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Basic Theory I

Course Code: MUSC 1102
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

An introduction to the rudiments of music theory. No previous knowledge of music is required. Open to all students, but priority will be given to full-time Basic Musicianship Program students.

Course Content

  1. Pitch Notation
    • The staff, the grand staff
    • Treble and Bass clefs
    • Notes
    • Ledger lines
    • Pitch and the Keyboard
    • Octave registers, 8va, 8vb
    • Accidentals
    • Tones and Semitones
    • Enharmonic Equivalents
  2. Time Notation
    • Note values
    • Dots
    • Stems, flags, beams
    • Ties
    • Rests
  3. Meter
    • Simple meters
    • Compound meters
    • Anacrusis
    • Guidelines for rhythmic notation
  4. Tonality
    • Tonal centre
    • Major scales, key signatures
    • Relationship of major and minor keys (relative, parallel)
    • Minor scales, key signatures
    • Natural, harmonic and melodic forms of minor scale
    • Circle of fifths
    • Scale degrees
  5. Intervals
    • Numerical value
    • Quality
    • Inversion
    • Melodic and harmonic
  6. Basic Performance Indications
    • Tempo, changes in tempo
    • Dynamics, changes in dynamic
    • Expressive indications
    • Articulation

Methods of Instruction

Lectures will include explanation of concept by the instructor and practice of the concept by the student in the form of written exercises.

Means of Assessment

Speed Drills (minimum of 10) 10%
Homework checks 5%
Quizzes (minimum of 10) 30%
Tests (minimum of 2) 10%
Assignments (minimum of 2) 10%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Examination 20%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic rudiments of music.

course prerequisites


MUSC 1103 or MUSC 1104

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.