TonalityGUIDE - basic tonal music theory and analysis for undergraduates
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Introduction to tonality More about the TonalityGUIDE analysis tool kit Clefs, note labels, intervals and transposition
chord identification understanding voice-leading style awareness

The ToolKIT, which is accessible from all pages of the site, outlines the three main analytical skills that aims to develop. It also links to a short introduction to the study of tonality as well as a reminder of some basics (note and interval labels, clefs and transpositions).

Style Awareness
Introduction Case Study One Case Study Two

Introduction & Handel Haydn Beatles

Melodic Dissonance in Handel, Haydn and the Beatles

Handel Flute Sonata Extracts
Compared with the strict rules of Palestrina's style (as codified in species counterpoint), Haydn and Handel seem to use dissonances quite freely. However, the dissonances in the following examples are basically decorations of underlying voice-leading that still follows most of the guidelines laid out in the resolution of tension page in the Toolkit.

Understanding these sort of dissonances as an extra layer of decoration on top of a simpler basic line is one of the basic tenets of Schenkerian analysis).

In the first example the starred D is a suspension. The D to the final C# in the bass line of the extract is the basic suspension which is decorated by the semiquavers in between.

The dissonances starred in this next example decorate the basic 6-5 over the bass (D to C#). The dissonances form neighbour notes (or auxilliary notes) in relation to these two pitches.

Here the basic voice leading is a seventh (D) above the bass resolving to C# on the following beat. The fourth semiquaver (D) decorates the suspension by adding a neighbour note.

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