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Peer Review

Solomon's Music Theory and Analysis Resources



Overall Numeric Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 3.8 stars
Reviewed: Dec 01, 2004 by Music
Overview: Solomon's Music Theory and Analysis Resources is a large collection of essays
and presentations on various music theory and analysis topics. The topics are
organized around the following areas of study: Theory, Analytical Tools,
Analyses and Miscellaneous (links). Most articles and suggestions are supported
with graphic analyses and MIDI examples. Under the Theory heading are the
following topics: Why Structure Does not Guarantee Good Music, Tonality,
Modality, and Atonality, The Principle of Compound Variation in Bartok's Second
Quartet, Satie, the First Modern, Consonance and Dissonance, Theory of
Nonharmonic Tones, A Schenkerian Primer, Chord Chart, Symmetry as a
Compositional Determinant (revised dissertation, ? 2002, 1973), The Fractal
Nature of Music, New Thematic Transformations; beyond P(t), I, R, & RI, Op de
Coul's List of Modes (Solomon, contributor), Music Theory Glossary, Set Theory
Glossary, Set Theory Primer, Consonance and Dissonance Bibliography, Laurent
Fichet's Music Theory Bibliographies, Dimitrious Markatos' Bibliography, Tuning
and Temperament Bibliography and articles, Rhythm and Meter Bibliography.
Under the Analytical Tools heading are the following topics: Symbols for
Schenkerian Analysis, Chord Chart, Construct a Simple Clock Calculator for
Music, Set Theoretical Analysis, A word of caution about Web calculators for Set
Theory, Paul Nelson's Set Theory Primer, Set Calculator and Relations
Calculator, A Table of Set Classes, Music Analysis System for set theoretical
analysis: harmonic and serial, Parametric Analysis A list of parameters and
suggestions, Symbols for Formal & Motivic Analysis suggestions and an example
Forms and Genre.
Under the Analyses heading are the following topics: The Dies Irae in
Stravinsky's Rite, Wozzeck as Expressionist Opera, Wagner Ring Riddles, Bach's
Violin Chaconne in D minor: Music Theory and Performance, Bach's Invention No. 1
in C, Bach's Prelude in C Major, WTC I, The anatomy of canon and fugue and J.S.
Bach (Tim Smith), Symmetry as a Compositional Determinant (revised
dissertation, 2002), Scriabin's Prelude for piano, Op. 74, no. 3 (using set
theory), Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, Webern's
Variations, Op. 27, Beethoven's Scherzo from piano sonata No. 15, op.28,
Beethoven's Variations in C Minor, WoO 80.
Type of Material: Reference materials in the form of essays and analytical papers,software, MIDI
files, graphic analyses.
Recommended Uses: These materials would serve as supplemental information for upper level
undergraduate and lower level graduate music theory students.
Technical Requirements: Online connection and standard browser with multimedia-capable computer.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learning goals vary from one topic to another in this collection. Generally
speaking they all pertain to college level music theory and analysis studies.
Target Student Population: Undergraduate music majors, graduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Most of the topics require fundamental knowledge of music theory.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Generally speaking, the content is accurate but is also presented in a
quasi-lecture fashion blending the authors slant on the information with the
content of the material. The quality and variety of material for advancing
theory and composition students is overall quite good.
Concerns: Not everyone will agree with Solomon's interpretations (or his chord chart
recommendations), but herein lies good food for dialogue. Some aids and
suggestions seem a bit too verbose.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The way the author presents the material is often interesting and eclectic.
Other teachers using this material may find some of the novel approaches useful
and stimulating while finding others less useful.
Concerns: The site lacks organization and the material is not broken down into sections
that could be easily adopted into another teachers lesson plan.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.8 stars
Strengths: Organization is concise and effective; Theory-Analytical
Tools-Analyses-Miscellaneous. Most items are quickly found from the index page.
Concerns: Some of the links do not work.

Other Issues and Comments: Not everyone will agree with Solomon's interpretations (or
his chord chart recommendations), but herein lies good food for dialogue. Some
aids and suggestions seem a bit verbose.