A Guide to Advanced Harmony

Alexander Sanchez-Behar

This booklet serves as a general study guide of advanced harmony introduced in core music-theory courses. It is intended as a resource for undergraduate students who are preparing for a final exam, or for incoming graduate students of all fields of music who are preparing for a music-theory diagnostic exam. The guide presents a brief introduction to each topic, showing basic concepts students must demonstrate fluency in comprehensive examinations. This guide, however, is not a substitute for an in-depth study of chromatic and other advanced harmonies.The topics detailed in this guide include: secondary dominants and leading-tone chords, the neapolitan sixth-chord, modal mixture, chromatic mediants and submediants, augmented-sixth chords, altered dominants, common-tone diminished-seventh chords, and chordal extensions (ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths) of the dominant-seventh chord. Each topic receives a discussion in chordal spelling, labeling, doubling, harmonic context, 4-part writing, and figured bass. To reinforce the topics from this guide, some exercises have been developed that focus on analysis, figured bass, and 4-part writing. The exercises take on a systematic approach that encourages students to narrow down their responses by considering the distinguishing features of each type of harmony.