Tonality: An Owner's Maual

A New Book
Crackpot Hymnal

I am at working on a new book which sketches a philosophically informed grammar of traditional Western music, both modal and functional. The main idea is to use recent-music theoretical tools, designed for the more radical experiments of the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries, on earlier music: Renaissance, baroque, classical, with additional consideration of contemporary rock. I make heavy use of the circular geometrical spaces that you can explore under "research."

I am not posting links but I would love to find people willing to read drafts. Let me know if you are interested.

Contents (so far)

Chapter 1. Rock logic
1. The melodic principle
2. The harmonic principle
3. A first song family
4. Two more families
5. Shepard tone passacaglias
6. Minor triads
7. A fourth family
8. The Renaissance
9. Function and retrofunction
10. Continuity or reinvention?

Chapter 2. The nonharmonic system
1. The first practice and the SNAP system
2. Schoenberg’s critique
3. Monteverdi’s “Ohime”
4. The standardized second practice
5. Mahler and the end of the nonharmonic system
6. After nonharmonicity

Chapter 3. The contrapuntal system
1. The imperfect system
2. The universality of the graph
3. The Tinctoris Transform
4. Remarks on the Waldstein
5. Three voices and the circle of diatonic triads
6. Five upper-voice configurations
7. Four lines
8. Canonic voice leading
9. An idiom from Bach

Chapter 4. The origins of the functional-harmonic system
1. Simple functionality: Dalza and Frottola
2. The contrapuntal incorporation of harmonic routines.
3. The Pope Marcellus Kyrie
4. A broader perspective
5. Modal homogenization, briefly
6. "I Cannot Follow"

Chapter 5. Functionality I
1. Harmonic cycles: preliminaries
2. A theory of harmonic cycles
3. Fauxbourdon
4. The sequential system
5. Functional harmony and the voice-leading system
6. Functional harmony and the nonharmonic system
7. The B minor fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier II