Learn from the Masters has been developed during my years as Professor of Music Theory at the Academy of Music in Malmö, Sweden. This material has been tested over a period of years in teaching situations, both individually as well as in groups at different levels, from beginners to students with a few years of study behind them. It is intended that this book will serve as effective material, for both self study and as a textbook for students in the subject.
For whom is this book written?
The book has been designed with the following in mind:
beginners, or those who have some basic knowledge in harmony and prefer the do-it-yourself approach.
music students at secondary and tertiary level, where the book can be used as the principal textbook in the subject on harmony.
What prerequisites are required?
It is an advantage if you can play the piano. If not, it is recommended that you learn the piano while using the book, so that you are able to play through the exercises. As well as this, it is necessary to have some rudimentary knowledge of basic music theory ie intervals, keys and major/minor scales.
What will you learn?
This textbook provides training in ¿classical' harmony, which has been used by the great composers during the ages. This book is focussed on harmony that has been developed continually for three hundred years (ca 1650-1950), so you will also learn about the stylistic differences between the musical periods ie Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic and 20th century. As I have designed the book so that it can be used together with my previously published book ¿Learn from the Masters - Arranging for two to five parts', I am not including the study of 4-part harmony that is normally found in traditional harmony textbooks. This is explained thoroughly in ¿Learn from the Masters - Arranging for two to five parts'. It must be emphasised that a large number of the 4-part practical and written exercises in this book include playing cadences as well as spacing and voice leading.
Apart from harmonic analysis, which includes both Roman numerals and chord symbols, great importance is attached to harmonization - a topic which is rarely found in traditional harmony textbooks. There are also composition tasks in connection with harmonization and 20th century music.
The reading and understanding of figured bass is included in the book, although there are no figured bass exercises as such. There are many textbooks available if you would like to study this subject in detail.
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