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Model #: 978-0939067886
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Applied Professional Harmony 101 - Print Edition

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Henry Mancini, 4x Winner of the Academy Awards (Oscar) and 20 Grammy's
"Peter Alexander in his series, Applied Professional Harmony, has created what I feel will be standard text in schools for many years to come. In a thoroughly readable style, he has managed the neat trick of erasing the lines between so called 'popular' music and 'classical' music. Read and Learn."

John Tesh, 6X Emmy Winner and 4 Gold Albums
"If I had these books when I was in college, I'd have stayed in music school."

E.J. Doyle, National Academy of Songwriters
"Alexander Publishing books are comprehensive, efficient, and indispensable tools for National Academy of Songwriter members. I recommend them."


Applied Professional Harmony 101 is the first harmony book, endorsed by winners of the Academy™, Grammy™ and Emmy™ Awards, that combines writing and recording your work so that you learn harmony, songwriting skills, arranging, and recording/production skills with virtually every exercise you do.

Section One: Music Basics (Lessons 1-27)
APH 101 is actually two books combined into one. The first section teaches Music Basics, which, like its name describes, covers the fundamentals of music including pitch names, rhythm, where chords come from, scales, modal chord scales, correct chord notation and much more. This is an easy section of the book, requiring mostly memorization, that will give you the firm foundation you need.

Section Two: (Lessons 28-62)
The second section initiates you into the skill-based world of writing music. From the very beginning of this second section, starting with Lesson 29, you start to build chord connections and chord progressions. Rather than do this as a silent exercise on paper, you do the homework with the string, brass, woodwind, keyboard and vocal sounds that come with most notation and sequencing programs. You then record your work and save it as an MP3 (depending on your software) so you can listen to it later.

You start simply by working with triads, then connecting four-part chords, then building longer chord progressions. With the longer chord progressions you can add in bass and drums on separate to start building your arranging skills from the beginning.

You'll learn how to create the two types of background lines common to all types of music. Plus you'll learn to use rhythmic figures like triad arpeggios, triplets, and broken chord patterns - the stuff that all rock, pop, jazz and classical music is made of.

In Lesson 53 you begin learning how to do four-part chorale arrangements by studying the Bach chorales.

Stylistic Analysis - or, How Do They Get That Sound?
Of course, just knowing how to do this much is a lot, but Applied Professional Harmony 101 keeps going by helping you build the skills needed by today's music, MIDI, and multimedia professionals. You'll learn the art of stylistic analysis, a fancy term meaning the stuff that defines how a song or arrangement or score or songwriter gets that sound and feel.

You start by learning the first steps in vocal arrangement writing, how to put the 3rd and 5th of the chord in the bass, and how to apply that to background lines. You also learn first steps in using a device called pedal point, Bach's guidelines for vocal voice writing, simple techniques for creating more interesting keyboard parts, and music for analysis.

Craft of Lyric Writing (Sheila Davis) If your goal is to be a songwriter, Applied Professional Harmony 101 is the only harmony book cued to the Craft of Lyric Writing by Sheila Davis (available from Amazon or most bookstores) so you can build harmony, melody and lyric writing skills, too.

APH 101 Summary Table of Contents

Lesson 1 - Rhythmic Note Value, Rests, and Time Signatures.
Lesson 2 - Pitch And Note Value (Clefs)
Lesson 3 - Intervals
Lesson 4 - Linear Intervals
Lesson 5 - Vertical Intervals
Lesson 6 - Other Names For Notes
Lesson 7 - Where Chords Come From
Lesson 8 - The First Inversion
Lesson 9 - The Second Inversion Triad
Lesson 10 - Seventh Chords
Lesson 11 - 24 Voicing Positions for Each Kind of Seventh Chord
Lesson 12 - Modes
Lesson 13 - The Major Scale
Lesson 14 - Major Scale Keys and Key Signatures
Lesson 15 - Chords in the Major Scale
Lesson 16 - Seventh Chords in The Major Key
Lesson 17 - Three Minor Scales and How They Grew
Lesson 18 - Chords in The Minor Key: Aeolian
Lesson 19 - Harmonic Minor
Lesson 20 - Melodic Minor
Lesson 21 - All the Minor Chords Combined
Lesson 22 - Seventh Chords in Minor
Lesson 23- The Mystery Scale
Lesson 24 - Guidelines for Music Preparation : Rhythm
Lesson 25 - Beaming
Lesson 26 - Accidentals and Their Placement
Lesson 27 - Dynamics and Other Notational Issues
Lesson 28 - Basics of Music Form
Lesson 29 - Common Tones and Triadic Chord Connections
Lesson 30 - Practical Application of Common Tones
Lesson 31 - Adding the Fourth Voice
Lesson 32 - Four Voices and The Chord Chart
Lesson 33 - Building Block Chord Progressions
Lesson 34 - Building Your Own Root Position Progressions
Lesson 35 - Chords With Third in the Bass
Lesson 36 - Third in the Bass to Third in the Bass
Lesson 37 - 6/4 Chord Basics
Lesson 38 - 6/4 Chord Pairings
Lesson 39 - Every 6/4 Combination in the Diatonic Key
Lesson 40 - Creating Extended Chord Progressions
Lesson 41 - Analysis of Pop Tune Progressions
Lesson 42 - Setting Up the Model
Lesson 43 - Creating a More Full Sounding Basic Arrangement
Lesson 44 - Chord Patterns for Specific Background Line Types
Lesson 45 - 19 Combinations of Melody, Background Line, and Pad
Lesson 46 - Vocal Ranges/Key Selection
Lesson 47 - Your First Four - Voice Vocal Arrangement
Lesson 48 - Creating the Bass Line
Lesson 49 - Intervals and Chords
Lesson 50 - Solutions
Lesson 51 - Writing the Alto Part
Lesson 52 - Adding in the Tenor Voice
Lesson 53 - Bach Chorale Analysis
Lesson 54 - 6/4 Chords: Part 1
Lesson 55 - Passing and Accented Cadential 6/4 Chords
Lesson 56 - Summary of 6/4 Combinations on Each Chord
Lesson 57 - Bach Chorales with 6/4 Chords
Lesson 58 - How to Harmonize a Given Melody Line
Lesson 59 - Compositional Techniques With the Basic Chorale Format
Lesson 60 - Application to Instrumental Writing - Part 1
Lesson 61 - Application to Instrumental Writing - Part 2
Lesson 62 - Application to Keyboard Parts

392 pages.

SAMPLE CHAPTER (Click to open in a new window)
Applied Professional Harmony 101: Lesson 1 Sample Chapter

Series Overview


Want to make a budding musician, songwriter, or composer feel uncomfortable? Just start talking about the "rules of music." You'll see the light go out of their eyes, and a big sigh show up right on their face. Why such a reaction? Because most people believe that if you're going to learn music, you have to learn the rules of music. Then, after you've learned the rules, you can break them and do what you want.

Well, here's some good news. That's not how you learn music. It's how you learn math, but not how you learn music. Basically, you learn to write and play music by the same process that a painter learns to paint, and a short story writer learns to write stories.

Master the Basics
First, you start with the basics and learn to master them - so they don't master you. In music, the basics are knowing your notes, knowing your chords and the various voicings, learning how to put chords together in progressions, how to smoothly move voices to get a professional sound, song form, and instrumentation. Just knowing that alone lets you write all kinds of material. If you're using MIDI gear, just mastering these aspects is enough to put you on the road to recoding high quality demos right in your own home.

That's the basics, now comes art.

Study the Masters
Once an artist has mastered the fundamentals, he studies the techniques of specific painters and learns to paint in that style. That includes learning to mix paints and select the right tools to duplicate the various brush techniques of each master that's studied. As the student grows, he develops a vocabulary of expression. His eye develops likes and dislikes. He knows what he wants to see and what he doesn't want to see. In time, his own style emerges.

Music works the same way. Instead of a look, we create a sound. Peter Paul Rubens has a look. Bach, John Lennon, Ravel, Stravinsky and David Foster have a sound. Once you've mastered the basics, you study each composer to discover the rules by which they wrote to create the sound they achieved - their musical brush strokes. Then you write in that style. The process is then repeated. With MIDI equipment, once you've written and recorded your work you can hear it over and over again. Not even Beethoven could do that.

How Peter Alexander Teaches You:

1. The books are easy to read. They're written in everyday English so they're very readable. You use the words of the working musician that are simple, direct and to the point.

2. The books are easy to use. They're written so you can teach yourself. Music skills are taught in a logical flow with each lesson building on what you've already learned. In many cases, you can use what you've learned right away. The books are organized for quick referencing so you'll use them over and over again for many years. These are not textbooks, rather a welcome friend to inspire and instruct.

3. You'll be taught principles and application, not rules. There are only three true rules of music: 1) the harmony and melody issues that define a specific style of music; 2) the personal likes and dislikes of how a specific songwriter or composer created their music; 3) ranges and basic playing techniques of the instruments. Because Peter teaches you the principles behind these points, you can teach yourself to write in most any style of music you want. Academically sound? Yes. Though creatively driven, the books generally equal a semester at music school.

4. The books are series oriented, so you can go as deep as you want or need. In the privacy of your own home, you can study simply written materials that can take you through graduate school level courses, but with professional applications.

You'll get the best results when using the books with a MIDI keyboard and sequencing program on your computer. This way, you build keyboard skills, composing and songwriter skills, ear training skills, arranging and orchestration skills, sequencing and recording skills. The payoff: faster learning, a professional sound, and an entrance into the larger world of multimedia.

Please click on the "About APH 101" tab at the top of this product page for more information about Applied Professional Harmony 101 including a summary table of contents.

Ready for the next book in the series? Click here for Applied Professional Harmony 102.

If you’re doing Applied Professional Harmony as a self-study program and your keyboard skills are not that strong, we highly encourage you to look at purchasing the inexpensive Robert Pace Finger Builders books. Your keyboard goal is getting to Grade Level 2 to develop “arranger’s chops” for both writing and sequencing. You can order the Robert Pace Finger Builders books 1, 2, 3 or 4 through or any local bookstore.

For additional training, be sure to check out our Spectrotone™ Chart for arranging and mixing your work.