Music Theory AQA - Harmony and Tonality (Area of Study Two)

Harmony and Tonality (AoS2) Definitions

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 03-04-12 15:11



Two parts of music harmonise when they go well together

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Major - Sounds happy

Minor - Sounds sad

Modal - old fashioned scales based on 7 consecutive white notes - starting on any white note (early folk songs)

Dominant 7th - Built up on the dominant chord with notes of a 3rd, 5th or 7th note above the root

Indentification of Keys - 1-2 #'s and b's

Modulation - To dominant in major or minor (relative major or minor)

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Diatonic and Chromatic

Diatonic and Chromatic

Diatonic:  Harmony using notes from the same scale


Chromatic:  Uses all the black and white notes in order, up or down

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Consonant and Dissonant

Consonant and Dissonant

Consonant: Pleasant sounding


Dissonant:  Clashes (often used to create suspense or tension)

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Pedal Note and Drone

Pedal Note and Drone

Pedal Note: Sustained (held) or repeated whilst the harmonies change


Drone: Usually in bass instruments - it can be just one note (like a pedal note) but it oftern has two notes played at the same time (like the bagpipes). Used in folk ad Indian music

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Perfect - Full Close, chord 5 to chord 1

Imperfect - Half Close, any chord to chord 5

Plagal - Full Stop, chord 6 to chord 1

Interrupted - Suprise Cadence, chord 5 to chord 6

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