Introduction to Music

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Music

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Music (BA), Music Performance

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to the theory of music, including notation and the foundations of key, harmony and tonality.
    Music is a language, and like any other language it has a way of writing it down, spelling, punctuation and all those grammatical things that languages have; and of course it also has an enormous, and enormously pleasurable, literature. If you couldn't read and write English, you might be able to get along in everyday life-but you'd have to rely on audiotapes, films and film adaptations for any literature. It's the same with music. You can get by just listening to your favourite records without understanding them, but if you're really interested, you want to be able to read and write music, and to know what's going on. This paper introduces you to the dots and squiggles and what they mean, and it looks at how music is put together: what notes are available, how you make tunes out of them, and how you put other notes with them to make harmony.

    Learning Outcomes
    Please contact the Department of Music's office for copy a of the most recent paper profile.

    Text books are not required for this paper, but it might be helpful for you to have a reference book of your own. We recommend the following:
    -Eric Taylor, The AB Guide to Music Theory, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 1989
    -Joseph N. Straus, Elements of Music, 3rd Edition, Sydney: Pearson, 2012

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

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Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.