It was a very nice course. We were able to understand the basics of music theory and how the notations and chords work. Thank you so much to the entire staff of Edinburgh University and Coursera..:-)
Its not as easy as it seems, it will give you a good challenge. After you finish this, you will be more confident about your music theory. Thank you University of Edinburgh! Thank you Coursera!
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von Emmanuel c o•
i love it
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von Gregor M•
What began as a passing interest in improving my scant knowledge of music theory became a full on obsession by the end of this course. I was staying up until 9pm over my Christmas break, taking and re-taking quizzes and studying cadences, secondary dominants and modulation. Who would've known? Certainly not me when I began!
For me, playing music is a hobby. I've never studied it, taken graded exams or anything of that sort. I saw 'fundamentals of music theory', free of charge, and thought it would be a good place to start. A word of advice: this is certainly not for beginner musicians.
My only criticism of the course would be that the end of unit quizzes, and final exam, are a VERY steep climb from the comparatively pedestrian level of instruction (barring the rhythm section, which required a lot of further study to get my head around).
The formula seems to go: crawl (teach concept), baby steps (watch demonstration of concept), Olympic 100-metre sprint (answer university level questions). If you have the time and dedication to put into this course the rewards are plenty. You can take end of unit quizzes as many times as you would like, meaning the challenge just about meets the pace of learning.
I am thoroughly pleased with the time I put into this course, and I am excited to go back to my instruments (saxophone and guitar) armed with a greater understanding of these fundamentals, and indeed more complex concepts, of music theory.
von Alison C•
Most of the course was delivered at a suitable pace, with plenty of examples. The one week where my eyes glazed over was week 3 (I think) which was all about time values of notes, etc. Fortunately, I already read music, and so managed to pass the assessment. Otherwise I think I'd have struggled. Even so, some of the questions really stretched my brain - many of them were NOT normal rhythms!
I felt that one or two of the questions in the final exam were quite complicated - cases where we were to disregard "passing notes" for instance, which was something I felt wasn't really covered in the course, and the one about "phrasing structure" (but that may have been in week 3).
In short, I'm not sure it's the FUNDAMENTALS (which to me means the basics) of music theory, but after well over 40 years of being able to read music, and over 20 singing in choirs, I finally understand the structures and names of chords, and simple progressions, and can work out an accompaniment for a simple tune, which was absolutely what I wanted to achieve. Thank you!
von Răzvan M•
I am absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to study the fundamentals of music theory from a prestigious university such as The University of Edinburgh for free online. I extend my most sincere gratitude to Coursera and the professors teaching the course for making this possible. The course makes it very easy to build knowledge going from week to week. The assignments are all challenging. In this way this course encourages studying to understand the concepts. I have attended the course as a beginner in music theory, having encountered only some very elementary concepts earlier. I have found all the teachers to be very pleasant and very clear in their explanations. I have given 4 stars to this course because I would have liked to learn more from the professors on some topics which were very briefly mentioned. Some of the courses have external links to Wikipedia instead of a more clear explanation. This are however the exception and not the rule. The majority of the course is well taught and presented.
von Neil S•
I have played rock guitar for years, but have a gap in basic theory. This course was a good choice for me - it starts with real basics such as what pitch and duration are and how they are noted, but moves very quickly to multiple staves, chords, harmonies, cadences and chord progressions.
A couple of the video lectures are very informative and worth watching more than once. The added "home" video made by one of the instructors working through various chord progressions and added later stands out as worth watching more than once.
I would have liked more support for understanding chord progressions, modulation and cadences in the written materials. The examples given are useful, but I didn't feel quite ready for the analysis skills expected of me in the final exam. Still, I learned a lot, and very happy that I took this course. I haven't magically gained ability to sight read, but the extra practice made me feel that it would be in reach if I wanted.
von Elizabeth T•
Less than excellent quizzes and final exam. There is an enormous gap between the material presented in the lectures, both in terms of format and information, and the various assessments.
I am an advanced-level amateur pianist and read music easily. I recognized the Beethoven sonata movement which was used for the final exam, and could play it as I considered the exam questions. It would certainly be helpful for students to know which composition they are analyzing. Perhaps the instructors might consider providing the title? (The choice of this sonata for the final exam is a little puzzling, though, since the musical examples in the lectures were mostly simple popular songs.)
Still I want to stress that this is a high-quality course on a complex subject. The professors are knowledgeable and articulate.
von Jacobo D V•
The course is mostly great. Some lectures are disappointing but the rest of the course is solid. I can honestly say I learned a lot. Topics covered seemed appropriate. I didn't opt to get a certificate and I'm not sure I'd recommend it, so keep that in mind when you read my review.
Forums are an invaluable resource. It's a shame Coursera doesn't seem preoccupied with quality of the forums with regards to mentors. As of now there is only 1 mentor and Coursera isn't recruiting any others. Also keep in mind the course has been all but abandoned by the University of Edinburgh.
TL;DR: if you're not afraid of doing research yourself on the forums and other sites on the internet then this course could be great for you. If you want something self-sufficient then you might be better off taking another course.
von Viren B•
This course is NOT easy.
I signed up for it thinking "Oh, I'll finally learn what diminished and augmented means" and so on, but I got much more than I bargained for, but in a very good way. This course forces you to raise your own standards about how deep you're willing to go into music theory, but leaves you better educated forever more. You learn to analyse proper classical pieces, and after completing it, will be in a position to be handed just about any piece of sheet music and not feel completely lost staring at it.
Word of warning, though, substantial self learning is required, and having access to atleast a two-octave keyboard (digital piano/midi controller etc.) is a must in my opinion. Still, well worth the time I spent on it.
von Matt J•
The videos were very well presented, and the information was very clear. This made me more comfortable with the learning, as I was assured that the information was coming from a credible source.
The reading resources and links were also very helpful, and the quizzes and exams were a good balance of relevant questions and challenge.
The only downside was that the quizzes were not accessible for weeks, and I am unsure as to why. I would assume that the lecturers write a new quiz after each enrollment, but f this could be made more clear to students, it would create less confusion.
Overall, this was my first Coursera course, and I was very pleased with the quality!
von Namrata U•
It's a good course considering the amount of content and the time allotted to complete it (6 weeks). For the pedagogical staff: certain concepts could be explained in depth (especially week 3). Some reorganization of the content is desirable. Apart from this, great job done by the instructors.
For prospective students: Please apply the concepts learnt in each week by practicing it on your instrument even if it is not a piano (guitar for me) before attempting the quiz and final exam.
Don't hesitate to go beyond the content given here for further explanation.
Do not ignore assignment review requests from your peers.