Mr. Spindler, Harmonic Blocking, and Musical Minds

At first glance, Spindler’s two Preludes in G present a flurry of eighth notes—first in the treble line, then the bass line. However, if we look through our “theory glasses,” patterns emerge!

This video explains how grouping the 8th notes into chords allows us to see the harmonic structure of each phrase. Harmonic blocking is part of a keen “musical mind” and informs our practice, allows us to improvise, and maybe even compose our own little prelude.

To engage our musical minds, we invite you to explore harmonic blocking in the “Two Preludes” by Fritz Spindler on page 23 of Piano Literature Book 1. You’ll discover more opportunities for this exercise in the “Little Prelude” and “Melody for Left Hand” by Ludwig Schytte on pages 20 and 22. Or in the famous “Prelude in C” in Piano Adventures® Level 4 Lesson Book, page 52.

“Block for success” and thanks for watching!

2 Responses to “Mr. Spindler, Harmonic Blocking, and Musical Minds”

  1. Betty Roath December 5, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    I’ve used this idea many times. It’s interesting to see their eyes light up when they see how simple it really is and they say “oh,I see now how it works.”

  2. Heidi Neal December 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    I love how you specifically explain how blocking can help students analyze how to play more expressively and notice areas of tension and resolution! I hand over the pencil to my students often to have them color chords, and I loved doing this is a child in my Czerny exercises. Chunking definitely makes reading more fluent.