The volumes in the Mapping Tonal Harmony Workbooks collection have been envisioned as auxiliary material in the study of Tonal Harmony.
The main objective of these books is to provide the student, teachers, composers and/or songwriters with a tool that will aid them in hearing, analyzing, foreseeing, and composing harmonic progressions without struggle, in all keys alike. These workbooks are based on the map used in the Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro app by mDecks Music, which is recommended as accompanying material/tool for all volumes.
All maps, progression examples and exercises in these books, were designed to improve and expand the student’s view of the harmonic surroundings around each and every tonal center.
The following four pages show different types of worksheets included in the workbooks and their related tasks.
1) Writing the suggested progressions in the current key.
2) Level 1 Map in the key of Eb Major.
3) Completing the level 1 map in the key of Eb Major
4) Play and/or listen the suggested progressions in the key of G Major while viewing them on the map
What is in these workbooks?
The volumes in this collection are organized in a progressive manner, each volume expanding
the previous volume's map by introducing new harmonic concepts and/or functions, based on
the premise that all functions introduced in earlier volumes have been understood and
assimilated. Each new concept or function adds some level of detail to the map and/or extends
the known area around the tonic. The volume number for each workbook corresponds to a level in the Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro app.
Many of the concepts presented in these books are simply mentioned for mapping purposes
only, and should be carefully studied by using other sources such as: a harmony course, tonal
harmony books, teachers, etc.
Voice-leading and inversions are not covered in these volumes since their main objective is to
map essential harmonic functions in every key.
How are they organized?
The workbooks are structured, and expected to be used, in the same manner.
Following is a layout of every book in the collection:
• Suggested functional harmonic progressions and the accompanying functional map
• A four-page worksheet, for every key, including all possible enharmonic spellings, containing:
1) A list of suggested harmonic progressions (a few keys will explicitly show the
progressions written in the current key, while the rest are expect to be filled out
by the student based on a list of the same progressions written functionally)
2) An accompanying tonal map in the current key
3) A composer’s diary with blank staff paper in two staves per system format
4) A fill-in-the-blanks map for the current key
How do I study with these workbooks?
1) Locate the new functions in the functional map and study its location in relationship with the
tonic and other known functions also check for standard resolution paths to and from them.
2) Choose a key you are comfortable with. Find the corresponding map in that key, write and
play the suggested harmonic progressions, while visualizing them on the tonal map, or by using
the supporting "Mapping Tonal Harmony" application provided by mDecks.
3) Once the new functions for the chosen key have been assimilated, try to write a few
progressions or compose simple pieces/songs in the composer's diary. Remember to include at
least one of the new functions in each.
4) Complete the corresponding worksheet containing the empty map in the current key by
filling in the blanks.
5) Next move to another key of your preference and repeat steps 2) to 4) until your ability to
recognize and write music using these functions has sufficiently improved in all keys.
It is also essential that you listen, play, analyze, transcribe, and write as much music as
Is it necessary to purchase all workbooks in order?
No. Each volume is self contained. The introductory chapters are included in every volume. You can decide which volume is the right one for your level by looking at the list of functions introduced in each workbook. Just keep in mind that the map's complexity increases by volume and you need to know all previously used functions in order to map/study the new ones for the selected volume.
Why is the functional notation using m for minor chords instead of lower case roman numerals?
Chords are notated in standard chord notation with tensions, such as Dm7 or D7, and bass
inversions are notated using the forward slash symbol, D/A (D over A)
Functional chords are also notated in standard chord notation with tensions and slashed bass so
as not to confuse tensions with inversions, except for the I64, Im64, the Neapolitan 6th (N6) and
the German augmented sixth (Ger+6). For example: IVMaj7 (for the major 7th), IV/3 (for IV
chord over the 3rd of the chord, or first inversion), or Im/b3 (for the Im in first inversion.)
Classical functional notation (such as i for Im or, I42 for I in third inversion) has not been used
in these workbooks to accommodate jazz and contemporary music chord notation for standard
songs repertoire. Keep in mind that the main objective of these workbooks is to map/learn chord
functions in every key.
Why are there two maps for enharmonic keys?
Since the main objective of these workbooks is to learn and map all functions in every key, maps for both sharp and flat keys have been included.
Why is Workbook 1 more expensive than the rest of the volumes?
Workbook 1 is double the size in pages since it introduces the basic diatonic neighborhood for both major and minor independently.
The rest of the workbooks treat functions from both major and minor keys simultaneously.
Why are the books not available as pdf downloads?
Most of the pages in these workbooks are fill-in-the-blanks worksheets and staff paper to write progressions on. It would not make much sense to have them in pdf format, even if free, since the printing cost for 100+ pages would be very high.
I have noticed some differences between the map on Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro app and the one in the workbooks.
Why is that?
There are a few differences between them but they are essentially the same map. A few functions have been relocated to adjust spacing issues in the app. The map in the Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro app is created in real-time and it has also been "evolving" since its first version.
As an example: The map in the app now shows all functions in standard classical chord notation with inversions an pedal points, as well as Jazz chords with tensions. In the workbooks, the chord notation has been somewhat modified from the standard to allow the use of tension numbers to accommodate a more contemporary interpretation of functions.