Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
Aim of the subject: Introduction to classical harmony in theory and practice. The course covers the chords of diatonic major and minor, altered chords, secondary dominants, different types of modulations, different techniques of chromatic harmony and melodic figuration. The practical exercises are divided into three types: a) written harmonization exercises; b) playing chord sequences on the piano; c) harmonic analysis of various compositions. Content: Semester I: - The concept of harmony - Basics of voice leading - Functionality of chords - Main triads and sixth chords - Cadential six-four chord - Dominant seventh chord and its inversions - The triad of the sixth degree (in major) - Triad and sixth chord of the second degree - Seventh chord and its inversions of the second degree - Diminished and half-diminished seventh chord - Dominant triad with added sixth, dominant ninth chord, dominant seventh chord with added sixth. Semester II: - Tetrachordal harmony - Melodic figuration - Simpler tonicizations Semester III: - Major-minor - Use of more than one tonicized chord, modulating sequence - Modulation to closely related keys Semester IV - Transitory key - Modulation to closely related keys using a number of transitory keys - Modulation to remote keys
Knowledge of elementary music theory
On completion of the course, the student will: - know the fundamentals of voice leading; - know the chordal repertoire of tonal harmony and simpler tonicizations; - be able to harmonise a given melody or bass with four-part harmony - be able to play sequences on piano, both diatonic and with secondary dominants, both upwards and downwards; - demonstrate the ability to analyse music sections by Viennese Classics and early Romantics, which use the main chords and main alterations (but no modulations). Second-year students will be able to: - harmonise in notation various types of tonicizations, modulation to remote keys and enharmonic modulation and the melody that includes melodic figuration; - play on piano an 8-bar passage which includes an introduction with tonicizations and ending with modulation to remote keys; - analyse a musical passage which includes altered chords, major-minor chords, tonicizations, modulation to remote keys and enharmonic modulation.

Further information

  • assessment
    Exam with grade E
  • level
  • Completed Semester
  • How many semesters does the course last?
  • hours per week
  • Link of the course
  • Target group of course
    Instrumentalists, beginner
  • credits
  • Type of Course
    Lecture, Practice
  • Degree Level
  • e-learning-elements
    no e-learning elements used in this course
  • Course
  • students #
    6-15 students
  • Hours per year
    Gauldin, Robert. Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music New York: Norton 2004 Semlek, Leo. Klassikalise harmoonia õpik I, II. [Workbook of classical harmony I, II] Tallinn 1995 Müller, Teodor. Garmonia. Moscow: Muzyka 1981
  • evaluation grid
  • evaluation grid
    and document


Toomas Trass

current position

senior lecturer


Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre



Be a part of our european project !

This European project (KA 203 Strategic Partnership) created by Salvatore Gioveni promotes cross-border collaboration in the field of Music Theory through sharing knowledge and transferring pedagogical innovation. It thus responds to a lack of centralised source and framework to deepen reflection by means of cross-disciplinary study at European and international level.

There is a significant wealth of educational practices from one country to another in this sector, especially in terms of harmonic musical notation and analysis. However, HMEI's are facing the nonexistence of a European network for pedagogical staff in Music Theory so far. To improve the situation, the project will among other things develop several intellectual outputs such as Online Platform (IO 1), an EU Bibliography (IO 2), a Repository Courses (IO 3), a Multilingual Glossary (IO 4) and an Exchange Online Learning Platform.

Besides the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles as leader and manager of the project, the following partner institutions are involved: Music Academy S. Moniuszki Gdańsk (Gdańsk, Poland), F. Liszt Academy of Music Budapest (Budapest, Hungary), Estonian Academy for Music and Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia), HfMTh "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" (Leipzig, Germany).

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