Toby Rush is my go-to-guy for music theory. He has really amazing one page crib notes on a variety of different topics. Everything is provided for free, though you can also purchase poster sizes. Whenever we have a big topic that needs to be condensed quickly, this is where I go. For example, we go through aaaaaaallll the rules of species counterpoint. Tones of memorisation. But then we glue in Toby Rush’s counterpoint crib sheet into our process journals for when it comes time to do stylistic techniques. Please do check out his site – it’s become my theory life-line!
“Merryman” is the name of the author, but I simply call the entire book that. When I did my masters at Boston University, this was on most course lists. It’s like a crib-sheet for theory, except it’s not pretty. It’s fast and efficient.
Need information fast? Grab Merryman. “Hey, is that a wrong note or is that a non-chord tone?” Merryman has a single paragraph that shows 5 types of non-chord tones, examples of each, and a table of how they are approached and left. “Okay, that’s an unusual appoggiatura. I’ll accept it. Let’s move on…” Book goes back on the shelf until the next emergency arises.
Cambridge’s Investigating Musical Styles
by Roy Bennett
It goes through each of the Western Art Music time periods with readings and listening exercises. At the end of each chapter, the students are then given popular and Global activities that are related. For example, in the Classical chapter, the students are asked to analyse Bohemian Rhapsody and then explain why it is in Sonata form. Qualifier: It doesn’t just ask them to do it – there are a series of questions and activities that lead students to realise it is in Sonata form. Great book.
World Sound Matters
by Jonathan Stock
This is a great way to prepare students for Section B. There is a student activity book, a transcriptions book, and a CD of all the music given (which is extensive). After doing the readings (cultural, historical and societal contexts!), the students are asked to listen only and to answer questions (Hello Section B of the exam!!!). Next, they are give the transcriptions with more questions. At the end, they are asked to compare and contrast some Element of Music with a different Global music found in the same book.
This is my go-to-book for Global music. The students do 1 Global music per week and we work our way through the book.
The only thing I don’t like about the book is that the teacher’s guide doesn’t come with an answer key, so there’s been many a time when the students are, amongst themselves, arguing over answers, and nothing really gets resolved.