Music 130: Theory, Literature, and Musicianship II

Advanced Study of Harmony and Form in Western Art Music


UC Santa Cruz, Fall Quarter 2014 

Professor Ben Carson

Music Center 130


(class # 22420) 11:00-12:10 AM, MWF


Prerequisites: MUS 30 C & N or equivalent, keyboard proficiency


Office: Music Center 148 (on the lower floor, between  Professors Jones’ and Paiment’s offices). 

Write me: blc at ucsc dot edu  

Phone:  9-5581 (I do not check voicemail frequently!)

Office hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 12:30-1:30 pm, and by appointment. 

(Your schedule conflicts with my first two office hours? “By appointment” means my office hours include the appointments you make with me. I am flexible.)

Teaching Assistant: Sarang Kim 

General Catalogue Course Description: The course catalogue description for this course should read: Techniques for the analysis of advanced tonal, chromatic, and post-tonal harmony. Study of larger forms, chromaticism, principles of development, and style elements unique to late romanticism and early modernism. 

Course Overview: Students have prepared for this class with a year or more of study in harmony and voice leading in Western Art Music, focusing on the style of Bach and his contemporaries; they have also studied basic phrase structures and forms in later 18th-century music. 

In this course we will deepen our study of tonal structure in tonal music by learning the relationships between basic contrapuntal structures and the larger forms of tonal compositions. In the early 19th century, we will find that composers embellish the schemata of 18th-c tonal harmony and form, mostly through modifications of “intermediary” harmony: the subdominant or “pre-dominant” harmony that leads to the cadential dominant. Composers like Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, and Frederic Chopin tend to treat harmony schematically, and use chromatic devices in order to intensify “preparations” for familiar cadences. But romantic composers also gradually explored harmony as an expressive tool, to call attention to musical moments, to represent ideas or characters, or to add consciously suggestive color. In the later 19th century, demands for particular kinds of harmonic unity and convention were gradually loosened, partially to accommodate these new expressive possibilities, and partly to fulfill a Romantic drive toward vast, limitless, and emotionally “real” expression. By the end of the century, the territory of dissonance and consonance seemed open to creative revision, and the way musicians thought about musical “form” and “completeness” were less concerned with traditional functional harmony than with unity of style, quality, motive, and idea.


1.  To develop literacy in tonal music and advanced techniques for tonal analysis.        

2.  To clarify and distinguish harmonic and formal features of nineteenth-century music. 

3.  To strengthen and advance performance, listening, and interpretative skills that relate to Western Art Music.

Course Calendar:

Required Texts: 

Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne. Tonal Harmony (Sixth Edition). New York: McGraw Hill, 2009.

Charles Burkhart and William Rothstein. Anthology for Musical Analysis. (Sixth Edition.) New York: Thomson/Schirmer, 2007. 

Robert W. Ottman and Nancy Rogers. Music for Sight Singing. (Eighth Edition.) New York: Prentice Hall, 2010


Recommended Texts [excerpts within fair-use limits will be made available]:

Allen Cadwallader and David Gagne. Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach. London: Oxford U Press, 1997.

Carl Dahlhaus. From Romanticism to Modernism. Translated by Mary Whitall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.


1.              Being there:   Regardless of any reason for absence, students are responsible for completing whatever work they have missed when they are gone.  Please let me know about absences that result from health conditions, family emergencies, or major transportation accidents, and so on.  However, in any case of absence, be sure to check with a classmate for information about what was discussed on that day, and get a clear sense of all new assignments. If you can’t get that information from a classmate, please contact me via email. More than five unexcused absences from class and lab combined, or three unexcused absences from lab, will result in a grade of NP. See “Course Credit and Grading” (below) for more details.

2.             Performance anxiety:  In class, we’ll work on your skills and your knowledge in a direct and conversational way.  But I’m never interested in getting you to prove anything on the spot.   You will find that if you can’t get the answer right away, I’ll take lead the conversation differently so the class will work on it together.  I hope you’ll find I’m pretty good at diffusing any public sense of student deficiency.
3.             Deadlines:  Please complete your homework in clear hand-written  notation, with a pencil, and get them in on time!  Late assignments will be accepted but they will not receive full credit and I cannot guarantee that I will give them thorough comments.  This can be a problem because I expect to see improvement from one assignment to the next, so one late assignment can affect your later grades if you don’t take the initiative to get my informal comments on your progress, and keep the “conversation” going.
4.             Communication:  I respond to most email, IM, and text-messaging within 12 hours or so, to answer important questions about course material, the assignments and so on.  I love getting emails with questions about music and the actual content of the course.  I also want to hear from you if you’re having any trouble getting the concepts, getting the homework in, or getting to class.  But please limit the use of email for excuses about already-past absences of unfinished assignments – there’s no hurry to give me that information so it’s better to focus on your work and think about what you need to do for the next class.
Course Credit and Grading:

Weekly exercises, including composition and analysis: 18%

Quizzes: 10%

Mid-term exams: 9% each

Analysis Presentation: 15%

Final Exam: 12%

Musicianship Lab: 27%* 
*A grade of 67% or less in the combined scores of musicianship “lab midterm” and “lab final” (dates TBA) will result in a credit of zero percent under this heading.  You must also pass the musicianship portion of the course in order to pass the course as a whole, even if your coursework is excellent.
More about grading:
Grades reflect your accomplishments. (They don’t reflect your intentions, your sincerity, or my sense of your potential. That might make some grades seem cold or harsh, but if you think about it, it’s actually the warmest possible arrangement: if grades reflect your character or “effort,” that means I have to pretend I’m qualified to judge you as a person. I hope you’ll be comforted to know that a C+ doesn’t mean I’m annoyed at you, and an A+ doesn’t mean I’m your newest fan. It’s not personal. (And hey, for all I know, C+ was all you were aiming for. Talk to me if there’s a disconnect!)

If you are ever uncertain about why I’ve given any particular evaluation, please come to me with questions about it. I’ll be happy that you want to understand the assignment, or the concepts, in greater detail. It helps this course a great deal if you try to build a conversation around my written feedback about your work.