Melody and Rhythm

Melody and Rhythm is a comprehensive textbook series in undergraduate Aural Skills and Sight-Singing. The full curriculum spans two years, published in four volumes for those on the semester system and six volumes for those on the quarter system. It is currently in use at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Division, Santa Clara University, Regis University, Cal State University Monterey Bay, and Nyack College.

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Note that Semester 1 is available in two different versions, depending on the pedagogy being used.

Distinguishing features

  • A wide range of styles and composers (from Renaissance counterpoint to funky grooves, from W.A. Mozart to Joni Mitchell)
  • Smooth pacing with high quality examples
  • Ample minor key material
  • Lots of duets and canons
  • Consistent structure for ease of use
  • Listening examples for transcription and learning by ear (drawn from pop, rock, jazz, musical theater, cinema, television, and videogames.)
  • Examples with figured bass, roman-numeral analysis, and lead-sheet-style chord symbols for harmonic application
  • Emphasis on music by women
  • Jam sessions for group improvisation
  • Pedagogy customized for movable do (with la-based or do-based minor)
  • An essay on effective practice

Course Outline

  1. Beats and Divisions of Beats (Rhythm)
  2. Learning the Sound of Major and Minor (Melody)
  3. Duets, Ties, and Syncopation (Rhythm)
  4. Clefs and Key Signatures (Melody)
  5. Subdivisions in Simple Meter (Rhythm)
  6. Basic Diatonic Skips (Melody)
  7. Subdivisions in Compound Meter (Rhythm)
  8. More Diatonic Skips (Melody)
  9. Mixing 2’s and 3’s (Rhythm)
  10. Chromatic Ornaments (Melody)
  11. Different Pulse Values (Rhythm)
  12. Skips with Chromatic Tones (Melody)
  13. Irregular Rhythms (Rhythm)
  14. Basic Key Relationships (Melody)
  15. Changing Meters (Rhythm)
  16. More Key Relationships (Melody)
  17. Odd and Mixed Meters (Rhythm)
  18. Modes (Melody)
  19. More Tuplets (Rhythm)
  20. Modal Chromaticism (Melody)
  21. Stretching the Bounds of Meter (Rhythm)
  22. Symmetrical Scales (Melody)
  23. Metric Modulation and Advanced Polyrhythms (Rhythm)
  24. Free Chromaticism (Melody)