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Tonal Harmony: With an Introduction to Twentieth Century Music Hardcover – February 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0073401355 ISBN-10: 0073401358 Edition: 6th
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 6 edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073401358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073401355
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By H. Kessler on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I had to use this in college for my music theory I,II and III classes. It is very in depth and requires extensive study. This is definately not for the faint hearted musician. This new version is much better than the one I had because it has CD's for fast access to the music examples. The older additions came with tape cassettes. Also this new book includes CD Roms for computer learning. The book includeds much information. It is a text book and is not meant to be used as a self-learning tool. I would reccomend this only if you are in college and need it for your music theory classes.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Francesco Cirillo on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is definitely the best book on tonal harmony, simple and complete. Gives you all informations you need step by step. Sometimes it states "forget about this for now": well, it isn't really an issue because two or three pages after it explains what had left out before, but with more theory already explained at that stage. There're a lot of examples within the text and many tests to see if you've understood the theory.
You don't ever need a teacher to understand the concepts explained in this book: you really need one only if you're learning to play an instrument, not to understand chord functions, inversions, and cadences. This book teaches harmony, not piano or guitar solos.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Truter on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The focus of the book (as reflected in its title) is mainly on how to produce tonal harmony; less so on understanding it, e.g. it does not directly consider the interaction between harmony and melody. 'Part One' of the book is about 'Fundamentals', e g notes on the staff, scales etc. It is a clear and concise overview. However, it may cover the basics too quickly for someone with little or no knowledge of music theory. It might be better to start with an 'Everything', 'Dummies' or 'Idiot's' book on music theory.

While most textbooks on harmony include at least a few exercises, hardly any provide answers. This textbook provides lots of exercises (relatively) and a list of correct answers. This is particularly helpful for someone without a teacher. Without answers, a beginner may make frequent mistakes without being aware of it. Apart from careless mistakes, wrong answers sometimes reveal a lack of comprehension which may require a re-reading of some part of the textbook. Writing and analyzing harmony involve skills which require practice and feedback - for accuracy, retention and speed. I found the book very useful for its clarity and for its exercises ('self-tests' with answers). Incidentally, the 'Workbook' that accompanies the textbook has a lot more exercises but no answers. Unfortunately, this is typical of harmony workbooks (where completed worksheets are designed to be pulled out and submitted to a teacher). One workbook which does provide 'self-tests' with answers is Benward and Saker's "Workbook/ Music in Theory and Practice" (2 volumes). However their textbook (also 2 volumes) only provides 'assignments' (no answers).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. Conrad on March 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I used this textbook in my first year of college music theory. The textbooks I've used after don't even compare. By far the best textbook I've had for the study of music theory thus far! It is easy to read, understand, and has great written examples. Highly recommended.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Denis G. Galo Sacon on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is an amazing book for the world of Music Theory. It has a lot of exercises for you to apply the knowledge learned and enables you to check your answer to see if it is correct or not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Liz W. on September 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This textbook has come in quite handy in studying music theory. I'm glad to finally have my own copy and for such a low price! If you have theory classes, no matter what year you are in school, I highly recommend this book. The illustrations and terms list at the end of each chapter make it extremely helpful for exams! A great buy!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By HSavage on September 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to review college-level music theory to prepare for further studies in music. This is the book used at the school I will be attending. I do like the number of self-tests, which include plenty of review of previous material. I also appreciate having the answers to the self-tests in the back. However, I have gone through the first four chapters and have already found quite a few mistakes in the text. For example, one chart listed the chord inversions and left out first inversion so the chart read "root, root, second, third." Another mistake on a self-test was asking for something in major when it should have said minor. There have been other mistakes as well, at least one per chapter. I have caught these mistakes because I have already learned this material and am just reviewing, but I think these mistakes could cause some confusion to the person first learning the material. I am using the sixth edition. Hopefully, later editions have corrected these mistakes. This is not the easiest text to use for self-learning. While it is thorough in the amount of material covered, the explanations are not always complete. Some of the directions are not clear. A teacher would be able to fill in the gaps or explain things in a slightly different way to clarify. However, for me, the conciseness of the text means I can review quickly.

All in all, this book is good for review or for learning with a teacher, but I don't recommend it for self-teaching. Also, it is definitely a college-level book. I would not use this with my high school students.
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