Music Theory Material

Music Theory Material Recommended by
TPSMEA Members

  • Music Theory for Choir
    by Laurel Larsen
    published by Masterworks Press

    I had been looking for a similar curriculum for my choral program and this is by far the best I’ve seen.  I was so impressed that I wrote a note to the publisher with my thanks. Below is an excerpt:

    “I am absolutely pleased with your MUSIC THEORY FOR CHOIRS curriculum.  It is concise, but thorough, and presents even the rudimentary elements in a well thought out and sophisticated manner.  It is exactly what I have been looking for to assist in teaching my high school choral students for some time.”

    It comes with lessons, assignments, quizzes and exams – all reproducible, nicely formatted and pedagogically sound.

  • Essential Musicianship—A Comprehensive Choral Method
    by Emily Crocker and John Leavitt
    Hal Leonard Publishing.

    Covers voice, theory, sight-reading, and performance

  • Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory
    I use this with my private voice students to teach the basics.  There is a complete book or you can get each of the 3 books separately
  • Rudiments of Music
    by Ottman
  • Elementary Harmony
    by Ottman

    Jane Clendinning series, including its workbook. The Ottman Elementary Harmony is good, with some modifications. Its workbook is excellent. The Ottman Sight-Singing book is among the best.  In most of my teaching, I have resorted to a compendium of materials, all the way from “Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory” through Ottman, Clendinning to the Sibelius teaching materials. Ottman focuses on singing based on triads and scalewise progressions “sing the triad” was his mantra.
  • Practical Theory
    by Sandy Feldstein

    I use (and really like) ‘Practical Theory,’ by Sandy Feldstein.  It’s in a text/workbook format that is clear and easy to understand.  It comes in three volumes, I think, or you can buy them all together in a spiral-bound book (but that one has the answers in the back).  The individual volumes cost about $6 each.

    I’ve used Practical Theory Complete by Sandy Feldstein in the past.  Essentially it’s a workbook with a new lesson on each page.  Lessons take about 5 minutes and students can basically teach themselves, so it could work easily into the choir classroom.  I’m not sure that it is still in print though, so good luck.

    I use Practical Theory Vol. I & II by Sandy Feldstein.  It’s not perfect for choir but it serves my purposes.

  • Harmony: Baroque to Contemporary Part I
    by R. Evan Copley

    This is the best I’ve ever found – it’s user-friendly, easy to understand and has a 2nd level if anyone wants to go further.
  • Harmony: Baroque to Contemporary Part I
    by R. Evan Copley of the University of Northern Colorado, 1991.
    ISBN 0-87563-373-0
    List Price $25.80
    Workbook List Price $11.80

    This fine text is concerned with music fundamentals, and with the writing of basic diatonic harmony in small homophonic forms. Each chapter includes discussion, analysis, and application of the concepts of musical styles.

    The text includes keyboard assignments; its companion looseleaf workbook presents written problems. Together they provide projects for one academic year of secondary or college level instruction.

  • One Minute Theory for Choral Music Classroom
    published by Kjos.