Music Theory I


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Alcalde, Bruno. 2018. "A Student-Centered Approach to Composing Popular Music in the Theory Classroom." Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy Vol. 6. Available online at: <>.

Alyssa, Barna. 2020. SMT-V 0.6.4 "The Dance Chorus in Recent Top-40 Music." SMT-V 0.64. {SMT-V; Vimeo}

Attas, Robin. 2011.  "Sarah Setting the Terms: Defining Phrase in Popular Music." Music Theory Online 17/3 (October 2011). {MTO}

Biamonte, Nicole. 2010. "Triadic Modal and Pentatonic Patterns in Rock Music.” Music Theory Spectrum 32/2: 95–110. {JSTOR}

Burstein, L. Poundie and Joseph N. Straus. 2020. A Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony, 2nd ed. New York: Norton. {GB; Norton}

Callahan, Michael R. "Sentential Lyric-Types in the Great American Songbook." Music Theory Online 19/3 (September 2013). {MTO}

Caplin, William. 2
013. Analyzing Classical Form: An Approach for the Classroom. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Companion Website}

Caplin, William E. 1998. Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Clendinning, Jane Piper, Elizabeth West Marvin, and Joel Phillips. 2018. The Musician's Guide to Fundamentals, 3rd ed. New York: Norton. {GB; Norton}

Covach, John. 2005. "Form in Rock Music." In Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, edited by Deborah Stein. New York: Oxford University Press. {GBd}

De Clercq, Trevor. 2019. "The Nashville Number System: A Framework for Teaching Harmony in Popular Music," Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 33 (2019). {JMTP}

______________. 2017. "Embracing Ambiguity in the Analysis of Form in Pop/Rock Music, 1982-1991." Music Theory Online 23/3 (September 2017). {MTO}

______________. 2016. "Measuring a Measure: Absolute Time as a Factor for Determining Bar Lengths and Meter in Pop/Rock Music." Music Theory Online 22/3 (September 2016). {MTO}

Doll, Christopher. 2011. “Rockin’ Out: Expressive Modulation in Verse-Chorus Form.” Music Theory Online 17/3. {MTO}

Everett, Walter. 2008. The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

____________. 2004. "Making Sense of Rock’s Tonal Systems." Music Theory Online 10/4 (December 2004). {MTO}

Feist, Jonathan. 2018. "Why Lead Sheets?" Berklee Today Alumni Magazine (Summer 2018). Available online at: <>.

Ferrandino, Matt. 2020. "Multi-Centric Complexes in Pop-Rock Music." Intégral 35: 27-43. {Integral}

Gjerdingen, Robert. 2007. Music in the Galant Style. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB; Ebook Central}

Gotham, Mark, Kyle Gullings, Chelsey Hamm, Bryn Hughes, Brian Jarvis, Megan Lavengood, and John Peterson. 2020.
Open Music Theory, Version 2 (OMT2). Viva Press Publishing. Available online at: <>.

Holm-Hudson, Kevin. 2016. Music Theory Remixed: A Blended Approach for the Practicing Musician. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB: Companion Website: OUP}

Hutchinson, Robert. 2017. Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom. Available online at: <>.

Kostka, Stefan and Dorothy Payne. 2008. Tonal Harmony, 6th ed. New York: McGraw Hill. {9/e: McGraw Hill}

Laitz, Steven. 2018. The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening, 4th ed. New York: Oxford. {GB; 5/e: OUP}

Lehman, Frank. 2013. "Hollywood Cadences: Music and the Structure of Cinematic Expectation." Music Theory Online 19/4. {MTO}

Martin, Dave. 2022. "The Nashville Number System Demystified." InSync (July 8, 2020). Available online at: <>.

Moore, Allan F. 2016. "Aspects of Popular Music." Society for Music Analysis. (Episode 2: The SMA Video Podcast). Available online at: <>.

___________. 2012. Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. New York: Routledge. {GB}

Mount, Andre with Lee Rothfarb. 2020. Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music. Available online: <>.

Nobile, Drew. 2022. "Teleology in Verse–Prechorus–Chorus Form, 1965–2020. Music Theory Online 28/3 (September 2021). {MTO}

—————. 2020. Form as Harmony in Rock Music. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Richards, Mark. 2017. "Tonal Ambiguity in Popular Music's Axis Progression." Music Theory Online 23/3 (September 2017). {MTO}

Snodgrass, Jennifer. 2016. Contemporary Musicianship: Analysis and the Artist. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Spicer, Mark. 2017. "Fragile, Emergent, and Absent Tonics in Pop and Rock Songs." Music Theory Online 23/2 (June 2017). {MTO}

__________. 2011. "(Per)Form in(g) Rock: A Response." Music Theory Online 17/3 (October 2011). {MTO}

Stein, Deborah, ed. 2005. Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. {GBd}

Summach, Jay. 2017. "The Structure, Function, and Genesis of the Prechorus." Music Theory Online 17/3 (October 2017) {MTO}

___________. 2012. "Form in Top-20 Rock Music, 1955-89." PhD Dissertation: Yale University. {ProQuest}

Temperley, David. 2018. The Musical Language of Rock. New York: Oxford University Press. {GB}

Williams, J. Kent. 2008. “The Plagal Sigh: A Neglected Gesture in Popular Songs of the Golden Era.” Paper presented at the Music Theory Southeast Conference, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, February 29–March 1.

Updated: July 13, 2023

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music