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Structural Functions of Harmony (Revised Edition) Paperback – June 17, 1969

ISBN-13: 978-0393004786 ISBN-10: 0393004783 Edition: Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Revised Edition edition (June 17, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393004783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393004786
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an important book because it is a document written by Arnold Schoenberg. He wrote it from the way he taught his students harmony. If you know Schoenberg's tonal music you know how highly chromatic it is. It moves from tonal center to tonal center almost without the listener understanding how far they are traveling. This book uses his concept of region and that is not something taught in your freshman - sophomore theory courses.

If you want to read this book, make SURE you have a strong grounding in traditional theory first. Then ground yourself in Schoenberg's treatise on harmony. Then take on this little book. Otherwise it will be opaque to you.

However, just because you can't understand what the composer wrote, don't suppose that it is nonsense or dismiss it because of your own lack of comprehension. Schoenberg was a very important composer and understood the methods of composition very well. He certainly had his own views, however idiosyncratic they may be. It is simply that when you are Schoenberg you can do things lesser musicians cannot.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nico on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Well it looks like naj "jak" here is almost as clueless as he thinks the book is. He should know that Theory of Harmony is not a book to LEARN harmony, its a book that teaches you in detail the purposes and most advanced properties of such. If you're looking to begin music, do not buy this book. If you are a musician looking for a (in my opinion) genius's perspective on one of the most fundamental elements of music...then thats the book for you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John M. Cathey on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Schoenberg writes from a traditional harmonic standpoint. But he is aware of the fact that the primary systems of analysis are very limited to these traditional sounds and harmonies. Therefore Schoenberg sets out to put into work a new system for harmonic analysis which will work fine on traditional harmonies as well as on newer, more outside progressions. He achieves all of this through his idea of regions within music, a specific idea with a broad goal. By leaving the intricacies of traditional harmonic analysis and widening his scope, Schoenberg presents a system we may all need to take a second look at.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By recapixevolobition on July 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will be difficult for those without a deep knowledge of how western harmony works. I think the other reviewer hit the nail on the head with his "masterclass" comparison. 200 pages long, but I'm guessing (conservatively) that half of this book is musical examples. Slow reading and a piano or midi keyboard in front of you (or having a great "mind's ear") will help immensely. Good book if you're into music theory or are a composer looking to add some more tools to your shed.
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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
It deals with advanced harmony theory based on traditional theory. This book introduces Region concept of harmony. It is eccential concept for understanding the structure of harmony progression related with modulation. But I was able to find it only from this text, any other books of harmony do not deal with such concept.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By aardvark on July 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite a few people feel that Arnold Schoenberg never hit ground running with his own compositions. They seemed to be experimental, boring, tedious exercises in new forms of music, and old forms as well. But these people probably have never had the opportunity to read Schoenberg's writings on harmony and composition. He was a great teacher that deserves to be known for his theory and writings. The book is worth much more than its price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Bowser on May 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this originally in 1986 because Wynton Marsalis thought very.very highly of this book. An amazing and excellent addition to any jazz theory/harmony, classical theory/harmony or musical composition studies. This is my second copy - my first fell apart from use !!! Also Recommened : Rhythmic Training by Robert Starer.
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By Spike da Peke on March 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the primary text in my first harmony class. Anyone who knows anything of the subject will realize what an extraordinary decision my instructor took in choosing this book. As an introduction to the study of harmony this book speaks with complete silence to the classical tradition, instead invoking an idiosyncratic reading of the nature and purposes of harmony. Nonetheless, years later I find myself returning to this text, impressed anew with Arnold Schoenberg's many insights.
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