This text presents music that is challenging, yet not overwhelming to young musicians. Drawing on their own extensive experience as composers and arrangers who adapt music for their own students, the authors have struck a balance between rigor and accessibility.
Benjamin (Peabody Conservatory), Michael Horvit, and Robert Nelson (both of whom are associated with the Moores School of Music) present primarily newly written exercises and melodies that are graded and cumulative and that isolate the particular musical devices under study. Each aspect of music reading is presented in a specific set of exercises wherein problems of rhythm, meter and pitch are dealt with separately and then together. The melodies and part music are appropriately edited with tempo designations, dynamics, and articulations to encourage the student to deal with all aspects of musical notation while sight singing. The 27 chapters discuss diatonic, chromatic, and 20th century techniques. Wire spiral binding. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
I like the fact that the bulk of the material is specifically composed— and well written at that. The material is varied and musical, making it very easy to comment on and insist on musicality in performance. Well done.
Another strength is the obvious attention to the whole organization of the text. Rhythm and melody concepts (with attention to 'melodized harmony') are very well thought out. The sequence of ideas and exercises is excellent.
Thomas E. Benjamin has recently retired as Chair of the Department of Music Theory at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. A composer, conductor, performer, and music theorist with more than 40 compositions published and recorded, he also holds fellowships and awards from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Michael Horvit is Professor Emeritus of Composition and Theory at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. His works range from solo instrumental and vocal pieces to large symphonic and choral compositions and operas, all widely performed in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Israel. He has published with C.F. Peters, MorningStar, Recital Publications, Shawnee Press, E.C. Schirmer, Southern, and Transcontinental, and has CDs with the Albany label. Horvit's awards include the Martha Baird Rockefeller Award as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Robert S. Nelson teaches music theory and composition at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. A composer in residence and music director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival for 17 seasons, he has also received numerous commissions for compositions and arrangements for the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
I. COMMON PRACTICE TECHNIQUES: DIATONIC. 1. Rhythm: One-and Two-Pulse Units (Unmetered). Pitch: The Major Scale. 2. Rhythm: Simple Meters. Pitch: Introducing Thirds. Pitch: Introducing Fourths. 3. Pitch: Tonic Triad in the Major Mode. Introducing Fifths, Sixths, and Octaves. 4. Rhythm: 2:1 Subdivisions of the Beat. Pitch: I, V, and V7. Introducing Sevenths. 5. Rhythm: Anacruses (Upbeats) and 4:1. Subdivisions of the Beat. Pitch: I, IV, V, and V7. Pitch: Introducing the Alto Clef. 6. Rhythm: Dots and Ties. Pitch: Minor Mode. 7. Music from the Literature. 8. Rhythm: Compound Meter. Pitch: All Diatonic Triads. Pitch: Tenor Clef. 9. Rhythm: Triplets and Duplets. 10. Music from the Literature. 11. Rhythm: Syncopation. Pitch: Seventh Chords. II. COMMON PRACTICE TECHNIQUES: CHROMATIC. 12. Pitch: Decorative Chromaticism. Pitch: Inflected Scale Degrees. Pitch: Scalar Variants in Minor. Pitch: Modal Borrowing. 13. Music from the Literature. 14. Pitch: Secondary Dominants. 15. Pitch: Modulations to Closely Related Keys. 16. Music from the Literature. 17. Rhythm: Quintuple Meters. Pitch: Chromaticism Implying Altered Chords. Modulation to Nonclosely Related Keys. 18. Music from the Literature. III. TWENTIETH-CENTURY TECHNIQUES. 19. Rhythm: Irregular Meters. Pitch: Diatonic Modes. Pitch: Changing Clefs. 20. Rhythm: Changing Meters. Pitch: Pandiatonicism. 21. Rhythm: Syncopation. Pitch: Extended and Altered Tertian Harmony. 22. Pitch: Exotic Scales. 23. Rhythm: Complex Divisions of the Beat. Pitch: Quartal Harmony. 24. Rhythm: Polyrhythmsand Polymeters. Pitch: Polyharmony and Polytonality. 25. Pitch: Interval Music. 26. Serial Music. 27. Music from the Literature.