"I am of the opinion as a professional and well known piano pedagogue that whilst this text "sheds light" on the neglected subject of Tonal Harmony, this text cannot be compared / rivalled with the texts and amazing ancillary resources the USA has brought forth. In Butterworth's book, there are no correlating sonic resources provided with the textual information which I feel is SO BAD! The examples quoted for learning are not sufficiently current knowing that there are so many different styles to choose from that will show clear evidence of the specific chord for study at the time, hence the reason why this text is in dire need for a revamp or laying to one side for the usage of more detailed and more current texts available NOW!
I advise all professing teachers to take note from Ralph Turek's wise quotation "If a student is not reachable, then they are not teachable!" His text cites totally up to date musical examples from the Flintstones, Leo Sayer etc as well as Brahms, Beethoven etc.... How can we expect to breed sound musicians when the majority of musicians CANNOT hear internally what is on a score? May I suggest a student who is seeking resources in the study of Tonal Harmony check out the following titles with their ancillary resources and complimentary Online Learning Centres / website tests, you WILL be amazed at the high quality of the resources mentioned below: 1)Tonal Harmony-Kostka and Payne-5th / 6th / 7th Edition-McGraw Hill 2)The Complete Musician- 1st / 2nd / 3rd Edition-Steven Laitz-0UP 3)The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis- 1st / 2nd Edition-Clendinning and Marvin- Norton 4)Theory for Today's Musician-Ralph Turek-McGraw Hill 5)Harmony and Voice Leading-4th International Edition-Aldwell, Schachter and Cadwallader-Cengage, 6)Harmony in Context- 1st / 2nd Edition-Roig Francoli-McGraw Hill It is definitely possible to purchase earlier editions of the above mentioned hardback texts at a cheaper price than the ABRSM publication of the Butterworth text that is so lacking from a musical perspective as my students and I have done this. The earlier editions of the hardback texts from the USA are more current than the 1999 paperback edition of the Butterworth text!!!!! I have recently purchased twenty copies of one of the above mentioned texts from nos 1-6 on the amazon site for £6.47 in TOTAL for each text and that included all shipping costs, all were in NEW condition so once again it proves what I am saying is truthful and correct!!!!!
I am so thrilled that I cannot believe what I am stating here...
It is now possible to study for a recognized Music Theory / Tonal Harmony - Counterpoint / Fundamentals course online with the renowned music theoretician Steven Laitz, the author of " The Complete Musician " - OUP Pubs. This now reveals that studying online for any of the above mentioned courses means that the need will never arise to exploit any UK music theory - graded exams / courses currently being offered by the accredited UK music examinations boards ( ABRSM / TCL / GSM / LCMM etc ) as they cannot rival the above mentioned courses of study that are currently being offered online at Eastman School of Music USA and other musical institutions in the USA. It is therefore now possible to study toward a thorough course of musical understanding ( as mentioned above ) online and circumvent anything that the UK is currently offering. Check out these courses that are being offered by the Eastman School of Music, USA and all will be revealed!
VERY IMPORTANT-PLEASE READ CAREFULLY! Butterworth's INCORRECT usage of the figure 1 is so evident when she explains the Cadential 6-4 5-3 chord in her text. Most international and leading theoreticians today do NOT agree with the chord description 1c V as most state that the chord is an embellished V via a suspension and this description is totally correct. The letters a b and c for inversions are not used internationally but figured bass realization is. This is why I am stating that Butterworth's text is so weak in comparison to current tonal harmony texts. Please see pages 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97 and 239 of her text and pages 48, 49, 51 and 52 of her workbook and you will then glean that her descriptions are out of line with international tonal harmony parlance.
This also goes for Butterworth's description of the Cadence- her offering is way out of date/touch with those who are offering a wider gamut of genre where the cadence is discussed. What about the importance of the "Hollywood Cadence" and its influence on the film industry? Butterworth omits any of this info but feel free to view the Laitz text and the wonderful offering by Frank Lehman for the journal of the Society of Music Theory that correlates beautifully with what Laitz mentions during The Complete Musician text. Butterworth makes no mention of the works of John William's "Jurassic Park", Bernard Herrmann's score to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo", Alfred Newman's "Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare" etc. These examples are not the norm but need to be known from the student of harmony's understanding.
It is NOT good enough to say "I have Grade 6 -7 etc in music theory from a UK exam board!" The UK exam boards' theory curriculum omits all I have mentioned here and that is the truth! These exam boards need be accountable to us, the public, as we are the ones who pay the wages of the examiners and staff because the examiners /staff would not have a job if there were not sufficient exam entries from the public. Do not take for gospel that the exam boards are offering the best contribution to music theory, they are NOT..... Feel free to do your own research like I have done and you will discover that the UK music learner has not been given the full music theory curriculum content for offering to the public. Her recommended bibliography dates from 1958-1990, that says it all! The current price at the ABRSM website for the Butterworth text is £26.00 (a real rip off!!!) and it varies on other sites from £14.99 upwards. Who in their right mind is going to pay those prices for such a meagre, unmusical/non sonic and outdated text for the study of tonal harmony? The earlier editions of the USA hardback texts as already stated are much cheaper when found and more current than the Butterworth offering!!!! Is the student of harmony really so stupid to purchase the Butterworth text at those prices? I THINK NOT..........
I also highly recommend (before a study of tonal harmony begins) either of the following courses of which all are sonic orientated and deal with all aspects of fundamentals and beyond: a)From Sound to Symbol by Michael Houlahan and Philip Tacka (text and ancillary resources), b)The Musician's Guide to Fundamentals by Jane Clendinning, Elizabeth Marvin and Joel Philips, (text and ancillary resources) c)Understanding the Fundamentals of Music by Robert Greenberg (dvd lecture course). d)Explorations in Music by Joanne Haroutounian, published by Kjos e)Sound Advice by Brenda Braaten and Crystal Wiksyk, published by Frederick Harris. f)Theory Gymnastics by the "Three Cranky Women", published by Kjos - in my opinion these resources are the best of what's on offer throughout the world. Try them and you will NOT look back!!!!!!! All of these courses offer a theoretical course of study in fundamentals and beyond with the philosophy that the sound works WITH the symbol and not WITHOUT it. Sadly, this is NOT what the UK accredited examination boards of music (ABRSM/Trinity Guildhall and LCMM) are offering in their graded examinations at this moment in time and the texts/workbooks of all the UK exam boards are so boring, unmusical and not of the same calibre in standard when it comes to the USA/international texts/workbooks. The only accredited music external exams board to offer such an examination is by the Australian Music Examinations Board-AMEB. Check out their Music Craft syllabus, it's the BEST!
I challenge anyone to get back to me to dispute the Butterworth book is as detailed as the USA resources with their ancillary materials. David Martin LGSM LTCL LLCM ALCM ex examiner LCMM Member of the European Piano Teachers Association UK
ps, be warned also about all the accredited UK examination boards' (ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall and LCMM) Music Theory as their workbooks/texts do NOT support an international stance/philosophy when it comes to the teaching of Music Theory. These institutions do NOT offer a Music Theory syllabus and exam with the sonic element. Other Music Theory courses from the USA, Canada and Australia offer such courses and are respected in the international arena.
Feel free to view the below document I have devised for comparison purposes as these serious questions posed need addressing by all professing teachers:
Explorations in Music / Sound Advice / Theory Gymnastics music theory ( sound with symbol ) curriculum versus a typical UK private examination boards' theory ( symbol only ) curriculum.
1) After perusing the Explorations In Music / Sound Advice / Theory Gymnastics music theory course, what's your opinion ? 2) In what ways do you feel the two courses mentioned above exploit the creative system of Kodaly / Orff ? 3) Do you feel all music theory courses should exploit tactile and practical tests alongside the written element ? 4) If the answer is yes, explain your reasons. 5) If the answer is no, explain your reasons. 6) Why do you suspect the UK private music examination boards separate the practical from the theoretical ( the sound from the symbol ) ? 7) Is it wise to separate the practical from the theoretical ( the sound from the symbol) ? 8) Explain the following adage " the eye perceives, the ear receives ". 9) What's your view on the current theory examination offered by the UK private music examination boards which currently does not offer a listening component yet the UK state music examination system of GCSE / A- AS level currently demands a listening component alongside the theoretical component on the day of examination ? 10) Do you feel your role as a pedagogue is that of one trying to develop the performer, general / all-rounded musician or both ? 11) Briefly, summarize the Explorations In Music / Sound Advice / Theory Gymnastics music theory course to an imaginary music examiner, trying to convince him / her of the necessity of exploiting these courses to fruition. 12) In your opinion, do you feel the UK private music examination boards' theory offering to the learner is a musical one ( considering that the standard / international definition of the word music means "sound in time, time divided by sound )? 13) If the answer is yes, explain your reasons. 14) If the answer is no, explain your reasons. 15) Give your opinions on the usage by many pedagogues today of a music theory curriculum that's comprehensive. 16) Do you feel that reinforcement issues in a music theory curriculum prove helpful to a student ? 17) Do you feel that tonal harmony skills should be developed by a) rote or b) being able to hear what one is writing / perceiving at the time ? 18) What is the benefit of securing a strong grasp of an intervallic recognition ( discuss this in relation to the development of counterpoint and the end result - harmony ) ? 19) Discuss the role of the scale and its usage in a music theory curriculum, mentioning the "scales of necessity" exploited in any current tonal harmony course. 20) Which creative devices / resources would you exploit to help a student gain confidence in securing a strong grasp of triads ( discuss from a verbal / manuscript and sound association aspect - using well known melodies and mnemonics ) ? 21) What is an antecedent / consequent phrase ? Give examples.... 22) What is a mode / transposing mode ? Give examples... 23) What is a polymeter ( cross rhythm ) ? Give examples... 24) Discuss the role of the Cadence in tonal harmony quoting well known musical examples. 25) Discuss the usage of Seventh chords and how to identify them by sound association / verbal and manuscript. NB.... When there are such wonderful tonal harmony resources available from the international cohorts of repute, why on earth would anyone choose this text, please check out the above mentioned resources, you will have no regrets!!!! This text needs a fresh update to come anywhere close to its rivals, check these rivals out and you will see that I have revealed the truth here"