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Open e-Textbooks for Access to Music Education

Open e-Textbooks for Access to Music Education

This is the blog of the Open e-Textbooks for Access to Music Education project. This project is a collaboration between the Reid School of Music and Education, Design and Engagement, and is generously funded by a Student Experience Grant.

Fundamentals of Music Theory open textbook published

Fundamentals of Music Theory book coverWe’re incredibly proud to announce the publication of our Fundamentals of Music Theory open textbook, which is the first ebook to be hosted on Edinburgh Diamond, a new service provided by Edinburgh University Library that supports the publication of academic and student-led Open Access books and journals.

This open textbook is the result of a project funded by a University of Edinburgh Student Experience Grant, Open e-Textbooks for Access to Music Education. Led by Dr Nikki Moran and Lorna M. Campbell, the project was a collaboration between the University’s OER Service, and staff and student interns, Kari Ding, Ifeanyichukwu Ezinmadu and Ana Reina Garcia, from the Reid School of Music.

As a proof-of-concept endeavour, the project aimed to explore how effectively we could convert content originally created for the popular Coursera MOOC Fundamentals of Music Theory and adapted for an on campus course, into a convenient and reusable open textbook suitable for use by staff and students both within and beyond the University.

The resulting open textbook presents Creative Commons licensed educational materials that deal with the building blocks of musical stave (sometimes known as staff) notation, a language designed to communicate about musical ideas, which is in use around the world. The resources in this e-book include video lectures and their transcripts, as well as supporting text explanations, examples and illustrations. The materials introduce topics such as the organisation of discrete pitches into scales and intervals, and temporal organisation of musical sounds as duration, in rhythm and metre. These rudiments are presented through an introduction to the elements of five-line stave notation, and through critical discussion of the advantages and limitations served by notational systems in the representation and analysis of musical sounds. This serves as the basis of further explanations, to illustrate musical concepts including key, time signature, harmonisation, cadence and modulation. We anticipate that subsequent versions of this e-book will update and develop the contents and presentation of the materials, following the success of this student-led collaboration.

Fundamentals of Music Theory is shared under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence and can be downloaded from Edinburgh Diamond in the following formats: Word, PDF, EPub (reflowable), ePub (fixed layout).  An HTML version will be available shortly. In order to make the open textbook as accessible and reusable as possible, users can download the book in its entirety, or topic by topic.

ISBN: 978-1-912669-22-6

Header and cover image adapted from a free to use image by Geralt on Pixabay.

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