TonalityGUIDE - basic tonal music theory and analysis for undergraduates
  Startcentre  |  Reference Guide  

Table of Contents

There are many different routes through the reference material on TonalityGUIDE, go to the about section to read more about these. If you are looking for something in particular, you can either browse through this table of contents (linked to by the book icon at the top the dark blue bar on the right hand side of every page) or look in the DefinitionBANK in the center of the red bar across the top. The Module Web Pages (associated with Liverpool Hope Musical Techniques classes) draw together a limited number of these pages into topics, starting with some basics and moving on to style composition.

Not every page on this site is linked to from this table of contents, but you should be able to get close enough to see where you want to go ...

See my new site for advice on Bach chorales.

Part I - Preliminaries

Introduction to Tonality
Triadic Harmony
Tonality and Tonic

Tonal Analysis Tool Kit
Basic Literacy
Relative and Absolute Note Names
Interval Names

Chord Identification
Roman Numerals
Figured Bass

General Characteristics

  • Interval Succession
  • Parallel Fifths
  • Parallel Octaves
  • Similar Motion
    Resolution of tension
    Embellishing Progressions
  • Unaccented Passing Notes
  • Accented Passing Notes
  • Appoggiaturas
  • Anticipation
  • Neighbour Notes

    Style Awareness
    Case Study One - An Example of Stylistic Change: The Added Minor Seventh.
    Case Study Two - Melodic Dissonance in Handel, Haydn and the Beatles

    Some Quick Reminders (from tutorials)
    Chord labelling
    Working out the key of a passage
    Reminder of figured bass and chord types
    Working out the root of a chord
    Harmonising cadences (common formulae)
    Harmonising cadences (voice-leading guidelines)
    Writing Phrases Starting with a Bass Line

    Part III - Style Composition

    Realising Figured Bass
    Realising continuo parts for sonatas in the style of Handel.
    Figured bass Method
    Figured bass Method Stage I
    Embellishing a Simple Figured Bass (Stage III)

    Reverse Engineering Handel(!)
    Checking your work
    Guidelines on doubling

    Writing a Haydn Menuetto
    Four-stage method - how to write a menuetto using the structure of one Haydn example and motifs from another!
    Writing for string instruments - Ranges and some examples of articulation

  • Part II - Reference Guide

    Chords and Scales
    Scales - an introduction

  • Major
  • Minor
    Diatonic Chords - and introduction
  • Major
  • Minor
    Embellished Chords (sevenths, ninths, elevenths etc.)

    Short Progressions

    Progression by fifth

  • Perfect Cadences
  • Imperfect Cadences
  • Plagal Cadences
    Progression by second
  • Chords vii to I (dominant substitute)
  • Interrupted Cadence
  • Imperfect Cadences
    Progression by third
  • Falling
  • Rising

    Secondary Dominant
    Diminished Seventh
    Augmented Sixth
    Neapolitan Sixth
    Half-diminished Seventh
    Augmented Fifth

    Key and Modulation
    Relative Minor

  • Parallel Minor
    Circle of Fifths
  • Series and Circles
  • Minor
    Abrupt Modulation
    Pivot Modulation
    Chromatic Pivot
    Spotting Modulations - Some Examples

    Longer Progressions

    Progression by Fifth

  • Chains of Fifths
  • Modulation by Fifth
    Progression by Second
  • Chains of Seconds
  • Sequences with Seconds
  • Modulation by Second
    Progression by Third


  • Modulation by Diminished Seventh
  • Modulation by Augmented Sixth
  • Longer Neapolitan Progressions

  • The Tonality GUIDE tonal music analysis tool kit
    information and orientation as you browse around
    chord identification
    understanding voice-leading
    style awareness

    © Copyright Thomas Pankhurst

    TonalityGUIDE - Tonal Harmony and Voiceleading - Table of Contents