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Instructional Cassette Catalog: Theory

Basic Theory

The Building Blocks of Music
CBM 11
In a conversation with Carolyn Watt, Scott Huston reviews elements of music theory: intervals, triads, root movements, tonics, altered chords, and modulation. Examples include the second movement of the Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 and Brahms's First Symphony.

Music Theory Course
CBM 1307
Introductory course covers the basic elements of melody and rhythm and then concentrates on the form, harmony, and style. Concludes with an analysis of a major musical work. Designed especially for the NLS program, narrated by Barbara Kolb. Complete in four units.

Perfection Ear
CBM 1668-1678

Practice Techniques for all Musicians
CBM 1325
Daniel Abrams discusses exercises and techniques to help practice without becoming tense. Primarily intended for keyboard players but also suitable for singers and other instrumentalists.

Understanding the Language of Music
CBM 1304
Using examples from classical and popular music, Daniel Abrams discusses modes, scales, chords, and the instruments of the orchestra. Includes a brief history of music, with analysis of styles and forms. For the person who would like to acquire a rudimentary knowledge of music history and theory.


CBM 141-144
Drawing on examples from composers of different eras and styles, Scott Huston demonstrates several ways chords can be constructed and connected and how key feeling or tonality is produced. According to Huston, the history of music from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century follows the development of one chord: the augmented sixth.

Ear Training

Ear Training for the Instrumentalist
CBM 1305
Although this course is primarily designed for the rock, country, or jazz instrumentalists, it may also be used by singers. Matt Glaser introduces a series of exercises on rhythm, pitch, and chord recognition in order to enhance a musician's ability to play and improvise by ear.


Melody and Harmony
CBM 53
Under the direction of Vladimir Bakaleinikov, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra plays music with contrasting melodies and harmonies.

Modern Harmony Course
CBM 701
Scales and chord formation, progressions, modulations, chord notation, and rhythmic accompaniments. Developed especially for the NLS program, narrated by Bill Irwin.

Tools for Musicianship
CBM 1323
This course can be used as a follow-up to the ear training course Ear Training for the Instrumentalist (CBM 1305), which is also taught by Matt Glaser. Skills to learn are rhythm, harmony, ear training, and improvisation and composition techniques.

Understanding the Formula of Music Makes It So Easy
CBM 1717
Narrated by Dan Huckabee.


Chinese Music and Bach
CBM 67, CBM 248 (2 parts)
Rosalyn Tureck and Chou Wen-Chung discuss the "ornamented moment" as a "musical event" in ancient and modern Chinese music and in the music of Bach and Couperin. Includes musical examples.

The Evolution of Modern Music
CBM 169
Scott Huston traces the history of music through the development of scales. Musical illustrations represent wide range of styles and genres from the Gregorian Chant to popular music.

Music for Children
CBM 263
Interviews with Doreen Hall, a leading exponent of the Orff system of music education; Donald Himes, a teacher of eurhythmics; and Derek Healey, a composer.

CBM 733
The art of improvisation is explored in various art forms including play writing, acting, filmmaking, and jazz and classical music.

Indian Music and Bach
CBM 35, CBM 41 (2 parts)
Rosalyn Tureck discusses ornamentation in the music of early composers. Jon Higgins demonstrates the importance of ornamentation in the classical music of south India, describing its relationship to the Western tradition.

Music of the Orient
CBM 394-395
Analyzes the theoretical system of the Indian raga in terms of melodic and rhythmic formulas, and the music's relation to specific gods, events, and seasons.

Intervals and Triads

Intervals and Triads
CBM 214-215
Scott Huston and Carolyn Watt discuss the uses composers make of intervals and triads in their music.


Bach and Ornamentation
CBM 45
Concert artist and Bach specialist Rosalyn Tureck explains how Bach's ornamentation is "written right into the music."

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Posted on 2013-06-28