Michael G. Cunningham
Author & Composer
Books

Music History In Layers
Its European Continuum 

By  Michael G. Cunningham

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Description:

Layer I is for rank beginners, freshmen music majors, and informed, casual readers. Layers I and II are for music professionals, sophomore music majors, and those who will not use or benefit from excessive details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Written Music Idealtion

By  Michael G. Cunningham

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Description:

How and when did accepted music notation come about? How many centuries did it take for a musician to imagine a melody and be able to write it down?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


85 Art Songs

By  Michael G. Cunningham

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Description:

For over 45 years composer Michael G. Cunningham, himself a pianist and singer, created a number of Art Songs, which he now shares with the public. Most are for medium-range voice, and all use poetry from the Renaissance through the early 20th-Century. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Jazz Improvisation


by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description:

This is a book for students and seasoned performers who want to know more about the thought processes for improvising Jazz. It is also for teachers who wish to control the subject in graduated steps. It shows promising students that it won’t do to play just anything at any time, and that there is a difference between mere self-gratification and really connecting with a much larger audience. If, as a movement, Jazz has lost its way, this book shows the way back.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Gilded Songs (Berlin to Bacharach)

Gilded Songs (Berlin to Bacharach)
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Hello to Classical Music

Hello to Classical Music
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

This book enables teachers with basic piano skills to help young students and/or willing adults to take the first steps in understanding classical music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Form and Articulation in Music

Form and Articulation in Music
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

This should appeal to the general reader wishing to learn more about music. But it is a classroom instruction aid in traditional Form and Analysis. Time honored methods are used. It is a slim book devoid of musical examples. (This is the age of the anthology of examples.) There is an attempt to rename and clarify classroom stumbling blocks. A unique chapter deals with American Popular Song (1920 to 1960). A suggested testing method provides growth for all present.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kaleidatonal Hearing (Teachers Manual): Melodic and Harmonic Dictation in Tonal Music

Kaleidatonal Hearing (Teachers Manual): Melodic and Harmonic Dictation in Tonal Music
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

Here are three semesters of Tonal Ear Training, developed over a 40 year period. After a 6-7 week break-in sequence, students get to practice dictation as often as is possible. A number of exercises appear here for the first time. This book challenges those entrusted with Ear Training to deliver the real thing. Expect more, and you will get more. In turn, students are challenged to get better through practice and to ignore their fumbles.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kaleidatonal Hearing: (Student Manual)

Kaleidatonal Hearing: (Student Manual)
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Inner World of Traditional Healing

The Inner World of Traditional Theory
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description
Intended for first and second year college music courses, graduate students needing a concentrated review, and Private Theory instruction, this is a Music Theory treatise in the form of a workbook. The greater part of traditional theory is formatted into a set of 25 lessons, offering new insight, sequences and overviews. This teaching tool is designed to teach the most information with a maximum overview and minimal effort in the smallest amount of time. This method of instruction takes into account the crowded schedules of vocal, instructional, composition, and various other majors. By studying Theory the student becomes prepared for eventual and continual contact with existing music literature.

 

 

 


 

Concert Band Arranging in Six Lessons

Concert Band Arranging in Six Lessons
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

This book presupposes that students have already had a course in Orchestration, know the instruments, and are self-developed competent harmonists. Just how does one create three-stave piano reductions, from which parts are extracted? That's what most students are weak in, and that's what this book addresses. And, of course, there are many other tips along the way. Those who would prefer arranging for orchestra can also benefit. Here is finally a teacher-friendly semester-long course of study that would fit into appropriate degree programs.

 

 

 

 

 


 

A Musician's Primer

A Musician's Primer -----VERY BEGINNING THEORY
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description
A Musician's Primer is a college-level first semester course in the rudiments of, as well as being a lead-in to continued study in Common-Practice Theory. It is intended for use in classes, in conservatory private lessons, and for those merely wishing to create their own kind of music. Most available books either 1.) fail to challenge students because they give insufficient information and present Rudiments as if they were an end in themselves, or 2.) provide insufficient time and space to the basics of Theory. This book attempts to solve both problems. It works well with both extreme types of students, those who have had high school level theory, and those who, while being able to read and play an instrument, know little about Theory. And ironically, it also serves well for students who will only have one Theory course in their lives. Simultaneous ear training instruction and class piano, while helpful, are not necessary for certain types of advanced students.

Spelling scales in various keys is introduced gradually from lesson to lesson, so as to simultaneously and gradually introduce meters and labeled rhythms, intervals, famous literature in featured keys, supplementary information and easy melodic assignments. Seemingly extraneous information turns out to be necessary for continued use in more advanced study and in music careers. Ideally, the book should be used under the guidance of an experienced teacher, and that teacher is encouraged to continue the kinds of tests and quizzes they have always administered.

 


 

 

Technique for Composers

Technique for Composers
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

 

This book requires an informed teacher. It is based on the premise that all who wish to compose lack sufficient technique. Composers need inspiration, something that cannot be taught, but technique can. With enough technique, and if you are a real composer, ideas will come streaming out of your pen. My past students who eventually determined that Composition was not for them, always praised what they had gotten from these exercises. Asterisked exercises work well in Contemporary Techniques class.

 

 

 

 


 

The Romantic Century: A Theory/Composition Pedagogy

The Romantic Century: A Theory/Composition Pedagogy
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description

Very few Theory books deal with the 19th- Century. This is a workbook requiring small composition assignments through piano writing. Understanding of traditional Theory is assumed, and an experienced teacher is necessary. Students create melody in most assignments. Part I: unusual choral techniques Part II: monody problems. Part III: rarified chordal progressions and mannerisms by some 25 famous composers. This book attempts to make sense of a century that defies musical organization.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Divisional Counterpoint

Divisional Counterpoint
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description
DIVISIONAL COUNTERPOINT is a step-by-step course intended to point the student in the direction of Bach's coutrapuntal style. It begins like most other counterpoint texts, but after STEPS 1 and 2 the similarity ends. Here there is a blending of the techniques of Species Counterpoint with that of harmonic progressions. Here, instead of Canti Firmi, there are Guidance lines which may, when necessary, be changed. Within controlled chordal progressions, using chordal skeletons, the emphases are on adding ever-faster lines to achieve the proper composite rhythm, and to maintain the established chordal progression. Dissonance is presented as notes that are merely out of the harmonic context, rather than as absolute abstractions. Part I (a full semester's work) emphasizes short two and three voice exercises. Part II introduces remaining techniques and textures and invites more concentrated work in lengthier compositions and analysis.

 




 

Renaissance Counterpoint with Medieval Preliminaries

Renaissance Counterpoint with Medieval Preliminaries
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description
This book starts by focusing on Medieval creativity and the first, and later attempts at written music, from the earliest days on into the Ars Nova period, so as to show the eventual evolution to Renaissance triadic counterpoint. The second, more important focus is on an adapted set of Species exercises, with all the benefits of its strict rules. The third focus is on freer creativity within the learned rules. The final focus is on the English Madrigal, and how it bridges to Baroque tonality. A prose Appendix historically orients the student with overview summaries of the Renaissance period.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Progressive Bach

Progressive Bach
by Michael G. Cunningham

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Description
Progressive Bach is a new edition of the 371 Bach Chorales in a unique condensation. All of the nonharmonic tones have been removed, so as to more obviously reveal chordal progressions and harmonic structures. This is not a performance edition, but rather one for theoretical study. The emphasis here is not on how Bach used texts, but rather in his abstract pitch associations. These versions enable music majors and lifetime learners to get closer to the original versions, and are more easily playable at the keyboard. Since the nonharmonic tones have been removed, study in that area is enhanced when these versions are compared with the originals. (The accepted numerical system has been retained.) Thus many aspects of Bach's harmonizations become more obvious, and to a greater number of people. Such a book is useful in first-year Theory courses, in Class Piano, and possibly by organist wishing unique versions that precede performances of the full versions.