This lesson plan and accompanying slide show (Keynote, PowerPoint, and PDF) present secondary functions as energetic, goal-directed chords that contain a leading tone and therefore mimic the voice leading of dominant-to-tonic progressions. It is designed for use in the second week on tonicization, after students have been introduced to secondary functions. In presenting secondary dominants as chords that contain local leading tones that demand upward resolution (onto their local “tonics”), it embodies a pedagogical approach that stresses the importance of identifying a local leading tone and its upwards resolution as a prerequisite for understanding secondary function. Here, secondary leading tones are presented as necessary components of secondary functions that can help students quickly identify the targeted “tonic.”
The primary activity of the class session designed here is what I call an “Ecossaise Exercise.” I present a melody from Schubert’s Ecossaise, D. 299, No. 3, stripped of accompaniment. The melody features much potential for applied chords. Sometimes local leading tones are in the melody itself; other times, they will have to be heard. The primary lesson to be drawn from the example is that the leading-tone energy of applied chords can give away their applied function, even in the absence of harmony.
The Ecossaise Exercise is framed on the front end by some introductory material, and on the back end by further exercises. Scores, excerpts for sight singing, dictation templates, and two potential homework assignments are included in my lesson plan.