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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Harmony, 11 Jun 2012
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fourier (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Structural Functions of Harmony (Paperback)
Having self-studied harmony from excellent modern textbooks (e.g., Laitz, Kostka-Payne), I found myself unable to really comprehend what was going on harmonically in a piece of, say, Wagner. There were, seemingly, too many (random?) modulations, chromatic harmonies, e.t.c., that did not make sense as a practical procedure one would follow in composing.

Schoenberg's book provides a unifying theory on these "romantic harmonic issues". In his theory, the chords/harmonies that correspond to a single key are not confined to the so-called "diatonic" ones, but many more, of almost equal importance, are included, justified as "substitutes", "transformations", e.t.c. These, along with the concept of regions (which is what modern textbooks refer to as "tonicization") provide a large harmonic "space" out of which the composer can draw, remaining in a single key.

Suggestions (rules) concerning voice-leading and resolution of these "extra" harmonies are provided, with many examples and analyses from the literature (ranging from Bach to Strauss).

Clearly, the level of the book is advanced. You should be in a position to analyze a classical-period piece before attempting to read it. Also note, that the organization is not perfect, e.g., there are places where a concept is used in passing before it has been presented/explained. This makes a second (/third/fourth...) reading of the book a necessity.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in these topics!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced, but good, 10 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Structural Functions of Harmony (Paperback)
This book is one of the most detailed music theory books out there. I would only recommend getting it if you are a music student or have an advanced knowledge of music theory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music, 4 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Structural Functions of Harmony (Paperback)
If you're a student of music, you probably have this book.
Otherwise, it's a worthwhile purchase for whichever music genre you're working in.
Steve
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Structural Functions of Harmony
Structural Functions of Harmony by Arnold Schoenberg (Paperback - 15 Mar 1999)
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