Using Tendency Tones to Teach the Morphology and Syntax of Chromatic Harmony

Authored by: Stacey Davis

The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138585010
eBook ISBN: 9780429505584
Adobe ISBN:


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Effective harmony pedagogy requires a balance between chord morphology (spelling) and harmonic syntax (chord progressions and voice-leading). An approach based on syntax is particularly effective for teaching chromatic harmony, where an emphasis on tendency tones can simplify chord spelling while concurrently enriching an understanding of their harmonic and melodic impact. This chapter focuses on the contrary motion resolution of half-step tendency tones in and around the augmented-sixth and Neapolitan chords.

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