Basic Ear Training 1

Authors: Roberta Radley, Matt Marvuglio | Course Code: OEART-115

Become a more interactive and confident musician by learning how to really hear what is going on in the band while you are performing. The course focuses on the melody and bass notes and examines the harmonies, rhythms, and pulses that drive and measure music. You'll learn to notate basic rhythms and pitch, and understand the relationships between notes by using the solfege method. Through transcription exercises and the study of contemporary songs from artists such as Dave Matthews, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Led Zeppelin, you'll learn to build an awareness of what's happening around you when you are playing, and build your confidence as a musician and performer.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

Conduct basic rhythmsIdentify different time signatures and notate basic rhythmsIdentify different key signatures and transcribe what you hearUnderstand tonic, subdominant, and dominant relationshipsIdentify the difference between major and minor tonicIdentify primary triads in major and minorRecognize A B elements in song formApply the moveable Do system to performance and composition

Lesson 1: Conducting Basic Rhythms

Conducting while Singing Basic Rhythms in 4/4Conducting while Singing Basic Rhythms in 2/4Conducting while Singing Basic Rhythms in 3/4

Lesson 2: Identifying Different Time Signatures and Notating Basic Rhythms

Identifying 4/4, 2/4, and 3/4 Time SignaturesNotating Basic Rhythms

Lesson 3: Introduction to Solfege

Singing the Major Scale Using Solfege SyllablesSinging the Tendency Tones with ResolutionsSinging Basic Melodies That Include Tendency TonesNotating Basic Melodies from the Literature

Lesson 4: Tonic/Dominant Relationships and Three-Note Scale Patterns

A New Scale Pattern for Your Warm-Up RoutineSinging and Identifying Dominant-to-Tonic Cadence PatternsReading Bass Clef Exercises

Lesson 5: Tonic/Subdominant Relationships

A New Scale Pattern for Your Warm-Up RoutineSinging and Identifying Subdominant-to-Tonic Cadence PatternsTranscribing Subdominant-to-Tonic Cadence Patterns

Lesson 6: Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant Relationships; Blues Form

A New Scale Pattern for Your Warm-Up RoutineSinging and Identifying Subdominant, Dominant to Tonic Cadence Patterns in the BluesSinging Harmony Parts on a Blues Song

Lesson 7: Introduction to Notation

ReviewNotatingSinging primary triadsExercises in Basic Notation

Lesson 8: Becoming the Recognizer

Finding Do in the KeyExploring Different KeysWarm-Up Interval ExercisesExercises in Interval Recognition

Lesson 9: Hearing Form

12-Measure Song Forms with A B ElementsExplore Different KeysWarm-Up Interval ExercisesExercises with Riffs and AAB 12-Bar FormsExercises in Interval Recognition

Lesson 10: Relative Minor

Identifying the Difference between Major and Minor TonicWarm-Up Exercises in Major and Minor Pentatonic ScalesExercises with minor melodiesExercises in Major/Minor RecognitionForm Exercises: 16-Measure A B Recognition

Lesson 11: Relative Minor Primary Triads

Identifying Primary Triads in MinorWarm-Up Exercises with Minor Primary TriadsBasic Notation Exercises with Primary TriadsForm Exercises: 24- and 32-Measure ABA AABA RecognitionExercises in I IV V Recognition

Lesson 12: Putting It All Together

Students will complete a final project based upon the various skills they have acquired in the course.

Roberta Radley

Author & Instructor

Roberta Radley is Assistant Chair in the Ear Training Department at Berklee College of Music. A Berklee graduate with a degree in composition, she joined the faculty in 1976. Since then, Radley has taught a wide range of ear training classes, using innovative methods to help students hear music more analytically, and earning recognition for Outstanding Achievement in Music Education from Berklee College of Music. Co-author of the Department Core Curriculum Ear Training 1-4 books as well as author of the Harmonic Ear Training DVD on Berklee Press, Roberta has traveled widely on behalf of Berklee, holding scholarship auditions, working with affiliated schools, and presenting seminars across the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, Roberta is an active performer as a pianist and vocalist and is an experienced private piano and voice instructor.

Matt Marvuglio


Matt Marvuglio is Dean of the Performance Division at Berklee College. As a virtuosic flutist and composer, he has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, premiering his compositions for jazz flute. He has presented clinics for the National Flute Association, the Acoustic Society of America, and the International Flute Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His composition "Simples of the Moon" for processed flute, EWI MIDI wind controller, and acoustic and electronic percussion, may be heard on the CD Divinations, by Dean Anderson. Matt's first solo album entitled Why Cry? features three of his own compositions and a number of interpretations of old favorites. His articles on jazz flute playing have appeared in The Instrumentalist. He is the curriculum editor and composer for the Berklee Practice Method series, and has written and hosted Berklee's When Music Works DVD Series.

Gaye Tolan Hatfield


Gaye Tolan Hatfield is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and an associate professor in the college’s Ear Training department. She has also taught in the Harmony, Voice, and Ensemble departments. Her work outside of the college includes writing, arranging, transcribing, and performing locally as a vocalist, pianist, and flutist. She has assisted orchestrators for the Boston Pops, and in the summer of 2013, wrote a choral arrangement that was performed at the Pops 4th of July concert.

Hatfield’s compositions can be heard on a variety of television shows, including Navy NCIS, History Detective, The Young and the Restless, Revenge, NUMBER3, C.S.I. NY, Good Wife, and United States of Tara, in addition to the films, Dear John and What To Expect When You’re Expecting. She has also been a member of the Providence Singers, and penned an arrangement of “Someone to Watch Over Me” for their 2007-2008 Gershwin tribute concert.

Gilson Schachnik


Gilson Schachnik is Associate Professor in the Ear Training department and adjunct faculty in the Ensemble department. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil , Gilson toured the country with Rosa Maria and Patricia Marx in addition to recording jingles for BASF , Playboy and TV Cultura. After receiving a scholarship in 1990, Gilson moved to Boston to attend Berklee and graduated in 1996 in Jazz Composition. Since then Gilson had performed with: Peter Erskine, Harvey Mason, Claudio Roditi, Bill Pierce, Miguel Zenon and Antonio Sanchez among others. Gilson joined the faculty in 2002 and wrote the book Beginning Ear Training (Berklee Press). In 2010 Gilson and Brazilian drummer Mauricio Zottarelli formed the group Mozik, releasing their first recording, Mozik. Since then the group has performed extensively in the US. In addition to being an active performer in the Boston area, Gilson has been a member of Berklee’s audition team and has done auditions and given masterclasses in Canada, Brazil and Palestine.

Paul Stiller


Paul Stiller is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. He has been on the Ear Training faculty at Berklee since 1995 and has taught Ear Training 1-4, Rhythmic Ear Training, Performance Ear Training for Voice, Voice lessons, and a choral ensemble. Aside from teaching, he has been an active adjudicator and clinician with numerous college and high school groups throughout the U.S. and Japan. He is a founding member, producer, arranger, and vocal percussionist for the a cappella group Vox One, which is comprised of all Berklee faculty. He has opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Dwight Yoakam, Ray Charles, Chicago, and the Woody Herman and Count Basie Orchestras. Commercial work includes Sears, TCBY Treats, State Farm Insurance, Hood Milk, Pontiac/GMC, Superior Coffee, International Trucks, Sharp, and Dr. Pepper. In 2012, Paul received the “Berklee Distinguished Faculty Award.”

Rich Greenblatt


Rich Greenblatt is a vibraphonist with "dazzling speed and a truly magical touch" writes John Blenn in 'Good Times Magazine'. He has recorded three CDs as a leader, ‘Hat Trick’(2009), ‘Hot and Dry’ (2003) and ‘Mooin’ (1998). Rich has performed and recorded with such great artists as Kurt Elling, Billy Mitchell, Dennis Irwin, Oscar Castro-Neves, Garrison Fewell, Kevin Hayes, Greg Hopkins, Winard Harper, Joe Hunt, Yoron Israel, The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and The English Chamber Orchestra.

Rich is an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music. He is an endorsing artist for Musser vibraphones and Vic Firth mallets.

William Brinkley


Bill Brinkley is the developer and former director of the Center for Computer Aided Instruction in Music, Berklee’s first research facility investigating the use of computer technology in a music curriculum. A Berklee graduate with a degree in composition, Bill joined the faculty in 1976. During his 15 years at the college, Bill was also a highly respected professor, teaching ear training, solfege, arranging, harmony, jazz counterpoint, ensembles, and private guitar lessons, and authoring two jazz counterpoint courses and a music copying course. Bill started out as a rock and R and B guitarist in his native Georgia, eventually joining Motown to work with David Ruffin after the singer left the Temptations. He became one of Boston’s most proficient jazz guitarists, playing in numerous bands with top area musicians like Jerry Bergonzi, Grover Mooney, and Garrison Fewell. An in-demand music copyist and transcriber, Bill has worked for Harry Connick Jr., the Boston Pops, George Benson, Lyle Mays, and classical composer Thomas Oboe Lee. He continues to work as a musician, as well as a graphic designer and music technology consultant.

Students should have studied an instrument or voice for at least two years and have a knowledge of reading treble or bass clef. Please note that you will be required to sing each week.

None required.

PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higherMac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, SafariFlash Player: current versionQuickTime: current versionAdobe Reader: current versionFinale Notepad 2011 or laterA basic audio recording tool that will allow you to record yourself and save the recording in MP3 format. You will have a tool to use for this purpose inside the learning environment. Alternatively, you can use software like Audacity or GarageBand.
Windows Vista SP2 or higherIntel Pentium or higher1 GB RAM500 MB hard drive space recommendedSound cardSpeakers or headphones for your computerA built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface).
OS X 10.7 or higherIntel Mac2 GB RAM500 MB hard drive space recommendedSpeakers or headphones for your computerA built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface).


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Next Term Starts June 27

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    12 weeks
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    $1,200 + $25

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