tonality

tonalitive, adj.
/toh nal"i tee/, n., pl. tonalities.
1. Music.
a. the sum of relations, melodic and harmonic, existing between the tones of a scale or musical system.
b. a particular scale or system of tones; a key.
2. (in painting, graphics, etc.) the system of tones or tints, or the color scheme, of a picture.
3. the quality of tones.
[1830-40; TONAL + -ITY]

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Organization of music around a single pitch; more specifically, the Western system of keys that grew out of the modal music of the Renaissance in the 17th century.

The term is often used to refer to the network of relationships implicit in the seven principal tones of a given key, each of which has the potential to become the tonic temporarily by means of modulation, whereby a new network of relationships arises. Because of its capacity to extend pitch relationships to remote lengths in an audibly comprehensible way, the tonal system permits the composition of music of great complexity.

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music
      in music, principle of organizing musical compositions around a central note, the tonic. Generally, any Western or non-Western music periodically returning to a central, or focal, tone exhibits tonality. More specifically, tonality refers to the particular system of relationships between notes, chords (chord), and keys (sets of notes and chords) that dominated most Western music from c. 1650 to c. 1900 and that continues to regulate much music.

      Sometimes called major–minor tonality, this system uses the notes of the major and minor scales (which are diatonic scales—i.e., comprise five whole tones and two semitones) plus optional auxiliary, or chromatic, notes as the raw material with which to build melodies and chords. Within each key there is a specific hierarchy of strong and weak relationships of notes and chords both to the keynote, or tonic note, and to the chord built on that note, the tonic chord. Different keys are also closely or remotely related to the principal, or tonic, key.

      In this system of tonal relations, the notes and chords within a given key can create tension or resolve it as they move away from or toward the tonic note and chord. Likewise, any modulation or movement away from the tonic key creates tensions that may then be resolved by modulation back to the tonic. The potential for contrast and tension inherent in the chord and key relationships of tonality became the basis for 18th-century musical forms such as the sonata.

      Tonality is sometimes used as a synonym for the closely related concept of key. See also chord; key.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tonality — ist ein Begriff aus dem Bereich der Kommunikation. Tonality ist ein Teil der Werbebotschaft, der über Stil und Atmosphäre an den Empfänger vermittelt wird. Die Tonality für den Werbetext, also den verbalen Teil der Werbung, wird oft tone of voice …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tonality — To*nal i*ty, n. [Cf. F. tonalit[ e].] (Mus.) The principle of key in music; the character which a composition has by virtue of the key in which it is written, or through the family relationship of all its tones and chords to the keynote, or tonic …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tonality — index intonation Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tonality — (n.) 1824; see TONAL (Cf. tonal) + ITY (Cf. ity) …   Etymology dictionary

  • tonality — ► NOUN (pl. tonalities) 1) the character of a piece of music as determined by the key in which it is played or the relations between the notes of a scale or key. 2) the use of conventional keys and harmony as the basis of musical composition. 3)… …   English terms dictionary

  • tonality — [tō nal′ə tē] n. pl. tonalities 1. quality of tone 2. Art the color scheme of a painting 3. Music a) in composition, the organization of tones around a central or pivotal tone or pitch class b) in music based on the major minor system, KEY …   English World dictionary

  • Tonality — This article is about the musical system. For linguistic feature, see Tone (linguistics). Perfect authentic cadence (IV64 V7 I progression) in C   …   Wikipedia

  • tonality — UK [təʊˈnælətɪ] / US [toʊˈnælətɪ] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms tonality : singular tonality plural tonalities 1) music the use of a particular key for writing a piece of music 2) art the range of colours used in a painting …   English dictionary

  • tonality — tonalità ит. [тоналита/] Tonalität нем. [тоналитэ/т] tonalité фр. [тоналитэ/] tonality англ. [тоунэ/лити] тональность …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • tonality — [[t]toʊnæ̱lɪti[/t]] tonalities N VAR Tonality is the presence of a musical key in a piece of music. [TECHNICAL] …   English dictionary

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