Harmony analysis of Piano Pieces

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Hi all,

I was wondering if there is a book (or series of books) that includes harmonic analysis of famous pieces. The specific piece that interests me right now is Bach's little prelude in C minor. I wonder if there is such a book that contains maybe Bach's work and analysis.


-- Linda (noname-poster@yahoo.com), March 23, 2001


Linda, I would say analyze that peice yourself, because analysis is part of reading music effectively. You need to be able to identify root notes, thirds, fifths, sevenths, and so on for every solid or broken chord. Inversions of chords and the context of chords are things you will recognize with practice. Tht little prelude in C minor is a good peice to start with.

-- Kyle (Keyboardkyle@hotmail.com), March 25, 2001.

Definitely analyze the pieces yourself! Despite my own disadvantages being self-taught up until college, I had a tremendous advantage as a rock/jazz bassist, pianist and composer. I have always written chord symbols in my classical pieces (to help my own poor reading skills), but this allowed me to understand each piece AS THE COMPOSER understood it. I was always thinking in terms of key, chords, harmonic progression, modulation, passing tones, etc., and memorizing pieces is effortless when you understand how musical ideas are put together.

-- John Bisceglia (Bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), March 25, 2001.


Thank you both for your responses. I analyzed the piece myself, but I wasn't sure if my analysis was correct. My piano teacher suggested looking for books that analyze pieces, hence my question. :)

-- Linda (noname-poster@yahoo.com), March 25, 2001.

One good way to develop analysis skills is to learn species counterpoint! The Austrian theorist Heinrich Schenker developed his "linear" approach in a way related to species counterpoint. Although it's not always easy reading, Markand Thakar's book Counterpoint (Yale Univ. Press) gives some really wonderful and musical insights into how music is put together. Analysis often involves seeing and hearing what the music does, rather than just slapping another chord label somewhere. Harmony and Voice Leading by Aldwell and Schachter (Harcourt Brace) (again, not "easy" but very insightful) does a very good job of presenting theory and analysis in a larger musical context.

-- Jon Ensminger (jlens@cybrzn.com), March 27, 2001.

Linda - Bach's little prelude in G minor and F major are my favorite!!!!! I've been playing these two pieces since I was 10 (I'm 39 now) I don't like to analyze music - nor do I like to read it. I listen to it then play it by ear. If I really get stuck - I do refer to the notes but prefer not to. My response probably has nothing to do with your question - it was just surprising to see someone else enjoy the little preludes as I do. Enjoy them - they are the be

-- Donna (verdemac@aol.com), June 13, 2001.

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