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Songs using only Tonic and Dominant Chords (Read 13566 times)

Offline jd8386

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Songs using only Tonic and Dominant Chords
« on: March 18, 2014, 12:46:22 PM »
I am new to the Piano street forums.  Over the years I have visited this site occasionally and I also read the forums.  I am coming out of hiding now because I need help compiling every song that uses only the tonic and dominant chord in the first 16-32 measures.  Like many teachers I am annoyed and bored to tears by mainstream curricula like Alfred, Bastien, Micheal Aaron, and Piano Adventures.  I want a good database of children's music (organized by harmonic complexity) and I intend to create it.

My current list is

Classical
Prince of Denmark's March (Clarke)
Marriage of Figaro (Mozart)
Musette (Bach)
A Little Night Music (Mozart)
Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
Waltz in C (Diabelli)
Little March (Turk)
Little Dance (Turk)
Barber of Seville (Rossini)
Little Melody (Kabelevsky)

Traditional
Frere Jacques
Simple Gifts
Hot Cross Buns
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Down By the Station
Molly Malone
London Bridge
The Farmer in the Dell
Alouette
Skip to My Lou
A Tisket a Tasket
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Little Bo Peep

The framework for this project is currently in place at http://paintwithpiano.com.  For reference, see the attached picture to understand the formant this music will take.  Also, the second level of this curriculum will include subdominiant chords and submediant chords, so you can also suggest pieces that use just I, VI, IV, or V, if you think of them (i.e morning mood (Grieg) and This Old Man).

I appreciate any suggestions! Music from any source (folk or otherwise) is great.

*EDIT* Can anyone tell me how to embed?  "img" tag not working...
here are direct links:
(Ode to Joy) - imageshack.com/a/img534/7488/33uv.png
(Waltz in C) - imageshack.com/a/img543/4488/gd75.png



Online timothy42b

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Re: Songs using only Tonic and Dominant Chords
«Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 03:42:15 PM »
.  I want a good database of children's music (organized by harmonic complexity) and I intend to create it.


Traditional
Frere Jacques
Simple Gifts
Hot Cross Buns
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Down By the Station
Molly Malone
London Bridge
The Farmer in the Dell
Alouette
Skip to My Lou
A Tisket a Tasket
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Little Bo Peep


That's a worthy goal.

Familiar nursery rhymes may not be as familiar as you expect, though.

I did an instrument demonstration in a preschool a while ago, and had the kids compete to recognize the tunes.

It turned out they didn't know any.   It shocked me, but this generation has never heard what was familiar to mine. 
Tim

Offline jd8386

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Re: Songs using only Tonic and Dominant Chords
«Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 04:31:16 PM »
That's a worthy goal.

Familiar nursery rhymes may not be as familiar as you expect, though.

This is true.  I experience this in my own teaching every day.  It seems as though 5 out of 10 kids look at me like I am an alien when I sing and play "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".  The truth is, though, kids are going to have to become familiar with nursery rhyme songs to be musical literate.  Just like a kid needs to read "Jack and Jill" when they begin to read literature. A generation will lose the already tenuous grip America has on music literacy if something isn't done about current pedagogical methods.

Kids today get their understanding of musical structures from pop music.  This alternative is not acceptable.  I have had so many students want to play pop songs (from "Let It Go" to "Gangnam Style").  Recently a boy came in and said he learned "Dynamite" by Tao Cruz. He sat at the piano and started banging out a random number of middle c notes in indecipherable rhythms (yes, I know "dynamite", he wasn't even close).  Kids can't learn literacy from pop music.  The syncopated rhythms are not native to our western system of notation. Also, the instrumentation makes most music unsuitable for keyboard playing.  In addition the harmonic patterns create too little tension in the sound.

I find that kids can't hear I-V-I (because they don't know nursery rhyme songs).  They don't sense tension in the progression.  Keep working with kids and they come to love nursery rhyme songs.  That is to say that kids come to love tonic, dominant progressions. Music is a learned language. Teaching a child to hear the I-V progression lays the foundation for a good musical education.  How else are they going to learn to like Beethoven's Fifth? (I-V-I...).

TL:DR
Yeah, kids don't know nursery rhyme songs.  Too bad.  They need to know them or they won't read / hear music.