The Student's Harmony by Orlando A. Mansfield.
Written in 1896 by Dr Mansfield, this book was intended to give the music student a knowledge of chord construction and progression. The first edition quickly sold out and several editions were subsequently published by A Weekes & Co, Ltd of London.
The extract below is from the fifteenth edition and was priced Ten Shillings Net.
Having no wish whatever to add to the defects of this little work by the insertion of the orthodox apologetical preface, the Author proposes to confine himself, in the limited space allowed him, to a short explanation of the purpose, style, and theory of THE STUDENTíS HARMONY.
As implied by its title, the book is essentially designed for students; but, while primarily intended to ensure success in examination work, it claims to be equally adapted to give the student a knowledge of chord construction and progression sufficient to enable him to analyse the harmonic structure of the classics, and to solve the problems contained in some of the finer progressions of the great masters.
In style, while endeavouring to avoid the Scylla of pedantry, every effort has been made not to fall into the Charybdis of superficiality, remembering that a studentís harmony should be instructive first and readable afterwards. The divisions into sections and the frequent use of cross references will, it is hoped, be of immense service in refreshing the memory as to the meaning of the terms employed in the text, and removing the difficulties which may occur in the working of the exercises. In the latter there has been no attempt at originality; only an honest effort to acquaint the student with ordinary harmonic progressions. Nor should the exercises be regarded as models of musical composition, the idea of the writer being to introduce therein as many examples as possible of the particular chord or chords to which the chapters preceding the various exercises are devoted. The original examples occurring in the text apply almost exclusively to vocal harmony, it being believed that after the acquisition of this art the student will find no great difficulty in writing under the freer conditions of instrumental music. A series of selected illustrations, numbering over 400, has also been inserted, in the compilation of which every effort has been made in the direction of eclecticism, the examples being cited less as authorities than as proofs that the rules laid down in this work are based upon the practice of all good classical and modern composers. For quotations from his own humble contributions to musical literature the Author makes no apology. These examples are simply inserted to show the student how a fellow student has endeavoured to carry out the rules he suggests for the guidance of others. In all cases preference has been given to examples illustrating as simply and concisely as practicable the chord or progression under discussion, and containing as few chords as possible which, at that particular stage of his progress, must be unfamiliar to the student. The connection should in all cases be consulted, and efforts made to discover similar illustrations to those given in the text. Those assigned to the appendix are considered of secondary importance, or contain instances of exceptional treatment or progression. The hints upon the harmonisation of melody form another special feature of the work, and one which has been lamentably neglected in several larger and more pretentious text books. Finally, the questions at the end of each chapter are designed to assist both teacher and student in preparing for examinations in the theory and practice of harmony.
The theory adopted in this work is one which - subject to the modifications dictated by increased knowledge and observation - the Author adopted many years ago, at a time when the student had not access to so many excellent manuals as are now to be obtained. This theory, despite its want of originality, he has been using with more or less success ever since, and it is satisfactory to find that it is in general agreement with the works of Macfarren, Prout, and others. Ignoring any scientific basis, it leaves the student perfectly free to accept any other system upon which his private judgement may ultimately decide, and its adoption in the present work is entirely due to the fact that it is convenient, and can be made to satisfactorily explain the harmonic progressions of the great composers. Beyond this no system of harmony should be required to go.
Orlando A. Mansfield