[Smt-talk] The Concept of Appoggiatura

Stephen Jablonsky jablonsky at optimum.net
Tue Oct 23 05:45:26 PDT 2012

For those interested in theory pedagogy it is important to realize that the neophytes in your class are not as anxious to memorize the names of the twelve different kinds of nonharmonic tones as you are. That's why you went to graduate school and got your current job. What should be significant for them is the understanding that all NHTs are either accented or unaccented. They must also appreciate the melodic choreography--that NHTs are approached by either step, leap, or holding and are resolved by step or leap. Lastly, they must appreciate that chromatic NHTs are more piquant than diatonic ones. So here are the questions you should ask your students:

What is the D natural doing in measure 2 of Moon River? 
What chord is accompanying it?
Does the D occur on a chord change or after?
How is it approached?
How is it resolved?
Is the NHT diatonic or chromatic?
What is the interval between the root of the A minor chord and the NHT?

Humor: How many dollars did this appoggiatura deposit in Henry Mancini's bank account?

On Oct 22, 2012, at 9:11 PM, Karen Sunabacka <ksunabacka at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I teach from the Horton/Ritchey "Harmony Through Melody" music theory text. In this textbook the appoggiatura is always an accented dissonance. The textbook describes the appoggiature as "an unprepared accented dissonance: though it resolves by step, it is approached by a leap." (p357) When the accented dissonance is approached by step the textbook calls it a "Rhythmic Displacement".
> I like this approach. Also, the textbook teaches suspensions and rhythmic displacements much earlier than the appoggiatura, and so the students learn to be very careful with the accented dissonance (always prepare or approach by step). So that when they are allowed to create an accented dissonance from a leap they can really hear the difference. It is a nice progression that I feel reflects the development of melody and harmony historically.
> When I was a TA in grad school I taught from the Koska/Payne - I much prefer the Horton/Ritchey. 
> Dr. Karen Sunabacka
> Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition
> Music Program Coordinator
> Providence University College
> College Website http://www.providencecollege.ca/
> Personal Website: www.sunabacka.com

Prof. Stephen Jablonsky, Ph.D.
Music Department Chair
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue S-72
New York NY 10031
(212) 650-7663

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