Peabody’s Music Theory Curriculum

Undergraduate Music Theory courses at the Peabody Conservatory are designed for students who are completing the Bachelor of Music degree at the Peabody. Music Theory comprises a significant portion of the first two years of study. It is not sufficient for conservatory students to take only Music Theory I. Rather, to keep pace with the requirements of a conservatory degree, freshman students must take Music Theory I (710.111), Ear-training and Sight-singing I (710.123), and Keyboard Studies I (710.155). This tends to be a prohibitive course load for Homewood students, particularly since these classes are only offered mornings, and Ear-training and Sight-singing meets five days a week. Moreover, if, on the basis of our placement test SACRE, an entering freshman student does not place directly into these classes, that student must also take Music Theory Fundamentals (710.011) and/or Ear-Training Fundamentals (710.023) in addition to the three classes previously enumerated. Students who are enrolled in degree programs at the Peabody must take their Music Theory courses at the Peabody.

The Peabody-Homewood Theory Curriculum

To address the needs of Johns Hopkins students who wish to minor in music or who simply wish to take classes in Music Theory, Peabody’s Department of Music Theory now offers a series of courses on the Homewood campus.

There are four levels of classes offered at Homewood:

    This course introduces written and aural music fundamentals including notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm, meter and sightsinging. Composition of melodies and short pieces as well as listening projects will be undertaken. There are no pre-requisites for this course. (2 credits)
    Introduction to basic principles of tonal music through listening, analysis and music making. Students study melody, harmony, voice leading, figured bass and dissonance treatment, and will also undertake short composition projects. Prerequisite: Qualifying examination or Rudiments of Music Theory and Musicianship. (3 credits)
    This course continues the written and aural work of the previous course but focuses on chromatic harmony while continuing the study of melody, counterpoint and figured bass. Prerequisite: Music Theory and Musicianship I. (3 credits)
    376.214 – Formal Analysis
    376.215 – Twentieth Century
    376.216 – Counterpoint
    376.217 – Song
    For the third semester of Music Theory, students have a choice between four elective seminars which cycle every two years. Prerequisite: Music Theory and Musicianship II. (3 credits)

Students who wish to earn the minor in Music must complete Music Theory and Musicianship I-II and at least one of the Music Theory III electives. The rudiments class is offered for students who do not have the background and basic facility with notation and fundamentals to be successful in Music Theory and Musicianship I. Students may test out of Music Theory and Musicianship I with a successful demonstration of their skills on our placement test, the Speed And Competency Rudiments Examination (SACRE). The SACRE is administered before the start of the Fall and Spring semesters.

More information on the minor can be found here.