Defending the Straw Man

Modulation, Solmization, and What to Do with a Brain

Authored by: Gary S. Karpinski

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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Functional solmization, which labels each pitch in terms of its scale degree, has its detractors. Many of the arguments against its use center on the question of its efficacy during modulation. This chapter first shows that any case against functional solmization made on the basis of its usefulness during modulation is little more than a straw man, set up by detractors in order to be knocked down easily. But then, although one is usually tempted to leave straw men where their detractors have left them, the author props this one up again in order to defend him.

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