9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Schoenberg's 'Theory of Harmony' is a wonderful and luminous book, which can be read by the non-musician as a theory of aesthetics, or used by the music student as a challenging but comprehensive course in harmonic technique.
Working from first principles, Schoenberg gives a tour de force exploring the development of Western harmony from the most basic properties of a vibrating string or a column of air.
Filled with musical examples, Schoenberg works up through the various properties of tonality and the scale, through strong chord progression, modulation and into the disorientating world of augmented chords into a fully 12 tone theory of harmony.
What is fascinating is that although Schoenberg himself is best known for his composition of 12 tone music, which, with all the best will in the world, is tedious listening at the best of times, his theory is primarily about the classical harmony of the Germanic tradition.
This book is flawed for two reasons. First, Schoenberg's science is actually wrong -- his physics of sound does not really account for the ideas which he tries to impose on it. In a sense this does not matter, since his ideas are muscially 'right'.
Secondly, although this is a magnificent work for developing structural skills in the German tradition, it does not really account for impressionistic writing of the French tradition, especially in the 20th century.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 1998
It is historical book in theory of harmony area. The author wrote detailed explanation about each theory. All harmonic theories are expained in structural and systemic concept. All theories are constructed on the properties of frequency of sounds. I astonished at the systemic, logical explanation about the theory of harmony. The author wrote this book for the his students of composition lesson.
The author, Schoeng is the representative great real composer of twenty centry. It is well organized relatively to other text. It attach great importance to not only theory but also practice method of composing. The most superior stuff to other text is, reader will learn how to compose music by only following the text even beginner. It will be suitable for beginner, advanced student and teacher.
I strongly recommand this book if you have no chance to consider the ground of harmonic theory. Tis book will give the answers to you why many harmonic rules and theories must be! such like that.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2010
I may be a PhD composer but this is not the only reason why this book is useful. Ignore the person that feels that commenting on HER ABILITY to understand or grasp the theory and detailed musical annalysis of Schoenberg a 'useful review'.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 1998
It deals with all harmony thoery from traditional theory to mordern atonal music such as twelve tone system. Traditional part is well organized relatively to other text. It attach great importance to not only theory but also practice of composing. The most superior stuff to other text is, reader will learn how to compose music by only following the text even beginner. It will be suitable for beginner, advanced student and teacher.
0 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2010
If you are not Ph.d researcher, forget about this book.
You won't understand what this book is talking about.
Ignore, irresponsible above review and looking for the other book.