In search of the lost chord: reclaiming the element of harmony in contemporary music
Mitchell, A 2005, 'In search of the lost chord: reclaiming the element of harmony in contemporary music', in P de Vries (ed.), Australian Association for Research in Music Education: proceedings of the XXVIIth Annual Conference, 24-27 September, Sydney, NSW, AARME, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 98-105. ISBN: 0958608687
Published version available from
The significance and influence of the musical element of harmony, though fundamental to the aesthetic identity of many musical styles which developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, appears to be greatly reduced in many forms of contemporary music. Contemporary music genres such as hip-hop and grunge are notable for a reduction in harmonic vocabulary and complexity. However, other forms of popular music integral to contemporary music such as film scoring, and stage band performance require highly developed harmonic knowledge. This paper addresses aesthetic and pedagogical issues involved in fostering in beginning contemporary musicians, an understanding of, and respect for, advanced harmonic knowledge.