What is the course about?
The course follows the first part of the Trinity Associate (AMusTCL) syllabus, which forms part of a Level 4 diploma in music theory through study of Western classical music genres. In this particular module we will cover “ Musical skills” which focuses on topics including harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and melodic composition.
Please note that the exam is not included in this course, but can be taken as an optional extra.
What will we cover?
- Baroque: Lutheran chorale
- Classical: orchestration
- Early Romantic: pianoforte music, completing a texture
- C20th: Popular song, completing a piano accompaniment
- C20th: Melodic composition without using the major/minor key system.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Feel confident answering two questions from section A of the AMusTCL syllabus
- Appreciate the challenges of orchestration in a variety of styles
- Understand and recognise different types of texture and its structural functions
- Listen to music actively and analytically
- Have greater fluency in score-reading in different styles
- Have a greater understanding of the art of arranging and orchestration.
- Be able to complete harmonic textures in a variety of styles.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course assumes a firm knowledge of music theory to at least Grade 6 standard, You should also be a confident performer on an instrument to at least Grade 6 standard. If in doubt please contact the music office or come to an advice session
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussions and take notes in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts
Guided listening and score-reading and analysis
Short composing and arranging activities in classical and more popular musical styles
There will be a significant amount of listening, reading and homework to be done outside class and further online resources will be available to help you study.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a notebook and pen and manuscript paper.
You are asked to buy and bring to each class your own copy of AMusTCL Study Guide for section A (revised 2017 edition) (buy from
You will also be required to buy/borrow books from the to use during the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The next module in January (MG430B) will approach the prescribed works forming the second part of the AMusTCL syllabus.
Please note, the Trinity Associate (AMusTCL) diploma is an external exam. The price of this exam is not included in your enrolment on this course. If you wish to sit the exam you will need to enrol individually via the .
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
The next module (MG430B) in January will approach the set-work from the second part of the AMusTCL syllabus.
Related courses include Music theory: counterpoint, Composition techniques: advanced, Music theory: grade 8, Sibelius: music notation software. You may also be interested in one of our wide range of Practical musicianship, Music history, or practical instrumental, singing and ensemble courses.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details