Post-tonal Solfeggio

Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
The aim of the subject is to develop the student’s musical hearing and auditory analysis skills of post-tonal (atonal) music. The course includes the following topics: One-part melody: combining different lines. Atonal use of intervals in melodic context. Atonal use of triads (and their inversions) in melodic context. Atonal use of seventh chords (and their inversions) in melodic context. One-part exercises and dictations. Notation in various keys and for different instruments (including transposing instruments). Two-part melody: harmonic intervals and their progressions. Linear two-part exercises and dictations. Three-part melody: chords. Atonal use of chords (and their inversions). Close and wide positions. Three-part chords. Various structures. Three-part melody: melody and intervallic accompanying texture. Three-part linear exercises and dictations performed by various instruments. Four-part melody: division of voices in the texture (2-2; 3-1; 1-3). Atonal use of seventh chords (and their inversions). Chord progressions. Close and wide positions. Four-part exercises and dictations (harmonic-melodic and linear texture). Absolute chord symbols. Melody and harmony (with chord symbols).
Depending on the results of the entrance exams, prerequisite subjects for this course may be Solfeggio I, Solfeggio II or Solfeggio III.
On completion of the subject, students shall be able to: 1) apply auditory analysis skills they previously used in tonal music also in post-tonal music; 2) vocally perform and notate one- to four-part atonal music in different clefs; 3) detect and correct deviations from the score in the performance of notated music; 4) know which musical instruments require transposition and vocally perform as well as notate the parts meant for these instruments; 5) know the absolute chord symbols and use them in practice.

Further information

  • assessment
    Exam with grade E
  • level
    Advanced, Expert
  • Completed Semester
  • How many semesters does the course last?
  • hours per week
    2x45 minutes
  • Link of the course
  • Target group of course
    Instrumentalists, advanced
    Music theory students, beginner
    Music theory students, advanced
  • credits
  • Type of Course
  • Degree Level
  • e-learning-elements
    no e-learning elements used in this course
  • Course
  • students #
    3-6 student
  • Hours per year
    Eespere, René. Prima vista? From tonality to atonality : advanced learner's exercises of solfeggio for developing one's ear for music. Tallinn: Eesti Eres, 1994 Eespere, René. Prima volta? An ear training textbook for musicians. Tallinn: Eesti Academy of Music and Theatre, 2010
  • evaluation grid
  • evaluation grid
    and document


René Eespere

current position



Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre


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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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