Fundamentals of Music

Fundamentals of Music

by Earl Henry

Paperback(Older Edition)

$42.00 View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780133372885
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 04/28/1993
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 7.56(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents


1. The Notation of Rhythm.

2. The Notation of Pitch.

3. The Keyboard.


 4. Simple Meters.

 5. Compound Meters.


 6. Major Scales and Keys.

 7. Intervals.

 8. Minor Scales and Keys.


 9. Root-Position Triads.

10. Inverted Triads.


11. Diatonic Relationships.

12. Basic Concepts of Tonal Harmony.


A. The Nature of Sound.

B. Other Modes and Scales.

C. Terms and Symbols of Tempo and Expression.

D. The C-Clefs.

E. Answers to Self-Tests.




Scholars speculate that sometime before the year 1000 C.E., an anonymous monk, hand-copying a music manuscript on dried parchment, decided to scratch a horizontal line across the page in an effort to represent pitches more precisely. Before that historic development, music was notated (written down) primarily as a memory aid. Notes were copied relatively higher or lower on the page, but only in an approximate sense; performers still had to learn the music "by heart" and try to remember hundreds of compositions with only the most elementary of visual guidelines.

From those humble beginnings, Western composers and performers gradually developed the staff, various clefs, and other components of a language of pitch notation that we continue to employ today with only minor improvements. In addition, by about 1300, composers had devised an effective means of portraying time values so that virtually any one tone could be represented in virtually any length. With the development of musical notation, Western composers no longer needed to rely on the performer's memory; the basic sounds and time values of, a composition could be illustrated graphically with a set of symbols. Those who knew this language of music—the fundamentals—might study, perform, arrange, or teach a piece of music as if they, themselves, had written it.

Today, most o¿ us can sing, whistle, hum, or pick out a tune on the piano or the guitar, but only those who can read and write the language of Western music are able to share their accomplishments effectively with an audience of potential performers. In each era since our Medieval monk's experiment, musical style and vocabulary have continued toevolve. Along with each stylistic change, the musical language of notation has accommodated innovative sounds with new symbols to represent them on paper. At the same time, however, precise notation has had its price. Succeeding generations of music professionals, fluent in the language of traditional music, have consistently rejected new instruments, combinations of tones, and innovative styles if their notation would require wholesale changes in the system. In short, since about 1550 when the language of traditional Western notation began its final stage of evolution, the fundamentals of music have changed very little.

Fundamentals of Music familiarizes you with the notation and performance of Western music. Whether you are preparing for a career in music or desire simply to develop an appreciation of the musician's language, you will learn the terms, symbols, practices, and conventions that make our music sound the way it does. For some, performance as well as theoretical knowledge will be a course goal. To that end, in addition to fundamental musical materials in theory, you will find numerous musical excerpts (many recorded on the companion compact disc), performance exercises, and creative activities that will address those needs.


The fourth edition of Fundamentals of Music is especially easy to use. In addition to prose text and examples from traditional "classical" music, you will find exercises and examples that center on musical theater, jazz, and rock styles. Alongside the traditional excerpts by male composers of yesterday and today, there is music by women composers of various historical eras. Boxed text in most chapters gives you an additional perspective, offers a method of study, or provides a shortcut.

Each chapter centers on four areas: text, skill exercises, a self-test with answers, and supplementary studies. Begin each chapter with a look at the "Essential Terms," which are listed alphabetically. You will need to know these terms and their definitions to master the chapter material, and more likely than not, they will be essential in later studies as well. The Skill Exercises throughout each chapter vary from simple objective questions to performance activities and elementary keyboard studies. Some instructors will ask students to tear out the exercise pages and submit them for correction; others will employ the drills to facilitate class discussion. If you remove pages from the book, be sure to keep them in a ring binder for later reference.

Once you have completed the chapter, take the Self-Test in a timed situation. Although the later tests are naturally more involved than those in the first few chapters, all of them are designed to be completed in fifteen or twenty minutes. The Answers to self-tests appear in this text as Appendix E. Compare your responses with those given in the appendix and note any errors or misunderstandings. Your instructor may ask you to complete one or more of the Supplementary Studies that conclude each chapter. These are divided into "Drill Exercises," which parallel skills-oriented activities in the chapter text, and "Fundamental Skills in Practice," which suggest ways of using your new knowledge about music more creatively.


New to the fourth edition of Fundamentals of Music are reviews that are found at the end of each of the five units. While these reviews include the most important aspects of individual chapters, they also tie together a group of related skills. Your instructor may ask you to submit unit reviews as exercises to be marked and returned. Others will assign unit reviews as take-home examinations or as preparation for an in-class evaluation.


The CD that accompanies Fundamentals of Music has been revised for the fourth edition. Using the recorded examples as you study, you will more effectively correlate the sounds of traditional music with their notated symbols. In addition, a number of types of aural skills exercises are recorded and available for your use in class or at home. As we will discuss more fully in the text, the ear-training, sight-singing, and keyboard drills are provided primarily as an introduction to the full range of professional music study. They are not intended to facilitate your mastery of a given topic.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews