How to use this book

This book is a companion to Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music. It provides exercises and activities designed to reinforce the reader’s understanding of the material discussed in the textbook. The ordering of chapters in both books is identical, allowing students to easily move back and forth between the two, alternatingly reading about various concepts or ideas and putting them to use in practical exercises. Like the textbook, the material here is sequenced to provide a sense of logical flow from rudimentary ideas to more conceptually complex subjects. We therefore recommend that readers—independent learners especially—make their way through the chapters in order, from beginning to end.

Students that use this workbook as part of a course are advised to consult with their instructor when questions arise. There are innumerable valid approaches to the study of music theory and certain teachers may favor specific approaches or techniques over others. Likewise, independent learners may wish to seek out a more experienced student of music theory and analysis for guidance.

Regardless of whether these exercises are assigned as part of a course or undertaken by a self-guided student, the reader may wish to reference the textbook for clarification. Many of the activities contained herein appear in abbreviated form in the textbook, where readers will also find hints and answers to individual exercises. In general, we recommend first reading the textbook while completing the embedded interactive activities and then progressing to the lengthier exercises provided in this workbook.

It is far too easy to lose track of the audible when studying music theory, focusing only on memorizing lists of conventions and the accompanying terminology. One of the underlying goals of both this and the accompanying textbook is to demonstrate the extraordinary connectedness of analysis and actual musical experience. To accomplish this, we have included in each chapter a number of composition exercises. Such activities will help students explore the various idioms and formulas that define the Western art music tradition as well as their own potential for creative musical expression.

To forge an active connection between composition, analysis, performance, and listening, the reader is encouraged to carefully perform and listen to the musical sounds represented by the music they write. Playing or singing the examples is preferable when possible, but readers may also wish to consider composing in a digital environment. MuseScore—a free and open-source score-writing application with a highly active support community—is an excellent option for writing in staff notation and instantly producing audio playback.

This workbook also includes hundreds of passages from actual compositions for analysis. Here, too, readers are encouraged to make sure to listen, preferably by singing or playing the excerpts themselves. For convenience, though, we have also prepared audio recordings for each of the analysis excerpts. Look for the headphones icon above each analysis exercise:

headphones icon

Wherever the headphones icon appears, an audio recording is available in the online version of this book.

A note for teachers

Although the topics covered by Fundamentals, Function, and Form are carefully sequenced, individual chapters are also designed to be coherent on their own while directing the reader to elaborations on certain topics elsewhere in the book whenever necessary. This will allow instructors to group the chapters in a number of different ways to match the pacing of their own courses while also accommodating advanced students looking to review only certain topics. Instructors may also choose to omit certain chapters from their syllabi, depending on the pacing and content of their courses. Furthermore, although these exercises were designed with the accompanying textbook in mind, they are generic enough to be used independently as well.

A teacher’s edition of this workbook is also available. With the exception of compositional exercises, the teacher’s edition provides answers for all activities. (Instructors should keep in mind, though, that many of the exercises in this book have multiple valid answers and, in most cases, only one is provided in the answer key.) Instructors who wish to obtain a copy of the teacher’s edition can contact the Digital Publishing Services Manager at Milne Open Textbooks, Allison Brown (, who will confirm their institutional affiliation.


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Fundamentals, Function, and Form Copyright © 2023 by Ivette Herryman Rodriguez, Andre Mount, and Jerod Sommerfeldt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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