Reviews of The Lost Chord

What makes this tutor special is the didactic and methodical concept ... Taylor does justice to his claim. The book is clear and easy to use for a player with sufficient keyboard ability. (De Orgelvriend, the Netherlands)

A notable aspect is that explanation of the theory is accompanied by clarification of its musical significance. That is not always the case in books on music theory ... Those who wish to know why certain harmonic progressions sound healthy and others do not, and those who perhaps dream of composing something themselves, can benefit greatly from this book. (Akkoord, the Netherlands)

The Lost Chord is the way for all amateur organists and student organists to master the harmonisation of hymns and other melodies. Highly recommended! (Het Orgel, the Netherlands)

One would really wish that every conservatory student should have the opportunity to explore harmonisation à la Taylor ... It is a fact that many a student is familiar with all sorts of altered chords while still not able to harmonise a simple melody well ... The book contains many separate cadence and sequence exercises and frequent transpositions; in the meantime the user also becomes proficient in basso continuo and simple improvisations based on harmonic schemes ... I am convinced that this multiform approach is excellent ... For conservatory students it would be an ideal preparation for their main course. (Dutch Journal of Music Theory)

A particular strength is that the many exercises give a feel for using certain chords in different ways; it is not teaching by theory alone but by musical practice ... It is a highly recommended tutor. (Sunday by Sunday, Royal School of Church Music, UK)

'It is for the player to embark on a voyage of discovery, and for the teacher to offer guidance.' This single sentence from Stephen Taylor's superb new textbook (the sentiment expressed might almost be from Schumann's Musical Rules for the Young) encapsulates the refreshingly encouraging approach of this excellent new primer. Keyboard harmony only becomes the Very Difficult Thing which so many players perceive it to be when it's divorced from the continuum of musical thought and practice of which it forms an entirely natural part. The Lost Chord – with its roots firmly planted in the Dutch tradition of improvisation in the liturgy – adopts an admirably pragmatic approach to skills which too often become obscured in theorising ...
At every step, pertinent examples (largely drawn from familiar hymnody) reinforce the principles under discussion, fully supported by cogent written explanations and helpful cross-referencing to material already covered ...A particularly impressive aspect ... is the way in which the student is encouraged to analyse the aural effect of given progressions and procedures ...
The sense of natural progression continues in the final volume. Developing concepts of figuration, more complex modulation schemes, and introducing passing and auxiliary notes lead the student towards more sophisticated realisations of material from earlier volumes – an entirely logical recapitulation, which will reinforce a sense of progress and achievement. Schumann said: 'Theory, thorough bass, counterpoint etc will meet you friendly enough, if you meet them so.' And so will harmonisation. This new tutor makes a fundamental keyboard skill as friendly as it could possibly be, and everyone concerned with teaching keyboard harmony at any level will find it an entirely worthwhile – not to say thought-provoking – investment. (Choir & Organ, UK)

The text is very clear, well laid out and easy to follow ... the many exercises allow the user plenty of opportunity to develop and write down his or her own creative solutions. In my opinion The Lost Chord does an excellent job of bridging the chasm between head knowledge of harmonies etc ... and the frequent inability [of organ students] to improvise anything other than a passing-note or two in the bass line of a well-known hymn. I look forward to making use of this excellent resource with some of my own students at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the very near future. (Journal of the Organ Music Society of Sydney, Australia).