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This mini-course is designed to help you learn to hear the difference between major and minor. Building through a number of intermediary stages, the goal will be to learn to distinguish between pieces written in major and minor keys. The focus will not be on acquiring concepts but on developing listening skills.

The main learning experience will take place in training environments in which you will have the opportunity to practice listening skills. Although each lesson will present the concepts needed to develop that lesson's skills, it will be through practice that the most important learning takes place. In the training environments you will be played a brief example: an interval, a scale, a chord, a cadence, or an excerpt from a piece of music. You will then be asked to identify the example as either major or minor. After your response, you will have the opportunity to hear the example again as many times as you like. A running score will be kept, and you should continue to use the training environment until you feel comfortable with your ability to reliably make accurate identifications. This kind of learning is best done a little at a time; fifteen minutes a day
in a training environment over the course of four days will probably do you much more good than an hour all at once.

This mini-course will draw on a number of basic musical concepts. It is strongly recommended that you familiarize yourself with the Sonic Glossary entries
Interval, Third, Octave and Scale before taking this mini-course. You don't have to master all of the details, but you should be conversant with the main concepts.

To begin select a lesson or training environment from pull down menus on the top of this page.

If you are experiencing problems with the lessons or training environments please reference the help page. Once you have finished using the training environments please take a few minutes to fill out the feedback page. Your comments will help inform the next version of this tool.

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Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning

Copyright © Columbia University
18 March 2013