Daniel Wolf djwolf at snafu.de
Fri Apr 19 12:01:07 PDT 2013

While my own student years were sometime back in the Lower Jurassic, I can  
still recall vividly that most of my cohort of students came to University  
music study already well-equipped with lead sheet chord facility. Those  
who had jazz experience were particularly adept at being able to assign a  
name to any vertical combination of tones. A significant added value of  
college-level music theory was precisely in the aquisition of skill of  
locating those chords in functional and linear environments (i.e. real  
repertoire) in which "inversion", for example, did make a difference.

Also, though I can't claim any expertise in vernacular musics and would be  
happy to be corrected on this point, the assumption — perhaps due to an  
orientation towards guitar chord and single-handed keyboard "voicings" —  
that chordal inversion and voice leading are less important, or even  
disregarded, in vernacular musics, strikes me as unsustainable. This might  
be tested by a recognition test in which a number of harmonic progressions  
associated with popular or standard songs are played but with randomly  
revoiced harmonies.

Daniel Wolf

On Fri, 19 Apr 2013 17:58:07 +0200, Proctor, Gregory <proctor.1 at osu.edu>  

> Since I have been teaching graduate students primarily in the past few  
> years, I find myself using lead sheet notation more and more. It is  
> especially helpful in reminding them that what "inversion" a chord is in  
> is usually insignificant compared to its nature (triad, added sixth,  
> seventh). Roman numeral conventions with figured bass numerals bizarrely  
> combine a pitch-class assertion but with a lowest pitch-class..
Dr. Daniel James Wolf
Frankfurt am Main
djwolf at snafu.de

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list