The Key to Songs (MTH4419.01)

Nicholas Brooke

An intermediate review of theory based on a broad range of pop, classical, and jazz songs from the last centuries and from across the world. We’ll start with a primer on scales, intervals, and basic chordal moves such as the rhythm changes, then progress to chromaticism, modulation, and extended triadic harmonies. Students will compose songs in a variety of styles, but also be asked to source their own playlist for inspiration and analysis. Students must have a decent fluency in notation (check with me), and be willing to tackle in-depth harmonic analyses and aural transcriptions, as well as be eager to compose and perform new songs.


Learning Outcomes:
1. To understand and analyze the chordal and scalar harmonies of a broad range of songs.
2. To be able to digest, reproduce, and compose some of those harmonies in the student's own songwriting.
3. To be introducing to a broad range of songwriting and genres from across the world and within the U.S.


Delivery Method: Remotely accessible
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Some previous songwriting experience.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Theory , Composition , Remotely Accessible
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