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Book Details

  • Spiral Bound
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $77.00
  • October 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-26406-7
  • 480 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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The Musician's Guide to Aural Skills

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The Musician's Guide Series

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See all options and formats starting at

Paul Murphy (Author, Muhlenberg College), Joel Phillips (Author, Westminster Choir College of Rider University), Elizabeth West Marvin (Author, Eastman School of Music), Jane Piper Clendinning (Author, Florida State University College of Music)


The best way to integrate music theory and aural skills just got better.

Reorganized for ease of use, The Musician’s Guide to Aural Skills features chapters that correspond with The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis; within each chapter, activities are carefully sequenced for an ideal pedagogical progression. Throughout, the text emphasizes connections to written theory, so that both sides of the theory curriculum are mutually reinforcing.


Endorsements & Reviews

“There is simply no other textbook on the market that compares with respect to the emphasis on real music, the scope, breadth, clarity, and integration with theory and keyboard skills.” — Tim Pack, Universtiy of Oregon

“It knits aural skills more closely to a complete musical fabric instead of it being a purely one-line melodic topic.” — Rebecca Jemian, University of Louisville

“The integration of written and aural skills texts is its greatest strength. To my knowledge, this is the only text that integrates the two areas to that extent.” — Gary Don, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Comprehensive and easy to use

The Musician’s Guide to Aural Skills consists of two volumes that can be used together or on their own, providing resources for the entire aural skills sequence—from fundamentals to post-tonal ear training. Together, the two volumes contain everything students need to succeed.  

Over 800 melodies, rhythms, keyboard exercises, and improvisation activities

The sight-singing volume is carefully sequenced to coordinate with The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis. Every chapter now begins with an outline of learning objectives, so that students know what to focus on and instructors can easily locate exercises that develop a particular skill. 

Hundreds of short, self-grading Try it dictations that help students identify common musical gestures.

The ear-training volume includes over 400 contextual-listening activities that guide students through dictated-recordings of real music. With so many exercises--all tagged with learning objectives and difficulty levels--instructors have the flexibility to select exactly the activities their students need. 

Emphasizes real music and music-making

The Third Edition highlights the relevance of aural skills to students’ lives as musicians through a rich variety of classical, folk, and popular music, including works that students know and perform. The sight-singing text features a range of melodies from the literature, as well as improvisation and composition exercises. Contextual-listening activities feature real music— recorded by real performers—so that students learn to take dictation from authentic musical contexts, rather than artificial exercises. 

A flexible and integrated pedagogical program

The Musician’s Guide Series is the only complete package that coordinates written theory and aural skills. Throughout the series, the presentation and ordering of topics correspond so that written theory and aural skills are mutually reinforcing. Instructors can mix and match the resources that are most appropriate for their classes.  

    Part I Elements of Music

    1. Pitch and Pitch Class
    2. Simple Meters
    3. Pitch Collections, Scales, and Major Keys
    4. Compound Meters
    5. Minor Keys and the Diatonic Modes
    6. Intervals
    7. Triads
    8. Seventh Chords
    9. Connecting Intervals in Note-to-Note Counterpoint
    10. Melodic and Rhythmic Embellishment in Two-Voice Composition

    Part II Diatonic Harmony and Tonicization

    11. Soprano and Bass Lines in Eighteenth-Century Style
    12. The Basic Phrase in SATB Style
    13. Dominant Sevenths, the Predominant Area, and Choral Harmonization
    14. Expanding the Basic Phrase
    15. New Cadence Types and Diatonic Root Progressions
    16. Embellishing Tones
    17. The vii°6, vii°7, viø7, and Other Voice-Leading Chords
    18. Phrase Structure and Motivic Analysis
    19. Diatonic Sequences
    20. Secondary Dominants and Leading-Tone Chords to V
    21. Tonicizing Scale Degrees Other Than V

    Part III Chromatic Harmony and Form

    22. Modulation to Closely Related Keys
    23. Binary and Ternary Forms
    24. Invention, Fugue, and Other Contrapuntal Genres
    25. Variation
    26. Modal Mixture
    27. The Neapolitan Sixth and Augmented-Sixth Chords
    28. Vocal Forms
    29. Popular Music
    30. Chromatic Harmony and Voice-Leading
    31. Chromatic Modulation
    32. Sonata, Sonatina, and Concerto
    33. Rondo, Sonata-Rondo, and Large Ternary

    Part IV The Twentieth Century and Beyond

    34. Modes, Scales, and Sets
    35. Music Analysis with Sets
    36. Sets and Set Classes
    37. Ordered Segments, Serialism, and Twelve-Tone Composition
    38. New Ways to Organize Rhythm, Meter, and Duration
    39. New Ways to Articulate Musical Form
    40. Recent Trends