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Practical Musicianship 2

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code MU074-205) • (0 classes) Course location to be confirmed •
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Course Summary

Develop your musicianship skills from a basic understanding of western notation. Using Kodály methodology, students will improve their reading and writing skills through song, rhythmic clapping and improvisation, dictation, and composing. Building on previous knowledge of simple time signatures and pentatonic and major tonalities, students will be introduced to compound and irregular time signatures, and minor tonalities.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

This course is intended for students who already have a basic understanding of western musical notation. Completion of the Open Studies course Practical Musicianship 1 is recommended, but not essential.

Content of Course


  • Review of do and la pentatonic scales and the do diatonic (major) scale
  • Review of simple time signature rhythmic combinations: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver, and their ‘dotted’ variants
  • Composing rhythms and melodies using all elements covered to this point


  • Introduction to syncopation
  • Review of the la pentachord and la hexachord
  • Composing simple la pentachord/hexachord melodies


  • More complex syncopated rhythms
  • Introducing the triplet
  • Introducing the natural minor scale


  • Basic introduction to compound time signatures; the dotted crotchet and grouped quavers
  • Further work with the natural minor scale: composing simple natural minor melodies
  • A look at musical form


  • Compound time signatures continued: crotchet/quaver combinations
  • Introduction to the harmonic minor scale: the raised 7th (si)
  • A review of reading in the bass clef


  • Compound time signatures: more complex dotted patterns
  • Working with the harmonic minor scale; reading and composing
  • An introduction to simple two-part reading


  • An introduction to changing time signatures
  • Understanding chromaticism
  • Introduction to the melodic minor scale: the raised 6th and 7th (fi and si)


  • Working with irregular time signatures
  • Working with the melodic minor scale; reading and composing
  • The flattened 7th (ta) in a major context


  • Review of the minor scale: natural, harmonic and melodic variants
  • Starting to think vertically: how to build simple chords
  • Basic introduction to modes


  • How to build a simple chordal accompaniment to a melody
  • Identifying the modes of simple modal folksongs
  • Full course review

Please note, this outline is subject to the progress of participants and may be altered as circumstances dictate.

Teaching method(s)

  • Tutor-led discussion
  • Group work
  • Individual written and reading work during class
  • Independent set homework tasks

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Read, write, and sing melodies in major and minor scales with confidence
  • Be comfortable with all possible rhythmic combinations in both simple and compund time signatures
  • Understand how chromaticism works
  • Have a basic understanding of simple harmonic progressions


Class Handouts

Class hand-outs will be provided by the tutor. Participants should bring manuscript paper and pencils.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.