[Smt-talk] Rhythm notation pedagogy

Larry Barnes lbarnes at transy.edu
Sun Sep 26 11:27:40 PDT 2010

David et al,

Chapter 2 of the Kostka-Payne Tonal Harmony text is fairly thorough on
writing rhythms correctly, including self tests and a workbook of drills. My
students have no concept of compound meter when they arrive and this usually
straightens them out.

But we dumped this text this fall after using it for over 20 years, due to
its prohibitive cost with workbook and 2 CD sets, and its focus on
microscopic "moments" in examples. We're trying an anthology with complete
examples and opportunities to compose in the style, and the Blatter
"Revisiting Music Theory," which is more than we need and often confusing in
its pedagogical directions. So we cover concepts as they come up in the
examples, and use some pop song examples as well to fill in when we need


Larry Barnes

Professor of Music

Transylvania University


From: smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org
[mailto:smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Howard
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2010 2:02 PM
To: Smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Subject: [Smt-talk] Rhythm notation pedagogy


The only fundamentals text I have found that deals with beaming is the Zinn
and Hegenson "Basics of Music : Op. 1," published by Thomson/Schirmer. It
even has drills to give them practice in proper beaming  and discusses the
relationship to meter quite a bit. We use it in the fundamentals review
courses for our majors.
Howard Cinnamon
Coordinator of Music Theory,
Hofstra University

I would be interested in seeing how you tackled the problem.
Paul Beaudoin, PhD

---- David Feurzeig <mozojo at gmail.com> wrote: 

Collective Wisdom:

I find that entering students are ever more clueless regarding standard
practice for notating rhythm with proper respect to meter. My hunch is that
careless computer notation is to blame--including now second-order effects
on students who don't necessarily use digital notation tools themselves, but
see more and more abominably-notated rhythm in their band arrangements and
other parts.

Oddly, I have not seen any standard theory or fundamentals texts that
explains standard beaming and grouping both fully and clearly. So I have
done so myself, in supplementary materials. Traditional practice is not all
that hard to codify, and once codified, not hard to impart. My question is,
is anyone familiar with any published text that *does* cover this

Thanks for any enlightenment.


David Feurzeig
University of Vermont
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