Long Term Harmonic Memory

Course Description, Spring 2013

“Harmony is, for most listeners, the least appreciated aspect of music… Perhaps this is because most harmony courses are taught visually, with an emphasis on 18th and 19th century theoretical rules, instead of following a course of action that would stretch the students’ ears harmonically.”

~ Ran Blake, Primacy of the Ear

Most of you are able to recognize the sound of common triadic movements, such as a G minor triad moving to a C major triad (ii V). But, identifying unconventional and atypical harmonic motions, such as a C major triad moving to an F# minor triad, can be a painful guessing game.

This semester students will study the 88 possible permutations of major and minor triad pairs. Through assigned readings, repertoire, performances, discussion, composition, and weekly quizzes, students will gain a thorough understanding of harmonic movement. It is this course’s intention to enable you to be a better listener, composer, improviser, and over-all musician with a greater harmonic consciousness.