Course 3: Music Fundamentals I

Music Theory is essentially the practice of talking or thinking about music, how influences from two centuries ago have shaped the way we listen to music, and how we can use, push, and eventually break the rules we’ve been following since the classical period. In this course, you’ll learn what those rules are and how we subconsciously follow them when we write, play, or listen to music.

Music is made up of pitches, rhythm, and harmony. In western music, we typically use a piano keyboard for learning theory and fundamentals because the piano makes it easy to visualize and demonstrate these principles. You’ll learn about how intervals (the distance between notes) affect harmony and melody and the types of intervals: major, unison, and perfect.

Scales are a group of notes laid out in alphabetical order in a specific interval pattern that gives the scale a specific quality. You’ll learn the importance of the relation between the starting note of the scale and each following note arranged in the scale. You’ll learn how scales inform almost every genre of music and how they dictate the tone of a song.

We’ll continue our look at music fundamentals in the next course as well. As this course comes to a close, you’ll read a course review, take a quiz, and make a blog entry about what you’ve experienced during the course. You’ll also prepare for the next course by writing down any questions you may have and scheduling your next meeting with your mentor.


  • Be able to state key terms for music theory.
  • Be able to interpret and translate key words and symbols used in music theory.
  • Be able to use given equations to calculate resistance, ohms and voltage.
  • Be able to distinguish the two types of electrical currents used in the field of audio engineering.