What is the course about?
This workshop will help you understand how harmony works. In this first module (1C) we move away from chord symbols and now learn to read from figured bass uses exercised by Handel. We also develop phrasing and finger-technique with the technical exercises. This practical workshop required a confident grade 5+ starting point for pianists. You will be required to sight-read short passages in simple keys (up to 4 sharps or flats), and you will be asked to learn new studies and exercises both during class time and for homework.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Use of various studies (sourced by tutor) to improve keyboard technique
- Study of figured bass with exercises (see course textbook)
- continues study of harmonic progressions with chord symbols.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- understand the concept of figured bass as related to chord symbols (from previous modules)
- read and write basic/standard chord progressions in figured bass
- present several correctly realised examples (figured bass) from the exercises used in class.
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.
If you are joining the course for module C please make sure you can already play scales (major and minor) with key signature up to 6 sharps and flats and have a good knowledge of chord symbols (e.g. Gm). You may attend a music advice session if you are not sure of your level.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an 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 to take this class.
We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks. We use video software to meet for classes via webcam (ZOOM or GOOGLE MEETS).
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.
Also, for this term please source opies of these collections of studies:
- Grades 5-6: Stephen Heller - Etudes Op. 46
- Grades 7-8: Ignaz Moscheles - Etudes Op. 70.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend that you now study music theory: grade 7 or Keyboard Harmony and improvisation (which focuses on more modern styles as well as jazz). You may wish to explore our Pop piano programme if you read keys and chord symbols to a comfortable level or study Music theory: counterpoint for a systematic approach to voice-leading, fugal forms and higher-level theory. You may also be interested in our Piano workshops or Piano repertoire classes to study classical repertoire. Please note: we have multiple courses at different times throughout the week. Some courses are online, and some take place in our college building.
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.