Dulcimer Music Theory 101


Winter 2022 Syllabus

Instructor Information


Mark A. Wade, DMA


See my contact page.

Office Location & Hours

Zoom, 7:45-9:00 PM Eastern
Thursdays – Feb. 10, 17, 24, Mar. 3, 10

Out of stock



This course is designed to teach practical music theory to mountain and hammered dulcimer players. You will discover the inner workings of music, deepen our understanding of the elements of music, notation, intervals, scales, meter, tonal harmony, diatonic chords, inversions. We will use 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, but some may want a cheat sheet handy for reference (provided). By using dulcimer-friendly keys for the applications, theory will be applicable, accessible, and relevant. Most of all, this course will demystify music theory for you and Mark makes learning it fun! Complete tuition for the five 75-minute sessions is 124.

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. Whatever material isn’t completed in this unit will continue into Music Theory 102. Whatever material isn’t completed in this unit will continue into Music Theory 102.


This is a 5-week class that meets weekly for 75 minutes. Your tuition holds your space for all 5 sessions. Mark will record each class and share them with registered students if you need to miss one.

Dulcimer Music Theory 101

Course Materials

Required Materials

  • Music Theory for Dummies by Pilhofer and Holly Day.
  • Mark will provide numerous handouts and additional materials included in your tuition.
  • We will be using Zoom. You will need to download the latest version of the Zoom software or app if you are using a tablet or iPad. If you are on a laptop or desktop, you can use Zoom without the app on your browser. Mark can help you if you are unfamiliar with this.

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Reading Exercises
1 Thu, Feb 10 Getting Started with Music Theory: Understanding note values, notation, time signatures, and more! Chapters 1 to 2 Checkpoints,
2 Thu, Feb 17 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 Thu, Feb 24 Pitch Notation, major and minor scales, Key Signatures, Circle of Fifths Chapters 6 to 8 Checkpoints,
4 Thu, Mar 3 Intervals, Building Chords, Chord Types, Chord Progressions Chapters 9 to 11 Checkpoints,
5 Thu, Mar 10 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

  • www.musictheory.net
  • Have your book and something to write notes and solve problems on.
  • You may want to have your instrument nearby to help you visualize at times.
  • You may want to have multiple monitors or devices if you plan to use handouts as PDFs. Otherwise, make plans to print handouts.


non-refundable $124 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.

Use the following form to pay for your registration on-line:


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