So You Want to Write a Chord Progression?

Daniel B. Stevens

The Phrase Model Handout (PMH) presents a variety of harmonic and contrapuntal expansions organized by bass line and function, all within the context of the phrase. The PMH’s emphasis on harmonic idioms is similar to the theories of harmony presented in several widely used textbooks (e.g. Aldwell and Schachter, Caplin, Laitz) and can be used to supplement texts that do not focus on harmonic prolongation. The PMH is a useful tool for teaching numerous topics in the undergraduate theory core curriculum, including harmonic expansions, function, and syntax, voice leading, the phrase model (T-PD-D), cadential bass lines, cadence types, evaded cadences, secondary chord usage, and chromatic predominants. For more information on the PMH and ideas for implementation, please see the E-Journal article: “So You Want to Write a Chord Progression?: Teaching Core Music Theory Using the Phrase Model Handout”