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.