Commercial Theory and Harmonic Practices I – CMUS 105

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 01/25/2023

Course Description

A practical introduction to harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic principles of music for the commercial musician. Musical elements will be analyzed and special attention given to the Nashville Number System and commercial harmony practices as methodologies for commercial music analysis. Examination of commercial music and contemporary Christian music genres provides resources for practical application of harmonic principles. Construction of rhythm charts is also emphasized.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As practitioners of worship in the 21st-century church, one of our primary mediums of communication is music. Music serves as a valuable tool for the facilitation of worship within the local church, and though this medium is not itself worship, it is commonplace in the evangelical community. Music, therefore, merits thorough understanding and study. This course seeks to provide a foundational understanding of music through exploration of the elements most critical to the worship leader.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Worksheet Assignments (11)

The student will complete a number unique Worksheet Assignments that focus on many foundational elements of music. The exercises needed to complete each assignment are drawn from the workbook of Music Theory for the Christian Musician and are housed in a software called Flat. The worksheet assignments consistent of two main types: 1) interactive exercises created by Flat and 2) a musical score that the student manipulates. 

Final Assignment (4)

The student will create variety of charts useful in making music. Completion of the assignment occurs in stages throughout the course and requires an in-depth understanding of many course concepts. The student will use the provided files to create chord charts, translate the lead-sheet symbols to pitches, Nashville Numbers, and a Number Chart for musical worship.

Quizzes (7)

Most quizzes will cover the Learn material for the module in which it is assigned. A few quizzes also explore elements from earlier modules. The quizzes contain multiple-choice, multiple-answer and matching questions. The amount of time and point value vary greatly between each quiz. In addition to the graded quizzes, a series of practice quizzes is provided. The student can repeat the practice quizzes as often and as many times as desired. The goal of these practice quizzes is to hone skill and understanding in preparation for the graded quizzes. The student is granted multiple attempts on most quizzes.