2016 (or previous editions);
  • F. Della Seta (a cura di), Breve lessico musicale, Rome, Carocci, 2009;
  • O. Károlyj, La grammatica della musica, Turin, Einaudi, 2000 (or other editions);
  • W. Piston, Harmony, New York, Norton, 1987;
  • P. Hindemith, Teoria musicale e solfeggio, Milan, Suvini Zerboni, 1984;
  • P. Hindemith, Armonia tradizionale: corso sintetico, vol. I, Milan, Curci, 1983.

For these volumes, a reasoned selection of the essential chapters will be indicated during the lessons.

Teaching methods

Lectures, listening and analysis of musical examples. Practical laboratory exercises.

Assessment methods

The verification of learning will take place during the tests of guided listening and analysis of texts and scores.

During the final exam (oral interview), students will report on the bibliography and will try their hand at some exercises related to the topics covered in the lesson.

Teaching tools

The materials useful to conduct the exercises will be made available for the students.

Office hours

See the website of Nicola Badolato