Theory 1

Course Details

Course Number: musc 1603  Section Number: 101

Fall 2013

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: C117-A

Days & Times:

MWF 9 am

Course Attachments


online text
MSU Faculty Member
Gary Lewis   
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Course Objectives


Course Objective:


This class is designed to provide music majors with essential fundamentals in theory.  It is also open to non-music majors who seek an introductory course in music theory as space permits.

Course Expectations

Very focused and detailed learning expectations are clearly outlined in the overview preceding each module (chapter). In general, a working knowledge of pitch notation, scales, intervals, rhythm and meter, melody characteristics and writing, introduction to two-voice counterpoint, triads, inversions, figured bass, four part chords, harmonic analysis, seventh chords, phrases, cadences, connecting chords is required as well as additional information, time permitting.

Required Text:


The text, etheory by Dr. Steven Laitz, is only available online.  Please note that this is required and that assigned exercises in the text from your own download may be required.  It can be purchased at  After logging on, follow these instructions:

            1. Click "Add to cart"

            2. Click "checkout"

            3. Enter coupon code mwsu13s. This will change your registration fee to $67 rather than      the normal price of $87.

            4. Complete billing information with name and address to create your account

            5. Click "Place order"

After checkout, access etheory from "My Account Page."

Keep a copy of all information that you used to set up your account---such as logon passwords. In order to receive credit for any online work, you must turn in a copy of the receipt with your first assignment.


Class Preparation:


It is the university's policy that every hour spent in class should necessitate three hours of work spent outside of class.  Theory I is a three hour course, thus weekly expectations are nine hours of work outside of class per week.  Five or less hours per week may make it very difficult for you to earn anything above a C (or less) in the class.



Grading Standards



Approximately 9-10 exams will be given over the course of the semester in addition to a final.  The material for each exam will be taken from the online text, class assignments and lectures.  While there may be a few literal duplications of exam questions from etheory used on a class exam, it is to be understood that these duplications are not my work but the work of the author, Dr. Laitz.  Most exams will be announced however there may be pop quizzes given at any time.   


The final exam will be on Monday, December 9 from 8- 10:00 am.




Grading will be based on exams, homework, and class participation .  The weighted distribution for each will be:

            Module (Unit) exams                           60% of your final grade

            Final exam                                           20% of your final grade

            Homework completed when due          15% of your final grade

            Class participation                               05% of your final grade

Final Exam12/9/2013  8 am

Submission Format Policy

All exercises and exams must be turned in during face-to-face class

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late assignments and exams, if accepted, will have 10% docked from the grade after two days; 20% after a week; and will not be accepted at all after that unless a extreme personal or medical emergency exists which prevents a student from making up the assignment/exam promptly.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements



You are expected to be at every class and class begins at 9:00.  After 9:10, you will be considered tardy; the third time that you are tardy will count as one absence.  After 9:20 you will be considered absent.  After exceeding 6 absences (two weeks of class), you will have earned a failing grade in the course.  Absences due to documented illness or university business will be considered excused.  Use of an electronic device, including cell phones, or any disruptive behavior during class will count as an absence.  If you have a maximum of two absences over the entire semester, your lowest exam grade will be dropped when final grades are averaged.

Other Policies

Besides absences in excess of 6, a student can be dropped or earn an F in the course for submitting any work for a grade which is not the student’s own, class disruption, and/or the use or view of cell phones or electronic devices during exams.  Please see additional comments under academic dishonesty.

While not everyone will make an A in the course, I expect everyone in the class to thoroughly understand the material.  At various times, there will be some who might have difficulty in the course and, if this happens to you, I expect you to meet with me and/or to discuss the problem with your advisor or the department head, Dr. Justus.  Be advised that there are tutors who are available for additional help if needed.




Privacy Statement


Federal Privacy laws prohibit faculty from releasing information about a student’s academic progress to other students or to those outside the university.  In this class, no information regarding your grades, exams, or confidential matters can be released to friends or relatives. 


Special Needs Statement


If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in the event that the building must be evacuated, please register with the Disability Support Services and make an appointment with the professor as soon as possible.


Academic Dishonesty


Submitting any work which is not the student’s own, including but not limited to plagiarism; using or permitting others to use unauthorized materials during exams; copying, providing, receiving or using exam questions from other students during exams; sharing all copyrighted material (especially downloads) by any means at any time without authorization; or viewing or using any electronic devices during exams will be grounds for an F in the course.  Please note that copyrights are protected by federal law and that you may be held liable for criminal and civil prosecution outside of this university for reproducing copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner.


Conduct Statement


A student may be dropped from the course and/or assigned an F in this course if their classroom behavior, including talking, is disruptive.


Academic Changes


The instructor reserves the right to adjust or cancel assignments as the course progresses.


 In that I am not too swift in responding to voice mail, thank you for leaving messages only by email and avoiding voice mail altogether. 



Gary Lewis

397-4185 (office); 767-8965 (home)


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.