A strong understanding of the theory of music and how musical ideas are written down is rewarding in and of itself. This comprehension can also improve musical performance and practise techniques, and make formal music assessments (GCSE / A Level) more straightforward.
Working through ABRSM Graded workbooks (and my own supplementary materials), my sessions cover:
- Introduction to musical notation
- Time signatures, rhythm and meter
- Staves and Clefs: Treble, Tenor, Alto, Bass
- Scales, keys, scale degrees, and transposition
- Modality, key signatures and relative keys
- Composition of melody
- Musical terms / symbols etc.
- Chords, triads, inversions, figured bass, cadences etc.
- Musical structure and tonal analysis
- Texture: harmony and counterpoint, canonic and fugal writing
- Avant garde music: atonality and polytonality
Understanding of these areas underpins musicality, and allows musicians of all types to communicate with one another in writing. It is possible, of course, to learn a language without learning how it is written down, but knowing the latter makes working within that language a whole lot easier!