The year 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of Paul O.
Harder’s Harmonic Materials in Tonal Music. The past half-century has witnessed
the professionalization and expansion of the field of music theory, several shifts in
pedagogical philosophies and methods, and a radical disruption in how people access,
interact with, and store information via the internet and electronic devices. The tenth
edition of Harmonic Materials in Tonal Music, revised by Greg Steinke and released in
2010, is a time capsule of pedagogical thinking about music theory. It simultaneously
inspires wonder at discarded relics of the past and reveals the persistence of issues we
are still grappling with today.