A Handbook of Musical Forms: Steps in Formal Analysis

ISBN 10: 1-60797-771-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-60797-771-1

By Randy Earles & George C. Adams


2 reviews for A Handbook of Musical Forms: Steps in Formal Analysis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Gustafson, DMA

    In my 37 years of teaching undergraduate music theory, I always sought a supplement to my theory text dedicated to musical form. I have finally found one: Earles and Adams, A Handbook of Musical Forms: Steps in Formal Analysis. This relatively inexpensive text is well written, thoughtfully designed and explores the forms necessary for undergraduate curricula.
    The text is well organized into four units starting with Basic Principles (Structural Elements, Phrase/Period Structures, Structural Functions), then Tonally Governed Forms (Binary Forms, Sonata Form, Fugues), Design Governed Forms (Ternary, Rondo, Variation Forms), and Hybrid and Song Forms. The authors provide a thorough example of an analysis from that unit, and conclude with a clear process for students to follow in their own analyses.
    Each unit contains musical examples and several assignments for students to demonstrate their proficiency in analyzing the various forms.
    A Handbook of Musical Forms: Steps in Formal Analysis is an excellent text for an undergraduate form and analysis class, or as a unit in basic music theory. I highly recommend it.

    Kirk Gustafson, DMA
    Music Director Emeritus, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra
    Retired professor, Colorado Mesa University

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard Charles Meek, D.M.A.

    For decades I taught the course in Form & Analysis requiring of my students Schirmer collections of piano sonatas and Romantic Song, and six miniature scores. How much money my students might have saved if I had then “A Handbook of Musical Forms: Steps in Formal Analysis” by Randy Earles & George Adams (published: Linus Learning). It not only covers the subject well providing many examples within chapters and addendum (“Anthology for Homework Assignments”), but lists many additional works readily available through the internet. It provides written analysis of examples within chapters for those of you interested in students learning to provide essays in prose, and quiz or assignment at the close of each. And, lo & behold, it introduces Sonata Form not as a three part form but as historically derived from binary form, Baroque’s great gift of a formal key scheme. The Handbook is a marvelous ‘syllabus’ providing an instructor much opportunity for creative presentation. I can recommend it to any instructor of form whether just beginning or experienced.

    Richard Charles Meek, D.M.A.
    Professor of Bassoon and Music Theory
    Texas Tech University

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