Queen's University

Theory and Analysis 1 [MUSC 191]

Theory and Analysis 1 MUSC 191/3.0

Diatonic voice-leading and harmony, principles of form and small structures (binary, ternary) through part-writing and analysis. 

LEARNING HOURS:    240 (72L;24T;144P)

PREREQUISITE (Registration in a MUTH or MUSC Specialization Plan) or a grade of A- in MUSC 104/3.0 or a grade of B+ in MUSC 105/3.0 or permission of the School.*

*Students having received 80% or higher on a conservatory advanced rudiments exam or can demonstrate a thorough knowledge of music rudiments may receive permission to enrol in the course by contacting: kim.gudlauski@queensu.ca

PROFESSOR:   John Burge


Check out this video of Dr. Burge performing his composition OSCILLATIONS at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, a work written in recognition of Dr. Arthur McDonald’s 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, Queen’s University’s only Nobel Prize.




TEXTBOOK: This full-year course relies heavily on students completing weekly harmony, counterpoint and music analysis assignments in pencil that gradually increase the student’s knowledge of diatonic harmony. This is a foundational course that is the musical equivalent of a language’s grammar and as the concepts and best practices accumulate, success in this course requires constant practise and drill. It is for this reason that students are required to own a physical copy of the course’s textbook and workbook, Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony by Burstein, which are sold together in one package.

Queen’s Campus Bookstore has indicated that the textbook will be available for purchase and delivery on August 1, 2020 so don’t hesitate to get this material early, especially if a student would benefit by working through the rudiments material at the beginning of the book.  This link goes to the textbook order page: https://www.campusbookstore.com/textbooks/search-engine/results?Course=MUSC22148

ONLINE SUPPORT AND DRILLS: The textbook comes with a passcode to some great online resources and drills. Bonus marks are given for completing all of the assigned drills before the Final Exam. Of particular interest will be the animated videos that breakdown particular concepts into easy-to-follow steps. Ideally students should have access to a piano or electronic keyboard to try playing their own harmonizations but the instructor will prepare a number of weekly videos which include musical demonstrations from the piano and detailed advice that can be watched asynchronously each week.

ZOOM CLASS:This course will have one scheduled collective class time on ZOOM during which the instructor will correct workbook exercises that students have submitted anonymously prior to the class or provide by sharing their screen. Although attendance is not required, there is a participation mark that is earned by having workbook exercises corrected at this ZOOM class which will be recorded for students to review later. Answers to all the workbook questions are posted online after this ZOOM class for students to correct their own work or review later. This ZOOM class will also provide a chance for students to ask questions about the previous week’s assignment. This ZOOM class will be recorded for students to watch later.

ASSIGNMENTS:Workbook exercises do not receive any grades but instead, are used to prepare students to complete that week’s harmony assignment which the instructor prepares specifically each year. It is so easy to make mistakes in learning the principles of good harmonic writing such that trying to complete the harmony assignment without doing the workbook exercises first is not advisable. Students will download the assignment from OnQ, complete it in pencil, scan it and then upload it to OnQ for grading. Students must, therefore, have access to a printer but should note that there are a number of great cellphone apps that create excellent scans of documents (the instructor highly recommends: Scannable). Assignments are generally due on Fridays but there is a three-day grace period during which late assignments can be submitted without penalty. As soon as the graded assignments are returned to students, any late assignment submitted will be corrected but given a grade of zero. There are 20 assignments in this course, each worth 1% of the final grade.

ZOOM TUTORIALS: Because this course runs in FW, the three, one-hour tutorial times will remain the same for the Fall and are placed on Thursday afternoons from 2:30-5:30 pm (Kingston time) and will be conducted using ZOOM. ZOOM’s screen sharing and annotation features make this kind of tutorial very successful. Attendance is not taken at the tutorials, but most students attend at least a portion of tutorial to have the professor look over that week’s assignment. Because of the difficulties created by students residing in different time zones, it is anticipated that by consensus, one of the Fall term tutorial hours will be moved to Thursday evening (Kingston time). Again, students will need to scan the work done on the assignment prior to the tutorial. Tutorials are not recorded.  

EXAMS:This course works best when there are proctored midterm and end-of-term exams but this kind of exam is very hard to administer online since the exam must be printed and completed in pencil. For the Fall term, an individualized midterm and end-of-term exam will be prepared for each student. The professor will email this individualized exam directly to each student and extra time will be provided to cover printing and scanning time. Once completed, the exam will be uploaded to OnQ. The professor will be available by email or phone throughout the exam to answer questions. It is anticipated that there will be two start times for an exam to accommodate time zone differences. 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:Ensuring that students complete their own work is crucial to being successful in this course.  Because the material is accumulative, any student tempted to get help completing an exam will not be prepared to write the Winter term exams which will ideally take place in Kingston and be proctored. Additionally, if students collaborate to complete an assignment, they generally duplicate the same mistakes on both assignments and it is very easy for the professor to notice these kinds of similar errors. Jeopardizing your academic career at Queen’s through a breach of academic integrity to complete a harmony assignment seem ill-advised. Finally, do note that students need 60% in MUSC-191 to proceed to MUSC-292 (Theory and Analysis 2).

LEARNING HOURS:    240 (72L;24T;144P)


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