Rimsky-Korsakov wrote this book for his harmony students at the Imperial Chapel in St. Petersburg because of his dissatisfaction with other harmony methods of the time. His methodology in this book favors the establishment of a comprehensive foundation in tonal harmony (making it ideal as a pedagogic tool), over an exhaustive analysis of harmonic tendencies in Western music. The new edition of the Practical Manual of Harmony, re-issued more than one hundred years after its first printing, preserves the original content of the 1885 edition, yet adopts a new layout and design to better enhance its organization.
The book was a success in music programs at the end of the nineteenth century. Its content will produce equal success in the music programs of today and beyond.