Reviewers needed for music theory workbook

Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music is an OER music theory text published by Milne Open Textbooks (formerly Open SUNY Textbooks). The book covers a full range of topics from rhythm, pitch, and notation through chromatic harmony and form, and illustrates these ideas with hundreds of examples drawn from historical compositions. Each chapter features numerous interactive checkpoints where readers can test or solidify their understanding of the topics at hand, making the book well-suited to both self-guided learners and classroom students.

Released in 2020, the text has been met with positive reception. Initial feedback, however, has indicated that many music theory instructors would like to see some supplementary materials comparable to what are offered by major academic publishers before considering the book for adoption. In response to this need, Dr. Ivette Herryman Rodríguez, Dr. Andre Mount, and Dr. Jerod Sommerfeldt of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, have spent the last year assembling a workbook companion to Fundamentals, Function, and Form.

This new resource will offer more than 500 pages of supplementary activities over 38 chapters following the same sequencing of topics as those in the textbook. Though designed as a companion to Fundamentals, Function, and Form, the types of exercises contained in the workbook will likely be familiar to most music theory instructors and will therefore be an attractive resource for students and classes that use other texts as well. The workbook also features hundreds of new excerpts for analysis and whereas nearly half of the excerpts in the accompanying textbook were written by composers from underrepresented groups, the examples in the workbook are almost exclusively so. Instructors will find these excerpts suitable for both homework assignments and in-class analytical activities.

We are looking to assemble a small team of subject matter experts—ideally faculty with experience teaching undergraduate core classes in music theory and aural skills—to help finish preparing this new resource. Volunteer opportunities include:

  • reviewing and commenting on how conducive the workbook’s activities are in reinforcing student learning,
  • checking the instructor edition of the workbook (the answer key) for accuracy, and
  • helping to ensure that headers, exercise instructions, and excerpt captions are clear and consistent throughout the book.

We hope to complete the review and revision process over the spring 2022 semester in anticipation of a summer release. To get involved, contact Allison Brown at and tell us about yourself and how you would like to participate.

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