Music theory and musicianship training are central to all programs of study offered by the Sunderman Conservatory. The required sequence of theory classes includes:

  • A keyboard component-training in basic keyboard skills and figured bass realization at the keyboard
  • A written component-two-part species counterpoint, chorale harmonization in the style of Bach, and composing both tonal and post-tonal short pieces
  • Analysis-roman numeral analysis, an introduction to forms and procedures, and an introduction to more advanced analytical techniques of 20th and 21st century music
  • Aural skills-tonal and modal sight singing, one- and two-part dictation, harmonic dictation, extensive rhythmic training, and fluent reading in various clefs
  • Development of listening skills through the study of literature

Upper-level theory courses focus on:

  • Counterpoint (16th, 18th, and contemporary)
  • Form and Analysis
  • Orchestration