Music theory is a vital component in the education of musicians. Music theory instruction at The Hartt School provides students majoring in music, dance, and theatre with experiences in perceiving, analyzing, and performing music. The core music theory and ear training curriculum for undergraduates is two to five semesters of music theory with two to six semesters of ear training. Kodály instruction is used for all levels of ear training.
Applicants for the Bachelor of Music in Music Theory usually have preparatory training in music theory and performance. A total of 137.5 credits is required for the bachelor's degree, which is usually completed in eight full-time semesters. Music theory majors follow a carefully planned curriculum under the supervision of a faculty member of the music theory department. The undergraduate degree program includes instruction in the fundamentals of music theory, tonal harmony, tonal analysis, posttonal analysis, tonal counterpoint, modal counterpoint, keyboard harmony, orchestration, score reading, music theory pedagogy, and ear training pedagogy. A senior essay is completed during the senior year. The senior essay topic is selected by the student and is supervised by a faculty member of the music theory department. Undergraduate music theory majors are required to maintain an overall grade point average of B- throughout their degree programs.