Music Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training

Study Music Theory with Berklee

Gain a command of music theory, harmony, ear training, arranging, orchestration, and the mechanics of contemporary music.

student and instuctor illustration

Masterclasses Are Here!

Learn from Berklee’s acclaimed instructors over the course of one live session for only $99.

Courses

Courses are best for students who are looking to meet a specific need, or simply want to get started with Berklee Online. No application necessary.

  • Next semester starts September 23.
  • 12 Weeks / 4 Weeks
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
OCWPR-130
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Explore all of the aspects of writing and arranging for the rhythm section and essential techniques for arranging music for a band.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OEART-115
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Build your confidence as a performer with this practical approach to ear training by learning how to notate rhythms and identify different parts of a song.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLART-100
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Explore what it means to be an artist, from a philosophical and practical perspective while learning how to plan and sustain a creative career.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OEART-119
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Ear Training 1 is all about learning how to accurately recognize, imagine, remember, and notate musical sounds, while gaining the ability to read music notation.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-110
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn to identify and modify chord progressions, improvise effectively from chord to chord, and deepen your understanding of music’s inner workings.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-105
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Music Application and Theory provides a study of music fundamentals and their use in contemporary popular music.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-101
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Create great-looking sheet music quickly and easily with the powerful Finale music notation software, and learn techniques to maximize speed, control, and accuracy.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-103
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn to use Sibelius to create lead sheets, scores, and parts, as well as how to enter and format notation so it conforms to current music publishing standards.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-101
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn music theory and gain the foundation you need to take your skills to a higher level by reading, writing, and critically listening to music.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-104
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Music Theory Fundamentals will lead you to a basic understanding of scales, harmony, bass lines, rhythmic language, and music notation. Geared towards students with no prior literacy in music, in this course you will explore music fundamentals and their use in contemporary popular music.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-110
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Gain a solid understanding of music fundamentals by taking a detailed look at the major and minor keys, and the tools to comprehend scales and chords.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OVOIC-100
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
This course is a basic to Intermediate level class introducing the elements of music theory and sight-reading for vocalists who would like to develop a strong fundamental knowledge of music theory and improve sight-singing skills.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OMUTH-105
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Enrich your mind, body, and spirit by learning about the psychological, neurological, and immunological changes that can happen when you engage with music.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-100
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Learn the essential concepts in harmony and ear training to strengthen your musicianship, regardless of the instrument or style of music that you play.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLART-170
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Discover the history of rock ‘n’ roll from the people who lived it, and learn about the prime innovators and the historical context in which the genre and its subgenres have alternately flourished and struggled.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCTHR-103
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Script Analysis for Theater offers insight into the role of form and structure in theater. Examining genres, aesthetics, and movements across time and around the globe, students will finish the course better prepared to deliver their own work to the stage.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLSOC-150
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
Gain a thorough understanding of film and TV, and learn to communicate effectively with directors, producers, and others involved in the production process.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCMUS-105
Level 1 Level 1
Undergraduate Course
This course is designed to enhance your relationship with time by strengthening your sense of internal pulse, aurally analyzing rhythmic structures in music, and by examining the foundations of rhythmic notation.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-250
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Expand your vocabulary of musical styles to create the contemporary grooves needed in today’s market, including explorations in rock, pop, Brazilian, Latin, R&B, funk, hip-hop, and more.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-231
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Develop your writing and arranging skills for small and large ensembles and learn techniques that you can apply to both live instrumentation and sequences.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-250
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Gain a broad overview of counterpoint and the art of writing lines that support both the melody and the overall structure of a composition.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OEART-120
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Building off of Ear Training 1, Ear Training 2 will improve your improvisation skills, musical interaction in performance, and music perception in listening.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OEART-215
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn to play what you hear more quickly, become more certain of the notes you are performing, and respond to music with greater conviction and expression.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-211
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Explore more advanced principals in harmony, including melodic and harmonic tension, chord substitution, and chromatically altered chords.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-212
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Harmony 2 studies concepts such as melodic construction and motif development and builds upon principles of linear harmonic continuity (voice leading). The course also introduces concepts like guide tones, modal interchange, blues theory, chord progressions, melodic rhythm, form and melody/harmony relationships.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLART-220
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
This course is a survey of music in film, covering everything from the late 1800s to the present day.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLART-233
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Explore the development of Western European music from Antiquity and the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLART-234
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Gain an understanding of how music was developed in the West through the study of composers, compositions, and key characteristics of a number of musical genres.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-201
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Become a more effective player and writer by studying harmony and furthering your music theory background to understand the rhythms, progressions, and complex chords in jazz, pop, blues, and rock.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-111
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Further your own musical language by expanding your knowledge of major and minor key harmony and melody, in addition to scales, chords, and drum grooves.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-210
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Continue developing the foundation for your musical knowledge as you explore and express yourself through composition for film, TV, and video games.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-211
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Building on the foundation of the previous three levels, learn compositional techniques first pioneered by twentieth century European and American composers.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OMUTH-201
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Gain an understanding of a music therapy career, including training requirements, levels of practice, and music therapy techniques.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OPIAN-245
Level 2 Level 2
Undergraduate Course
Learn how to construct, recognize, and musically use essential chords at the keyboard.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-332
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Take your arranging abilities to the next level by studying more advanced techniques for voicing chords, orchestration, articulations, and background lines.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-333
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Explore the sound and personality of woodwind and string instruments and learn how to apply them to songs, arrangements, and compositions.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCWPR-334
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Master the concepts of vocal writing and arranging and learn to write vocal charts in a number of contemporary styles, including jazz, folk, pop, and R&B.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-320
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Explore a variety of approaches to composing and learn how to develop any musical idea, from a melodic fragment to a catchy rhythm or phrase, or a chord.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OEART-320
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn techniques that will improve your performance, arranging, and compositional skills by learning to recognize what is going on within chord progressions.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OCOMP-395
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Learn effective techniques that will help you compose jazz tunes that have a balance of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic appeal.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OLSOC-307
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Explore the mental processes underlying musical behaviors and how emotion, environment, cognitive capacity, and other factors influence how we perceive music.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-301
Level 3 Level 3
Undergraduate Course
Prepare yourself for any future musical endeavor and gain a professional command of the mechanics of contemporary music in this advanced music theory course.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290
OHARM-412
Level 4 Level 4
Undergraduate Course
Take your musical vocabulary and skill set to a whole new level for writing, arranging, and performing music of any genre by learning reharmonization.
  • Credit: $1,545
  • Non-Credit: $1,290

Certificates

Gain the professional credentials and marketable skills you need to succeed in your specific area of the music industry. Certificates range from foundational-skill building to graduate-level. No application necessary.

  • Next semester starts September 23.
  • 3-18 Months
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
Advanced Professional
8 Courses · 24 Credits
This customizable program allows you to earn an Advanced Professional Certificate in General Music Studies by choosing eight courses from any interest area.
Advanced Professional
8 Courses · 24 Credits
This music theory certificate program will help you gain a professional command of the mechanics behind most of the contemporary music that you enjoy.
Professional
4 Courses · 12 Credits
Explore music theory in depth while learning how different cultures throughout the ages have contributed to varied practices in melody, harmony, and rhythm. Then apply this knowlege to your own compositions.
Professional
3 Courses · 9 Credits
Gain a concrete foundation in music, from reading and writing music notation to advanced topics such as modal and pentatonic melodies and harmonic tensions.
Professional
3 Courses · 9 Credits
Catered to vocalists, this certificate program offers everything from music theory to ear training to voice studies (breath, technique, vocal care, etc.).
Professional
4 Courses · 12 Credits
This customizable program allows you to earn a Professional Certificate in General Music Studies by choosing four courses from any interest area.

Degree Programs

Degree programs are the most affordable and flexible option for earning your music degree from Berklee College of Music. They are the best option for students who want a music education degree and the full Berklee experience.

  • Apply for Sept 23 semester start.
    • Get a decision within 2 weeks
  • Master's Degree: 1-3 Years
    Bachelor's Degree: 2-4 Years
  • 5-10 Hours Per Week
36 Credits
Expand your knowledge and skills in four areas critical to advancing a career in the music industry: music business, music production and technology, songwriting, and film scoring.
120 Credits
“Build your own” music major by selecting coursework from a number of disciplines that align with your personal career goals.
45 of 120 Credits
This major is geared specifically for new and entering students who are not yet ready to declare their major.

New! Masterclasses

With Berklee Online’s new Masterclasses, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Berklee's acclaimed instructors over the course of one live session for only $99.

Get Access to Free Handbooks

Gain access to real course content from Berklee Online's 12-week, instructor-led online courses. From foundational concepts to advanced techniques, these free handbooks cover a variety of topics, all designed to provide you with marketable skills in music.

What Students Are Saying