Harmony for First Year A Level Music
Price: £29.99 (Excluding VAT at 20%)
Age Group: 16-18
Order Number: 11003
This course is designed for the first year A Level music student who intends, on its completion to undertake exercises in stylistic harmony and pastiche in preparation for examination tests. It follows, therefore, the format of standard harmony texts in dealing with chords and their functions and giving numerous exercises.
With a background in harmony from the GCSE years which often emphasises free composition in preference to the functionality of harmonic progressions, students may find this formal approach somewhat mechanical. Those for whom the concept of chords does not come naturally, however, need guidance especially if they are not keyboard players and cannot experiment with progressions and relate the sounds they hear to the notes on the page and vice versa.
The sheets do not give all the dos and doníts with regard to a particular topic. Opening the students to too wide a number of possibilities at an early stage can be confusing, as can the issuing of too many negative rules.
It is important that students are not simply left with the sheets to work through on their own. Teachers should always explain the topic either with reference to a sheet or before using it and then work through one or two exercises with the students. Problems arising at this stage can then be solved before further exercises are undertaken.
The final chapter is an appendix and deals very superficially with some chromatic chords, more with a view to recognising them than actually applying them. Advanced students may, however, want to apply them in their own work. In some cases, they may serve, as a relevant introduction to aspects of harmony needed to complete the pastiche exercises in the second year.