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Tonal Harmony, with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  491 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Designed to meet the needs of the two-semester theory curriculum for music majors, Tonal Harmony is a straightforward book that emphasizes practicality and ease-of-use for both the student and the professor.

By focusing on the core elements of the theory curriculum in a single-volume format, the text is both a complete coursebook and a handy and cost-saving manual for stud

Hardcover, 680 pages
Published July 21st 1999 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published January 1st 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,116)
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How can I objectively rate this? I can only say that during one of the great carefree times of life (freshman year of music school) it completely transformed my understanding and appreciation of harmony. Props to Mrs. Derry, theory instructor at WMU school of music. (1991 graduate, bachelor's degree)
Marilyn Moreau
Not the most fun I've ever had, but what it does, which is explain and test your comprehension of music theory, it does well. The companion workbook is also great reinforcement.
it's not the most fantastic theory book, but it's pretty comprehensive and now i know hella shit. it makes reading other theory books a lot more fun.
Another college textbook I'll never part with.
Dan Studnicky
Best/Only music theory textbook I've ever used.
David Webb
I use this text for my AP MusicTheory class. It covers all the concepts of written & analytical theory that are covered on the AP exam, so it makes sense---all the other texts I evaluated came up short in one way or another. My problem lies in the way the book is written. The author is an intellectual elitist. The style is wordy and pretentious. I find myself spending as much time deciphering the book as teaching from it. It is thorough, but not always clear.
Craig Pruitt
Stefan Kostka has created an impressive tome of musical analysis and theory. While the books focuses mainly on the harmony aspect of music, it touches on 20th century music and lights the way for new discovery. The material is sometimes difficult to understand but I've found it helpful to read the proceeding chapter of the one I'm stuck on. It generally helps and I seldomly have to turn to the internet or other books for more information.
This is kind of THE book, as far as I can tell. It's not organized in the most awesome way ever, but it for defs gets the job done. It's best used as a reference, I think, and in conjunction with, like, mimeographed worksheets or something.

Whenever I have a theory related question, this is the first book I pick up and it rarely lets me down!

Read it with a lover!

Quite possibly the worst theory book ever compiled... it isn't worth your money and I apologize that you know this book.
Laura Gilson
If you prefer a grammatical approach to music theory, this is your text. I prefer a functional approach.
Mary Willis
Good explanations, well organized, plenty of exercises to support learning.
To be placed next to/in place of The Bible on your bookshelf.
The worst text for teaching music theory to teenagers.
Dan Dartnall
This is how I learned the basics of music theory.
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