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Applied Keyboard Harmony



Learn tonic-dominant chord progressions, basic turnarounds and chord inversions in all keys, while developing the ability to play standard tunes using those basic progressions in leadsheet format. This course prepares students for Jazz Piano I and is recommended for pianists with a classical background interested in breaking free of the printed page and learning how to interpret leadsheets as well as learning how to improvise. Handouts provided. Prerequisites: basic keyboard knowledge.

Saturdays 1:30 – 3 pm
7/14 – 8/18 (6 weeks)
Jeanne Walpole • $280




COURSE TITLE: Applied Keyboard Harmony

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Learn fundamental harmonic progressions (dominant/tonic; turnarounds and II – V7 – I), with an emphasis on 7th chords (and later 9th chords) in all major and minor keys; basic tune forms (AABA, ABAB) and how to analyze a lead sheet (key, form and harmonic progressions), while playing songs reflecting all concepts learned. Materials are presented in an active, hands-on fashion, aimed at liberating note-readers from the printed page. Handouts are provided by the instructor. This course prepares students for Jazz Piano I.

COURSE PREREQUISITES: basic keyboard knowledge.


Students will be able to do the following:

  • Play all the major scales (and some minor)
  • Harmonize each scale and a simple tune in each key with tonic and dominant
  • Learn to play diatonic turnarounds in most major keys
  • Apply typical modifications to the diatonic turnaround
  • Play several tunes from lead sheets
  • Play in major and minor keys

REQUIRED READING/MATERIALS: Handouts are provided by the instructor.


Week 1

Tonic/dominant 7th with scales in sharp keys

Harmonize and transpose simple tune

Week 2

Flat keys, tonic/dominant; simple tune in all keys

Week 3

Turnaround (I – vi – iimi7 – V7 – I), 7ths on all chords

play in C – G – F – Bb – Eb

Week 4

“Blue Moon” – AABA form

Analyze underlying harmonies in C, transpose to G

Week 5

AABA/turnarounds continued

“At Last”. II – V7 – I progression

Week 6

Common alterations to turnaround (VI as dom7b9) Form:ABAB

Tune: “Sometimes I’m Happy”




Jeanne Walpole (piano)

M.A. in Music Theory, San Francisco State U.; M.A. Studies in Piano Manhattan School of Music; B.A., Smith College: studied with Dick Hindman 1990–2003; Pianist, Nordstrom.

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