Use Your Ears (Aurally Deciphering Music)

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Your ears are often your first point of contact with music but do you know how to decipher the wealth of musical information they can tell you? This graded course trains you to aurally isolate and decipher what is happening in the instrumentation/tone colour, pitch/harmony, rhythm, texture, dynamics, tempo & structure of a variety of works; then cross reference this information by looking at the printed music (where possible) to enable you to make a more complete appraisal of the music you hear. Note: A basic understanding of music theory would enhance your experience in this class.

The course will start with a general overview of the various musical concepts that will be aurally investigated, then will address specific concepts in more depth.

  • Class study and aural exercises in:
    • identifying and classifying a variety of instrumentation/performing media and tone colour
    • describing how the melody and harmony have been constructed and their role in selected works
    • identifying and explaining how rhythm and beat have been organised and their role in selected works
    • identifying the dynamics, tempo and other expressive techniques used in selected musical examples and their role with in those works
    • identifying different types of texture and their role within selected works
    • analysing simple formal structures used in selected works
  • Exposure to printed music/scores will enable students to relate what they hear back to concrete music notation
  • The historical and cultural aspect of listening material will also be addressed.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Define each concept.
  2. Have improved their ability to aurally isolate each concept.
  3. Have improved their ability to aurally analyse each concept.
  4. Independently complete set aural class work.
  5. Recognise concepts addressed aurally in a printed format (sheet music and scores).
  6. Have an understanding of the historical and cultural context of the chosen listening/score reading material.