Music for Sightsinging

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/1/2004
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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The study of sight singing is one of the most important means of developing the ability to recognize ("to hear") mentally the sound of music notation on the printed page without the necessity of recourse to a musical instrument. For the professional musician, performer, or teacher, this skill is a necessity, while for others, achievement will greatly amplify the pleasures of musical activity in performance and listening. To achieve success in sight singing, students must have large numbers of melodies available for practice. Once a melody has been sung, repetition is no longer "singing at first sight," although reviewing for study purposes is highly recommended. To this end, this volume includes 1,199 examples. Most of these are chosen from worldwide folk sources and a wide variety of composed music, ranging from melodies simpler than Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to excerpts from Bartok string quartets. The remaining examples, written by the author, provide practice for rhythm alone, and for singing melodies composed only of adjacent scale steps, valuable for initial study but rarely found in music literature. Each chapter presents only one new problem, either in rhythm or in melody, allowing students to concentrate on the newly introduced feature. Otherwise, no chapter will include any material not already presented in earlier chapters. For the dedicated student, this careful selection and grading of melodies guarantees steady and rewarding progress to a successful accomplishment of sight singing skills. Some of the changes in the new edition include: bull; bull;Additional melodies incorporating modulation and other uses of chromaticism. bull;In many chapters, order of materials reorganized to reflect a better sequence from easy to more difficult. bull;Revised and/or added materials in introductory statements, especially in the subjects of the hemiola, melodic use of the Neapolitan sixth harmony, and twentieth-century music. bull;Numerous new melodies, including a "find" of easy but effective melodies by Schubert, especially in modulation and syncopation.

Table of Contents

Melody: Diatonic Intervals
Rhythm: Division of the Beat
Rhythm: Simple Time (Meter); The Beat and its Division Into Two Parts
Melody: Scale-line Melodies
Rhythm: Simple Time; The Beat and its Division Into Two Parts
Melody: Intervals from the Tonic Triad, Major Keys
Rhythm: Simple Time
Melody: Intervals from the Tonic Triad, Major Keys
Rhythm: Compound Time; The Beat and its Division into Three Parts
Minor Keys; Intervals from the Tonic Triad
Rhythm: Simple and Compound Time
Intervals from the Dominant (V) Triad; Major and Minor Keys
Rhythm: Simple and Compound Time
The C Clefs: Alto and Tenor Clefs
Melody: Further Use of Diatonic Intervals
Rhythm: Simple and Compound Time
Melody: Intervals from the Dominant Seventh Chord V7; Other Diatonic Intervals of the Seventh
Rhythm: Simple and Compound Time
Melody: Diatonic Intervals
Rhythm: Subdivision of the Beat
Rhythm: The Subdivision of the Beat; The Simple Beat into Four Parts; The Compound Beat into Six Parts
Melody: Intervals from the Tonic and Dominant Triads
Rhythm: Subdivision in Simple and Compound Time
Melody: Further Use of Diatonic Intervals
Rhythm: Subdivision in Simple and Compound Time
Melody: Chromaticism
Rhythm: Further Rhythmic Practices
Melody: Chromaticism (I): Chromatic Nonharmonic Tones; Dominant of the Dominant Harmony (V/V); Modulation to the Key of the Dominant
Melody: Chromaticism (II): Modulation to Closely Related Keys; Additional Secondary Dominant Harmonies
Rhythm: Syncopation
Rhythm and Melody: Triplet Division of Undotted Note Values; Duplet Division of Dotted Note Values
Rhythm and Melody: Changing Time Signatures; The Hemiola; Less Common Time Signatures
Rhythm and Melody: Further Subdivision of the Beat; Slow Tempo
Melody: Chromaticism (III): Additional Uses of Chromatic Tones; Remote Modulation
The Medieval Modes and Twentieth-Century Music
Melody: The Medieval Modes
Twentieth Century Music
Appendix: Musical Terms
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Music for Sight Singingprovides music examples for practice in accomplishing the sight singing goals described on the first page of the text. The principal objective of the study is to acquire the ability to sing a given melody at first sight. Once sung, that melody no longer qualifies to satisfy its purpose, though repetition is valuable in reviewing errors. Thus, a large number of melodies (nearly 1,200 in this volume) is desirable to provide enough practice material to accomplish the "first sight" requirement. So that the sight singing materials will provide a musical satisfaction greater than that from routine exercises, the melodies in this text are carefully chosen from the literature of composed music and a wide range of the world's folk music. Music examples written, especially for pedagogical purposes are kept to a minimum. All materials are graded so that the student is presented with just one musical problem, rhythmic or melodic, at a time. In a given melody, only those musical elements presented in its chapter or in previous chapters will be found. To facilitate the presentation of either element--pitch or rhythm--the opening examples of each chapter will make use only of the simplest materials of the other element. Prerequisite to the study of sight singing is a working knowledge of the basic aspects of music theory, these often taught from materials with titles such as "Introduction," "Rudiments," or "Fundamentals."1 In the area of pitch, these are especially important: (1) the ability to spell, write, and sing all major and minor scales; (2) the ability to write all major and minor key signatures; and (3) the ability to recognize the key from a given key signature. In the area of rhythm, a knowledge of note values and the interpretation of time (meter) signatures is necessary. Much of this information will be reviewed as the need occurs throughout the text. However, bringing to the opening studies a comprehensive and usable knowledge of these basic materials will guarantee more immediate accomplishment of sight-reading goals. The text as a whole may be considered as consisting of four parts: Chapters 1-9, diatonic melodies with rhythmic patterns limited to beat-note values and their simplest divisions (simple time, two per beat; compound time, three per beat). Chapters 10-12, rhythmic studies and diatonic melodies that include subdivisions of the beat value. Chapters 13-19, chromaticism, modulation, and more advanced rhythmic problems. Chapters 20-21, the medieval modes and twentieth-century melodic lines. The principal features of previous editions remain unchanged. Improvement in this sixth edition include (1) some fifty new melodies, many in the areas of chromaticism, while considerably fewer have been deleted; (2) additional explanatory material for such subjects as "hemiola," and "Neapolitan sixth chords"; and (3) in many chapters, melodies relocated to present smoother progression from easy to difficult within the chapter. Robert W. Ottman

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