This online course is a continuation of the study of diatonic structures and musical notation from Harmony & Theory Fundamentals.

Expand your knowledge of rhythm, the system of counting rhythms and diatonic melody, while Mark Cally guides you in learning the system of diatonic harmony in minor keys, and introduces harmonic and melodic scale.

Time Commitment: 10 weeks, 3-4 hours/week
Price: $599
Skill Level: Beginner - Intermediate
Certificate of Accomplishment: Grade of 70%+
Language: English
Next Start Date: Monday January 22, 2018


Learn and master the very basic elements of ear training, including:

  • Rhythmic notation.
  • Time signature & ties.
  • Applied rhythmic knowledge, pivot chords.
  • Natural minor scale: formula, minor key signatures: relative minor, and major, parallel minor.
  • Minor scale triad harmony.
  • Pivot chords, natural minor scale.
  • Diatonic seventh chords.
  • Harmonic and melodic minor scales.
  • Minor Scale Harmony, minor diatonic triads, continue chord symbol notation, key centers.

In order to take Harmony & Theory Essentials, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following and/or have completed MI Online’s Harmony & Theory Fundamentals:

  • The basic elements of music notation
  • Major scales and key signatures
  • Diatonic Intervals
  • Triads and diatonic harmony
  • A computer (PC/Mac) with at least 4GB RAM
  • We recommend that you connect to an Internet Line with an average speed of 10Mbps or better, and to use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi
  • The ability to make basic recordings of yourself
  • The ability to connect with the instructor via video chat applications
  • Pencil, staff paper
  • A keyboard or principal instrument may be useful but is not a prerequisite
  • We recommend using Chrome or Firefox internet browsers on iOS, MacOS, Windows or Android
  • Full access to install software on the computer you are using

How do I try a free lesson?

Go to the course page you’re interested in and click on the “Try a free lesson” button to sign up.

How do I enroll in a course?

No need to apply. Simply click “Enroll” on our course pages and create your MI Online profile. Once your payment is complete, consider yourself enrolled! All that’s left to do is put a reminder in your calendar of the course start date. We’ll email you a course date reminder and important info to get you started.

Do you offer courses in other languages?

Not yet but we’re working on it – stay tuned!

Can I take the course using my mobile phone or tablet?

Yes! You should, however, be aware that the Live Lecture chat box feature is not available for mobile devices. You can watch and hear your instructor but you won’t be able to ask him questions.

Are MI Online courses available for credit?

Not at this time but we’re looking into it. All courses delivered by MI Online are offered as an avocational option for individuals interested in music training and skills development. Courses are not offered for credit and are not applicable toward the attainment of any degree, certificate, or other academic award.

How many students are there in each course?

We have a maximum of 20 students per class for each of our courses. Our small class sizes helps create a collaborative, intimate space so that you’ll get the most out of your learning experience with your instructor and classmates.

How do MI Online courses work?

All our courses are 10 weeks. Each week you’ll watch pre-recorded video lessons. You’ll also receive an assignment, which is due before your scheduled Live Lecture with your Instructor. Your Live Lectures are your virtual classrooms and your opportunity to engage with, and learn directly from, your Course Instructor.

How long is the course accessible for?

You can access your course material for up to 6 months after your course ends.

What happens if I miss a Live Lecture?

We understand that our students come from all over the world and learn on different time zones. All our lectures are available for replay 48 to 72 hours after the schedule Live Lecture, so you can view any lectures you missed.

Which payment methods do you accept?

We support payments from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal.

Can I pay for the course using a Payment Plan?

Yes, you can purchase all our courses in three monthly installments using your credit card.




Mark Cally

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Mark is an accomplished jazz guitarist, arranger, copyist, songwriter, and music educator. Mark cut his musical teeth playing with the Australian Show Band and The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has since toured the world with Royal Crown Revue and has worked the soundstages of Hollywood with renowned composer, Tim Davies, producing numerous songs for film and video games.

With the band The Flying Neutrinos, Mark wrote one of the big swing hits of the late nineties, “Mr. Zoot Suit”, which featured in the movies “Blast from The Past” and “Three to Tango”, and in television series “Sex and the City.” Mark has also worked with the legendary Wayne Shorter and pianist Bill Cunliffe on many orchestral projects.

As one of the curricular authors of harmony and theory and ear training curriculum for Musician Institute, Mark’s career on stage and behind the scenes gives him a truly unique perspective to help contemporary musicians, songwriters, and producers.


Unit 1
Rhythmic notation # Staff and bar lines review, note and rest values, whole note to 16th notes, triplets, dotted notes.

Unit 2
Time signatures & ties.

Unit 3
Applied rhythmic knowledge, pivot chords.

Unit 4
Natural minor scale: formula, minor key signatures: relative minor, and major, parallel minor.

Unit 5
Minor scale triad harmony: Harmonizing the minor scale (3rds & 5ths), Roman numeral labeling, chord symbol notation. Introducing harmonic minor, triads in harmonic minor.

Unit 6
Pivot chords, natural minor scale: formula, minor key signatures: relative major/minor, parallel minor, minor scale triad harmony: build thirds above root, build fifths above root, Roman numeral labeling.

Unit 7
Minor Scale Harmony, minor diatonic triads, continue chord symbol notation, key centers: Roman numeral labeling, Introducing melodic minor, triads in melodic minor.

Unit 8
Diatonic seventh chords: ma7, mi7, dom7, mi7(b5) # major and minor scale harmony of/inversions of triads.

Unit 9
Harmonic and melodic minor scales, key centers with variations of harmonic and melodic minor, progression with inversions.

Unit 10
Review and exercises based on the previous topics.


Students can look forward to learning more about rhythmic value, staff and bar lines, note and rest value, time signatures, ties, natural minor scales and key signatures, harmonized major and minor scales, pivot chords, interval building, diatonic seventh chords, Roman numeral labeling, harmonic minor and melodic minor, triad inversions, triad progressions with inversions, and key centers.

Gain knowledge of harmony and music theory online in 10 weeks with a rich and dynamic content mix of video lessons, weekly live lectures, multimedia quizzes, and more.



Artist Driven


Become a complete musician with courses designed for your career path.

All Skills Levels

All Skill Levels

Find the best courses for your musical skill set, talent, and goals.

Learn from Anywhere

Learn from Anywhere

From laptop to mobile, at home or abroad, the world is your classroom.

Legendary Instructors

Legendary Instructors

Get personalized training from Musicians Institute’s world-class, award-winning faculty.

Get exclusive news about upcoming courses and events.

Through live lectures and virtual classrooms, MI Online provides real-world, artist-driven, and authentic learning opportunities available to anyone—from anywhere.

Created with + in Hollywood, CA © 2017 Musicians Institute