Author: Robert Komaniecki with David Geary
Publication details:Music Theory Pedagogy Online, Volume 31
Abstract: Scholarship regarding solmization systems is largely limited to tonal methods. The present article extends the discussion to post-tonal aural skills, citing the need for a separate, interval-based methodology that fulfills the same functional role for atonal repertoire as scale-degree numbers and moveable-do syllables achieve for tonal music.
In Part I, we examine a tonal and atonal aural skills example as a means of justification for separate solmization methodologies. In Part II, we present an effective way to introduce our preferred system, ordered pitch-class intervals, in the classroom, as well as cite additional repertoire and teaching strategies that demonstrate the utility of adopting the new musical orientation. Finally, in Part III, we outline a sample curriculum for a 15-week undergraduate class and describe how to smoothly transition from tonal to atonal studies. The result is a repertoire- and skills-focused post-tonal aural skills course that equips undergraduates to more successfully understand and perform post-tonal compositions.