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About SchenkerGUIDE.com

SchenkerGUIDE: Guide and Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis logo

This page is from the old version of SchenkerGUIDE click here to visit the new site

About the author

SchenkerGUIDE.com is aimed at students new to Schenkerian analysis, whose experience of an introductory course has left them intrigued and/or bemused. It aims to clarify the basic principles behind Schenker's influential and controversial theory of tonal music.

SchenkerGUIDE.com concentrates on common features of tonal music that can be found in many pieces both on the surface and deep in the structure. A secure knowledge of these features will help with the exploration of the infinite variety found in more complex tonal pieces.

Schenker's fully developed analyses are very detailed, highly technical and subtly nuanced. They are accompanied with commentaries that veer from the fantastical to the polemic. An introductory site cannot possibly do justice to his approach but SchenkerGUIDE.com does lay the foundations upon which you can explore the fascinating and sometimes perplexing world of tonal music as described by Schenker.

  • The What? section presents a detailed picture of Schenker's theories of harmony and counterpoint and how they come together in his theory of tonal music. It is organised by topic and has much cross-referencing to allow students to explore lines of enquiry that interest them

  • The How? section offers a four-stage method for starting a simple analysis

  • The Why? section explores the rationale behind Schenkerian analysis from Schenker's point of view and also from a variety of modern perspectives. It also places the theory in its historical and theoretical context.

  • The panicGUIDE condenses some of the key material of the site into a step-by-step guide for those who want to get to grips with the basics of Schenkerian analysis quickly.

This website also includes useful information for further study including an extensive bibliography and glossary.

SchenkerGUIDE has been reviewed by PALATINE, the UK Higher Education Subject Centre for Music. The review can be read on the Theory and analysis links page. The reviewer writes the following:
"Undergraduates invariably find Schenkerian analysis completely new and challenging when they first encounter it. This site by Tom Pankhurst suggests a working method for doing basic Schenkerian analysis and provides details on Schenker's theories and references to literature and further online resources. The site is exemplary in every sense, and is even likely to be popular among students: it has a panic button for students who have exams coming up! The author has a gift for presenting information to the student who needs sensible, concise answers about a topic that is too often shrouded in complexity. But detail is not compromised and the why questions are discussed head-on, by a musicologist who clearly has a deep understanding of the field. The style and structure of the site provide a model for other potential fields of musical and technical learning."

Email address: I teach at Liverpool Hope University (@hope.ac.uk) and my address is 'pankhut' with that suffix.

Important note for students

If you quote or use anything from SchenkerGUIDE, please make sure you read our page on how to acknowledge your source correctly and avoid plagiarism.

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