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Free Documentation License (GNU)
Free Documentation License (GNU)
The text is very comprehensive. Each chapter is concise and clear, without being overly verbose as some music theory textbooks can be. The index is very effective, in that you can just click on the link next to each term or topic and it will give... read more
The text is very comprehensive. Each chapter is concise and clear, without being overly verbose as some music theory textbooks can be. The index is very effective, in that you can just click on the link next to each term or topic and it will give you the section being referenced with also a link to navigate you right to the location in the book where it is cited for full context. In a way, this index functions as a glossary as well by giving such quick access to descriptions and definitions.
There are 35 chapters in this book, and I have yet to find any errors.
Content is up-to-date and relevant. It covers all of the traditional topics usually covered in music theory courses 1-4. Anything that needs updating should be quite easy to implement, as the chapters are all organized and divided into neat and tidy subunits.
As I had commented before, the writing is clear and concise without using any unnecessary language. The book does a good job of including great visual graphics and charts, along with several imbedded musical examples in every chapter to help illustrate the concepts.
Yes, terminology is consistent from chapter to chapter.
This books seems to have been structured with modularity in mind all along. Each chapter is divided into smaller sub chapters that would make it easy to divide and reorganize topics and subjects within. I plan on using this textbook in the coming year, but will likely change the order of chapters to match the order I usually present these topics in. Thankfully, there is not much cumulative/chronological overlap between chapters, so it makes it easy to do things in a different order. For example, the part-writing section which is covered later than usual (Ch 26) doesn't include practicing the chromaticism covered in earlier chapters (Ch 19 - 23) until the very end of the unit, so it makes it easy to use that chapter earlier in the semester.
Organization is very clear, logical, and easy to navigate.
Interface is clear and without issues.
The grammar is clear without any glaring errors.
I am very impressed with the cultural and stylistic diversity presented in the musical examples throughout this textbook. Too many traditional theory books lean so heavily on the music of 18th Century European classical composers. This book will illustrate a concept equally with examples from Bach, Mozart, the Beatles, Bruno Mars, and Cee Lo Green, all in the same chapter!
Table of Contents
- 1 Basic Concepts
- 2 Major Scales and Key Signatures
- 3 Minor Scales and Key Signatures
- 4 Basics of Rhythm
- 5 Intervals
- 6 Triads
- 7 Roman Numerals and Cadences
- 8 Seventh Chords
- 9 Harmonic Progression and Harmonic Function
- 10 Non-Chord Tones
- 11 Melodic Analysis
- 12 Form in Popular Music
- 13 Phrases in Combination
- 14 Accompanimental Textures
- 15 Creating Contrast Between Sections
- 16 Figured Bass
- 17 Secondary Dominant Chords
- 18 Secondary Diminished Chords
- 19 Mode Mixture
- 20 The Neapolitan Chord
- 21 Augmented Sixth Chords
- 22 Modulation
- 23 Enharmonic Modulation
- 24 Binary and Ternary Forms
- 25 Sonata and Rondo Forms
- 26 Voice Leading Triads
- 27 Voice Leading Seventh Chords
- 28 Voice Leading With Non-Chord Tones
- 29 Voice Leading Chromatic Harmonies
- 30 Introduction to Counterpoint
- 31 Introduction to Jazz Theory
- 32 Impressionism and Extended Tonality
- 33 Set Theory
- 34 Serialism
- 35 Minimalism
About the Book
Music Theory for the 21st–Century Classroom is an openly–licensed online four–semester college music theory textbook. This text differs from other music theory textbooks by focusing less on four–part (SATB) voiceleading and more on relating harmony to the phrase. Also, in traditional music theory textbooks, there is little emphasis on motivic analysis and analysis of melodic units smaller than the phrase. In my opinion, this led to students having difficulty with creating melodies, since the training they are given is typically to write a “melody” in quarter notes in the soprano voice of part writing exercises. When the assignments in those texts ask students to do more than this, the majority of the students struggle to create a melody with continuity and with appropriate placement of harmonies within a phrase because the text had not prepared them to do so.
In Music Theory for the 21st–Century Classroom, students learn about motive, fragment, phrase, and subphrase, as well as types of melodic alteration like inversion, intervallic change, augmentation, diminution, rhythmic change, ornamentation, extension, and retrograde. By understanding motive and subphrase (also known as “phrase segment” or “phrase member”), I believe students will better understand the logic and construction of melodies, which will aid them in creating their own music.
This text is meant to take the student from the basics of reading and writing pitches and rhythms through twelve–tone technique and minimalism over the course of four semesters. Whenever possible, examples from popular music and music from film and musical theater are included to illustrate melodic and harmonic concepts, usually within the context of the phrase.
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