Harmony

Questions and discussion on technical, teaching and performance matters
ilu
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Harmony

Post by ilu » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:51 am

I am looking for a Piano Harmony book, besides the traditional ones, such as Rimski Korsakov's Practical Manual of Harmony, that would contain the lessons since the very begining, on traditional and modern harmony.

Thank you in advance.

ILU
Last edited by ilu on Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quo melius Illac

Arjuna
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Harmony

Post by Arjuna » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:01 am

My favorite textbook is Robert Gauldin's "Harmonic practice in tonal music". If you want to learn about 20th century harmony there is a very good book called
"Twentieth-Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice" by Vincent Persichetti. But, my harmony teacher always told me the best way to learn harmony (and counterpoint) is to study scores.
Modern harmony is a bit tricky since almost every composer more or less invents his own harmony. In the advanced harmony class I took at university we studied a different composer each week rather than trying to cover a particular period or genre.

ilu
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Harmony

Post by ilu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:15 am

Arjuna:

Thank you so much for your recommendations.
I am seeking some harmony book for beginners (some young students asked me for), so your recomendations are for me!
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rob
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Harmony

Post by rob » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:48 am

I have the Vincent Persichetti, and I remember a quarter of a century ago being irritated that he quotes from his own music, whereas Walter Piston, in his volume 'Harmony', modestly did not do so. Maybe my recollection is wrong, but that's the impression I had then and still retain. But then I am a fan of Walter Piston, a somewhat finer composer than Persichetti in my view.

Another, more slender volume on my shelf, is 'Understanding Harmony - An Unconventional Textbook' by Robert L Jacobs (Oxford University Press 1958) which I used to dip into.

Incidentally I really did not understand why the thread has been titled 'Learning Piano Harmony', and so have simplified the title simply to 'Harmony' which will allow greater flexibility of use.

Rob

ilu
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Re: Harmony

Post by ilu » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:31 am

Rob:

Thank you for the advice. I will recommend first the Jacobs’ and I will try to get it.

Regarding the original title posted by me, was precisely on basic harmony for the students interested “in learning” it.

ILU
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Re: Harmony

Post by klavierelch » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:59 am

Ilu:
I think it was not the "learning" aspect which Rob queried, but the "piano" aspect. Harmony is harmony - regardless of the instruments on which these harmonies are played. And indeed all the literature referred to is not restricted to the piano, but tries to explain harmony in general.
Ars opus est hominis, non opus artis homo.

John Owen, Epigrammata (1615)

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rob
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Re: Harmony

Post by rob » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:25 am

klavierelch wrote:Ilu:
I think it was not the "learning" aspect which Rob queried, but the "piano" aspect. Harmony is harmony - regardless of the instruments on which these harmonies are played. And indeed all the literature referred to is not restricted to the piano, but tries to explain harmony in general.
Precisely so. Harmony is harmony. (Though if we were to digress into choral singing in complex harmony, pitches can wander off toward natural temperament rather than equal temperament! :shock: )

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Re: Harmony

Post by Arjuna » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:39 pm

Question:
In equal temperament, are all the octaves pure octaves and the fourths and fifths, and other intervals, are not, or are the octaves out as well?

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Re: Harmony

Post by rob » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:16 pm

Arjuna wrote:Question:
In equal temperament, are all the octaves pure octaves and the fourths and fifths, and other intervals, are not, or are the octaves out as well?
This is the portal on Wikipedia which will explain all through its various links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_temperament

Octaves are of course pure by definition. My understanding is that in what I have called natural temperament, which perhaps ought to be called 'Just Intonation', Fifths (and therefore their inverse, Fourths) are pure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_intonation#Singing

It seems to have been the development of harmony using Thirds that forced the change to the then accepted temperaments. And at that point one must hand over to the experts who have written the Wikipedia pages...

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Re: Harmony

Post by fredbucket » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:17 pm

Arjuna wrote:In equal temperament, are all the octaves pure octaves and the fourths and fifths, and other intervals, are not, or are the octaves out as well?
The best and most concise explanation I have come across is by the American composer Kyle Gann on his website here - http://www.kylegann.com/histune.html

Regards
Fred

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