What is the course about?
This workshop will help you understand how harmony works. In this first module (1A) we focus on the building blocks of harmony: scales, chords and cadences. We also develop and strengthen finger-technique with studies by Burgmüller as well as a selection of technical exercises such as those by Hanon. This practical workshop required a confident grade 5 (piano) starting point for pianists. You will not be required to sight-read, but you will need to learn new studies and complete short exercises during class time and for homework.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Work on piano studies by Friedrich Burgmüller (Op. 100)
- Harmonic analysis of these piano studies
- Study of scales and arpeggios for major/minor keys up to 6 sharps and flats
- Study of the circle of 5ths with keys up to 6 sharps or flats (harmonic and melodic forms)
- Triads on major and minor scales (above) in root position and inversions (theory and harmony)
- Common cadences (perfect, plagal, interrupted) in at least 4 key signatures
- at least two basic chord progressions using roman numeral notation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- recognise and read key signatures up to 6 sharps and flats
- recognise and read chords in a tonal context
- play ‘missing’ cadences in given exercises from chord symbols (using I, ii, IV, V and vi)
- complete missing chord progressions in examples from standard piano repertoire
- how to transpose simple piano pieces.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for pianists at a confident grade 5 standard who are keen to learn the theory behind their practice and who wish to explore harmony in both a practical and theoretical workshop.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
For this online course you will need your own piano (or keyboard) with 88 full-sized keys, a copy of the course text-book (see below) and a computer or tablet with a webcam, microphone and reliable internet connection.
We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks.
We use ZOOM (video software) to meet for weekly classes via webcam.
The course will comprise combinations of lecture-demonstration, question-and-answer, guided listening, and music-manuscript study. You will undertake short, relevant tasks between classes and you will be expected to demonstrate your work in class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need your own copy of this keyboard harmony textbook A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony which will be used in further modules of this class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend that you now study Keyboard harmony and technique B which focuses on longer chord progressions, inversions and voice-leading techniques (how notes move from one chord to another).
You may also wish to study Music theory: grade 6 to support your harmonic studies.