Music Theory Essentials
A Streamlined Approach to Fundamentals, Tonal Harmony, and Post-Tonal Materials
Music Theory Essentials offers an antidote to music theory textbooks that are overly long and dense. Focusing on the essentials, this text provides a clear-cut guide to the key concepts of music theory. Beginning with no assumptions about music theory knowledge, the book covers the core elements of music fundamentals, diatonic and chromatic harmony, post-tonal theory, and popular music in a single concise volume. Emphasizing critical thinking skills, this book guides students through conceptualizing musical concepts and mastering analytic techniques.
Each chapter concludes with a selection of applications designed to enhance engagement:
- Exercises allow students to apply and practice the skills and techniques addressed in the chapter.
- Brain Teasers challenge students to expand their musical understanding by thinking outside the box.
- Exploring Music offers strategies for students to apply learned concepts to the music they are currently learning or listening to.
- Thinking Critically encourages students to think more deeply about music by solving problems and identifying and challenging assumptions.
A companion website provides answers to book exercises, additional downloadable exercises, and audio examples.
Straightforward and streamlined, Music Theory Essentials is a truly concise yet comprehensive introduction to music theory that is accessible to students of all backgrounds.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Part I: Fundamentals
Chapter 1: Pitch and Notation
Chapter 2: Intervals
Chapter 3: Scales and Melody
Chapter 4: Keys
Chapter 5: Chords
Chapter 6: Musical Time
Chapter 7: Introduction to Voice Leading and Counterpoint
Part II: Diatonic Harmony
Chapter 8: Four-Part Voice Leading
Chapter 9: Nonchord Tones
Chapter 10: Tonal Function, Syntax, and Prolongation
Chapter 11: Triad Inversions
Chapter 12: Seventh Chords
Chapter 13: Motive, Phrase, Cadence, and Period Structure
Chapter 14: Harmonic Sequences
Part III: Chromatic Harmony
Chapter 15: Secondary Dominants and Tonicization
Chapter 16: Modulation I: Phrase Modulation and Diatonic Pivot Chords
Chapter 17: Modal Mixture
Chapter 18: The Neapolitan and Augmented Sixth Chords
Chapter 19: Modulation II: Chromatic Pivot Chords, Enharmonic Reinterpretation, and Common-Tone Modulation
Chapter 20: Dominant Ninth Chords, Altered Dominants, and Embellishing Chords
Part IV: Post-Tonal and Popular Materials
Chapter 21: The Dissolution of the Tonal System
Chapter 22: New Pitch Collections
Chapter 23: Centricity and Harmony
Chapter 24: Set Theory
Chapter 25: Serialism
Chapter 26: Introduction to Jazz and Pop Harmony
Appendix: List of Set Classes
Index of Musical Examples
Index of Terms and Concepts
Jason W. Solomon is Associate Professor of Music at Agnes Scott College, Georgia, USA.