Music Theory for Non-Music Majors, 3rd edition

  • Peter Spencer

Music Theory for Non-Music Majors

ISBN-13:  9780131487550

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  • Paperback

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Music Theory for Non-Music Majors is designed for the student who wishes to gain a thorough understanding of the basic principles of music theory, but who is not immediately interested in making a career out of music.

Chapters 1-4 cover the basic elements of notation, major and minor scales, scale degrees, simple meter, and melodic intervals.

Chapter 5 applies the materials of the first four chapters to analyzing and composing melodies.

Chapters 6 and 7 address triads, seventh chords, compound meter, and some basic principles of music notation.

Chapter 8 applies the materials of the entire text to analyzing and composing songs that consist of a melody with a simple harmonic accompaniment.

Because learning is best accomplished by doing, each chapter contains numerous carefully graduated exercises that follow concise text with clear musical examples, notes, and diagrams. In Chapters 5 and 8, the two pivotal chapters of the book, the exercises challenge students' imaginations in addition to their grasp of the information.

New to the third edition:
  • Extra pieces for analysis in Chapters 5 and 8
  • Simple exercises in ear training—with introductory text—for the aural identification of scales, intervals, triads, and seventh chords (Chapters 2, 4, 6 and 7)
  • At the author's website
    • Interactive exercises associated with the contents of Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7
    • Interactive exercises in ear training (Chapters 2, 4, 6, and 7)
    • All the pieces in the text, designed for analysis, in both video and audio formats including a variety of different instrumental sounds

Table of contents

1. The Keyboard and Basic Elements of Notation.

2. Major and Minor Scales.

3. Scale Degrees, Key Signatures, Note Values, and Simple Meter.

4. Melodic Intervals.

5. Melody.

6. Triads, Compound Meter, Principles of Notation.

7. Seventh Chords, Chord Symbols.

8. Harmony and Melody.

Appendix A: Additional Pieces for Analysis.

Appendix B: International Acoustic Society Note Designations.

Appendix C: Tempo, Dynamic and Expression Marks.


Published by Pearson (July 8th 2004) - Copyright © 2005