Harmony

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Barbershop quartets, such as this US Navy group, sing 4-part pieces, made up of a melody line (normally the lead) and 3 harmony parts. US Navy 080615-N-7656R-003 Navy Band Northwest's Barbershop Quartet win the hearts of the audience with a John Philip Sousa rendition of.jpg
Barbershop quartets, such as this US Navy group, sing 4-part pieces, made up of a melody line (normally the lead) and 3 harmony parts.

In music, harmony is the process by which the composition of individual sounds, or superpositions of sounds, is analysed by hearing. Usually, this means simultaneously occurring frequencies, pitches (tones, notes), or chords. [1]

Music form of art using sound and silence

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Pitch (music) Perceptual property in music ordering sounds from low to high

Pitch is a perceptual property of sounds that allows their ordering on a frequency-related scale, or more commonly, pitch is the quality that makes it possible to judge sounds as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies. Pitch can be determined only in sounds that have a frequency that is clear and stable enough to distinguish from noise. Pitch is a major auditory attribute of musical tones, along with duration, loudness, and timbre.

Timbre quality of a musical note or sound or tone

In music, timbre, also known as tone color or tone quality, is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone. Timbre distinguishes different types of sound production, such as choir voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. It also enables listeners to distinguish different instruments in the same category.

Contents

The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. [2]

In a musical composition, a chord progression or harmonic progression is a succession of chords. Chord progressions are the foundation of harmony in Western musical tradition from the common practice era of Classical music to the 21st century. Chord progressions are the foundation of Western popular music styles and traditional music. In these genres, chord progressions are the defining feature on which melody and rhythm are built.

Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic line, or the "horizontal" aspect. [3]

Melody linear succession of musical tones in the foreground of a work of music

A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

Counterpoint, which refers to the relationship between melodic lines, and polyphony, which refers to the simultaneous sounding of separate independent voices, are thus sometimes distinguished from harmony.

Counterpoint relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent (exhibiting polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour

In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour. It has been most commonly identified in the European classical tradition, strongly developing during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period, especially in the Baroque. The term originates from the Latin punctus contra punctum meaning "point against point".

Polyphony

In music, polyphony is one type of musical texture, where a texture is, generally speaking, the way that melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic aspects of a musical composition are combined to shape the overall sound and quality of the work. In particular, polyphony consists of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords, which is called homophony.

In popular and jazz harmony, chords are named by their root plus various terms and characters indicating their qualities. In many types of music, notably baroque, romantic, modern, and jazz, chords are often augmented with "tensions". A tension is an additional chord member that creates a relatively dissonant interval in relation to the bass.

Jazz harmony Harmonic theories used in jazz

Jazz harmony is the theory and practice of how chords are used in jazz music. Jazz bears certain similarities to other practices in the tradition of Western harmony, such as many chord progressions, and the incorporation of the major and minor scales as a basis for chordal construction. In jazz, chords are often arranged vertically in major or minor thirds, although stacked fourths are also quite common. Also, jazz music tends to favor certain harmonic progressions and includes the addition of tensions, intervals such as 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths to chords. Additionally, scales unique to style are used as the basis of many harmonic elements found in jazz. Jazz harmony is notable for the use of seventh chords as the basic harmonic unit more often than triads, as in classical music. In the words of Robert Rawlins and Nor Eddine Bahha, "7th chords provide the building blocks of jazz harmony."

Root (chord) note after which a chord is named

In music theory, the concept of root is the idea that a chord can be represented and named by one of its notes. It is linked to harmonic thinking— the idea that vertical aggregates of notes can form a single unit, a chord. It is in this sense that one speaks of a "C chord" or a "chord on C"—a chord built from "C" and of which the note "C" is the root. When a chord is referred to in Classical music or popular music without a reference to what type of chord it is, it is assumed a major triad, which for C contains the notes C, E and G. The root need not be the bass note, the lowest note of the chord: the concept of root is linked to that of the inversion of chords, which is derived from the notion of invertible counterpoint. In this concept, chords can be inverted while still retaining their root.

Consonance and dissonance categorizations of simultaneous or successive sounds

In music, consonance and dissonance are categorizations of simultaneous or successive sounds. Consonance is associated with sweetness, pleasantness, and acceptability; dissonance is associated with harshness, unpleasantness, or unacceptability.

Typically, in the classical common practice period a dissonant chord (chord with tension) "resolves" to a consonant chord. Harmonization usually sounds pleasant to the ear when there is a balance between the consonant and dissonant sounds. In simple words, that occurs when there is a balance between "tense" and "relaxed" moments.

In the history of European art music, the common practice period is the era of the tonal system. Though it has no exact dates, most features of the common-practice period persisted from the mid- to late baroque period, through the Classical, Romantic and Impressionist periods, from around 1650 to 1900. The period saw considerable stylistic evolution, with some patterns and conventions flourishing and then declining, for example the Sonata form. Thus, the dates 1650–1900 are necessarily nebulous and arbitrary borders that depend on context. The most important unifying feature throughout the period is a harmonic language to which modern music theorists can apply Roman numeral chord analysis.

In music, harmonization is the chordal accompaniment to a line or melody: "Using chords and melodies together, making harmony by stacking scale tones as triads".

Etymology and definitions

The term harmony derives from the Greek ἁρμονίαharmonia, meaning "joint, agreement, concord", [4] [5] from the verb ἁρμόζωharmozō, "(Ι) fit together, join". [6] In the past, harmony often referred to the whole field of music, while music referred to the arts in general.[ citation needed ] In Ancient Greece, the term defined the combination of contrasted elements: a higher and lower note. [7] Nevertheless, it is unclear whether the simultaneous sounding of notes was part of ancient Greek musical practice; harmonía may have merely provided a system of classification of the relationships between different pitches.[ citation needed ] In the Middle Ages the term was used to describe two pitches sounding in combination, and in the Renaissance the concept was expanded to denote three pitches sounding together. [7] Aristoxenus wrote a work entitled Harmonika Stoicheia , which is thought the first work in European history written on the subject of harmony. [8]

Rameau's Traite de l'harmonie (Treatise on Harmony), 1722 Rameau Traite de l'harmonie.jpg
Rameau's Traité de l'harmonie (Treatise on Harmony), 1722

It was not until the publication of Rameau's Traité de l'harmonie (Treatise on Harmony) in 1722 that any text discussing musical practice made use of the term in the title, although that work is not the earliest record of theoretical discussion of the topic. The underlying principle behind these texts is that harmony sanctions harmoniousness (sounds that please) by conforming to certain pre-established compositional principles. [9]

Current dictionary definitions, while attempting to give concise descriptions, often highlight the ambiguity of the term in modern use. Ambiguities tend to arise from either aesthetic considerations (for example the view that only pleasing concords may be harmonious) or from the point of view of musical texture (distinguishing between harmonic (simultaneously sounding pitches) and "contrapuntal" (successively sounding tones). [9] In the words of Arnold Whittall:

While the entire history of music theory appears to depend on just such a distinction between harmony and counterpoint, it is no less evident that developments in the nature of musical composition down the centuries have presumed the interdependence—at times amounting to integration, at other times a source of sustained tension—between the vertical and horizontal dimensions of musical space. [9] [ page needed ]

The view that modern tonal harmony in Western music began in about 1600 is commonplace in music theory. This is usually accounted for by the replacement of horizontal (or contrapuntal) composition, common in the music of the Renaissance, with a new emphasis on the vertical element of composed music. Modern theorists, however, tend to see this as an unsatisfactory generalisation. According to Carl Dahlhaus:

It was not that counterpoint was supplanted by harmony (Bach’s tonal counterpoint is surely no less polyphonic than Palestrina’s modal writing) but that an older type both of counterpoint and of vertical technique was succeeded by a newer type. And harmony comprises not only the ("vertical") structure of chords but also their ("horizontal") movement. Like music as a whole, harmony is a process. [10] [9] [ page needed ]

Descriptions and definitions of harmony and harmonic practice may show bias towards European (or Western) musical traditions. For example, South Asian art music (Hindustani and Carnatic music) is frequently cited as placing little emphasis on what is perceived in western practice as conventional harmony; the underlying harmonic foundation for most South Asian music is the drone, a held open fifth interval (or fourth interval) that does not alter in pitch throughout the course of a composition. [11] Pitch simultaneity in particular is rarely a major consideration. Nevertheless, many other considerations of pitch are relevant to the music, its theory and its structure, such as the complex system of Rāgas, which combines both melodic and modal considerations and codifications within it. [12]

So, intricate pitch combinations that sound simultaneously do occur in Indian classical music—but they are rarely studied as teleological harmonic or contrapuntal progressions—as with notated Western music. This contrasting emphasis (with regard to Indian music in particular) manifests itself in the different methods of performance adopted: in Indian Music improvisation takes a major role in the structural framework of a piece, [13] whereas in Western Music improvisation has been uncommon since the end of the 19th century. [14] Where it does occur in Western music (or has in the past), the improvisation either embellishes pre-notated music or draws from musical models previously established in notated compositions, and therefore uses familiar harmonic schemes. [15]

Nevertheless, emphasis on the precomposed in European art music and the written theory surrounding it shows considerable cultural bias. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford University Press) identifies this clearly:

In Western culture the musics that are most dependent on improvisation, such as jazz, have traditionally been regarded as inferior to art music, in which pre-composition is considered paramount. The conception of musics that live in oral traditions as something composed with the use of improvisatory techniques separates them from the higher-standing works that use notation. [16]

Yet the evolution of harmonic practice and language itself, in Western art music, is and was facilitated by this process of prior composition, which permitted the study and analysis by theorists and composers of individual pre-constructed works in which pitches (and to some extent rhythms) remained unchanged regardless of the nature of the performance. [17]

Historical rules

Some traditions of Western music performance, composition, and theory have specific rules of harmony. These rules are often described as based on natural properties such as Pythagorean tuning's law whole number ratios ("harmoniousness" being inherent in the ratios either perceptually or in themselves) or harmonics and resonances ("harmoniousness" being inherent in the quality of sound), with the allowable pitches and harmonies gaining their beauty or simplicity from their closeness to those properties. This model provides that the minor seventh and (major) ninth are not dissonant (i.e., are consonant).[ citation needed ]

Early Western religious music often features parallel perfect intervals; these intervals would preserve the clarity of the original plainsong. These works were created and performed in cathedrals, and made use of the resonant modes of their respective cathedrals to create harmonies. As polyphony developed, however, the use of parallel intervals was slowly replaced by the English style of consonance that used thirds and sixths.[ when? ] The English style was considered to have a sweeter sound, and was better suited to polyphony in that it offered greater linear flexibility in part-writing.

Most harmony comes from two or more notes sounding simultaneously—but a work can imply harmony with only one melodic line by using arpeggios or hocket. Many pieces from the baroque period for solo string instruments—such as Bach's Sonatas and partitas for solo violin and cello—convey subtle harmony through inference rather than full chordal structures. These works create a sense of harmonies by using arpeggiated chords and implied bass lines. The implied basslines are created with low notes of short duration that many listeners perceive as being the bass note of a chord.[ citation needed ]

Example of implied harmonies in J.S. Bach's Cello Suite no. 1 in G, BWV 1007, bars 1-2.
Play (help*info)
or
Play harmony (help*info) Bach cello harmony.JPG
Example of implied harmonies in J.S. Bach's Cello Suite no. 1 in G, BWV 1007, bars 1–2. Loudspeaker.svg Play   or Loudspeaker.svg Play harmony  

Types

Close position C major triad.
Play (help*info) C triad.svg
Close position C major triad. Loudspeaker.svg Play  
Open position C major triad.
Play (help*info) C triad open position.svg
Open position C major triad. Loudspeaker.svg Play  

Carl Dahlhaus (1990) distinguishes between coordinate and subordinate harmony. Subordinate harmony is the hierarchical tonality or tonal harmony well known today. Coordinate harmony is the older Medieval and Renaissance tonalité ancienne, "The term is meant to signify that sonorities are linked one after the other without giving rise to the impression of a goal-directed development. A first chord forms a 'progression' with a second chord, and a second with a third. But the former chord progression is independent of the later one and vice versa." Coordinate harmony follows direct (adjacent) relationships rather than indirect as in subordinate. Interval cycles create symmetrical harmonies, which have been extensively used by the composers Alban Berg, George Perle, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, and Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5 .

Close harmony and open harmony use close position and open position chords, respectively. See: voicing (music) and close and open harmony.

Other types of harmony are based upon the intervals of the chords used in that harmony. Most chords in western music are based on "tertian" harmony, or chords built with the interval of thirds. In the chord C Major7, C–E is a major third; E–G is a minor third; and G to B is a major third. Other types of harmony consist of quartal and quintal harmony.

A unison is considered a harmonic interval, just like a fifth or a third, but is unique in that it is two identical notes produced together. The unison, as a component of harmony, is important, especially in orchestration. [7] In pop music, unison singing is usually called doubling, a technique The Beatles used in many of their earlier recordings. As a type of harmony, singing in unison or playing the same notes, often using different musical instruments, at the same time is commonly called monophonic harmonization.

Intervals

An interval is the relationship between two separate musical pitches. For example, in the melody Twinkle Twinkle Little Star , between the first two notes (the first "twinkle") and the second two notes (the second "twinkle") is the interval of a fifth. What this means is that if the first two notes were the pitch C, the second two notes would be the pitch "G"—four scale notes, or seven chromatic notes (a perfect fifth), above it.

The following are common intervals:

Root Major third Minor third Fifth
CEEG
DFFA
DFFA
EGGB
EGGB
FAAC
FAAC
GBBD
ACCE
ACCE
BDDF
BDDF

Therefore, the combination of notes with their specific intervals—a chord—creates harmony. For example, in a C chord, there are three notes: C, E, and G. The note C is the root. The notes E and G provide harmony, and in a G7 (G dominant 7th) chord, the root G with each subsequent note (in this case B, D and F) provide the harmony.

In the musical scale, there are twelve pitches. Each pitch is referred to as a "degree" of the scale. The names A, B, C, D, E, F, and G are insignificant. The intervals, however, are not. Here is an example:

CDEFGABC
DEFGABCD

As can be seen, no note always corresponds to a certain degree of the scale. The tonic, or 1st-degree note, can be any of the 12 notes (pitch classes) of the chromatic scale. All the other notes fall into place. For example, when C is the tonic, the fourth degree or subdominant is F. When D is the tonic, the fourth degree is G. While the note names remain constant, they may refer to different scale degrees, implying different intervals with respect to the tonic. The great power of this fact is that any musical work can be played or sung in any key. It is the same piece of music, as long as the intervals are the same—thus transposing the melody into the corresponding key. When the intervals surpass the perfect Octave (12 semitones), these intervals are called compound intervals, which include particularly the 9th, 11th, and 13th Intervals—widely used in jazz and blues Music.

Compound Intervals are formed and named as follows:

The reason the two numbers don't "add" correctly is that one note is counted twice. Apart from this categorization, intervals can also be divided into consonant and dissonant. As explained in the following paragraphs, consonant intervals produce a sensation of relaxation and dissonant intervals a sensation of tension. In tonal music, the term consonant also means "brings resolution" (to some degree at least, whereas dissonance "requires resolution").

The consonant intervals are considered the perfect unison, octave, fifth, fourth and major and minor third and sixth, and their compound forms. An interval is referred to as "perfect" when the harmonic relationship is found in the natural overtone series (namely, the unison 1:1, octave 2:1, fifth 3:2, and fourth 4:3). The other basic intervals (second, third, sixth, and seventh) are called "imperfect" because the harmonic relationships are not found mathematically exact in the overtone series. In classical music the perfect fourth above the bass may be considered dissonant when its function is contrapuntal. Other intervals, the second and the seventh (and their compound forms) are considered Dissonant and require resolution (of the produced tension) and usually preparation (depending on the music style).

Note that the effect of dissonance is perceived relatively within musical context: for example, a major seventh interval alone (i.e., C up to B) may be perceived as dissonant, but the same interval as part of a major seventh chord may sound relatively consonant. A tritone (the interval of the fourth step to the seventh step of the major scale, i.e., F to B) sounds very dissonant alone, but less so within the context of a dominant seventh chord (G7 or D7 in that example).

Chords and tension

In the Western tradition, in music after the seventeenth century, harmony is manipulated using chords, which are combinations of pitch classes. In tertian harmony, so named after the interval of a third, the members of chords are found and named by stacking intervals of the third, starting with the "root", then the "third" above the root, and the "fifth" above the root (which is a third above the third), etc. (Note that chord members are named after their interval above the root.) Dyads, the simplest chords, contain only two members (see power chords).

A chord with three members is called a triad because it has three members, not because it is necessarily built in thirds (see Quartal and quintal harmony for chords built with other intervals). Depending on the size of the intervals being stacked, different qualities of chords are formed. In popular and jazz harmony, chords are named by their root plus various terms and characters indicating their qualities. To keep the nomenclature as simple as possible, some defaults are accepted (not tabulated here). For example, the chord members C, E, and G, form a C Major triad, called by default simply a C chord. In an A chord (pronounced A-flat), the members are A, C, and E.

In many types of music, notably baroque, romantic, modern and jazz, chords are often augmented with "tensions". A tension is an additional chord member that creates a relatively dissonant interval in relation to the bass. Following the tertian practice of building chords by stacking thirds, the simplest first tension is added to a triad by stacking on top of the existing root, third, and fifth, another third above the fifth, giving a new, potentially dissonant member the interval of a seventh away from the root and therefore called the "seventh" of the chord, and producing a four-note chord, called a "seventh chord".

Depending on the widths of the individual thirds stacked to build the chord, the interval between the root and the seventh of the chord may be major, minor, or diminished. (The interval of an augmented seventh reproduces the root, and is therefore left out of the chordal nomenclature.) The nomenclature allows that, by default, "C7" indicates a chord with a root, third, fifth, and seventh spelled C, E, G, and B. Other types of seventh chords must be named more explicitly, such as "C Major 7" (spelled C, E, G, B), "C augmented 7" (here the word augmented applies to the fifth, not the seventh, spelled C, E, G, B), etc. (For a more complete exposition of nomenclature see Chord (music).)

Continuing to stack thirds on top of a seventh chord produces extensions, and brings in the "extended tensions" or "upper tensions" (those more than an octave above the root when stacked in thirds), the ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths. This creates the chords named after them. (Note that except for dyads and triads, tertian chord types are named for the interval of the largest size and magnitude in use in the stack, not for the number of chord members : thus a ninth chord has five members [tonic, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th], not nine.) Extensions beyond the thirteenth reproduce existing chord members and are (usually) left out of the nomenclature. Complex harmonies based on extended chords are found in abundance in jazz, late-romantic music, modern orchestral works, film music, etc.

Typically, in the classical Common practice period a dissonant chord (chord with tension) resolves to a consonant chord. Harmonization usually sounds pleasant to the ear when there is a balance between the consonant and dissonant sounds. In simple words, that occurs when there is a balance between "tense" and "relaxed" moments. For this reason, usually tension is 'prepared' and then 'resolved', [18] where preparing tension means to place a series of consonant chords that lead smoothly to the dissonant chord. In this way the composer ensures introducing tension smoothly, without disturbing the listener. Once the piece reaches its sub-climax, the listener needs a moment of relaxation to clear up the tension, which is obtained by playing a consonant chord that resolves the tension of the previous chords. The clearing of this tension usually sounds pleasant to the listener, though this is not always the case in late-nineteenth century music, such as Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner. [18]

Perception

Harmony is based on consonance, a concept whose definition has changed various times during the history of Western music. In a psychological approach, consonance is a continuous variable. Consonance can vary across a wide range. A chord may sound consonant for various reasons.

One is lack of perceptual roughness. Roughness happens when partials (frequency components) lie within a critical bandwidth, which is a measure of the ear's ability to separate different frequencies. Critical bandwidth lies between 2 and 3 semitones at high frequencies and becomes larger at lower frequencies. The roughness of two simultaneous harmonic complex tones depends on the amplitudes of the harmonics and the interval between the tones. The roughest interval in the chromatic scale is the minor second and its inversion the major seventh. For typical spectral envelopes in the central range, the second roughest interval is the major second and minor seventh, followed by the tritone, the minor third (major sixth), the major third (minor sixth) and the perfect fourth (fifth).

The harmonious major triad is composed of three tones. Their frequency ratio corresponds approximately 6:5:4. In real performances, however, the third is often larger than 5:4. The ratio 5:4 corresponds to an interval of 386 cents, but an equally tempered major third is 400 cents and a Pythagorean third with a ratio of 81:64 is 408 cents. Measurements of frequencies in good performances confirm that the size of the major third varies across this range and can even lie outside it without sounding out of tune. Thus, there is no simple connection between frequency ratios and harmonic function. Major triad.svg
The harmonious major triad is composed of three tones. Their frequency ratio corresponds approximately 6:5:4. In real performances, however, the third is often larger than 5:4. The ratio 5:4 corresponds to an interval of 386 cents, but an equally tempered major third is 400 cents and a Pythagorean third with a ratio of 81:64 is 408 cents. Measurements of frequencies in good performances confirm that the size of the major third varies across this range and can even lie outside it without sounding out of tune. Thus, there is no simple connection between frequency ratios and harmonic function.

The second reason is perceptual fusion. A chord fuses in perception if its overall spectrum is similar to a harmonic series. According to this definition a major triad fuses better than a minor triad and a major-minor seventh chord fuses better than a major-major seventh or minor-minor seventh. These differences may not be readily apparent in tempered contexts but can explain why major triads are generally more prevalent than minor triads and major-minor sevenths generally more prevalent than other sevenths (in spite of the dissonance of the tritone interval) in mainstream tonal music. Of course these comparisons depend on style.

The third reason is familiarity. Chords that have often been heard in musical contexts tend to sound more consonant. This principle explains the gradual historical increase in harmonic complexity of Western music. For example, around 1600 unprepared seventh chords gradually became familiar and were therefore gradually perceived as more consonant.

Western music is based on major and minor triads. The reason why these chords are so central is that they are consonant in terms of both fusion and lack of roughness. They fuse because they include the perfect fourth/fifth interval. They lack roughness because they lack major and minor second intervals. No other combination of three tones in the chromatic scale satisfies these criteria.

Consonance and dissonance in balance

Post-nineteenth century music has evolved in the way that tension may be less often prepared and less formally structured than in Baroque or Classical periods, thus producing new styles such as post-Romantic harmony, impressionism, pantonality, jazz and blues, where dissonance may not be prepared in the way seen in "common practice era" harmony. In a jazz or blues song, the tonic chord that opens a tune may be a dominant seventh chord. A jazz song may end on what in Classical music is a quite dissonant chord, such as an altered dominant chord with a sharpened eleventh note.[ citation needed ]

The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consistent and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only 'good guys' in it, or eating cottage cheese.

Frank Zappa, The Real Frank Zappa Book, page 181, Frank Zappa and Peter Occhiogrosso, 1990

See also

Related Research Articles

In music theory, an interval is the difference in pitch between two sounds. An interval may be described as horizontal, linear, or melodic if it refers to successively sounding tones, such as two adjacent pitches in a melody, and vertical or harmonic if it pertains to simultaneously sounding tones, such as in a chord.

In music theory, the tritone is defined as a musical interval composed of three adjacent whole tones. For instance, the interval from F up to the B above it is a tritone as it can be decomposed into the three adjacent whole tones F–G, G–A, and A–B. According to this definition, within a diatonic scale there is only one tritone for each octave. For instance, the above-mentioned interval F–B is the only tritone formed from the notes of the C major scale. A tritone is also commonly defined as an interval spanning six semitones. According to this definition, a diatonic scale contains two tritones for each octave. For instance, the above-mentioned C major scale contains the tritones F–B and B–F. In twelve-equal temperament, the tritone divides the octave exactly in half.

In music theory, a leading-note is a note or pitch which resolves or "leads" to a note one semitone higher or lower, being a lower and upper leading-tone, respectively. Typically, the leading tone refers to the seventh scale degree of a major scale, a major seventh above the tonic. In the movable do solfège system, the leading-tone is sung as ti.

Perfect fifth musical interval

In music theory, a perfect fifth is the musical interval corresponding to a pair of pitches with a frequency ratio of 3:2, or very nearly so.

In jazz and blues, a blue note is a note that—for expressive purposes—is sung or played at a slightly different pitch than standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chord's root. When not otherwise specified, a "seventh chord" usually means a dominant seventh chord: a major triad together with a minor seventh. However, a variety of sevenths may be added to a variety of triads, resulting in many different types of seventh chords.

Chord (music) harmonic set of three or more notes

A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of pitches consisting of multiple notes that are heard as if sounding simultaneously. For many practical and theoretical purposes, arpeggios and broken chords, or sequences of chord tones, may also be considered as chords.

Major chord chord having a root, a major third, and a perfect fifth; e.g. C–E–G or F–A–C

In music theory, a major chord is a chord that has a root, major third, and perfect fifth. When a chord has these three notes alone, it is called a major triad. For example, the major triad built on C, called a C major triad, has pitches C–E–G:

Minor chord chord having a root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth; e.g.  A–C–E or C–E♭–G

In music theory, a minor chord is a chord having a root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth. When a chord has these three notes alone, it is called a minor triad. For example, the minor triad built on C, called a C minor triad, has pitches C–E–G:

Thirteenth musical interval

In music or music theory, a thirteenth is the interval between the sixth and first scale degrees when the sixth is transposed up an octave, creating a compound sixth, or thirteenth. The thirteenth is most commonly major Play  or minor Play .

In music theory, a ninth chord is a chord that encompasses the interval of a ninth when arranged in close position with the root in the bass.

In music, a triad is a set of three notes that can be stacked vertically in thirds. The term "harmonic triad" was coined by Johannes Lippius in his Synopsis musicae novae (1612).

In music theory, a dominant seventh chord, or major minor seventh chord, is a seventh chord composed of a root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh. Thus it is a major triad together with a minor seventh, denoted by the letter name of the chord root and a superscript "7". An example is the dominant seventh chord built on G, written as G7, having pitches G–B–D–F:

Tritone substitution

The tritone substitution is one of the most common chord substitutions found in jazz and was the precursor to more complex substitution patterns like Coltrane changes. Tritone substitutions are sometimes used in improvisation—often to create tension during a solo. Though examples of the tritone substitution, known in the classical world as an augmented sixth chord, can be found extensively in classical music since the Renaissance period, they were not heard until much later in jazz by musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the 1940s, as well as Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and Benny Goodman.

Guitar chord set of notes played on a guitar

In music, a guitar chord is a set of notes played on a guitar. A chord's notes are often played simultaneously, but they can be played sequentially in an arpeggio. The implementation of guitar chords depends on the guitar tuning. Most guitars used in popular music have six strings with the "standard" tuning of the Spanish classical guitar, namely E-A-D-G-B-E' ; in standard tuning, the intervals present among adjacent strings are perfect fourths except for the major third (G,B). Standard tuning requires four chord-shapes for the major triads.

Interval vector

In musical set theory, an interval vector is an array of natural numbers which summarize the intervals present in a set of pitch classes. Other names include: ic vector, PIC vector and APIC vector

Diatonic and chromatic

Diatonic and chromatic are terms in music theory that are most often used to characterize scales, and are also applied to musical instruments, intervals, chords, notes, musical styles, and kinds of harmony. They are very often used as a pair, especially when applied to contrasting features of the common practice music of the period 1600–1900.

In music theory, the word inversion has distinct, but related, meanings when applied to intervals, chords, voices, and melodies. The concept of inversion also plays an important role in musical set theory.

References

Footnotes

  1. Malm, William P. (1996). Music Cultures of the Pacific, the Near East, and Asia, p. 15. ISBN   0-13-182387-6. Third edition. "Homophonic texture...is more common in Western music, where tunes are often built on chords (harmonies) that move in progressions. Indeed this harmonic orientation is one of the major differences between Western and much non-Western music."
  2. Dahlhaus, Car. "Harmony". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  3. Jamini, Deborah (2005). Harmony and Composition: Basics to Intermediate, p. 147. ISBN   1-4120-3333-0.
  4. '1. Harmony' The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology in English Language Reference accessed via Oxford Reference Online (24 February 2007)
  5. ἁρμονία . Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  6. ἁρμόζω  in Liddell and Scott.
  7. 1 2 3 Dahlhaus, Carl. "Harmony". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  8. Aristoxenus (1902). Harmonika Stoicheia (The Harmonics of Aristoxenus). Translated by Macran, Henry Stewart. Georg Olms Verlag. ISBN   3487405105. OCLC   123175755.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Whittall, Arnold (2002). "Harmony". In Latham, Alison (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Music.
  10. Carl Dahlhaus. "Harmony, §3: Historical development". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  11. Regula Qureshi. "India, §I, 2(ii): Music and musicians: Art music". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required) and Catherine Schmidt Jones, 'Listening to Indian Classical Music', Connexions, (accessed 16 November 2007)
  12. Harold S. Powers; Richard Widdess. "India, §III, 2: Theory and practice of classical music: Rāga". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  13. Harold S. Powers; Richard Widdess. "India, §III, 3(ii): Theory and practice of classical music: Melodic elaboration". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  14. Rob C. Wegman. "Improvisation, §II: Western art music". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  15. Robert D Levin. "Improvisation, §II, 4(i): The Classical period in Western art music: Instrumental music". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  16. Bruno Nettl. "Improvisation, §I, 2: Concepts and practices: Improvisation in musical cultures". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online . Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  17. See Whittall, 'Harmony'
  18. 1 2 Schejtman, Rod (2008). The Piano Encyclopedia's "Music Fundamentals eBook", pp. 20–43 (accessed 10 March 2009) PianoEncyclopedia.com

Citations

Further reading