Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this study was to determine the status of keyboard harmony in NASM-Approved colleges and universities in the eleven states in the Southern Division of MENC. Most music educators recognize the importance of keyboard harmony in the college music curriculum. However, much controversy appears to exist as to the position keyboard harmony should occupy at the college level. Music educators disagree as to whether keyboard harmony should be taught in the theory class, piano class, and/or as a separate course. Questionnaires were mailed to the 124 schools which met the above delimitations, of which 70 percent were usable responses. The questions were designed to investigate the theory class, piano class, and keyboard harmony course, since related literature revealed the teaching of keyboard harmony to be restricted primarily to those areas. The results revealed that approximately one-fourth of the schools offered a separate keyboard harmony course. Most of these schools offered it for four semesters for one credit hour per semester and required it for all music majors. The majority of these schools had a relatively small college enrollment, indicating that perhaps keyboard harmony is more successfully taught in smaller classes. A wide variety of keyboard harmony, class piano, and theory textbooks were reported in use for this course. Non-piano music majors at most schools were required to take class piano and to pass a proficiency examination. The items most frequently required on this examination in order from highest to lowest were the following: sightreading; harmonization; scales; memorized pieces; transposition; accompaniment; cadences; improvisation; non-memorized pieces; score-reading; and broken chords and arpeggios. Most schools taught at least some elements of keyboard harmony in both piano and theory classes. These items were required in over 60 percent of theory classes: intervals, major and minor triads in root position, chord inversions, and cadences. These items were required in over 60 percent of piano classes: scales, transposition, sightreading, cadences, harmonization of melodies with I IV V, accompaniments, and harmonization of melodies with all studied chords.