Sound Reasoning
first Edition

Sound Reasoning

by Anthony Brandt, Robert McClure

“Sound Reasoning” is a web-based, introductory music appreciation course. It offers a new approach to music appreciation for adults, focusing on style-independent concepts. While the course concentrates primarily on Western classical and modern music, the concepts that are introduced apply to music of any style or era. The goal of “Sound Reasoning” is to equip you with questions that you may ask of any piece of music, thereby creating a richer and more comprehensive understanding of music both familiar and unfamiliar. Here are some additional features of the course

. 1)”Sound Reasoning” is completely listening based. No ability to read music is required. 2) The course assumes little or no musical background. A minimum of terminology is invoked. 3) Musical examples are interpolated directly into the text. 4) The course is interactive. A “listening gallery” with exercises follows each module, so that you may practice and refine your listening skills. 5) The modules may be studied in sequence or individually. 6)You may easily print a .pdf of any module.. “Sound Reasoning” is designed as both a stand-alone, self-paced course as well as a supplement to existing university classes. Thanks to Connexions, “Sound Reasoning” is available free of charge twenty-four hours a day in a cross-platform format. “Sound Reasoning” was created thanks to an Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Innovation Grant from Rice’s Computer and Information Technology Institute. The author wishes to thank Richard Baraniuk, the founder of Connexions; Geneva Henry, Joey King, Katie Cervenka and Elvena Mayo of the Connexions staff; and Jan Odegard and Moshe Vardi of CITI. He wishes to extend his great gratitude to the Connexions technical team with whom he collaborated: Brent Hendricks, Scott di Pasquale, Charlet Reedstrom and Max Starkenburg. He would especially like to thank Elizabeth Gregory and Brian Nelson, who were his primary technical assistants and provided invaluable support. The author welcomes your comments about all aspects of the course, from its contents to its ease-of-use.


Authors: Anthony Brandt

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    Anthony Brandt, Sound Reasoning. OpenStax CNX. 2 June 2011

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Introduction. Sound Reasoning
Introduction.1 - Sound Reasoning: A New Way to Listen
Introduction.2 - How Music Makes Sense
Introduction.3 - Listening Gallery: How Music Makes Sense
Introduction.4 - Musical Emphasis
Introduction.5 - Listening Gallery: Musical Emphasis
Introduction.6 - Musical Form
Introduction.7 - Listening Gallery: Musical Form
Introduction.8 - Expository and Developmental
Introduction.9 - Listening Gallery: Expository and Developmental
Introduction.10 - Overall Destiny
Introduction.11 - Listening Gallery: Overall Destiny
Introduction.12 - Time’s Effect on the Material
Introduction.13 - Listening Gallery: Time’s Effect
Introduction.14 - Summary: A Quick Guide for Listening
Introduction.15 - Making Music Modern
Introduction.16 - Listening Gallery: Making Music Modern
Introduction.17 - Conclusion: What is Music Trying to Express?
Chapter One. Hearing Harmony
1.1 - Hearing Harmony: What is Harmony?
1.2 - Harmony in Western Music
1.3 - Expressing Harmony
1.4 - Listening Gallery: Expressing Harmony
1.5 - Harmonic Rhythm
1.6 - Listening Gallery: Harmonic Rhythm
1.7 - Cadences
1.8 - Listening Gallery: Cadences
1.9 - The Tonic
1.10 - Circular and Linear Progressions
1.11 - Listening Gallery: Circular and Linear Progressions
1.12 - The Major-minor Contrast
1.12.1 - Common Practice Tonality
1.12.2 - The Major-minor Contrast
1.13 - Modes and Scales
1.14 - Hearing the Mode
1.15 - Listening Gallery: Hearing the Mode
1.16 - Tonic, Mode and Key
1.16.1 - Tonic, Mode and Key
1.16.2 - Staying in and Leaving a Key
1.17 - Listening Gallery: Tonic, Mode and Key
1.18 - Music Within a Key
1.19 - Listening Gallery: Music Within a Key
1.20 - Postponed Closure
1.21 - Listening Gallery: Postponing Closure
1.22 - Chromaticism
1.23 - Listening Gallery: Chromaticism
1.24 - Dissonance
1.25 - Leaving the Key
1.25.1 - The Structural Equivalence of Keys
1.26 - Harmonic Distance
1.27 - Modulation
1.28 - Harmonic Goals
1.29 - The Return to the Tonic
1.30 - Final Closure
1.30.1 - The Work Begins and Ends in Minor
1.30.2 - Picardy Third
1.30.3 - There is a Concluding Passage or Section in Major.
1.31 - Listening Gallery: Final Closure
1.32 - Reharmonizing a Melody
1.33 - Listening Gallery: Reharmonizing a Melody
1.34 - Conclusion
1.35 - Solutions to Exercises in Chapter 1
Chapter Two. The Language of Transformation
2.1 - The Language of Transformation
2.2 - Musical Identity
2.2.1 - Rhythm
2.2.2 - Melody
2.2.3 - Harmony
2.2.4 - Pitch content
2.2.5 - Timbre and texture
2.2.6 - Conclusion
2.3 - Maintaining Identity
2.4 - Building on Identity
2.4.1 - Preserving the Melody
2.4.2 - Preserving the Harmony
2.4.3 - Preserving the Rhythm
2.4.4 - Conclusion
2.5 - Building on Identity through Fragmentary Repetition
2.5.1 - The Shift from Foreground to Background
2.5.2 - Conclusion
2.6 - Listening Gallery: Building on Identity
2.7 - Speaking the Language of Transformation
2.8 - How Identity Shapes Form
2.8.1 - Conclusion
2.9 - Solutions to Exercises in Chapter 2
2.10 - Glossary
2.11 - Index of Keywords and Terms
2.12 - Attributions