Further Music Theory


This is a practical course for those interested in gaining knowledge and understanding of classical harmony.

An understanding of the fundamentals of classical harmony is essential to a full appreciation of the music of that period. It also develops skills and understanding that provide a firm foundation for more creative work in music.

The course will cover the basics of harmony by taking the students through a series of straightforward, structured exercises. These exercises are designed to emphasise the craftsmanship of harmony and to relate to actual classical practice.

The course follows on from: 'Exploring Basic Music Theory' but it is not necessary to have taken that course to participate fully in this one!

The course is designed to welcome beginners, although basic musical literacy is necessary for full participation. Previous experience in playing an instrument or singing is an advantage but is not an essential requirement.

Programme details

Course begins: 20th January 2022

Week 0: An Introduction to Teams – Course orientation

Week 1:  Connecting chords in Root Position.

Week 2:  First inversion chords.

Week 3:  Second inversion chords.

Week 4:  All kinds of seventh chords.

Week 5:  The minor mode.

Week 6:  Modulation.

Week 7:  Chords with no notes in common.

Week 8:  Passing and auxiliary notes.

Week 9:  Simple harmonisation of existing melodies.

Week 10: Keyboard harmonisation.


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £229.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Dr Peter Copley

Peter Copley D.Phil, MA, B.mus is a composer, cellist and pianist. He is a visiting lecturer at OUDCE, the University of Sussex and for the Open University, where he has been a Research Associate for the music faculty.

Course aims

To encourage an understanding of harmony in the classical tradition and, in particular, to place harmonic conventions in the context of the evolution of musical style.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will have an understanding of basic classical harmony and its varied applications in Western Art Music.

Teaching methods

Ths course will consist of a pre-recorded one hour lecture for each week. A step by step working of examples will be covered in the online 'live'  session where the students will also have a chance to ask any questions arising from the pre-recorded lecture.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1.  create four  part progressions in major and minor keys, using chords in root position, first and second inversion and seventh chords;

2.  harmonise simple diatonic melodies using any of the above chords, where appropriate;

3.  have some understanding of the nature of consonance and dissonance in the classical tradition;

4.  have some understanding of the techniques and function of modulation; and

5.  relate all of the above to music in the classical repertoire.

Assessment methods

At the end of the course, students will submit a portfolio of completed exercises, set during the term.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)