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Cant decide on which theory/composition book to get

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by bassistpatrick, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Anyone who has read these books, can you tell me the pros and cons, what you thought of it, whether it was easy to comprehend, things like that. Or suggest a different book..

    Harmony by Walter Piston
    Theory of Harmony by Schoenberg
    Tonal Harmony by stefan kostka and dorothy payne
  2. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I used the Piston book in college and didn't really like it. It was pretty dry as I remember.
  3. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Piston's book did not go nearly as deep into harmony as Schoenberg's book. Problem is, it is not a cakewalk to get through; filled with extraneous but interesting thoughts.
    The third book you mention I do not know.
    Harmony is important for a bass player ( jazz ) to know something about.
    Compare the minor mode of Schoenberg to Piston; ditto with modulation.
    No comparison.
  4. i found the tonal harmony book the best of the three to go to with a specific question in mind. its got a good index and is easy to use. the piston is a good teach yourself harmony book if your willing to go through it slowly. the schoenberg harmony book has only sat on my book self... but it makes me look smart, i guess. the kostka book is probably what your looking for.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I've taught theory using the Kostka-Payne book for the past seven years. It's not perfect, but it is very good, and I like it better than anything else out there that I've seen.
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