Assignments are listed in reverse chronological order.
Assignments will be added over the course of the quarter for each upcoming class session.
For Monday March 17, 2014
In preparation for the final exam, review the study guide of topics covered in the class, review all past assignments and topics, and practice all the assigned exercises. The final exam will be held Monday March 17, 2014 10:30am-12:30pm in AITR 190A (not at the Wednesday time listed in the WebSOC).
For Monday March 10, 2014
Review all of the past assignments, to make sure you thoroughly understand all of the theoretical concepts covered thus far. Come to class prepared to ask questions about any things you don't fully understand.
Practice all of the singing and keyboard exercises that have been assigned, to check your mastery of those skills. Be prepared to perform those exercises.
Listen to In the In-Between by Christopher Dobrian. Study the score, and print out and write a Roman numeral functional harmonic analysis of the main tune (pp. 3-4). Use classical Roman numeral analysis, but modify that as needed to show secondary ii7-V7-I progressions and tritone substitutions of dominant seventh chords.
For Monday March 3, 2014
Continue practicing the diatonic interval drill with chromatic neighboring tones in every major key, singing the note names as you go. Also, try this variation on that drill, in which you go directly to the chromatic lower appoggiaturas.
Practice these two melodies by a) saying the note names, b) saying the note names in rhythm, c) analyze leaps in terms of either harmonic function (how they fit in a chord) or appoggiatura (how they neighbor a chord tone), d) develop strategies for how to use that knowledge to find the right pitch. Be prepared to sing the melodies in class, and to explain what strategies you use for finding every difficult pitch.
Take a look at (and play through) the version of Autumn Leaves for solo guitar that was handed out in class.The first half is a version in pseudo-Baroque style, using a single-line melody (or occasionally splitting to two-part counterpoint) to play the tune and, whenever the tune notes don't need to be stated, filling in with arpeggiations that outline the intended harmonies. This is somewhat comparable to the way that J.S. Bach uses a single-line melody in the Double to outline the harmony that was stated in the preceding Sarabande in his Partita for solo violin in B minor. The second half is in a more jazzlike style, using syncopations of the melody and chords that include some ninths, some tritone substitutions, some "appoggiatura" sliding chords, etc. Analyze the chords in that section to see if you can figure out what changes have been made to the basic progression, and why; pay attention to how the directional tones resolve.
For a good example of tritone substitutions combined with secondary ii7-V7-I progressions in a jazz standard, look at and analyze the lead sheet for One Note Samba by Antonio Carlos Jobim and the lead sheet for Days of Wine and Roses by Henry Mancini. Notice how some chords have no logical explanation in the home key, except when interpreted as a secondary ii7-V7-I (with or without the bII7 substituted for the V7) of some eventual destination chord (which might be in the home key or might itself be part of a secondary ii7-V7-I progression). For particularly interesting renditions of these tunes, listen to One Note Samba as performed by Stan Getz and Days of Wine and Roses as performed by Tony Bennett and Bill Evans.
The augmented sixth chord is a chord type that is treated as an esoteric oddball in music theory classes, briefly memorized by students just long enough to pass an exam, then promptly forgotten. But in fact the chord is ubiquitous in classical and romantic music (and helps one understand the use of the bII7 chord in jazz), and has been around since at least the 1600s. Read this explanation of "The Augmented Sixth Chord" excerpted from The Complete Musician by Steven G. Laitz. Play through the examples to get the sound, the voice leading, and the typical usage in your head. Practice singing the "Exercise Interlude 27.1", playing the "Exercise Interlude 27.4", and print out and complete the answers for "Exercise Interlude 27.2".
(If you want to totally nerd out on the history of the augmented sixth chord, there's an entire book on the subject, A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from Monteverdi to Mahler by Mark R. Ellis, of which there are excerpts available on Google Books. Of particular interest is a chart on page 37 that cites examples of the ways augmented sixth chords were used by well known classical composers from Sweelinck (1620) to Strauss (1900).)
Another thing music theorists love to nerd out on is the famous "Tristan chord". It combines the augmented sixth chord with the use of a chromatic appoggiatura (of the sort that you've been singing in your exercises). Print out the first page of the score to the "Prelude" to Act I of Tristan und Isolde and see if you can solve the mystery of the Tristan chord: what led Wagner to write such a chord? (Hint: it involves an augmented sixth chord and a chromatic lower appoggiatura.) There's no shortage of analyses of this chord available, so you can research it online if you have trouble. To exercise your score-reading abilities, make a piano transcription of this page of the score, analyze the harmonies in terms of their functions, and make note of the non-chord tones, which are mostly appoggiaturas or chromatic passing tones.
For Monday February 24, 2014
Study this excerpt of a text by Kei Akagi to learn about jazz chord nomenclature and diatonic modes.
Analyze the chord progression of the jazz standard Autumn Leaves by Josef Kosma, as shown in this lead sheet. Print it out and write in the Roman numeral analysis (using classical or jazz Roman numeral conventions, whichever you prefer). You may be interested to read the score and/or this other arrangement. You can hear it sung by the original artist, Yves Montand (a major second below the written key).
Practice this diatonic interval drill with chromatic neighboring tones in every major key, singing the note names as you go.
For Monday February 17, 2014
Because of the national holiday, class will not meet at the regularly scheduled time. Please email the professor to arrange a 30-minute meeting for your midterm exam Tuesday through Thursday, February 18-20.
For the midterm exam you will be responsible for singing all of the musicianship drills up to this point, namely:
- the major and (natural) minor scales in any key, saying the note names, and playing the notes on the piano at the same time if you're able
- the "Up-Down Drill" in major scales, replacing the solfège syllables with note names and transposing to any major key
- arpeggiating the chord progression I-IV-V7-I in major and i-iv-V7-i in minor, singing the notes names in place of the solfège syllables, in any key
and playing the keyboard exercises up to this point, namely:
- the progression I-IV-V7-I (i-iv-V7-i in minor) in any key using Dobrian's 4-part voice leading rules on the keyboard
- proper resolution of a V7 chord, as demonstrated in the tutorial on voice-leading in V7 chords, in any key.
Practice the melody in alto clef No. 380 on the sheet handed out in class, in the following ways:
- say the note names in a steady rhythm at whatever speed you can do it accurately, then gradually increase your tempo (without sacrificing accuracy) with each repetition,
- while doing that, try to increase the number of "landmarks" you remember in alto clef (e.g. A 440 is the space above the staff, tonic F# of the melody is in the top space of the staff and also on the bottom line of the staff),
- analyze the melody to see if you recognize chords that are being outlined, especially ones you already know the sound of such as i, iv, and V7 (and, in the case of this melody, viio7)
- when you see a chromatically altered note, determine whether that indicates a particular new chord, or is just a chromatic neighbor of a main tone,
- if in your analysis you detect any tonicizations or modulations, make note of those instances so that you can use that to your advantage as you practice signing the melody,
- using what you have detected in your analysis, begin to practice singing the melody, but avoid playing the melody for yourself on the piano, only giving yourself the tonic pitch,
- isolate portions that present difficulties to you, and figure out an approach to finding the right pitches (without playing them on the piano),
- once you have addressed all the challenges of the melody and feel you can sing it pretty reliably, check yourself with the piano.
For Monday February 10, 2014
To practice sightsinging, take a look at the sheet of melodies focusing on C clefs. Wherever you see leaps in a melody, analyze the melody in terms of either a) what chord is being implied (are the leaps an arpeggiation of a chord?) or b) how you can find the note you have to leap to by comparing it with a nearby note you've just recently sung. Once you have done that, sing each melody slowly, thinking about a) what scale degree you're on and b) what chord you're in. It might help to sing the melody slowly while saying the note names. Saying the note names is especially important in the C clefs, to help teach yourself those clefs, so you should definitely work on the notes names (at a slow tempo) in those clefs. Keep working on each melody till you can sing it confidently up to tempo. You don't need to say the note names at tempo.
To reinforce your understanding of diminished seventh chords:
1) Read Dobrian's 20 true statements about diminished seventh chords.
2) Print out these three pages from the workbook accompanying Gauldin's Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music and complete as many of the exercises as you can.
3) To strengthen your understanding of enharmonic spellings of diminished seventh chords (different ways of writing the same chord to imply different functions), print out and complete the worksheet on enharmonic spellings of diminished seventh chords. This one's a bit of a brain-twister, but it will familiarize you with the role of the diminished seventh chords and the interrelationship of the different spellings of the same chord. (After all, there are really only three different diminished seventh chords.)
Admittedly these readings and worksheets are pretty dry and mechanical, but if you plow through them you sure will know your diminished seventh chords by the time you're done. Hand them in when you come to class.
Read this brief article on musical acoustics, with particular attention to the sections titled "Frequency and Pitch" and "Vibrations Form and Timbre". We'll discuss the significance of the harmonic series in class.
Optional: Following up on our analysis of the Sarabande and Double in the Bach Partita in B minor for violin, and our discussion of counterpoint, you might be interested to look at this eight measures of two-part counterpoint based on the B-minor Sarabande of J.S. Bach. It's in 4/4, whereas the Bach sarabande is in 3/4, but it follows the same chord progression. The numbers above the top staff and below the bottom staff tell which note of the chord is being used (or if it's a non-chord tone, what type of non-chord tone it is), and the numbers between the two staves tell the interval between the two voices. Notice how the "dissonant" intervals 2, 4, and 7 only occur as the result of a valid non-chord tone.
Extra credit: A particular strength of Bach's, and a feature of his style, was writing a melody that is based on, and outlines, a chord progression. If you want to try writing a melody -- and/or a two-part tonal counterpoint -- that follows a given progression, print out this worksheet showing the chord progression used in the Bach Sarabande in B minor, and write some melodies of your own. Hand it in when you come to class.
For Monday February 3, 2014
Continue with consistent daily practice of the previously assigned drills, especially all major and natural minor scales and the I-IV-V7-I (i-iv-V7-i) exercise in all major and minor keys. (These will be on the midterm singing exam.)
Compose several chord progressions, each of which includes at least one secondary dominant or secondary diminished seventh chord interjected before a diatonic chord. Harmonize the progression for four voices (SATB) using good voice-leading. In particular, try to make any voice that contains a chromatically altered note flow smoothly, with the chromatic tone appearing either as a neighbor to, or a chromatic tone between, diatonic tones (or, exceptionally, as a sensible appoggiatura-like leap). Your secondary chord can either function as a momentary tonicization of a scale degree other than the tonic, or it can lead to a genuine modulation to a new key. (Try examples of each.) Write the Roman numeral analysis of your chord progression below the chords.
Once you have written your chord progressions, write at least one two-part counterpoint that exemplifies the same progression(s). Keep one of the voices from your original progression that you think best indicates the chord progression because of the notes it includes (possibly, but not necessarily, the bass line), and then compose another melody such that the two melodies together demonstrate the chord progression effectively while also being singable tunes in their own right. Pay attention to your original voice leading, and try to use that as a basis for your new melody to ensure that your counterpoint is strong and does not contain unwanted parallelism. Bring your completed assignment to class, or deposit it in the EEE DropBox called "2ptCounterpoint".
Print out pp. 15-16 (pages 6 and 7 of the PDF document) of the Partita in B-minor for violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. On the printed page, write in an analysis--designating each chord with Roman numeral and inversion, and labeling any non-chord tones--of the A section (first eight measures) of the Sarabande and the A section (first eight measures) of the Double that follows it. Hand in your work in class or deposit in the EEE DropBox called "BminorPartita".
For Monday January 27, 2014
In addition to the previously assigned singing exercises, practice arpeggiating the chord progression I-IV-V7-I in major and i-iv-V7-i in minor, singing the notes names in place of the solfège syllables. You can best solidify your understanding of the relationship between a key and its relative key by singing the exercises in related pairs of keys. For example, sing a G major scale, then sing an E (natural) minor scale, then sing the chord progression in G major, then sing the chord progression in E (harmonic) minor.
Study the tutorial on voice-leading in V7 chords. Print it out and play through it repeatedly until you have a thorough understanding of its lessons and of the voice-leading being exemplified. Write out a transposition of those ideas to two other major keys and their relative minor keys, and practice those, as well.
For Monday January 20, 2014
Continue with previously assigned exercises, and extend/vary them in the following ways.
Practice singing up and down the major and (natural) minor scales in every key, saying the note names, and playing the notes on the piano at the same time if you're able. (If you're in doubt about the correct fingering for playing the major scales on the piano), you can look them up online.) Be prepared to sing (and ideally also to play) the exercise in class.
Practice singing the "Up-Down Drill" in major scales, replacing the solfège syllables with note names and transposing to every major key. Be prepared to sing the drill with note names in any major key.
Print out two copies of this page of figured bass progressions that include first-inversion chords. On one page, write in tenor and alto voices so as to complete every chord in four voice harmony, generally with the tenor and alto high enough so that the progression is playable with three notes in the right hand and the bass line in the left hand. (No non-chord tones.) Follow the principles of first-inversion voicings discussed in class. You will need to think carefully about the doublings you create with your inner (tenor and alto voices), especially when there is a succession of consecutive first-inversion chords. Practice playing what you have written until you have mastered the progressions. Then, using the other page, practice playing the realized figured bass without looking at what you wrote, using instead your knowledge of the chords and the voicing rules to guide you.
Study the examples of classic non-chord tones -- passing tones, neighbor tones, and suspensions -- to be sure you understand the rules they must follow, as discussed in class.
Review the examples of 4-part voice leading on the keyboard, especially the ones involving the V7 chord, and notice how the voice leading works. Once you have mastered a particular voicing involving a V7 chord, practice playing that same voicing in different keys.
Following the same guidelines as you used last week for composing classic 4-part chorale style basic chord progressions, do the same sort of exercise except now you may include (at your discretion) first inversions, passing tones, neighboring tones, suspensions, and/or dominant seventh chords. This will give you more possibilities for exploring that basic underlying structure:
tonic function --> "variable" function (could be almost anything) --> predominant (or secondary dominant) function --> dominant function --> tonic function
Submit your work for this assignment no later than 5:00 pm on Monday January 20. You may submit your work in electronic form (.sib file, .mus file, or .pdf file) via the EEE DropBox called "BasicProgressions2", or you may bring a hard copy of your work to class.
For Monday January 13, 2014
Practice singing up and down the major and minor pentachord (the first five notes of the scale) in every key, saying the note names and playing the notes on the piano. Be prepared to sing and play the exercise in class.
Practice singing the "Up-Down Drill" in major scales, replacing the solfège syllables with note names and transposing to every major key. Be prepared to sing the drill with note names in any major key having up to three flats or sharps, i.e., C, F, G, Bb, D, Eb, and A. Be prepared to sing the exercises in class.
Read Dobrian's 4-part voice leading rules for root-position triad progressions. Study the examples of how to realize Dobrian's 4-part voice leading rules on the keyboard, notice how the voice leading works, and practice them until you can play them with a fair amount of fluency.
Print out two copies of this page of simple root-position figured bass progressions. On one page, write in tenor and alto voices so as to complete every chord in four voice harmony, generally with the tenor and alto high enough so that the progression is playable with three notes in the right hand and the bass line in the left hand, in which every chord is a triad in root position containing two roots, a third, and a fifth. (No non-chord tones.) Practice playing what you have written until you have mastered the progressions. Then, using the other page, practice playing the realized figured bass without looking at what you wrote, using instead your knowledge of the chords and the voicing rules to guide you.
Read pages 117-133 of Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music by Robert Gauldin. Focus especially on the discussions of 'Harmonic Tendency' (tonic, dominant, predominant, and "variable" chord functions), 'The Underlying Basis for Harmonic Tendency' (how harmonic movement is driven by melodic movement), 'The Prolongation of Tonic Harmony' (arpeggiation, passing tones, and neighboring tones), 'Partwriting Connections Between the Primary Triads (voice leading guidelines), and 'The Authentic Cadence' (the dominant-tonic resolution).
In classic 4-part chorale style, in even rhythm, in one major key and one minor key each having two or more flats or sharps, write as many variations as you can think of on the basic progression below, as demonstrated in class. You'll be credited for good voice leading and for sheer number of (hopefully interesting) variations that conform to these guidelines.
tonic function --> "variable" function (could be almost anything) --> predominant (or secondary dominant) function --> dominant function --> tonic function
Here are a few examples in major:
I - vi - IV - V - I
I - V7/ii - V7/V - V7 - I
I - iii - ii6 - V7 - vi, etc.
Here are a few examples in minor:
i - VI - iv - V - i
i - V2/iv - iv6 - V7 - i
i - VII - iiø65 - V - i, etc.
Start with just triads, and do as many progressions as you can. Then, as time and your abilities permit, you can try using some occasional chord inversions and/or seventh chords. If that exercise seems very easy to you, you should definitely feel free to extend the basic harmonic functions as far as you'd like, including the use of seventh chords, borrowed chords, recognized chord substitutions, etc., but start with simple chords to demonstrate your thorough mastery of the skill. The possible realizations of this chord progression are infinite, so you should be able to produce many solutions.
Submit your work for this assignment no later than 5:00 pm on Monday January 13. You may submit your work in electronic form (.sib file, .mus file, or .pdf file) via the EEE DropBox called "BasicProgressions", or you may bring a hard copy of your work to class.
Read Appendix 1, "Some Fundamentals of Acoustics", pp. A0-A5 in Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music by Robert Gauldin. At a minimum, focus on the explanations of the terms "frequency", "pitch", and "harmonic series". Be prepared to ask questions about anything you don't understand.
This page was last modified December 19, 2014.