Bending the rules of music theory : lessons from great composers

Timothy Cutler

For students learning the principles of music theory, it can often seem as though the tradition of tonal harmony is governed by immutable rules that define which chords, tones, and intervals can be used where. Yet even within the classical canon, there are innumerable examples of composers diverging from these foundational "rules." Drawing on examples from composers including J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Brahms, and more, Bending the Rules of Music Theory seeks to take readers beyond the basics of music theory and help them to understand the inherent flexibility in the system of tonal music. Chapters explore the use of different rule-breaking elements in practice and why they work, introducing students to a more nuanced understanding of music theory. (Routledge)

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