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

Väisälä Olli olli.vaisala at uniarts.fi
Sun Dec 14 22:05:48 PST 2014

Just a short comment to Ildar:

I wrote:
Quote: Speaking of personal experience, I was about 12 or 13 when studying FB. Before that, I think I considered myself rather fluent in ”harmonizing melodies” at the piano, but this was the first time I started to understand that chords are not just concatenated chunks, i.e., that there is a such thing as voice leading.

Ildar wrote:
Voice leading IS an aspect of the art of harmonization of unfigured melody. It has always been a part of harmonization, together with many other important aspects. Voice leading cannot be detached from the theory of harmony (Rameau) and taught separately or on the examples of so-called figured bass theory or so-called species counterpoint (both—figments of imagination and revisionism).  I seriously doubt that someone can “consider himself or herself rather fluent in ”harmonizing melodies” if he or she understands it solely as “concatenated chunks.” Perhaps, this is the result of poor pedagogy and not the deficiency of the method as such.
I comment:

By no means was my attitude a result of poor pedagogy, because I had not yet gotten any tuition in the art of harmonization. What I spoke about was just the complacency of a 12-year old who had learnt to find "good-sounding" chords on his own through keyboard improvization.

(Incidentally, I think theory pedagogy in the music school I went to may not have been very good, but that didn’t prevent the FB course from alerting me to voice leading.)

Olli Väisälä
University of the Arts, Helsinki
olli.vaisala at uniarts.fi<mailto:olli.vaisala at uniarts.fi>
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