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Music Theory Books

Music theory enriches each students' understanding of music as they explore complex topics in analysis, composition, and music history. Students from level 5 and up will begin to prepare for Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. 

Prep 

Preparatory
First introduction to music notation, including:
• the staff, note and rest values, time signatures
• scales and triads (C major and A minor, natural only)
• exploration of concepts through level-appropriate repertoire

Theory 1

Level 1
Discovery of pitch and notation concepts including:
• accidentals, half steps, whole steps
• intervals (size only)
• scales and key signatures (G major and F major)
• introduction to melody writing and guided listening

Theory 2

Level 2
New concepts include:
• major and minor keys with one sharp or flat
• application of time signatures, bar lines, rests
• the harmonic minor scale
• chord symbols for tonic triads

Theory 3

Level 3
New concepts include:
• major and minor keys up to two sharps or flats
• perfect and major intervals
• octave transposition
• the melodic minor scale
• dominant triads

Theory 4

Level 4
New concepts include:
• major and minor keys up to three sharps or flats
• transposition with change of clef
• minor intervals
• subdominant triads
• writing four-measure melodies

Theory 5

Level 5
Summative review of Preparatory–Level 4
New concepts include:
• major and minor keys up to four sharps or flats
• triad inversions and dominant 7th chords
• expanded melody writing
• analysis through repertoire exploration
• practice exam questions

Theory 6

Level 6
New concepts include:
• double sharp and flat
• transposition of major key melodies up by any interval
• compound meter
• augmented and diminished intervals
• identification of half and authentic cadences
• introduction to Baroque and Classical style

Theory 7

Level 7
New concepts include:
• transposition to any key, up or down
• inversion of intervals
• chromatic, whole-tone, octatonic, pentatonic, blues scales
• diminished, augmented triads; diminished 7th chord
• melody writing in minor keys
• introduction to Romantic and Modern eras

Theory 8 

Level 8
New concepts include:
• alto and tenor clefs
• transposition to concert pitch; score types
• hybrid meters
• compound intervals
• triads built on any scale degree
• cluster, quartal, and polychords
• introduction to Medieval, Renaissance, and world music

Theory 9 History 

Level 9 History
An overview and introduction to:
• the materials of music
• the Baroque Era (Vivaldi, Bach, Handel)
• the Classical Era (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven)
• the Romantic Era (Schubert, Chopin, Berlioz, Bizet)
• the Modern Era (Debussy, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Louie, Adams)

Theory 9 Harmony

An overview and introduction to:
• fundamentals of harmonic language
• introduction to two- and four-part writing
• melody writing and melodic decoration
• harmonic and structural analysis (including 18th-century dances and inventions)

Theory 10 History 

Level 10 History
Detailed exploration of genres and styles including:
• the Middle Ages (chant, organum, motet, chanson, instrumental dance music)
• the Renaissance Era (motet, mass, madrigal, chanson, keyboard music)
• the Baroque Era (opera, cantata, concerto grosso, orchestral suite, keyboard music)
• the Classical Era (symphony, oratorio, opera, piano concerto, sonata, chamber music)

Theory 10 Harmony 

Intermediate concepts including:
• leading-tone diminished 7th chord
• dominant 9th and 13th chords
• sequences • melody writing (16-measure binary form)
• sonata form, rondo form, and fugal exposition