Music Theory 1

This course is an elective in the performing arts department open to all students in grades 9-12.  This course teaches basic music fundamentals including reading rhythms, clefs, scales, intervals, keys and elementary harmony.  This course will also prepare students to analyze the basic melodic and harmonic structure of music and to apply this knowledge to articulate and interpret their own musical ideas in compositional form.  Nightly homework should be expected.

Music Theory 2

Students enrolled in Music Theory & Composition II will expand their knowledge of basic theory and modes of music analysis.  The main emphasis will be on four-part chorale-style writing to learn advanced harmony, modulation and other compositional styles.  Students will also develop aural skills through dictation work and sight singing using solfege syllables and note names.  Students enrolled in Music Theory and Composition II will complete a minimum of one compositional project per term, accompanied by a written evaluation of their project.  Students who successfully complete this course will be adequately prepared to enter college as a music major.  Nightly homework should be expected.  

AP Music Theory

Prerequisite: Music Theory and Composition I & II or the equivalent


AP Music Theory is a full year comprehensive course designed for students who desire to pursue music as a career and study at the college level. This course will include the study of melodic and harmonic language, structure and form. Students will also develop aural skills through dictation work and sight singing using solfege syllables and note names. Students will be strongly encouraged to take the AP exam as a natural progression of this course. Nightly homework should be expected.

Link to AP Music Theory Frequently Asked Questions for students!

Electronic Music

Electronic Music Composition and Songwriting is a full year class designed to expose students to music software that allows them to compose, arrange, and produce new material. Students will experiment with songwriting strategies and techniques that will allow them to write original music. Students will also study the art of songwriting by listening to some of the great songwriters of our time and studying lyrics as poetry.

Check out the EMCS website.

Critic's Guide to the Performing Arts

This course is designed to help students become thoughtful and perceptive consumers of the Performing Arts. Course content will be linked to the arts calendar of the Greater Boston area. A minimum of four professional, semi-professional, and community performing arts events will be booked for students to attend as a group. Students will be prepared for these performances by in-class discussions and research on the genres and periods included in the event. Performances may take place outside of school hours  and will be required as part of the class. Seminar-style discussions and critical writing subsequent to the events will heighten students’ awareness of the characteristics inherent in a variety of performing art forms. In addition, students will be prepared for these performances by their knowledge gained in the previous semester study of music history.  Students will be expected to keep a portfolio of their research and critical reviews. Personal outlay for tickets ($100 maximum) will be incurred. Subsidy is available in cases of need. 

History of Music

This course will provide students with knowledge of music from Baroque time (1600’s) through the present. There will be focus on diverse styles including: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, blues, Motown, pop, rock, hip-hop and multi-cultural influences. Students will also develop an understanding of how culture, heritage, history, civilization, and current issues are recorded and reflected in music. Activities include, listening to music on a daily basis, class discussions, as well as reading and individual research on specified topics. Students will use the music computer lab to enhance study in this course. No experience in choral or instrumental music is necessary. Students do not need to know how to read music.

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