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  1. #1

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    I found this amazing source site with the classic reference books in PDF
    Enjoy :
    Last edited by vhollund; 07-25-2014 at 09:27 AM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Sometimes Schoenberg seems like the Coltrane of Western Classical Music. You don't get to play so "out" without knowing your inside tradition really well. Both of them had the most solid grounding in the traditions and found a new direction. Schoenberg's Theory Of Harmony is pretty great stuff. I overlooked it for a long time because he always sounded too atonal, but it's pretty heavy and comprehensive. Totally relevant. It's like middle Coltrane heh heh.

  4. #3
    I see what you mean
    I do not listen much to his/schoenbergs music, though he is very influencial, but i'd use the concepts/perspectives any day, and we hear them more often than we think in f ex film-scores, or other contemporairy composers

    His books on harmony and composition are treating very traditional classical forms though, but not without including that sensiblilty to how a work is percieved from a listeners (psychological) standpoint.
    I guess that's what makes the books classics

    I am converting 4 books to .epub (ebook) that I will also post a link to, so it can be read on my/your phone/pad
    edit :
    Done ! They are probably easier to read in pdf though, unless one has a very large screen on the phone but …well here they are :
    Last edited by vhollund; 07-25-2014 at 09:28 AM.

  5. #4

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    Thx for posting these.

  6. #5

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    Already have these books, but just to make some comments.
    As per recommendation from Ben Monder, I've been reading his Theory of Harmony, which has been really eye opening. I'm at the chapter "Chords Derived from Church Modes", which is the first chapter that is teaching me some stuff that I haven't checked out (using the minor leading tones on the "minor" modes). But even the fundamental stuff that I already thought I knew by heart, I learned some interesting things that I had not thought about. Next up is the fundamentals of music composition, and when I get some more money, I'll buy the Structural Functions of Harmony book (I like reading in the subway, so it's physical copies for me, haha).

    I've been mainly getting interested in serious composition lately, and I'm trying to avoid the whole melody/chord symbol thing. I'm aiming more towards contrapuntal composition and if possible avoiding chord symbols in general. Might make things difficult, but I'm trying to stem away from jazz harmony. We all know how tonal progressions voice lead. We hear it in so many standards. I don't want to recreate that, but try to compose vehicles for improvisation that will definitely make myself and other musicians really think of what we're doing.

    I've been also studying the music of Bartok, and trying to get into stuff by Ligeti. Schoenberg is also opening the world of Brahms for me, with the whole developing variation technique, so that's another thing I'm going to tackle. Soon.

  7. #6

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    There was a time when people would ask "I want to learn about theory, what should I get?" and the answer was Walter Piston Harmony, Vincent Persichetti's twentieth-century harmony, and Schoenberg. Come to think of it, I don't remember when it changed, but this was once the staple; now nobody mentions these books. There are a lot a directions an imaginative growing musician can go in when you swim in the river that far upstream. Andrew Hill studied with Hindemith, and there's a possibility of sound that comes from exploring taking the classical brothers seriously.
    Ligeti's string quartets are quite a study. The first quartet is a walk through diatonic harmony in ways you'd never imagine. A lot to learn from there.


  8. #7

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    I'm aware of this, and actually, Theory of Harmony has a great explanation as to why his books are not used anymore (although it's a bit egocentric coming from Schoenberg himself, haha).

    If you check out the first chapter on modulation, he has a few things to say on how he teaches harmony vs his predecessors/contemporaries. He compares his method to another text that teaches modulation exclusively by dominant chords and diminished chords, which he is biased against, and states "I could dispose of [the modulation] matter even more quickly; for I am prepared to show (with examples 'made to order' from the literature!) that any triad can follow any other triad".
    He also goes on to say "And of course, one can rach the street faster by leaping from the fifth floor than by going down the stairs - but in what condition! Thus it is not a matter of the shortest way but of the practical, the appropriate way...These modulations by a universal means, as is the diminished seventh chord, are the leap out the window...but anyone can leap! And so, it is not important to me that the pupil can is important to me that he perceive the essence of art, even if he is learning 'only' for pleasure."

    The whole section is a tangent, which summarized, explains why he is being so thorough not only in the particular section (in the modulation chapter, he is actually explaining modulating from C to every other key, at least nearby keys for now, individually, like C to G, C to F, C to a minor, etc).

    I think the reasons why people have abandoned Schoenberg in recent times is because of the following:
    1) Too thorough. Recently, students have gotten the idea of finding the fastest way to learn something. You can get the idea, for example, in the many discussions of "should I transcribe?" where you have people trying to find a way to play jazz while avoiding transcription. Many classical theory books get away with this, because it's theory, you don't have to perform it, and you have the chance of sitting down and thinking about it.
    2) Tangents. About every other page, Schoenberg goes on a tangent that at a glance might have little to do with the direct topic. Mostly metaphors (such as the leaping example above). People, as mentioned above, want the quickest way there, and I'm sure that in today's time where instant gratification is so valuable, if there was a book that summarized theory in 10 pages, that would probably be the go to theory book, regardless of it being too short, simple, or vague.
    3) Examples are tailor-made. This is not much of a drawback, but it seems as people prefer examples straight out of the repertoire, as many books have. This book has examples that Schoenberg himself composed. I see it as a positive thing though, because it shows the use of the topic in a perfect example as per how Schoenberg wants to explain it. It also has many examples of the same thing, and can be seen as permutations of the topic. For example, in a topic of fundamental chord progressions, explaining how chords, at the current point of the book, should only move to chords with common tones, so I should move only to III or V, and in examples, he shows various ways of taking the I to these chords, and in different voicings.
    4) Not enough exercises. Again, this is not much of a drawback, and the exercises are there, but are mainly under a direction, and don't have an "answer key". This is a drawback mainly because theory is mostly taught in schools, and with no exercises, the book has little school value. Don't get me wrong, there are many exercises, and they're just about endless, but Schoenberg doesn't give you a figured bass and tell you to harmonize it, he tells you to "try this in all keys and in different progressions". Teachers probably rather get a book that has the exercises written out for them so they don't have to write sheets and sheets of homework.

    Anyways, while it is a little sad that not enough people are checking these out, I personally think they're a goldmine in terms of material. And while it is sad, it's great for me, the less people learning from this, the less people will be using his ideas, haha.

    I totally agree with what you say about studying Classical music, too. But some people apply it too mindlessly or directly. I heard this guy, famous musician who I will not name, write a series of music based on the scales of limited transposition. He basically wrote "diatonic" pieces to the scales that sounded like regular modern jazz with a bit of an awkward tonality. I definitely wasn't a fan, although I love all his other music. This just sounded like he tried to hard to do something different. There definitely has to be some thought put into how one approaches this stuff. Since you mentioned Ligeti, Ben Monder is a great example of applying some of Ligeti's harmonic concepts to "jazz" or whatever you call what Ben writes. Definitely a lot of thought and practice put into how he approaches these strange progressions and voicings.

  9. #8

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    I've just added these to my summer "To Read List." Thanks for the post; as a self taught musician I find that I "get" theory or things I've learned in the past by reading more theory books... ha! Maybe it's time to look for an actual online/offline class.

  10. #9

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    Thanks for posting this resource. I have owned Structural Functions of Harmony for the past forty years. It has been some time since I used it. Being primarily a guitarist, the most difficult part of using this book was playing the examples, however now I put all important works into Finale. I'll start this seminal volume next.

  11. #10

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    A thousand thanks to the OP for making these available, and to the other posters (especially recent, thus moving this thread up and drawing my attention to it) for underscoring (sorry for the pun) the importance and usefulness of the books. Next up on my must-read-and-study list!

  12. #11

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    one of the few "moderns" the great glenn gould mined- wonderful stuff


  13. #12

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    I have a copy of his "Structural Functions of Harmony" in my bookcase at home. Right between Heinrich Schenker's "Harmony" 1905 and Paul Hindemith's "Craft"

    you can get English translations of most all the important theory works on Amazon for dirt cheap. the only one I really wanted that was too expensive was an English translation Shenker's Kontrapunct. If you can read to original German, though, that one is also cheaper than dirt.

    so there's no reason not to buy and read these things if you want to learn about theory. But you have to read all theoretical works with an eye to the time they were published. I wouldn't read Fux's Gradus looking for insight into modal jazz harmony, although you could take some ideas of counterpoint and apply them to modal jazz. I hope that made sense. I majored in theory in music school, so I know things about harmony that could make you run screaming into the night. They sure did me. But even when you read theory works like Rameau's 1722 treatise, you can still find some great old chestnuts of wisdom, and it might even help your conception quite a bit.

    But it isn't going to give you any short cuts or give you any secret knowledge. A lot of times you just learn something you already know at a bit deeper level

    so if you want to explore harmonic theory, just check out Amazon for a start. Believe it or not, there's not a big demand for the classics in music theory, so they're all translated and for sale dirt cheap.

    When I was a young man I had to go to the main library on campus to find these books. Now they deliver them to my house. What a time we live in!

  14. #13

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    Nicely said, Nate. I worked (perhaps "struggled" is more accurate) out of Structural Functions of Harmony forty years ago. Current works regarding harmony, etc. are more appropriate for my chosen discipline in music but I still revisit Schoenberg on occasion. There are excellent volumes by extant authors (or recently so) that relegate many of the older works to the supplemental reading category. Much like science, Gregor Mendel's seminal work on genetics is not the volume of choice when teaching modern genetics as the science has made quantum leaps since Mendel penned his research. That being said, his work remains valid today and is fascinating to read.

    And, indeed, it is a wonderful time to be alive regarding acquiring knowledge. I live in the Panamanian Highlands close to the Costa Rican border and I can find access to most any book within minutes via Kindle or computer, and I can receive printed copies in less than two weeks. For professional periodicals, I can search every volume from the first to the last (in some cases, 100 years or more of publications) for reference to specific words and phrases. Truly amazing.


  15. #14

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    even 30 years ago, Ron, you probably wouldn't have been able to get a hold of much of anything where you are. I remember even in big cities here in the States, if it wasn't in stock at the music store, you had to get them to order it for you (if you knew enough information for them to place an order with their distributor) and then in 6 to 8 weeks, if you were lucky, you'd get a phone call from the shop to come down and pick it up.

  16. #15

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    Thanks. I can use these...

  17. #16

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    Just wondering

    It is interesting how influential Schoenberg's theoretical works and personality became in the States... whereas in Europe they were never much in focus really except the years of Pierot and around...
    he was respected as the founder... people studied his works as the works of the founder... often more of respect than of really interest

    Probably during his years in US he had some students that became important figures in American music... like John Cage and all... even Chaplin mentioned him in his autobiography...

    Probably it was partly because American composers and musicians took his apprioac from absolutely different perspective...
    and in Europe he quickly became kind of rather ideological than really musical figure...
    At least his students Berg and Webern turned out to be much more influential for further music.