One of the challenging things about music theory is the fact that it is a moving target. In other words, it is not a clear cut discipline in the way that mathematics might be. In math, 2+2 will always be 4 regardless of the time period or culture. That is not true with music. I […]
If you missed yesterday’s post, I started talking about the turnaround. A turnaround is a sequence of chords that are used at the end of a section that fill up space and naturally lead to the start of the next section. As a simple example, if you end a section on a I chord and […]
There is a foundational principle in harmony and it goes something like this: the path between two chords can be altered in many ways as long as the end points are preserved. That may sound confusing but let’s take an example. Let’s say you are in church and you end a verse of a hymn […]
Yesterday, we finished the first year of Online Music School. We had two 16-week semesters and I calculate that I talked in front of the camera for somewhere close to 200 hours. Roughly 150 students participated. Registrations were about equal for both semesters even though I only taught 5 classes in the second semester compared to […]
I want to tread carefully in this post because not everyone agrees with what I am about to discuss. I have good friends who will disagree with it in fact. That is all good. It is not a personal thing; it is just about music and I have no one in mind as I am writing.
I am really enjoying working with students around the world in my music school. For those wondering why I have taken down that part of the web site, it is because I am retooling for next semester. We are making a number of changes and are about ready to announce them. I will have everything up by Thanksgiving for sure.
I teach a class called Advanced Functional Harmony. The purpose of the class is to teach students not how to do chord substitutions but rather how to ignore the basic harmony almost completely and replace it with something better.
Triads are sort of the basic building block of homophony, which is a technical term for the dominant way that harmony has been used in Western music for the past few centuries. They are useful without doubt; you can play most any song with triads.