Music theory: introduction to score reading

Course Dates: 09/07/24 - 30/07/24
Time: 15:30 - 17:30
Location: Keeley Street
Learn to navigate diferent types of classical music scores, analyse musical features, and identify style and period. Suitable for those with music theory knowledge at equivalent of ABRSM Grade 5 and upwards.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00
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Music theory: introduction to score reading
  • Course Code: MG446D
  • Dates: 09/07/24 - 30/07/24
  • Time: 15:30 - 17:30
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Trish Shaw

Course Code: MG446D

Choose a start date  

Tue, day, 09 Jul - 30 Jul '24

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Through study of scores and listening to recordings, you will develop your ability to read, recognise and understand key elements of musical language and style in Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and early 20th Century musical periods. You will develop your confidence in differentiating between styles and forms (which forms an important strand of Grade 6+ music theory curriculum).

What will we cover?

- Layout of different types of scores (piano, vocal, choral, chamber music, small orchestra)
- Recognising C clefs, and transposing voices/instruments (e.g. tenor voice, clarinet in Bb)
- Recognising characteristic musical textures (e.g. homophonic, polyphonic, imitative)
- Recognising rhythmic and melodic features of each style period
- Recognising the main indications of keys and harmonic progressions (e.g. cadences, modulations)
- Other elements of music, e.g. dynamics, expression
- Using listening while score reading to develop your inner ear.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Follow a simple score with confidence, developing your inner ear through listening while reading a score
- Identify the voices and instruments used, and some their specific musical symbols (e.g. string bowing, slurs for voices/winds)
- Identify the keys and form of a piece
- Identify the broad style of a piece of Western music (from Renaissance to early 20th century).

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Suitable only for those with knowledge of music theory at Grade 5 standard or higher.
You will need to be able to read music fluently (treble and bass clefs, time signatures, key signatures up to 5 sharps/flats) and have some confidence with the structure of major and minor scales and chords, such as scale degree names (tonic, mediant etc.) and the primary triads in major and minor keys: Tonic (I), Dominant (V) and Subdominant (IV).

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Sessions will comprise tutor presentation, score study, guided listening, class discussion, and exercises. Course materials (handouts, scores, recordings) will be shared via Google Classroom.
You will make best progress if you are able to do some study outside class time, but this is not essential.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring pencil, eraser and notebook; you might also want to bring some manuscript paper.
All musical scores will be provided in class, and audio and other resources will be available outside class time via Google Classroom.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

This course is an excellent introduction to score reading for anyone studying music theory at higher levels (Grade 6 and above), or who just want to improve their understanding of music for their own instrument/voice. You may wish to progress to higher-level Music Theory classes at City Lit, Music history studies, or take one of our wide range of practical courses. Your tutor will be able to advise.

Trish Shaw

Trish trained as a violinist, singer and historical musicologist, with a specialism in music since 1900. She has worked variously as a university and college lecturer, choral conductor and arranger, and orchestral violinist, and has taught a wide range of subjects including choral singing and conducting, composition techniques, music theory, analysis and musicianship, music history, violin and chamber music. She has published and presented at conferences on French music (especially Ravel), and Australian music and cultural history. At City Lit, Trish currently teaches Orchestra workshop and short music history and theory courses. Her interests in the arts also include contemporary theatre, dance and visual arts.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.