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Contemporary Popular Theory II

Course Code: MUSC 2412
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Music
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course continues the study of harmony and form in popular music with emphasis on idiomatic practices of pop and blues styles.

Course Content

1. Harmonic Practices:

  • Folk (Diatonic/Chromatic, Tonal/Modal)
  • Pop (Diatonic/Chromatic, Tonal/Modal)
  • Blues Tonality
  • Reference to Jazz (Chromatic/modal)

2. Form:

  • Popular/Folk song/32-bar forms
  • More advanced Blues Forms
  • Other Pop/Rock forms

3. Repertoire for listening and analysis will continue to be drawn from a wide range of styles such as:

  • Folk/Country
  • Blues/Gospel
  • Ragtime/Jazz
  • Tin Pan Alley/Broadway
  • Rhythm and Blues/Rock and Roll
  • Pop/Rock
  • Hip Hop/Dance/Electronica

4. Other Topics:

  • Basic arranging techniques
    1. keyboard
    2. choral/vocal
    3. small ensemble
    4. rhythm section
  • Score/chart/part conventions
  • Basic Instrumentation topics

Methods of Instruction

Concepts and techniques are presented and discussed in the lectures; assignments are undertaken by the students.

Means of Assessment

Short Assignments (minimum of 3) 15%
Major Projects 20%
Class Participation 10%
Quizzes (minimum of 5) 10%
Tests (minimum of 2) 20%
Final Examination 25%
TOTAL 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student will be able to:

  • identify idiomatic practices in popular music.
  • apply core theoretical concepts used to create characteristic sounds in popular music.
  • harmonize, arrange and compose excerpts in a popular style with or without a given melody, bass line, or chord progression.
  • create charts, scores and parts. 
  • provide written answers to questions on any aspect of the course content.

course prerequisites

MUSC 2312 or special permission of instructor





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.