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Free course

Introduction to music theory 1: form

Free statement of participation on completion
Introduction to music theory 1: form

In this free course, you will learn how to identify musical form through close engagement with recorded music, and studying examples of folk, popular, and classical music from several world traditions. You will explore a number of methods of representing form, including alphabetical designations (e.g., AABA), genre-specific terminology (e.g., terms such as ‘verse’ and ‘chorus’) and visual representations (e.g., diagrams, tables).

This course is adapted from the Open University course A234 Understanding Music. It is first in a sequence of eight courses that will each introduce different aspects of music theory.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand musical form as constituted through musical repetition, variation, and contrast 
  • perceive the unfolding of musical form in recordings of several styles of music
  • understand how form is represented using alphabetic designations, genre-specific terminology, and visual representations
  • use such representations to describe musical form.

First Published: 19/09/2023

Updated: 19/09/2023

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