Theory II

MUSI 1312



Instructor:  Dr. Vicky V. Johnson 

Office 122

Office hours posted on office door


Phone:  Ext. 9238



Assignment Notes:

  1. I will not accept assignments done in ink.

  2. Please do not use miniscule notes or printing. 

  3. Be prepared to write in your theory workbook and ear-training book.  These books are not meant to be resold.   I will not accept assignments from these books which are copied onto staff paper.

  4. If something is not clear to you, ASK ME.  My schedule is on my door (122) or use the email hyperlink at the bottom of the page.



Rules are made for rule breakers, not for rule followers. 

Those who live by principles do not need rules.


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Song ListClickersKostka drillsCompositionsStaff paper

Week 1

Aug 25-29


Review Final Exam from Theory I

If you are uncertain about any of the review concepts, refer to Theory I notes or to Help

  • Cadences

  • Non-harmonic tones

Remember that suspensions require 3 steps:

  1. preparation (chord tone of previous chord)

  2. suspension (always dissonant)

  3. resolution (consonant)

Numbers are assigned to the suspension based upon

  1. the interval of the suspended note and

  2. the lowest sounding note of the chord

(p. 106)

Practice NHTones p. 113 textbook


Intro to 7th Chords

Diatonic 7th Chords


7th Chord Construction

7th Chord Identification

7th Chord Ear-training




Exercise:  board work - construct 7th chords

Exercise:  workbook p. 30, K and L



"That'll Be the Day"   Buddy Holly

"Every Breath You Take"  The Police

"Up Against the Wall Red-Neck Mother"  Jerry Jeff Walker


Assignments due:


Place a link to this page on your desktop
On the top of this page, File - Send - Shortcut to desktop


Print 5 sheets of staff paper from link above

or with keyboard on top here 


Print Quick Facts Sheet

Error on QFS:  IAC can also be a viio



Quiz #1

Cadences, Non-chord Tones, Inversions




Bring these worksheets to class - we will work on them in class


7th Chord Practice




Week 2

Sep 1-5

Note:  No class on Monday (Labor Day)




Secondary dominants





Aura Lee (Love Me Tender) example

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Video keyboard example


Example of secondary dominant


Practice identifying secondary dominants

Practice constructing secondary dominants



Other secondary functions


Practice identifying secondary leading tone chords

Practice constructing secondary leading tone chords


 Practice secondary chords




Assignments due:


Assignment #1

7th Chords Assignment






  1. Choose a leader

  2. Choose a name




Secondary Dominants

print this


Week 3

Sep 8-12


Triads in 1st Inversion

Triads in 2nd Inversion

2nd Inversion Chords

We try harder!



Procedures of Four-Part Writing

23Errors Practice sheet


Principles of voice-leading


Principles of part-writing

Motion Exercise


Examples of good and bad part-writing

Textbook p. 191 explanation

Textbook p. 205 practice

Cadence Exercise

work for speed


"Away in a Manger" (from hymns above) harmonic progression



Assignments due:


Assignment #2

Secondary chord Assignment



Week 4

Sep 15-19



Review bottom of p. 201 and 202

Partners:  textbook p. 209



Errors in part-writing: Workbook, p. 75

Part-writing errors


Test Yourself:  Workbook p. 86 (#1)


Cadence Part-writing Worksheet

review of cadences/realizing figured bass



Assignments due:


Assignment #3

Part-writing root position



Week 5

Sep 22-26


Practice:  Textbook p. 228 - 230

Workbook p. 93, 94


Harmonization of short melodic line

Provide harmonic progression and all three parts


Tune "America":  dictation from audiation and harmonize in 4 parts

Public domain hymns




Assignments due:


Assignment #4

Part-writing with inversions



Note:  Next week's assignment will be scored in Finale.  If you are unfamiliar with the program, or need to review it, allow sufficient time!

Week 6

Sep 29-Oct 3


12-Bar Blues, p. 221

Group composition:  Blues song

  1. Go to link above for info on blues form

  2. Write at least 3 verses

  3. Perform with your group on Friday;  must be accompanied



Practice part-writing with given melody:

Sight-singing book 6.3


Smooth bass line examples:

"Hit the Road, Jack"

"Mr. Bojangles"

"My Funny Valentine"


Review:  Chapter 11 p. 243 boardwork

4 parts, resolve to I


Chord keyboard, major


Chord keyboard, minor



Group composition:  Blues song

Assignments due:


Assignment 5

Score the following melody in chorale style using standard part-writing.  Include a Roman numeral analysis (use the Lyrics tool for this).



I'll Be Bach



Blues Performance




Week 7

Oct 6-10

Group composition:  Song Parody (ignore the assignment information on the link page)

  1. Choose a song from the Song List or any song that most of the class would know.

  2. Don't choose "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "Mary Had a Little Lamb," etc.

  3. Songs should be accompanied

  4. Pay particular attention to syllabic emphasis and rhyme schemes




End of the week is MIDTERM!

Midterm Evaluation

Assignments due:



Midterm Exam

Midterm Study Guide



Song Parody Performance




Week 8

Oct 13-17


Composition Assignments


More Poems

(If poems 'disappear,' try a different browser)

Even more poems



Syllable dictionary

When to show slurs when using one syllable with multiple notes.



Public domain hymns

with secondary dominants

Angels from the Realms of Glory

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

How Firm a Foundation

O Come, All Ye Faithful

We Gather Together


Wednesday:  piano lab working on melodies


Music theory SI!!


Assignments due:


Choose 2 poems that would be appropriate for your composition

Copy to a Word document and bring to class

     Note:  Do not "Print Screen" or hand write the page

Have a form in mind for each one (binary, ternary, strophic, etc.)

Remember that the poem MUST be in public domain



Pachelbel Rant

Week 9

Oct 20-24


Practice: textbook p. 279 

textbook p. 303

textbook p. 305-306


Wednesday:  Composition in piano lab

Use peer correction in pairs on Friday


Assignments due:



Composition melody

Include the lyrics in the score

Email your melody to me by 8:30AM.  Hide the bass clef (see Finale instructions)

Bring a hard copy to class to turn in.  You may want to print another hard copy for you to make notes in class for revision.




Week 10

Oct 27-31



Monday and Wednesday of this week will be in the piano lab. 

Peer correction on Friday in pairs


Any who would like to work on an extra composition for extra credit may do so.  We will listen to those (no critiques) after going over the composition assignments.  There will be no restrictions on the composition.  Be creative!


Extra credit if you wear a costume on Halloween.

Take a picture (you must be in the FA building).

Post on Facebook and tag me





Assignments due:

None - continue to work on Composition in 4 parts


Week 11

Nov 3-7


Composition Checklist


For fun:  Bach - Crab Canon on a Mobius Strip

Assignments due:


Composition in 4 parts first draft due

Send your composition to me as an attachment to  by 8:30AM.

Name your file:  YourName_CompositionDraft

Bring a hard copy to class on which to make notes.

Please review the composition requirements  here


Remember:  Do NOT use "voices" - use "piano" for playback


Note:  The "draft" should be totally finished and perfectly formatted in Finale.  These will be critiqued and you will have the opportunity to make revisions one more time for your final composition grade.  However, incomplete compositions will not be critiqued.



Extra Credit Compositions

No criteria EXCEPT

1.  It must be long enough

2.  It must be deliberate


Send the file as an attachment to

 by 8:30AM.

Name your file:  YourName_XtraComposition


Week 12

Nov 10-14




Closely Related Keys

Neighbors on the circle of 5ths

Keys that only differ by a single accidental

The chord of the new key exists in the old key



Modulation explanation


Modulation Types Explained

Modulation to V



Common chord (pivot chord)

Chord exists in both keys, next chord does not exist in the old key

Video of keyboard demonstration

Two examples of common chord modulation




Practice:  Workbook p. 162


Common tone

Uses sustained or repeated pitch as a bridge

pivotal note



Look for chromaticism in one part, C to C#, for example


Another example - notice on this one that the chromaticism occurs between two different voices


Practice:  Textbook p. 326, 335-336


Phrase (direct or shift)

Key changes after cadence with no transition


Sequence may end in a new key (particularly real sequence)


Ex: C to G to D, or C to C minor to Eb major

Parallel key

Ex:  C major to C minor


Stay tuned in Theory IV


Friday peer correction of 4 part composition in pairs

Assignments due:



Modulation:  establishing a new key or tonal center

or a mid-phrase change of key confirmed by a cadence


A modulation (change of key) can be seen as a tripartite process (the following scheme is from Schönberg's "Harmonielehre"):
  1. A neutral phase where the old key is weakened, e.g. by using ambiguous chords (chords that are common in both keys), or by entering quickly into the new key and coming back at once.
  2. A fundamental step to mark the turning point where the old key is left. This is typically done by using chords from the new key that do not belong to the old key.
  3. A cadence to establish the new key.

Modulation vs. tonicization




In traditional harmony:


To destroy the old key, take away its leading tone

To establish a new key, establish a new leading tone


Shift (Phrase/Direct) Modulation examples:

Shift modulation

And I Love Her (The Beatles)

Fever (Peggy Lee)

Soul Man (Sam & Dave)

   Above three are found on the link below


Five Feet High and Rising (Johnny Cash)


I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)

This one is interesting:  The second time Cash sings the tune in F, he sings the melody a full octave lower than the first time in F. The words are identical in the two F-key verses, creating a striking contrast. Within this song, Cash’s singing range is two octaves plus a major second.

The Truck Driver's Gear Change Hall of Shame

Modulation to relative minor

Lovesick Blues (Hank Williams, Jr.)

Modulation down

I'd Love to Lay You Down (Kenny Chesney)

Bach:  Endlessly Rising Modulation Canon



Week 13

Nov 17-21


Modulations in a Bach chorale


Exercise:  Practice analyzing modulations

The Music Theory Song


Note:  modulations including pdf, mp3 and swf from this link


Analysis of Bach Prelude in C


1.  Analyze "Prelude and Fugue" in C by Bach

  • Use both Roman numeral analysis (below) and lead sheet symbols (above)

  • Circle non-harmonic tones and label

Bach:  Prelude and Fugue in C

Audio file





Assignments due:


Final 4-part Composition due

Send the file as an attachment to

 by 8:30AM.


Name your file:  YourName_FinalComposition


Bring a hard copy to class to turn in.


Please review the composition requirements  here



Week 14

Nov 24-28

No class on Thursday or Friday:  Thanksgiving holiday


Review part-writing (Theory 106, p. 12)



Interval Blaster

Beta test this game for me!

Week 15

Dec 1-3 (last class day)


Review for final exam

Use this grade calculator to estimate your final grade


Final Exam:  Wednesday, December 10 8:00am - 10:30am

Harmonic Progressions



Love Me Tender (Aura Lee)


















































Seating chart






Chocolate ChipsAllegro vivaci rhythmicoVictorsJohn Pollock ExperienceSolfege Express


Lab Group Info

Individual members are responsible for:


·         Completing all individual preparations for Lab Group meetings

·         Attending all Lab Group meetings and scheduled events with full participation

·         Working with Lab Group peers to set appropriate meeting times that accommodate all members – even if it means occasional personal sacrifice

·         Do all of the above with a generous spirit and with the goal of academic excellence


If a Lab Group member of the group does not fulfill the four requirements listed above, all members of the group should meet to reconcile issues. If unsuccessful, remaining group members should contact me.




Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson