Welcome to Sound Patterns, an online music theory text. The content of these pages are the materials taught at the University of Dayton (Ohio) in the music theory classes. The purpose of locating the book online is to make the entire content of the internet available as references to concepts, names, and terms mentioned in the text.
Another value of this text is that students do not have to wait for a second edition to see corrections and new additions, since it is so easy to update information online. These pages are in constant revision, and I would like to express enormous gratitude to Susan Gardstrom and Simon Goss for their invaluable help in making some of those revisions. I welcome comments, corrections, and suggestions from everyone (email address below).
The full title, Sound Patterns: A Structural Examination of Tonality, Vocabulary, Texture, Sonorities, and Time Organization in Western Art Music, is cumbersome, but it is meant to be honest and upfront about the content. It covers a relatively narrow range of music (the Common Practice Period) of only one world culture (Western art music). The focus is on the five stated topics (tonality, vocabulary, texture, sonorities, and time organization) and always relates to the structure of music, not just a list of terms.
Throughout Sound Patterns, you will find this icon: . Each time it appears you are about to find a link to a series of pages created by Dr. Tobias RUSH which provides MORE information about the topic. They are well worth the time getting a slightly different point of view.
This text is intended to work in tandem with Music for Analysis, edited by Thomas Benjamin, Michael Horvit, and Robert Nelson, published by Oxford University Press [7th edition]. In the last unit (Microcosms), a second anthology is also used: Anthology of Twentieth-Century Music, edited by Robert P. Morgan, published by W. W. Norton & Company. You will need to purchase copies of these books to work with this text.
Below is a time line, intended to humble us all, of the rather narrow scope of music studies. Notice, near the bottom in 1300, the ars nova ("new art") was declared in music, and each 300-year time span following had similar declarations. We can all look forward to the 23rd century for the new era bound to happen by then.
|2000 BC||Stonehenge being built|
|1700 BC||Hammurabi's code of laws|
|1300 BC||Tutankhamen reigns|
|1000 BC||King Solomon reigns|
|700 BC||Rome founded|
|500 BC||Golden Age of Greece|
|300 BC||Alexander the Great reigns|
|-----||Birth of Jesus|
|300 AD||Rise of Christianity|
|500 AD||Fall of Rome|
|800 AD||Charlemagne reigns||MODALITY||Organum begins|
|900 AD||Beginning of music notation|
|1000 AD||Staff invented|
|1100 AD||Magna carta signed||Polyphony begins|
|1200 AD||Fauxbourdon begins|
|1300 AD||Ars nova||Keyboards invented|
|1400 AD||Renaissance||First printed music|
|1500 AD||SOUND PATTERNS covers this much|
|1600 AD||Common Practice Period||Nuove musiche||TONALITY||1700 AD||1800 AD||1900 AD||New Music||PANTONALITY||2000 AD||Present|
Excellent links to music history.
Link to first unit: FUNDAMENTALS
Copyright © 2008-2009 by Phillip Magnuson.
Content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.