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Instructor Anthony Johnson
Course Music 100
 Tonality
 The organization of all the tones and harmonies of a piece of music in
relation to a a single dominating pitch tone called the tonic.
 Remember that all these pitch's being used always seem to continually lean
toward the tonic pitch throughout the musical piece.
 Tonal
 This relates, or utilizes the diatonic system; having an established key.
 Atonal
 Marked by avoidance of traditional musical tonality; especially : organized
without reference to key or tonal center and using the tones of the chromatic
scale impartially.
 Tonal Examples
 The Royal Fireworks CD 2 Tr. 9
 Bejing opera CD 5 Tr. 39
 Atonal Examples
 Pierrot Lunaire CD 5 Tr. 27
 Poeme electronique CD 6 Tr. 22
 Major
 A major mode can be thought of as a way of manipulating the notes of
a major or diatonic scale in order to generate a greater variety of sounds.
 This is basically another name for the term scale.
 Minor
 A minor mode can be thought of as a way of manipulating the
notes of a minor or chromatic scale in order to also generate a an
even wider variety of sounds.
 Once again this too is another name for the term minor scale.
Play example
 Modality
This term refers to the different ways we center and
organize the use of our diatonic scales.
 Examples Major Mode
 Appalachian Springs CD 6 Tr. 15
 Rent CD 1 2:13 into Tr. 23
 Example Minor Mode
 Erlkonig CD 3 Tr 22
 Sym. # 1 CD 5 Tr. 5
 Keys
 In music a key is the major or minor scale around which a piece of music
revolves. A song in a major key is based on a major scale. A song in a minor
key is based on a minor scale.
 A song played in the ‘key of C major’ revolves around the seven notes of
the C major scale – C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That means the fundamental
notes making up the song’s melody, chords, and bassline are all derived
from that group of notes.
 Similarly, a piece of music can be in a minor key and revolve around a natural
minor scale. For example, a song in the ‘key of D minor’ uses the notes of the
D minor scale – D, E, F, G, A, Bb, and C.
 Modulation
 This aspect of music is most commonly the act or process of changing from
one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another.
 Example
 Alexander Nevsky CD 5 Tr. 36-37
Which mode is formed when when using the diatonic scale
orientated around A?
Which mode is formed with the diatonic scale orientated
around C?
When a piece of music changes from one key to another
is called?