Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 5
Hours: 4 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (84 total per quarter)
Advisory: MUS 12A strongly recommended.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will produce a simple musical composition applying the principles of basic four-part harmony.
  • Analyze simple compositions identifying triads in root position and inversions using Roman numerals, figured bass, and popular chord symbols.
  • Training in hearing the different musical intervals.


Introduction to the fundamentals of music and their application to composition and music literature. Notation, scales, intervals, triads, essential cadential formulas and phrase structure and their use in basic composition. Musicianship skills to include melodic dictation with leaps within the triad, rhythmic dictation in different meters, ear recognition of intervals, triad qualities including inversions, and dominant seventh chords, sight-singing simple step-wise melodies.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. notate correctly and read pitches on the treble, bass, and alto clefs using letter names, solfege syllables, and scale degree numbers.
  2. notate correctly and read simple and compound duple, triple, and quadruple meters.
  3. notate and read various rhythmic patterns.
  4. notate major and minor scales and recognize their use in simple melodies.
  5. transpose melodies to different keys.
  6. analyze basic diatonic chord progressions.
  7. notate and identify major and minor key signatures.
  8. notate and identify diatonic intervals (major, minor, diminished, augmented) up to one octave.
  9. notate and identify triads in root position and inversion using Roman numerals, figured bass, and popular chord symbols.
  10. notate and identify standard cadences (perfect authentic, imperfect authentic, half cadence, plagal, and deceptive).
  11. write and complete simple four part harmony exercises.
  12. identify phrases and periods in notated music.
  13. demonstrate musicianship skills:
    1. take dictation of melodies with leaps from primary triads.
    2. take dictation of rhythms with divided beats and in different meters.
    3. aurally identify intervals up to the octave, both ascending and descending.
    4. aurally identify qualities, inversions, and soprano notes of triads.
    5. aurally identify dominant seventh chords.
    6. perform rhythms with divided beats in different meters.
    7. sight-sing melodies (with solfege) including leaps within the primary triads.

Course Content

  1. Notation: notation of pitch (letter names, solfege, scale degree numbers), the clefs, octave identification, accidentals, intervals, notation of duration, irregular division of notes, meter signatures, dynamic markings
  2. Scales, tonality, key and modes: diatonic scales, major scales, minor scales (natural, melodic, harmonic, key signatures, scale relationships (parallel and relative)
  3. Intervals: major, minor, and perfect intervals; augmented and diminished intervals, enharmonic intervals, inversion of intervals, compound intervals, invertible counterpoint
  4. Chords: harmony, triads, triad roots, major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads, scale degree names, primary triads, dominant seventh chords, Roman numeral analysis, root positions and inversions, figured bass, popular music symbols
  5. Basic cadential formulas and phrase structure
  6. Basic properties of sound
  7. Non-harmonic tones
  8. Basic four-part writing principles
  9. Musicianship skills:
    1. Sight-singing of melodies with leaps within the primary triads
    2. Analysis and description of phrase structure within simple melodic forms
    3. Melodic dictation in major and minor keys in different meters
    4. Aurally identifying melodies within a harmonic context
    5. Aurally singing and identifying intervals
    6. Aurally identifying major and minor triads and dominant seventh chords
    7. Rhythmic dictation in simple and compound meters
    8. Sight-reading and performance of two and three part rhythmic exercises
    9. Detection of errors in rhythm, pitch, and intervals

Lab Content

Weekly supervised lab exercises in the Music Lab. Each lab exercise may be individual or consist of group activities and covers assigned reading and lecture topics as well as applied musical skills such as sight-singing (solfege), ear training, and rhythmic and melodic dictation.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Classroom with midi keyboards and/or pianos, staff-lined blackboards, stereo/CD player.
2. When taught on campus: access to a CD player; classroom sound equipment for compact discs, screen, overhead projector, slide projector, VCR and DVD.
3. When taught via Foothill Global Access: ongoing access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Homework assignments based on textbook chapters
Written tests on notation, scales, modes, intervals, triads, and cadences
Aural tests on simple melodies, rhythmic patterns, scales, intervals, and triads
Rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation exercises and quizzes
Comprehensive midterm and final examinations
A graded final composition

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Listening and reading lecture information
Completing written assignments and laboratory exercises demonstrating musicianship skills
Receiving feedback on all assignments, exercises, and drills

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Duckworth, William. A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals, 11th ed. (ISBN: 978-1-285-44620-2). 2015.

Fontrier, Gabriel, Leo Kraft, and Sol Berkowitz. A New Approach to Sight Singing, 6th ed. (ISBN: 0393284913). 2017.

These are the latest editions available for these texts. The Duckworth text provides musical materials specifically written for the study of beginning music theory/fundamental theory and hearing of music. The Fontrier, et al., text provides musical materials specifically written for the study of sight singing and ear-training.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text, online curriculum, lab manual, and outside sources ranging from 40-60 pages per week.
  2. Weekly lecture covering subject matter from text assignment with extended topic information.
  3. Weekly lab exercises in the Music Lab. Each lab exercise may be individual or group activities and covers assigned reading and lecture topics.