Very good course which hammers home the essentials.\n\nGood enthusiastic lecturing and importantly on completion progressed onto Coursera Musicianship Specialisation which I have now almost completed
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..:-)
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.
von Nathan W•
Really enjoyed taking on the challenge of this music theory course. Starting out as a drummer, notes on the treble and bass clef were absolute alien entities to me, but this course has changed that. Would recommend 100%. My only complaint is that the last few weeks' exams ramp up the difficulty significantly leaving you feeling like you missed something in the lectures. I think some of the harder topics could have been broken down better for people who have never been introduced to them before. Further reading and research is necessary for completion.
von Izabella G•
It was a great adventure to learn basic music theory. Thank you!
Explanation in the videos were simple and well understandable (I have non-native English).
However chord and cadence related questions in quiz and final test were more complex compared to the simplified explanation. Therefore
identifying chords and cadences correctly was a challenge for me as a complete beginner. Apart of that I owe a big thank, as this course has unsealed a complete new World for me. This new World is MUSIC. Thank you.
von Akinyi O•
This course was perfect, except for Week Three, which was problematic for quite a few of us, if the Discussion Forums are anything to go by.
Either way, I learned a lot, and I am proud to say I can now read music, which was the main reason I went into the course. Most of the instructors used the piano to teach, and the addition of the auditory experience really enhanced my learning on this course. I would definitely recommend this course, and be happy to take another course with these instructors.
von Judith S•
At the beginning, I thought the course was very good for beginners or people that know how to play an instrument well but would like to know more about the theoretical background.
However, the last two sessions were very hard and there could have been more detailed course material throughout the course and more exercises to make sure the concepts are well-understood by all students.
Nevertheless, the course proved to be very useful and enabled me to analyse a musical piece, which made it worthwhile.
von IVAN J•
Good. But sometimes the course jumps way too fast. Since I have already studied music theory, I joined this course to observe how music concepts are presented by the faculty; methodologies used; practical demos. While I liked the approach and the shared presentations very much, I felt, it could have been graded more gradually.
Also, as an introductory course, perhaps its better to put in less concepts with more application to real day to day music, rather than covering wide ground.
von Antonia T B•
I'm a musician and a teacher and took this course just to refresh some concepts. I learnt a lot but I found this course too theoretical. I missed the music here! There is one professor who is amazing and played a lot (forgot his name, he plays cembalo). The other ones were too serious and too theoretical. Have in mind that this is a difficult course. You have to know music in order to be able to pass the quizzes and the final exam (which are both difficult). Thanks a lot! / Antonia
von Nicholas L•
There is a lot of good things to be said about this course, as it goes pretty in depth about music theory and other relevant aspects. However, there is also a lot of room for improvement as well, as the difficulty level at times seemed pretty intimidating for a beginner course, such as in one particular week (4 or 5, can't exactly remember), where there was very little explanation but a lot of advanced stuff being tested. Overall, it was a great learning experience.
von Sara S•
I've found this course very helpful to improve my knowledge of music theory. Some teachers are very clear and passionate about what they teach. However I don't think I would recommend this course to those who know nothing about music, I think it is necessary to know at least how to read music. I found the quizzes and the final exam very challenging and difficult but they helped me maybe more than the lessons themselves to get a better view on this subject.
von Fiona S•
I think that this is an excellent course and I got a lot out of it. However, at times, I found that the quiz and exam questions were far extended beyond the material covered in the lecture. For example, in lectures, the keys were often limited to C Maj, and A Min, but the quiz questions would be much more difficult extending to keys with many more sharps and flats. It might be that further examples, or lectures could be added to address this.
von Xavier T P•
I think it is a really good course, unfortunately too advanced for someone that is just starting to play the recorder and recognises the notes and so on. Also the fact that the notes are ABCDEFG instead of DO.RE.MI.FA... made thinks a little bit confusing for me. I learnt some stuff until 3rd week where started to be quite complicated, 4th week was frustrating. Maybe in the future I'll come back to it.
von Dakota S L•
Great content for an introductory course regarding the topics they covered - helped me fill in missing gaps of knowledge. Lots of clear examples too. My criticisms of the course are:
- Usage of English terminology for rhythms (i.e. quavers, etc.)
- The last video explaining cadences in depth has a lot of audio issues - the instructor is quiet and there are suddenly large spikes in volume from noises
von Gabriel G d O•
I could give five stars, but I've ended up with four and I'll explain why. The course is awesome, instructors are great. The problem is the pace. At some point you have to absorb a considerable amount of information in a short period of time. Of course, it's not a reason to avoid the course, but this feedback could be useful for further adjustments reflecting in a better product for all community.
von Jael T•
This course was really good and I learned a lot, but the teachers jumped around a lot and assumed that the students knew a lot of information already. I was able to survive simply because I had studied about a third of the information presented already. It is a very good course, but not complete. More explanations and examples of HOW to do/calculate the concepts presented would be nice.
von Sarah A•
This course it is a great tool to study about music theory and it helped me to increase my knowledge about this topic. However, I don't think that it's an introductory course, because the quizzes of the latests weeks(3,4,5 and 6) had a gigantic raise of difficulty, Therefore, if you're a beginner in music theory or if you don't know anything about it, I wouldn't recommend this course.
von Anıl Ç•
Generally this course has good subjects and syllabus. In some parts of course they teach reasons of the subjects and it becomes more logical for me. The only reason that I gave four stars is lecture videos are not enough for the final exam. Especially for part 2 of final exam, some questions are more detailed for given lectures. However, it was a good introduction for music theory.
von Jan S•
First of all: Thank you very much for providing this, I've learned a lot!
Why not 5 stars?
In some cases you just used a link to Wikipedia as additional material for a video. In the first and second week you had more details, I know you already kindly invested a lot of time, but I would appreciate if you could add some details to those sections where you just used links.
von Natthanan K•
A variety of topics in music theory was well-organized. Series of practice questions are usefully available. One suggestion is the auditory materials should often accompany written explanations to help learners be acquainted with what you would hear and underlying theory when lecturing about certain topics such as the difference between some time meters or something.