Open Books

  • The Basic Elements of Music (OpenStax CNX)
    Open book by Catherine Schmidt-Jones that covers “time elements,” “pitch elements,” and “combining time and pitch”.
  • Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music
    “[This book] provides its readers with a comprehensive study of the theory and analysis of tonal Western art music. Mount begins by building a strong foundation in the understanding of rhythm, meter, and pitch as well as the notational conventions associated with each. From there, he guides the reader through an exploration of polyphony—the simultaneous sounding of multiple independent melodies—and an increasingly rich array of different sonorites that grow out of this practice. The book culminates with a discussion of musical form, engaging with artistic works in their entirety by considering the interaction of harmonic and thematic elements, but also such other musical dimensions as rhythm, meter, texture, and expression.”
  • Introduction to Music Appreciation
    by Bethanie Hansen, David Whitehouse, and Cathy Silverman. This book “is about listening, appreciating, understanding, and discussing music. It explores the history, aesthetics, and criticism of Western music for an enhanced understanding of the topic.
  • Open Music Theory x CUNY
    A free, open-source, online textbook remixed from Open Music Theory. The resources in this edition have been designed to support music theory courses at York College/CUNY.
  • A Quick and Dirty Guide to Art, Music, and Culture
    “This is a guidebook to a web resource of Artist and Musician biographies (” by Clayton Funk of The Ohio State University.
  • Understanding Basic Music Theory (OpenStax CNX)
    Open book by Catherine Schmidt-Jones that covers the “bare essentials of music theory.”
  • Understanding Music: Past and Present
    “An open Music Appreciation textbook co-authored by music faculty across Georgia. The text covers the fundamentals of music and the physics of sound, an exploration of music from the Middle Ages to the present day, and a final chapter on popular music in the United States.”

Open Courses

  • Art and Music since 1945
    Site for Clayton Funk’s course at Ohio State University. Course site includes syllabus, readings, and lectures, and follows the open guidebook “A Quick and Dirty Guide to Art, Music, and Culture.”
  • Class Piano I
    “[This] educational channel covers the following key topics: beginning keyboard technique, sight-reading, transposition, scales, arpeggios, chords, harmonization, & improvisation. […] [E]ach video comes with closed captions, brief descriptions, suggestions to related videos, and chapters (“show more” under the video description).”
  • Introduction to Music (Saylor Academy)
    “This course provides an introductory survey of the Western classical tradition, exploring music both as a phenomenon of sound and culture. The focus of this course is the development of aural skills that lead to an understanding and appreciation of music.”
  • Music: Its Language, History, and Culture (Brooklyn College)
    Open course site with music OER and textbook in both PDF and interactive formats.
  • Sound Reasoning: A New Way to Listen
    By Anthony Brandt. “Sound Reasoning is designed to help you listen. This course encourages you to be self-reliant–to get up close to the music, without mediation or interference. The course assumes little or no prior musical background. The ability to read music is not required. A minimum of musical terminology will be invoked. When it is necessary, all terms are defined in a glossary easily accessible by hyper-link. Most importantly, musical examples are interpolated directly into the text, making it easy to evaluate all the concepts that are introduced.”

Open audio & additional OER

  • Free Music Archive
    “An interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU”
  • International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
    Library of scores and recordings that are CC-licensed or public domain in Canada. Refer to IMSLP’s public domain page for more information about use outside of Canada.
  • Musopen
    “We provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.”
  • Open Goldberg Variations
    “The Open Goldberg Variations (Johann Sebastian Bach, BWV 988), played by Kimiko Ishizaka on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial piano, are free to download and share. They are governed by the Creative Commons Zero license, which means that they are a part of the public domain, and every use of them is allowed.”
  • Teoría
    Music theory website by José Rodríguez Alvira. Peer reviewed web site by MERLOT and recipient of 2006 MERLOT Classic Award in music.

Zero-Cost Resources

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