Music 20B:

First-Year Theory: Introduction to Tonality

Winter, 2001


  • Bach, J.S., 271 Chorales, Schirmer Edition.
  • Mozart, W.A., Complete Sonatas and Fantasies for Solo Piano, Dover Edition.
  • Benjamin, Horvit, Nelson, Music for Sightsinging, (Wadsworth), 2000, 3rd. Edition (referred to as SS).
    All assignments (labelled SS) in prepared sightsinging come from this book.
  • Brings, et al, A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, (W.W. Norton), 1979 (referred to as KB).

  • There is graded dictation at the beginning of each class: any student who misses a dictation will earn a zero, which cannot be made up. There will be six written assignments in four-part harmony, and they are due on the days indicated. Any late assignment will be downgraded: since papers will have numbers (e.g. "0" is no mistakes and an "A") a number will be added for each class day late. Papers with the grade of "X" must be rewritten and submitted at the next class.

  • Monday, January 8:Introduction to the course.
    The matrix of tonality as a hierarchy (click on introductory lecture below).
  • T, Jan. 9: no class.
  • W, Jan. 10: Triads and their inversions.
    Introductory lecture
  • Th, Jan. 11: two-hour drill of triads and inversions.
    new groups should be formed at this time.

  • M, Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Day.
  • T, Jan 16: More drill on triads. play one note and add a fifth above, then third. Do the same with the other two inversions.
    KB prepare Exercise 1.14, PP. 10-11 (Brings). Play in the keys of G and F also.
    SS prepare rhythm PP. 78-80, melodies PP. 86-87. Drill at sight PP. 83-85 and duets P. 81.
  • W, Jan 17: Closed and open spacing. Cadences and preparations.
    Read Brings PP. 78-81 for information on figured bass numbers.
  • Th, Jan. 18: SS prepare PP.88-90 and drill duets, PP. 91-93 in class.

  • M, Jan. 22: predominants and substitutions. Harmony assignment #1 due.
  • T, Jan. 23: SS prepare melodies 1-4, PP. 100-101. Rhythm prepare PP. 95-97.
    Drill duets, PP. 97-98 in class.
    KB prepare Exercises 2.1 and 2.2, PP. 12-13.
  • W, Jan. 24: The idea of temporary tonicization.
  • Th, Jan. 25: SS at sight (group) PP. 102-106.
    KB prepare exercises 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, PP. 14.15. Drill 2.7 in class.

  • M, Jan. 29: secondary dominants and the diminished seventh chord. Harmony assignment #2 due.
  • T, Jan. 30: SS at sight (group) PP. 107-112.
    Rhythm prepare PP. 113-114.
    KB prepare exercises 2.8 and 2.9. Also play in the key of C.
  • W, Jan. 31: interaction of the modes.
  • Th, Feb. 1: SS drill PP. 117-118, prepare PP. 119-121.
    KB prepare exercises 2.12 and 2.13. Play also in the key of G.

  • M: Feb. 5: Harmony assignment # 3 due.
  • T, Feb. 6: Dictation midterm.
  • W, Feb. 7: Musicianship midterm.
  • Th, Feb. 8: SS prepare PP. 122-123, drill duets PP. 124-125 at sight.
    KB prepare exercise 2.18, P. 18. Drill in class exercises 2.19 and 2.20.

  • M, Feb. 12: Harmony midterm.
  • T, Feb. 13: Review of musicianship midterm.
  • W, Feb. 14: Review of Harmony midterm.
  • Th, Feb 15: Keyboard drill on figured bass from last chorales and altered chords.
    Chart of hierarchy of altered chords.
  • M, Feb. 19: Presidents' Day (holiday).
  • T, Feb. 20: SS at sight drill PP/ 128-129, prepare PP. 131-132.
    KB prepare exercises 2.21, 2.22, 2.23. In addition, play all in the keys of C and D.
  • W, Feb. 21:modulation and extended tonicization.
    Introduction to Mozart and sonata form.
  • Th, Feb. 22: SS drill PP. 142-143, prepare PP. 144-145.

  • M, Feb. 26: altered chords, including neapolitan, augmented sixth, and borrowed chords.
    Harmony assignment #4 due.
  • T, Feb. 27: SS prepare PP. 146-147, drill duets PP. 148-149.
  • W, Feb. 28: Secondary dominants review.
  • Th, Mar. 1: SS prepare PP. 160-161, drill PP. 156-157.
    KB prepare exercises 2.24, 2.25, 2.26, PP. 20-21 in keys of C, Bb, D, F, Eb.

  • M, Mar. 5: Augmented sixth chords as pivots: pivot chords in general.
    Harmony assignment #5 due.
  • T, Mar. 6: SS prepare PP. 162-163.
    KB prepare exercises 2.27, 2.28, 2.29. In addition play in two other keys of your choice.
  • W, Mar. 7: Drill on modulations.
    Analysis paper #1 due.
  • Th, Mar. 8: SS prepare PP. 169-170.
    KB prepare exercise 2.30 in all keys.
    KB prepare exercise 10.1, P. 132 and 10.2, P. 133 for practice in alto clef.

  • M, Mar. 12: Review modulations in sonata form and secondary dominants.
    Harmonmy assignment #6 due.
  • T, Mar. 13: SS prepare PP. 171-173.
    KB prepare exercises 2.31, 2.31, 2.33, 2.34 in keys up to four sharps and flats.
  • W, Mar. 14: General review and dictation drill.
  • Th, Mar. 15: Keyboard harmony review and drill.
    KB prepare exercises on P. 24 in at least four different keys. Drill in class.
    KB accelerated keyboard group: prepare exercise 10.3 in score reading.
  • Analysis paper #2 due on the examination day.

  • Sample analysis of a bach chorale: The music of J.S. Bach's Es is Genug (with chord symbols and phrases marked). The analysis itself.

    This syllabus and all other materials are also available at under the heading of educational materials, subheading of syllabi.

    Students may seek help from the professor at the office hour, Wednesday 12:00-1:00 PM, by e-mail (, or by phone (dedicated line available until 8PM). In advance of due date, assignments may be faxed for approval. Harmony assignments involve four-part writing in Bach-Chorale style. Analysis paper #1 is a differential analysis of a Bach Chorale, while #2 is a Mozart Sonata movement.

    Updated, February 18, 2001.

    Students would check this version for latest revisions.