Tonality - Characteristics and Features

Characteristics and Features

The tonal system prevalent in what we know as the common-practice period is usually known as major-minor, or functional tonality. In functional tonality, chords have a harmonic or tonal function, which we can define as the relationship of a chord with the other chords in the key, and especially its relationship with the tonic. We usually label the specific functions of chords with Roman numerals. The basic harmonic functions are tonic (I), dominant (V), and predominant (IV).

David Cope (1997,) considers key, consonance and dissonance (or relaxation and tension, respectively), and hierarchical relationships to be the three most basic concepts in tonality.

Carl Dahlhaus (1990,) lists the characteristics schemata of tonal harmony, "typified in the compositional formulae of the 16th and early 17th centuries," as the "complete cadence" (vollständige Kadenz): I-IV-V-I; I-IV-I-V-I; or I-ii-V-I; the circle of fifths progression: I-IV-vii°-iii-vi-ii-V-I; and the "major-minor parallelism": minor: v-i-VII-III equals major: iii-vi-V-I; or minor: III-VII-i-v equals major: I-V-vi-iii.

Other scales or modes are often introduced for variety within the context of a major-minor tonal system without disturbing the diatonic nature of the work. The major scale predominates, and the melodic minor contains nine pitches (seven with two alterable). The seven basic notes of a scale are notated in the key signature, and whether the piece is in the major or minor key is either stated in the title or implied in the piece (there is a major and minor key for each key signature).

Other important scales include the blues scale, the whole tone scale, the pentatonic scale, and the chromatic scale. As these are not the major or minor diatonic scales, music written exclusively with them is not tonal by the definition above.

Chords are built primarily from notes of a diatonic scale, or secondarily from chromatic notes treated as variations or embellishments of the basic scale. The identity of the scale is important, as the size of the steps between notes are used to determine the system of chord relationships.

Read more about this topic:  Tonality

Other articles related to "characteristics, characteristics and features":

Gary Becker - Discrimination
... Discrimination as defined by Kenneth Arrow is "the valuation in the market place of personal characteristics of the worker that are unrelated to worker productivity." Personal characteristics can be ...
Tonality - Characteristics and Features - Consonance and Dissonance
... Traditional tonal music is described in terms of a scale of notes, upon which are built chords ... Chords in order form progressions, which establish or deny a particular chord as being the tonic chord ...
Orion (constellation) - Characteristics
... There are alternative ways to visualise Orion ... From the Southern Hemisphere, Orion is oriented south-upward, and the belt and sword are sometimes called the saucepan or pot in Australia and New Zealand ...
Democratic Party – - History - Characteristics
... In 2001, these frictions - combined with the prospect of a devastating defeat in the upcoming election - led to an exodus of conservative and liberal conservative members around Tusk who joined former members of the UW's senior coalition partner, the conservative Solidarity Electoral Action, to form the new party Civic Platform. ...

Famous quotes containing the word features:

    However much we may differ in the choice of the measures which should guide the administration of the government, there can be but little doubt in the minds of those who are really friendly to the republican features of our system that one of its most important securities consists in the separation of the legislative and executive powers at the same time that each is acknowledged to be supreme, in the will of the people constitutionally expressed.
    Andrew Jackson (1767–1845)