Designed for a two-year undergraduate music theory course sequence in diatonic and chromatic harmony, this text approaches the subject through melody, which is the unifying thread running through tonal organization and a familiar reference point for students of music. The authors present the common systems of tonal organization in Western music, focusing on general tendencies and patterns of behavior across style and period boundaries. Each chapter includes a step-by-step presentation of the relevant musical context with extensive examples as illustration. Writing assignments allow students to experience firsthand the active musical process as they progress from simple chord melodies to more complex harmonic relationships. Each exercise builds on and develops from the previous assignments. More than 1400 musical examples are included in this text to illustrate particular concepts in a variety of musical contexts. Some 600 of these examples are drawn from folksong, popular music, hymns and chorales, and the standard repertoire. The authors have developed a unique approach to the teaching of this complex subject. They have used this approach in their own classrooms with their own students. The "Examples for Study" in each chapter are models for writing drawn from assignments submitted by the many students who have studied with this approach over the past decade.
Charles Horton teaches music theory and analysis, piano, and twentieth-century music history at the School of Music at the University of Manitoba. He is a former editor of the music theory journal, In Theory Only. Lawrence Ritchey teaches music theory, organ, harpsichord, and the history of jazz at St. John's College, and chairs the editorial board of the interdisciplinary journal, Mosaic.