Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



This Thesis is designed to show that the natural tendencies of the diatonic scale dictate a simple technique of harmony, technique herein presented has as its foundation already accepted principles and factors. In spite of the simplicity of this technique, it will be shown to be more efficient than some techniques of harmony commonly used.

In this work the concern will be with the music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, commonly called the "harmonic period. The materials used are the major and minor scales of this period, and the chords derived there from.

The presentation of the technique will be first, by setting forth a principle from which rules will be extracted; second, by examples that will show practical application of these rules. A comparison of the technique with that of Walter Piston, will be made to show the efficiency of this technique in reaching the common objective. Supporting information from other recognized theorists will be used. Piston's technique is used for comparison, because his text was used in the harmony classes at Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College when I began this paper, and it follows the line of the most conventional technique. Finally, a comparative study by analysis will be made of a Bach Chorale, using the methods of analysis of Donald Tweedy, Walter Piston, and that of the Diatonic Technique.

Committee Chair/Advisor

R. von Charlton

Committee Member

R. von Charlton


Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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