Course Number:
MUS 110
Transcript Title:
Fundamentals of Music
Aug 15, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Total Credits:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture / Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement:
Satisfies General Education requirement:
Grading Options
A-F, P/NP, Audit
Default Grading Options
Repeats available for credit:

Placement into MTH 65 or MTH 98


WR 121

Course Description

Covers the basic concepts of music: pitch, rhythm, meter, intervals, modes, scales, harmony and music notation. Introduces the science of sound and music theory terminology. Begins development of musical performance skills through singing, clapping and performance on the piano keyboard. Includes basic aural/vocal skills. Course intended for non-music majors and to prepare students for further music theory study. Prerequisite: placement into MTH 65 or MTH 98. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Apply basic principles of music theory to critical listening, performing and analytical skills.
  2. Utilize basic practicum (keyboard, rhythm and singing skills) which comprises the foundation of comprehensive musicianship.
  3. Manifest music literacy through grand staff reading, basic manual notation, and accurate intonation.
  4. Understand basic musical ensemble principles.

Alignment with Institutional Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
Not Addressed
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)
4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
Not Addressed
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Suggested Outcome Assessment Strategies

Methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course letter grade should be made clear by the instructor at the beginning of the course. The individual instructor will determine the method of assessment. Assessment methods may include:

  • Qualitative and/or quantitative examinations
  • Homework assignments
  • Listening assignments
  • Concert reports
  • Research project
  • Class participation

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content

  • The six elements of music
    • Melody
    • Harmony
    • Rhythm (tempo meter)
    • Form
    • Texture
    • Timbre (instrumentation)                                    
    • Notation of rhythm; reading and writing.
  • Nature of sound
  • Notation of pitch
  • The piano keyboard
  • Simple meter
  • The recorder
  • Compound meter
  • Borrowed rhythms
  • Major scales and keys
  • Intervals
  • The circle of fifths
  • Minor scales and keys
  • Root position and inverted triads
  • Basic musical design (form)
  • Introduction to harmonic function
  • Ensemble principles


The following skills are expected to successfully meet the minimum requirement of "C" or "Pass" for the course.

  • Read and interpret basic melodies in treble and bass clef.
  • Locate specific pitches on the piano keyboard.
  • Label pitches by letter name and Hertz.
  • Visually and aurally determine the meter of a musical composition.
  • Visually identify and notate major and minor scales.
  • Visually identify the key of a basic musical work.
  • Visually identify and construct intervals.
  • Visually identify and construct basic triads.
  • Determine the form of a basic musical work.
  • Provide an harmonic analysis of a basic diatonic composition.