History, Implementation, and Pedagogical Implications of an Updated System of Functional Analysis
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This dissertation follows the history of functional ideas and their pedagogy, illuminates with many examples the implementation of my updated system of Functional Analysis, and discusses the pedagogical implications that this updated system implies. The main goal is to update a system of labeling to be as pedagogically friendly as possible, in order to assist students and teachers of harmony to more easily and enjoyably learn, teach, and engage with common-practice tonal harmonic practice. Example syllabi, assignments, classroom demonstrations, and long projects are also included, and each aspect of the labeling is carefully discussed as it is presented. By surveying the history of functional thinking in music theory, we find that desire to analyze for function is not a new idea, and has been a goal of many theorists and harmony teachers for centuries. However, the current methods for instructing in function still leave students confused or baffled, as they struggle to match functional concepts to labels that do not exemplify their analysis goals and methods that insist on starting from tiny detail instead of coming from a more complete musical perspective. The elaboration of each detail of my Functional Analysis system shows how each part of Functional Analysis has been designed to help make harmonic analysis quicker, easier, more intuitive, and more personalized. The greater pedagogical implications on a larger scale involving courses and curricula are also covered, informed by my experience both as a teacher of today’s standard system and from teaching Functional Analysis in the classroom.