Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music
Andre Mount , SUNY Potsdam
Copyright Year: 2020
ISBN 13: 9781942341994
Publisher: Milne Open Textbooks
Conditions of Use
The text would be an appropriate resource for the first three semesters of most undergraduate music theory sequences. It is structured in four parts: music fundamentals, functional harmony, chromatic harmony, and form. Chapters are well written,... read more
The text would be an appropriate resource for the first three semesters of most undergraduate music theory sequences. It is structured in four parts: music fundamentals, functional harmony, chromatic harmony, and form. Chapters are well written, concise, and focus on stylistic characteristics of Western Tonal Music. Musical examples are drawn from the familiar canon and less familiar sources, including many from women composers, and the online version of the text includes MIDI audio for each example. Students will also find hyperlinks in the text a useful study aid. Exercises are interspersed throughout each chapter and though these are appropriate; an instructor may wish to supplement them to help students gain mastery of concepts.
Revisions to the text and errata corrections are listed at the end of the text. As for the content, there is not much to be discussed regarding accuracy. I think many instructors will appreciate the discussion of diatonic interval successions and their use in two-voice counterpoint/motion (e.g., parallel, oblique, contrary). This common-sense approach teaches the student intervals and the resolution of pitches, paving the way for the study of functional harmony instead of focusing on intervals as an abstract concept or in the context of learning strict counterpoint.
The author has created a concise well-structured text that focuses on Western Tonal Music. In most music schools, this body of knowledge is still the mainstay of music theory instruction. There is an increasing need to incorporate instruction addressing structures in popular music, a text such as this can still be relevant if it is as concise and well structured as this one is.
The text is written at the appropriate level for an undergraduate music theory text.
The tone and structure of the text are consistent throughout.
The text is structured in four larger parts each of which contains multiple chapters. Chapter organization follows widely accepted models, but chapters could be reorganized if an instructor sees fit.
The text's organization follows the structure of most music theory curricula.
The online version of the text features a drop-down ToC, hyperlinks to reference other chapters/units, and MIDI audio for musical examples. The downloadable PDF includes many bookmarks, which ease text navigation. Hyperlinks in the PDF do not seem to work (attempted using them in Adobe Acrobat and Mac OS Preview), but bookmarks are extensive.
No grammatical errors, the writing could be a bit more concise, but this is a minor issue.
Table of Contents
- I. Fundamentals
- 1. Introduction to Rhythm and Meter
- 2. Beat Division
- 3. Simple Meters
- 4. Compound Meters
- 5. Pitch
- 6. Major Scales
- 7. Minor Scales
- 8. Major Keys and Key Signatures
- 9. Minor Keys and Key Signatures
- 10. The Circle of Fifths
- II. Diatonic Polyphony and Functional Harmony
- 11. Intervals
- 12. Basic Two-Voice Interval Progressions
- 13. Triads
- 14. Three- and Four-Voice Progressions
- 15. Nonharmonic Tones
- 16. Minor Scale Variants
- 17. The vii° Chord
- 18. Seventh Chords
- 19. The Dominant Seventh Chord
- 20. Fully-diminished Seventh Chords
- 21. Figured Bass
- 22. Phrases, Cadences, and Harmonic Function
- 23. Auxiliary Sonorities
- 24. The Pre-Dominant Function
- 25. Diatonic Descending-fifth Sequences
- 26. Other Diatonic Sequences
- III. Modulation and Chromatic Harmony
- 27. Applied Chords
- 28. Modulation
- 29. Mixture
- 30. Advanced Mixture
- 31. The Neapolitan Chord
- 32. Augmented Sixth Sonorities
- 33. Chromatic Pre-Dominants
- 34. Other Chromatic Harmonies
- IV. Form
- 35. Sentences and Periods
- 36. Binary Form
- 37. Ternary and Rondo Forms
- 38. Sonata Form
About the Book
About the Contributors
Andre Mount holds a PhD in music theory from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is currently an associate professor of music theory at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He has presented in North America at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US Chapter), and the Society for American Music, as well as in Europe at the Keep It Simple, Make It Fast conference. His articles have been published in Music and the Moving Image, Journal of Musicology, and the Journal of the Society for American Music. He has also contributed to projects intended for general readership including The Encyclopedia of American Music and Culture and maintains an OER site for musicianship training at The Trained Ear.