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Part II Combinations of Materials to Create Tonality, Scales, Key Signatures, Intervals, and Triads Chapter Six Introduction to the Tonal Center Tonal Center (Tonality) Organized in scales, with key signatures that show immediately what tonal materials can be expected in a piece of music and placed together simultaneously to produce intervals or chords Chords Three or more pitches sounded concurrently. A triad is a three note chord whose members are three notes apart. Tonality The tonic, or note that serves as a tonal center, exercises a strong pull on the other tones used with it. Moving away from the tonic produces a somewhat restless feeling, whereas arrival at the tonal center gives a sense of relaxation and stability. The organization of music around a tonal center is called tonality. Scales and Tonality The notes that are used with any given tone to create the feeling that is the tonal center must be chosen with care. When these tones are arranged in alphabetical order within the octave of the tonal center, the result is a scale. The tonal center (tonic) is always the first and last note of the scale in the well-known modern scales, major and minor. Can Tonality Be Avoided? Some music of the twentieth century avoids creating the feeling of a tonal center by using all the twelve chromatic tones in a prearranged order that does not lay particular emphasis on any one pitch in the composition as a whole. This method of composing is based on a twelvetone row rather than on a scale. Music that avoids the feelings of a tonal center by this means or by any other means is said to be atonal. Most electronic music does not use a tonal center.