Elements of tonality are explored through the explanation and building of tonal patterns in scales and chords. The flow of material leads to the explanation of tonal cadences.
To understand the basic principles of tonicization and apply existing knowledge to further the understanding of extended tonal techniques. The relationship of chord progressions is a primary goal.
Target Student Population:
High school and college theory students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Standard multi-media browser is required. Note literacy and basic scale and chord construction is required to go very far into the discussion. The elemental level is discussed very briefly.
Type of Material:
This is reference material with ear training components.
This material is excellent for review for the lower division college student. It is a very good launching point for students who are literate in scales and chords but have not yet clarified the relationship to tonality.
Standard web browser with multimedia capability. MIDI files are used to play the examples.
Evaluation and Observation
The presentation is clear and concise. It offers a strong review with discussions that go into the more chromatic chords with references to jazz cadential structures. Most of the discussions are accompanied by MIDI files which are valuable for ear training. The use of scale degree numbers and Roman numeral chords is consistent with compositional thought.
There are no notational examples of the cadences to show voice leading. This would be helpful to the students in the music major. For fixed Do or movable Do students they must adopt the number system for this presentation.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Provides interesting summation presentation of tonal theory concepts. In the author's words, this site is "a springboard for creativity and, even more importantly, as a foundation for exploration. For this reason, I examine not just the major and minor scales but also many aternative tonalities which are capable of being tonally coherent and musically effective."
The lack of notation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Very easy to use. Frame construction with links to the MIDI file examples.
At times, the frame on the left disappears leaving an arrow which brings back the menu . Just a problem the first couple of times.
Other Issues and Comments:
Site offers reinterpretation presentation of basic theory concepts. Students should already possess a basic understanding of these concepts, as the site offers only summaries and implications of these concepts. Not every teacher will see the benefits to presenting a different "take" on theory material, but
those who welcome divergent thinking will enjoy this site.