From the Preface to Exploring the Recorder and Music Theory
Exploring the Recorder and Music Theory follows the procedures of the first book, Introducing the Recorder and Music Theory. In both books, students have the opportunity to increase their expertise in playing the recorder while learning music theory at the same time in classroom settings. In this second book, students begin to explore in more depth the musical concept of harmony, specifically diatonic, tertian harmony. The book emphasizes triads beginning in Unit 2. The subject of tetrads (seventh chords) is introduced briefly. The principles students learn in this book will make their explorations of thicker-textured chords an easy extension of their knowledge.
Both books include the skills of playing by ear, transposing and distorting, improvising, taking dictation, sight-reading, ensemble performance, and recorder technique. In addition, in this book students begin to explore the skill of harmonizing. Complete fingering charts for the soprano and tenor recorders are included, along with alternate fingerings to improve facility. Fingerings for the alto recorder also are introduced.
Throughout, students derive and apply their learning about music theory from and to their experiences with the recorder.
Students and teachers will find 55 songs and pieces, 5 poems for improvisation, and 135 music theory worksheets and exercises of varying lengths and levels of challenge. While many of the songs and pieces are appropriate for concert presentation, their level of difficulty in each unit varies, allowing the teacher and students to choose repertoire appropriate to the skill level of the individual performer.
Exploring investigates each of the skills and principles of music theory in a predictable order of presentation in each unit. The intent is that teachers easily can mix and match materials as they need to for their classes: notation, intervals and scales, harmony and texture, phrase and form, and rhythm and meter.
The present volume includes in Unit 1 a review of Introducing the Recorder and Music Theory. Depending on the class’s preparation, the teacher may decide to begin with this unit, to visit it after Units 2 or 3, to scatter the material from Unit 1 throughout the subsequent units, or to omit it entirely.
The contents of Unit 5 may be truncated if the teacher desires in order to accommodate the class’s needs. Similarly, the teacher may choose to challenge some of the more advanced or curious students with materials in Unit 5 related to functional harmony, the orchestral score, and secondary triads.
While Exploring the Recorder and Music Theory is completely self-contained as regards repertoire and ensemble performance, teachers may wish to supplement it with additional pieces from Enjoy Your Recorder by the Trapp Family Singers.