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The University of Southampton

MUSI1007 Fundamentals of Analysis, Counterpoint and Harmony

Module Overview

This module will provide you with a firm understanding of the theory and practice of the principles of Western tonal music that will be invaluable to later courses. In the first part of the module you will study the basics of harmony and counterpoint. After honing these skills you will use them to analyse the harmony of tonal music, learning to identify chords and non-harmonic tones, and to describe functions in context using figured bass, Roman numerals and the terminology of functional harmonic analysis. Finally, you will apply this knowledge to melodic harmonisation.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The basic principles of counterpoint
  • Harmonies and harmonic functions in context
  • Terminology appropriate to the harmonic-formal analysis of tonal music
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Compose a contrapuntal line to a given melody
  • Identify chords and non-harmonic tones, and describe their functions in context
  • Harmonise given melodic ideas


• Principles of harmony and counterpoint • Figured bass and Roman numerals • Harmonic function and cadential progressions • Harmonisation of melodies

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lectures will introduce concepts that will be explored further in weekly practical seminars. There are three formal assessments covering the areas studied: two shorter formal assessments worth 25% each; and a final longer formal assessment worth 50%.

Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Completion of assessment task36
Follow-up work30
Wider reading or practice30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Open Music Theory.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (for musical terminology). 

Johann-Joseph Fux. The Study of Counterpoint. 

Eric Taylor. The AB Guide to Music Theory, Part 1 & Part 2. 

Anna Butterworth. Harmony in Practice. 

Walter Piston. Harmony. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  () 25%
Assessment  () 25%
Project  () 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project  () 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment


Printing and Photocopying Costs

Assignment Printing

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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