Dulcimer Music Theory 101

Spring, 2021, Syllabus

Instructor Information


Mark A. Wade, DMA


See my contact page.

Office Location & Hours

Zoom, 7:30-8:45 PM Eastern
Tuesdays - March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

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General Information


This course is designed to teach applied music theory to mountain and hammered dulcimer players. In this class, we will learn the inner workings of music, deepen our understanding of the elements of music, notation, intervals, scales, meter, tonal harmony, diatonic chords, inversions. We will be using standard notation on a music staff in treble & bass clefs and relating concepts back to our dulcimers. You do not need to be a good sight-reader, and some may want a cheat sheet handy for reference. By using dulcimer-friendly keys for the applications, theory will be applicable and accessible. We will also encounter unfriendly keys for comprehension, but not for applications. Complete tuition for the 5 75-minute sessions is $125. Need to miss one? Not a problem. Mark will record them for you!

Expectations and Goals

As we meet weekly, we will review past concepts, and build on them into the next area. There will be time for interactive questions and answers, as well as discussions and hands-on learning– all from the comfort of your home. Mark will provide handouts and other supplemental materials as needed. Assignments are optional but are a valuable tool to learn the material and practice new concepts. We may not get to all the topics above. Our goal is learning for mastery.


This is a 5-week class that meets once per week for 75 minutes. Your tuition holds your space for all 5 sessions. There is no penalty for missing a session, but no refund will be provided. Mark cannot guarantee a recording for missed classes but will make every attempt to do so.

Dulcimer Music Theory 101

Course Materials

Required Materials

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Reading Exercises
1 Tue, Mar 2 Getting Started with Music Theory: Understanding note values, notation, time signatures, and more! Chapters 1 to 2 Checkpoints,
2 Tue, Mar 9 Rests, Rhythmic notation, Time Signatures, Syncopation. Elements of Rhythm: Durational symbols, beat, tempo, meter, division of beat, simple time signatures, compound time signatures, grouplets, and beams. Chapters 3 to 5 Checkpoints,
3 Tue, Mar 16 Pitch Notation, major and minor scales, Key Signatures, Circle of Fifths Chapters 6 to 8 Checkpoints,
4 Tue, Mar 23 Intervals, Building Chords, Chord Types, Chord Progressions Chapters 9 to 11 Checkpoints,
5 Tue, Mar 30 Diatonic Chords: Minor scales, diatonic triads in major and minor keys, diatonic seventh chords in major and minor keys, Understanding common musical forms Chapters 15 to 16 Checkpoints,

Optional Materials


A non-refundable $125 registration fee for 5 sessions is required to secure your spot in the class. After you register, Mark will email you instructions within a few days.

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Use the following form to pay for your registration online:


Use my contact page to email me with any questions you might have.