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Aural Skills in Context

A Comprehensive Approach to Sight Singing, Ear Training, Keyboard Harmony, and Improvisation

Evan Jones and Matthew Shaftel
With Juan Chattah

Publication Date - 12 October 2013

ISBN: 9780199943821

864 pages
Spiral Bound
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

A complete Aural Skills text thoroughly integrated into the Music Theory sequence


Aural Skills in Context takes a comprehensive approach to sight singing, ear training, and rhythm practice. By featuring real examples from classical music to folk and jazz, and offering melodies with their related harmonies, the text parallels the full Music Theory curriculum and reinforces the relevance of aural skills to students' other classes, as well as their performance and listening interests. In addition to a wide variety of partial and complete excerpts, Aural Skills in Context also provides a wealth of activities that range far beyond simply singing the melodies or writing them down from dictation, giving instructors and students the opportunity to engage in improvisation; performance in multiple voices; switching between melody and accompanying lines; creating new melodies above a given bass line; or even an additional "obbligato" voice above the given melody or between the outer voices.

* Rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic drills accompany musical examples and solidify students' understanding of the position of every pitch within the tonal context
* "Expanding Repertoires" sections include listening and dictation-type exercises that allow students to engage in listening beyond the traditional examples
* "Contextual Listening" assignments are accompanied with streaming audio at various tempos and an online mixer for balancing musical parts on the companion website, www.oup.com/us/jonesshaftel
* Designed so that it may be used with Finale Smartmusic, an inexpensive software program that enables students to receive immediate feedback on their sight singing, while keeping a record of their progress.

About the Author(s)

Evan Jones is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition at Florida State University.

Matthew Shaftel is Distinguished Associate Professor of Music Theory and Associate Dean at Florida State University.

Juan Chattah is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University Of Miami Frost School of Music.


"I love Aural Skills in Context's concept of studying pieces in context and the focusing on, not just isolated melodies for singing, but on parts for all to sing together. This text has great examples and standards."--Robert Glarner, Radford University

"Providing harmonic context for all the music makes a lot of sense--and the Chorale Workshop exercises are great as are the Contextual assignments at the end of each chapter."--Cindy Moyer, Humboldt State University

"I am impressed with the 'Contextual Listening' assignments that are on the book's website that offer the ability to switch tempos and mix parts."--Louise A. Weiss, Greenville College

Table of Contents

    Preface. Pedagogical Approach, Curricular Planning, Practicalities
    The Foundations of Aural Skills
    Introduction to the Student
    Major and Minor Scales and Simple Intervals
    Basic Rhythmic Patterns
    Conducting of Simple Meters
    Neighbor and Passing Tones in a Stepwise Context
    Keyboard Orientation
    First Steps in Improvisation
    Tonic Triad
    Practice in Multiple Clefs
    Six-Step Method for Dictation
    Introduction to Smartmusic
    Unit 1. The Diatonic Scale Degrees
    1. Tonic Triad and Its Melodies
    Tonic Triad as Melodic Basis
    Major and Minor Scales in Context
    First Five Notes of the Scale
    2. The Submediant Scale Degree and the Major Pentatonic
    Submediant Scale Degree
    The I-V-I Harmonic Paradigm
    Major Pentatonic Scale
    Introduction to Compound Meter
    3. Seventh Scale Degree and Minor Pentatonic
    Minor Pentatonic Scale
    Compound Meter
    Leading Tone and Subtonic Scale Degree
    Subdominant Harmony
    4. Plagal Melodies I
    Upper and Lower Dominant Scale Degrees
    First Inversion Triads
    Expanding the Melodic Range Beyond the Octave
    5. Plagal Melodies II
    Changing Meters
    Harmonic Study of Tonic Prolongation
    6. The Octave and Beyond
    Excerpts that Span the Entire Octave and Beyond
    Periodic Structures (Parallel Period)
    Inconclusive and Conclusive Cadences
    7. Complete Examples from the Repertoire
    Reviewing Unit I through Complete Works
    Focus on Rhythm in a Nonpitched Work
    Unit II. Diatonic Contexts and Introduction to Chromatic Pitches
    8. Diatonic Sequences
    Ascending and Descending Fifths Sequence
    Descending Thirds Sequence
    Ground Bass
    Harmonic Study of Tonic Prolongation. vii°6, Passing 6/4, and Inversions of V7
    9. Diatonic Sequences II
    New Rhythmic Configurations
    Ascending Seconds Sequence
    Quasi-Sequential Progressions
    Four-Part Schemata of Sequences
    10. Motivic Development and the Sentence
    Sentence Structure
    Expansions and Extensions of Sentences
    Harmonic Study of Tonic Prolongation. Combination of Pre-dominants with Inversions of vii° and V7
    11. Chromatic Neighbor Tones
    Chromatic Neighbor Tones as Surface-level Embellishments
    Resolution of Chromatic-altered Pitches
    Chromatic Solmization Syllables (Ascending. di, ri, fi, si, li; Descending. te, le, se, me)
    Cadential Progressions with vi and ii
    Cadential 6/4
    12. Chromatic Passing Tones
    Chromatic Passing Tones as Surface-level Embellishments
    Harmonic Study of Mediant and Subtonic Triads
    13. Beyond the Stepwise Context
    Delayed Resolutions of Chromatic Pitches
    Harmonic Study of Tonicization via V7/V
    14. Complete Examples from the Repertoire
    Reviewing Unit II through Complete Works
    Focus on Rhythm in a Nonpitched Work
    Unit III. Advanced Melodies, Modulation, and Introduction to Musical Form
    15. Melodic Chromaticism
    Chromatic Melodies and Bass Lines
    Singing Complete Musical Forms
    Extended Melodic Range
    Lowered Supertonic Scale Degree
    Harmonic Study of Tonicization via vii°7/V
    16. Modulation
    Tonicization vsModulation
    Modulation to the Dominant
    Harmonic Study of Tonicization via V7/IV
    17. Simple Binary Form
    Categories and Classification of Binary Forms based on Harmonic Design
    Harmonic Study of Tonicization via V7/ii
    18. Rounded and Balanced Binary Form
    Categories and Classification of Binary Forms based on Motivic Design
    Harmonic Study of Tonicization via V7/iii and V7/vi
    19. Modal Mixture
    Coloristic Use of Modal Mixture Chords
    Tendency of Tones in Modal Mixture Chords
    Tonicization of Modal Mixture Chords
    Modulation to Modally Mixed Tonal Areas
    20. Ternary Form
    Categories and Classification of Ternary Forms
    Harmonic Study of Chromatic Third Relations
    21. Neapolitan Triad and Common-tone Diminished Seventh
    Neapolitan as Pre-dominant Harmony
    Uses of Common-Tone Diminished Seventh
    Focus on Rhythm in a Nonpitched Work
    Unit IV. Advanced Chromaticism and Larger Forms
    22. Introduction to Augmented-Sixth Chords
    Augmented-Sixth Chords as Pre-Dominant Harmonies
    The Tritone Substitution in Jazz and Popular Music
    Harmonic Study of the Common-tone Diminished Seventh
    23. Rondo Form
    Five-Part and Seven-Part Rondos
    Harmonic Study of Augmented Sixth Chords
    24. Further Uses of Augmented-Sixth Chords
    Use of Augmented-Sixth Chords in Larger Forms
    Advanced Uses of Augmented-Sixth Chords
    25. Sonata Form
    Basic Harmonic and Motivic Traits of Sonata Forms
    Introduction and Coda in Sonata Forms
    Harmonic Study of Complex Chromatic Progressions
    26. Advanced Melodic and Harmonic Chromaticism
    Equal Division of the Octave
    Complex Melodic Chromaticism
    27. Later Tonal Styles
    Post-Romantic, Impressionist, and Contemporary Tonal Styles

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