Teaching and resources for English, Art History and Music

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Mediant Studies

Outline of the Musical Knowledge Module 

The module consists of several sections.  Click to see samples of each.

  1. Relating History, Structure and Style gives a simple easy-to-understand background to the development of western music. 

  2. There are more detailed notes on each of history, structure and style (see the lists below)

  3. Processing information helps students find facts and form opinions to prepare them for writing examination essays.  (You will find this particularly helpful if you have not studied at a western university or if English is not your first language.)

  4. There are assignments in which students apply the knowledge and skills that they have gained in the notes.

  5. There are extracts from scores of many of the styles mentioned in the notes, as well as suggestions of recordings of examples of the styles mentioned which students can access on the internet.  Some are related to art, architecture, literature and ballet.  Click here for samples of these.




1.       The Origin of Sacred Music – modes, chants, antiphons, alleluias, tropes.

2.       Early Music – vocal and instrumental;  forms, styles and composers

3.       Baroque Period – instruments, forms, styles and composers

4.       Classical Period – instruments, forms, styles and composers


  • augmented and diminished chords

  • sixth, seventh and ‘added-note chords’

  • syncopated (‘off-beat’) rhythms

  • chordal accompaniments

  • use of different scales (e.g. blues)

  • blues thirds (a minor third over.....

5.       Early and Middle Romantic Period – instruments, forms, styles and composers

6.       Late Romantic Period – instruments, forms, styles and composers

7.       Nationalism – national styles, composers and works

8.       Impressionism – features (including all arts), composers and works.

9.       Neo-Classicism and Jazz – Ravel, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Les Six and others

10.   Recent movements  -  serial, electronic and minimalist music




1.       Traditional forms (binary, ternary, rondo) and later use of them

2.       The Classical symphony and other instrumental forms

3.       Structure of a melody and of a movement

4.       Sonata form – including its development from baroque sonata and binary form

5.       Development of ideas (repeating, changing or adding to the idea)

6.       Secular song (including folk songs, ballads, Lieder, song cycles, & popular songs

7.       Light music (from 18th to 20th centuries, including serenades, waltzes, musicals, etc)

In the nineteenth century, composers were becoming aware of their racial or national origins. One of the ways that they expressed this consciousness was by using folk melodies, or writing melodies that sounded like folk melodies, of their country or race. Grieg, Brahms and....




A.    Modes (mediaeval and renaissance) and cadences (mediaeval, renaissance and modern)

B. Texture – monophony, homophony, polyphony (counterpoint). Includes density of texture (thin/thick), register (high/low), range (wide/narrow), instrumentation and accompaniment styles (block/broken chords, Alberti Bass, etc).

C.    Consonance and imitation – creating and resolving dissonance, use of imitation

D.    Melody – types of melody, including sequence

E.    New Life for Old Systems – later use of modes and the pentatonic scale

F.     New Tonal Systems – chromatic, whole tone, bi/polytonal, cluster chords, atonal, jazz

G.    Rhythm – hemiola, cross rhythms, irregular groupings, syncopation, swing

H.   General  -  absolute/programme music, logical / emotional, mono-/bi-/poly-thematic, etc.

If you are not sure whether you need to take the Musical Knowledge module, download a survey which you can study as a doc, docx or pdf file.  If you are still uncertain, you can fill in the answers, email the file to us, and ask for advice.

Click here to return to OUTLINE OF THE AMusTCL COURSE



Piano and keyboard lessons  | Theory and composition

Intermediate Theory | Grade 6 Theory Outline | AMusTCL Outline | LMusTCL Outline

Teaching Resources  | Compositions | Arrangements

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