Exploring Music

Music 8 UCI – Music Theory For All Music Majors

Music 8 uci is a great course for all music majors. The class helps build piano skills, and teaches how to read sheet music. The class also provides a foundation for more advanced music theory classes.

Examines selected broader cultural and historical themes by studying pieces of music from various style periods. Restriction: Music Majors Only.

History of Western Music

As the Western frontier was mythologized in the popular press, songs about cowboys, Indians and outlaws proliferated. Many of these were written by tunesmiths who had no firsthand experience of the West, while others were sung by performers with authentic experience. Traveling shows such as Buffalo Bill’s Wild West employed full orchestras and featured such frontier personages as cowboys, sharpshooters and Chief Sitting Bull.

By the 1940s, western music had become widespread through radio and musical films. During this era, the genre developed into what is now called Country and Western music. Its popularity declined with the advent of rock and roll, but young groups such as the Quebe Sisters are keeping it alive and swinging today.


A composition is a work of music that has been fixed in a tangible medium, such as a sheet of paper or an audio file. It consists of melodies, rhythms, lyrics and/or harmonies.

The word “composition” comes from the Latin componere, meaning “to put together.” Any work of art or literature, as well as recipes for food or ingredients for a sauce, may be considered a composition.

In the 16th century, composers began orienting their pieces around one tone or key, a concept that is now known as tonality. This is a foundation of the way in which Western composers still create their works today.

A song or musical piece that has been composed is protected by American copyright law. It can be licensed by music publishers to interested parties. This guide will help you better understand the process and learn more about the complex web of industry licensing structures and business entities. It will also explain the difference between a composition and a sound recording.


Harmony is the blending of musical notes that sound at the same time to create chords. It’s often considered a vertical aspect of music since it’s the way notes are placed together in visual representations like MIDI piano rolls and musical notation.

Harmony can take many forms. One form is the use of tones that are outside the melody in a song, another is the use of non-diatonic chords, and the third is the combining of chords in a progression.

Harmony is essential to the structure of music and can be found in every genre. For example, the Beach Boys and Imogen Heap are known for their use of harmonies. Often these consist of major and minor triads, but they can also include Sus2 and Sus4 chords which add top notes to the chords for extra sparkle and interest. Most songs start on consonant intervals and chords and then progress to dissonant ones as the song builds.


MUSIC 16A. Music Theory. 4 Units. Review of music fundamentals, interval and chord quality identification, melodic dictation and sight-singing; harmonic and chromatic sight-reading, and model composition with tonic, dominant seventh and subdominant harmonies. Species counterpoint, linear dominants, and secondary triad function; pre-dominant part-writing, rhythmic devices and advanced melodic figuration; modulation to related keys.

Intensive work in research or composition with faculty guidance, resulting in a formal paper/project. Repeatable up to 8 units.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

Seminar introducing different analytical methods (modal, tonal and post-tonal), with their application to repertories of selected historical periods. Restriction: Music Majors only.

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