[Smt-talk] Realizing a figured bass in the curriculum

Darryl White darryl.musico at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 10:28:29 PST 2014

Brian Hoffman wrote:

"The past several years I have attempted to make classroom activities and
assignments as practical as possible for future performers, educators, and
ensemble directors. As a result, I find myself spending less and less time
on realizing a figured bass."

Figured bass realizations, with few exceptions, are of little value except
to historians (including historians of theory). Skills that are more widely
practiced today are harmonization of a melody and realization/improvisation
on a chord progression. I've never been asked by an employer to realize a
figured bass as a composer, arranger, or performer.

If we are considering updating the theory curriculum, it's items like this
that require review.

Darryl White
University of Arizona
School of Music
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