[Smt-talk] Theory textbooks

Nicolas Meeùs nicolas.meeus at paris-sorbonne.fr
Tue May 1 04:05:30 PDT 2012


Can you explain in what sense you believe that the theory of tonal 
functions (say, Riemann) allows more to think horizontally than the 
theory of root progressions (say, Sechter/Bruckner)?

For sure, it would be important that textbooks on harmony or analysis 
position themselves within a history of harmonic theories, but I think 
that this should lead to teaching the history and genealogy of the 
theoretical paradigms about tonality. Without this confrontation of 
theories, we would indeed be teaching ideologies.

On the other hand, I am afraid that music teaching often is based on 
ideology. Even in our supposedly rational world, it remains largely 
based on oral tradition, on the example given by the "master". This is 
obvious in the case of performance teaching. It is less obvious, but I 
fear hardly less present, in the case of theory teaching. And if each of 
us took the time to first justify one's ideological position, we may 
never find the time to really begin teaching theory...

But let's leave that for another discussion. For the time being, I'd 
really want to know your opinion about German /vs/ Austrian theories.

Nicolas Meeùs
Université Paris-Sorbonne

Le 1/05/2012 03:36, Ildar Khannanov a écrit :
> [...]
> One chapter, one topic in particular, is missing from the beginning of 
> our foliants: the actual explanation of the theoretical position of 
> the author. I prefer the theory of tonal-harmonic functions. It is 
> this theory which allows student to harmonize a melody. Tonal function 
> allows to think horizontally. Oswald Jonas and Schenker did not know 
> that, appartenly. "Root-function" is the agency which connects one 
> chord to another and allows to unfold the harmonic progression. The 
> system of tonal-harmonic functions must be explained from the very 
> beginning and student have to be trained hearing these function in the 
> aural skills class. If the texbook is Schenkerian, it is worthy to 
> introduce a chapter on Schenker's theory and give it to students in 
> the most open and sincere fashion. Otherwise, what is, in fact, a 
> concept, is introduced as an ideology.
> Best,
> Ildar Khannanov
> Peabody Institute
> Baltimore, MD
> solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120501/ceefa314/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list