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Structural Functions of Harmony Paperback – 15 Mar 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (15 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571196578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571196579
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was an Austrian composer, later moving to the United States, and was leader of the Second Viennese School. In the 1920s, Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique, and his approach, both in terms of harmony and development, is among the major landmarks of twentieth-century musical thought. The extraordinary scope of Schoenberg's intelligence, and the often prophetic character of his insights, make his writings on music an indispensable source for anyone interested in the complex history of twentieth-century music.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative book with examples. Very romantic, chopinesque, rachmaninoff harmonies which is why I bought the book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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