What is the course about?
This workshop will help you understand how harmony works. In this first module we focus on the building blocks of harmony: scales, chords and cadences. We also develop and strengthen finger-technique with technical exercises by Diabelli. This practical workshop requires 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.
What will we cover?
- Use of Diabelli’s piano studies Op.125
- 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 chord symbols.
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
- play ‘missing’ cadences in given exercises from chord symbols
- complete missing chord progressions (using I, ii, IV, V and vi) in examples from Bach chorales.
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?
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?
Please bring your own copy of this keyboard harmony textbook A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony which will be used in all three modules of this class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course continues with Keyboard harmony and technique B (ME801B)
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details