MUS20640 Music Theory 3

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module follows on from Music Theory 2, and further builds on the student’s study of harmony and counterpoint with stylistic composition exercises, focusing on figuration and variation technique, and two-part writing for voices and keyboard. The student’s harmonic vocabulary is expanded with the further study of diatonic and chromatic harmony. Analytical skills are developed through the study of keyboard reductions and aural analysis of more complex musical forms. Practical skills are further developed through keyboard exercises, singing and critical listening.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module the student will:
Demonstrate an awareness of the interaction between figuration and harmony and the basic principles of variation technique by composing a florid solo instrumental part to a given bass;
Be able to reduce an orchestral or choral score to a keyboard texture;
Show an awareness of two-part counterpoint in vocal and keyboard idioms;
Develop a basic awareness of more complex musical forms (ternary, rondo, sonata and fugue);
Understand the basic principles of chromatic harmony, and be able to identify chromatic chords in musical examples;
At the keyboard, demonstrate the ability to realize simple figured-bass textures, harmonise a short melodic fragment, and play common cadential formulas at the keyboard.

Indicative Module Content:

Chapters 17, 22–31, 34 and 38–39 of Burstein & Straus, Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony (New York & London: W. W. Norton, 2016).
Harmonic figuration and variation technique.
Keyboard reductions.
Two-part counterpoint.
Ternary, rondo and sonata forms.
Chromatic harmony (diatonic and applied diminished sevenths, Neopolitan and augmented sixths).
More advanced aural skills.
Reading figured bass and playing cadential formulas at the keyboard.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning










Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
In-person lectures.
Face-to-face tutorials.
Individual listening and practice.
Task-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
MUS10160 - Music Theory & Musicianship 1, MUS10190 - Music Theory 1

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Written assignment: Make keyboard reductions of short excerpts from choral and orchestral scores. Week 4 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Week 11/12 group presentation: Present a brief analysis of a piece of 19th- or early 20th-century keyboard or choral music, discussing the composer's use of texture and chromatic harmony. Week 11 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Mark based on preparation for and participation in tutorials. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Questions on material covered in class. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Practical examination based on material covered in Practical Musicianship classes, and continuous assessment mark based preparation for and participation in Practical Musicianship classes. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Written assignment: Write variations on a given harmonic framework, and complete a simple two-part counterpoint. Week 8 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
David O'Shea Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Connor Wilcox Tutor