The Society for Music Theory promotes the development of and engagement with music theory as a scholarly and pedagogical discipline. We construe this discipline broadly as embracing all approaches, from conceptual to practical, and all perspectives, including those of the scholar, listener, composer, performer, teacher, and student. The Society is committed to fostering diversity, inclusivity, and gender equity in the field.
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Resources for Online Music Theory Teaching
Many of our institutions are moving classes online temporarily or for the rest of the semester. The resources below are intended to serve as references for all theory instructors preparing to move online.
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Table of Contents
- Files Shared on HC
- Open access articles, books, and textbooks
- Websites with Music Theory Content
- Websites with Ear Training Content
- YouTube Channels
- Technology tips and guides
Files Shared on HC
Don’t forget to check the Files tab, where users have uploaded any course materials they want to share. Add your own, too—use the categories “online” and “pedagogy”.
Open access articles, books, and textbooks
- Open Music Theory (OMT) has a very complete, if bare-bones, curriculum
- Contemporary Musicianship has a few chapters up online that discuss extended tertian chords, chromatic harmony, modulation, and form and has also shared PDFs of their assignments
- Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom is a complete and free online textbook by Robert Hutchinson
- A Species Counterpoint Primer (Michael Berry): first, second, and fourth species counterpoint after Fux
Websites with Music Theory Content
- Teoria has lessons and exercises for fundamentals, diatonic harmony, and some chromatic harmony concepts
- Picardy has 1000+ lessons and exercises in core theory topics and is offering free educator and student accounts during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Artusi has online exercises for many theory topics and is free during the COVID-19 outbreak
- uTheory, a web based platform for fundamentals of theory, rhythm, and ear training, with video lessons, individualized practice & proficiency testing is offering free educator licenses through July 1.
- Musition & Auralia are offering free access to their theory and ear-training software through June 30th for affected institutions.
- Theta Music Training has fundamentals exercises
- Rap Analysis — pretty self-explanatory!
- Top 40 Theory has analysis of pop music
- musictheory.net — good tutorials and drills on fundamentals. Also has a mobile app, Tenuto.
- Music Theory Blog and Listening to 20th- and 21st-century music: two blogs by Michael Berry. The first one has pages labeled “partwriting help”–look under “Labels” in the menu hidden on the right-hand side.
- Music Theory Materials has music examples and handouts for a variety of form, fundamentals, and harmony topics
- John Paul Ito’s Music Theory Website has materials for a variety of topics from fundamentals to 20th century. There are lots of lecture notes and assignments; the videos linked there all cover fundamentals, but if you search “John Paul Ito species counterpoint” in YouTube there are also video lectures on species 2-4 (audio isn’t great).
Websites with Ear Training Content
- The recordings that accompany Karpinski’s Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing will be available free of charge during the COVID-19 crisis. Students who already have a Norton account should login there as usual. Those without an account should create an account by registering. In either case, students may use the access code COMMUNITY for free access at this time.
- Teoria has lessons and exercises for basic ear training
- Picardy has 600+ dictations, lessons, and exercises for ear training from fundamentals to advanced undergraduate topics and is offering free educator and student accounts during the COVID-19 outbreak
- uTheory has scale degree/solfege based dictations, real-time rhythm reading & feedback, interval practice, and chord quality/inversion ID, and is offering free educator licenses through July 1.
- TonedEar has lessons and exercises for basic ear training
- John Paul Ito’s Music Theory Website also has ear training resources. These are the Aural Idiom Drill, which lets students drill harmonic idioms (e.g. from Aldwell/Schachter) and instructions and worksheets for using MacGamut that help students target their weak areas more efficiently.
Videos and YouTube Channels
- Fundamentals and diatonic harmony by Seth Monahan
- Assorted music theory topics from 12tone, from fundamentals to pop music to atonal music
- Introductory music theory videos from Michael Berry (covers the basics up to triads and seventh chords)
- Music theory and aural skills videos by Kent Cleland; topics for typical undergraduate harmony and aural skills courses.
- Chromatic harmony and 20th-c. videos by Wes Flinn
- A playlist of fundamentals videos by York College, CUNY
- Post-tonal videos from Zack Bernstein, mainly consistent with Straus text
- Fundamentals and diatonic harmony videos from Kati Meyer
- Dictation assignments from Cynthia Gonzales will be immensely helpful for distance learning aural skills
- Bryn Hughes has a handful of videos on integer notation, prime form, classical periods, and applied chords
- Graduate music theory topics by Megan Lavengood, as well as undergrad set theory videos
Technology tips and guides
- How to get the best-quality audio to combine with your voice when creating video or video chatting is a guide for using Soundflower and LadioCast
- Slack and Discord can both be excellent for doing text-based chat sessions with students for Q&A, despite being designed for corporate environments and gaming, respectively
- Zoom basics for a quick-start guide with plenty of pictures
- Zoom music classroom quickstart guide – assumes basic working knowledge
- Zoom for composition lessons 15-minute guide; probably adaptable for other types of one-on-one lessons
- How-to share just computer audio using Zoom
- Sam Zerin’s teaching blog has a lot of reflections on online teaching
- 12 steps to design a digital assignment by Jesse Stommel. Jesse has a lot of writing on digital pedagogy; not all of them will be useable in the tight time constraints most of us are working in, but they might inspire you.
- Pre-recorded lecture videos using only Quicktime (mini-blogs compiled from twitter):  Overview  Making videos of Slide Presentation w/ Voice-over  Making “talking head” video with PDF Score annotation/or other applications (easy hack to get picture-in-picture)
- Rule of 2’s for Keeping it Simple from OpenColab at Plymouth State
- General online teaching tips on the Musicology Now blog from Emily Green and Megan Lavengood