Course C – Michael Glasgow, Instructor

Music Theory

Level 1 – Basic Music Theory

Course C1 – Basic Music Theory will ensure a basic working knowledge of music theory, both generally and as it pertains to handbells and handchimes.

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Know mechanical “parts” of a handbell score (barline, notehead, stem, beam, grand staff, etc.) and pitch names for C3-C6 (handbell designation C4-C7).
  • Understand the one-octave aural transpositional nature of handbells and handchimes as instruments.
  • Recognize and identify rhythmic values of notes and rests from sixteenth notes through whole notes (including the mathematical comprehension of dotted notes and triplets).
  • Understand measured construction of music and time signatures related to perfect simple and perfect compound meters (2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 2/2, 3/2, 6/8, 9/8 (3+3+3), 12/8), including abbreviations for “common time” and “cut time.”
  • Recognize key signatures and associated scales up to 3 sharps and 3 flats, inclusive; understand and identify relative-minor equivalencies.
  • Comprehend basic dynamic markings (ppp through fff), diminuendo/decrescendo, crescendo, mezzo; as well as understand common basic performance markings.
  • Recognize intervals of octave, perfect fifth, perfect fourth, major/minor third; understand difference between prime unison and colloquial unison (e.g., “unison at the octave”).
  • Have a basic understanding of triadic harmony and chord construction, and the difference/relationship between major and minor triads.
  • Recognize and understand basic enharmonic equivalents.
  • Comprehend simple score navigation: repeat signs, basic endings, D.S., D.C., Coda.
  • Evaluate a handbell score and create a Handbells Used Chart for a three-octave piece.
  • Replicate any rhythm which may appear in a handbell score of Level 1, 2 or 3.

Recommended Texts

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation. Dayton, OH: AGEHR Music. R101. 2010.
  • Glasgow, Michael J. It’s Just A+ Theory. Raleigh, NC: Self-published. 2011.
  • Randel, Don Michael (ed.) New Harvard Dictionary of Music, The. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/Belknap Press. ISBN 0674011635 (4th edition). 2003.
  • Various handbell music as recommended by instructor

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Level 2 – Intermediate Music Theory

Course C2 – Intermediate Music Theory will ensure a solid working knowledge of music theory, both generally and as it pertains to handbells and handchimes.
Pre-requisite: Course C1 – Basic Music Theory

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Know pitch names for C2-C7 (handbell designation C3-C8).
  • Recognize and identify rhythmic values of notes and rests from sixteenth notes through double-whole notes (including tied notes and the mathematical comprehension of duplets [in compound meters] and double-dotted notes).
  • Understand time signatures related to imperfect/odd meters (including 9/8 as 2+2+2+3 and variations) and composite meters.
  • Recognize key signatures and associated scales up to 5 sharps and 5 flats, inclusive. Understand and identify relative-minor equivalencies, as well as parallel major/minor relationships.
  • Understand common intermediate performance markings.
  • Visually and aurally recognize all 12 intervals from minor second to octave; aurally recognize major and minor triads.
  • Have a more advanced understanding/recognition of triadic harmony and chord construction, including triadic inversions, arpeggios, added tones.
  • Thoroughly recognize and understand enharmonic equivalents, including double-sharps and double-flats.
  • Comprehend more advanced score navigation, including “endings within endings,” D.S.S., etc.
  • Understand the concepts of rhythmic augmentation and diminution of melodies.
  • Evaluate a handbell score and create a Handbells Used Chart for a five-octave piece.
  • Tap or sing any rhythm which may appear in a handbell score of Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • Quickly recognize recapitulated passages in a handbell score, both verbatim and slightly varied.
  • Transcribe the rhythm of a simple four-measure passage, on hearing it played no more than three times (e.g., rhythmic dictation).

Recommended Texts

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation. Dayton, OH: AGEHR Music. R101. 2010.
  • Glasgow, Michael J. It’s Just A+ Theory. Raleigh, NC: Self-published. 2011.
  • Randel, Don Michael (ed.) New Harvard Dictionary of Music, The. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/Belknap Press. ISBN 0674011635 (4th edition). 2003.
  • Various handbell music as recommended by instructor

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Level 3 – Advanced Music Theory

Course C3 – Advanced Music Theory will ensure a professional-level working knowledge of music theory, both generally and as it pertains to handbells and handchimes.
Pre-requisite: Course C2 – Intermediate Music Theory
Pre-requisite: Course E2 – Arranging & Composing I

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Know pitch names for C1-C8 (handbell designation C2-C9).
  • Recognize and identify rhythmic values of notes and rests from thirty-second notes through double-whole notes (including tied notes, compound/composite triplets, and other mathematical tuplets)
  • Recognize/create any key signature (and associated scales, including relative-minor equivalencies) in the Circle of Fifths; understand cross-relations at the “turning point” of the Circle of Fifths (e.g., F# Major and G-flat Major).
  • Have a basic understanding of natural, harmonic and melodic minor scales, pentatonic scales, and the following [modern] modes: Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor) and Dorian (Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian and Locrian may be touched on if pacing permits).
  • Understand common advanced performance markings.
  • Recognize characteristics and names of major, minor, diminished and augmented chords, as well as sixth, seventh and ninth chords.
  • Understand chord inversions and why certain bell sets must omit various notes in parentheses, brackets, etc., to preserve continuity of lines/phrases.
  • Understand simple harmonic analysis and how chords fit within a standard progression.
  • Evaluate a handbell score and create a Handbells Used Chart for a seven-octave piece.
  • Tap or sing any rhythm which may appear in any handbell score, of any Level.
  • “Build” any major, minor, diminished or augmented triad, in root position and any inversion.
  • Evaluate a handbell score and identify recapitulated passages, both verbatim and slightly varied.
  • Add parentheses, brackets, etc., to a “five-octave” piece of handbell music, to make it appropriate for three or four octaves as well.
  • Perform simple harmonic analysis of a chord progression.
  • Transcribe the rhythm of a simple eight-measure passage (or a more complex four-measure passage), on hearing it played no more than three times (e.g., rhythmic dictation).

Recommended Texts

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation. Dayton, OH: AGEHR Music. R101. 2010.
  • Glasgow, Michael J. It’s Just A+ Theory. Raleigh, NC: Self-published. 2011.
  • Randel, Don Michael (ed.) New Harvard Dictionary of Music, The. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/Belknap Press. ISBN 0674011635 (4th edition). 2003.
  • Various handbell music as recommended by instructor

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