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An introduction to music theory

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Gain an understanding of the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation. This free course, An introduction to music theory, will introduce you to music staves, clefs, rhythmic and pitch values, rhythmic metre and time signatures. This OpenLearn course provides an introduction to music theory pitched at a level equivalent to Grades 1–3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams. You can test your understanding as you proceed by completing simple multiple-choice questions.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation
  • understand music theory to the level demanded by Grade 3 of the Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music theory syllabus
  • understand music theory to a level required to move on to Open University Level 2 and Level 3 Music courses, e.g. A224 Inside Music.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 8 hours
  • Updated Friday 26th February 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Music
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An introduction to music theory

Introduction

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This free course, An introduction to music theory, introduces you to the basic concepts of western music notation and music theory that you need to know before you embark on the Open University course A224 Inside music [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . It covers ground similar to that found in the syllabus of the Associated Board Theory Grades 1–3 (ABRSM, 2011).

Sound files have been provided for all the music notation examples as it is important for you to be able to listen to the sounds represented by the notation. There is an audio bar below each notated example; click on the button on the left side to play and pause the relevant sound file.

This free course is recommended preparatory material for the Open University course A224 Inside music.

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