Tonality –the key of the music. The piece will be built mainly from a particular scale. The tonality can be:
Major– a happy uplifting sound (play C-C to get used to the sound) Minor– a sad, more serious sound (play A-A, replacing the G with a G# to get used to the sound) Tonal – will have a sense of key/tonal centre. Atonal– music with no sense of fixed tonality/key. May sound rather ‘random’. Pentatonic– a five note scale. Often used in Chinese, African and Celtic Folk melodies Modal – came before scales. E.g. play D-D on the white notes-this is the Dorian mode. Often used in early music, folk and jazz. Whole tone – a scale made up of only whole tones. (Sounds quite mysterious – remember The Sea Music project from Year 8.) C, D, E, F#, G#, A#
Harmony– two or more notes of different pitch create harmony.
Chromatic- scale made up of semitones (smallest interval e.g. C-C#).
Diatonic harmony uses only the notes that belong to the major or minor keys.
Consonance- music/harmonies that sound nice (consonant).
Dissonance –clashing music/harmonies (dissonant).
Discords –harsh, dissonant sounding combination of notes.
Close harmony – where the notes are close together within the separate parts e.g. Barber shop singing
Drone –long held note, usually in the bass. Often 2 notes held together. Used a lot in Indian music.
Modulation –to change key/tonality. For example if the piece is in the key of C major you could modulate to the key of G major or A minor... It’s a good way of developing a piece of music. Stevie Wonder uses loads of modulation in his songs. Listen to ‘Golden Lady’ on you tube.
Tierce de Picardie – when a piece in a minor key finishes with a major chord
Cadences – a cadence is formed by the two chords that come at the end of a musical phrase:
Perfect cadence V-I. Sounds final and complete. Plagal cadence IV-I. Also sounds complete, but not as strong. Used for the “Amen” at the end of hymns. Imperfect cadence I -V. Unfinished feel to the music. Interrupted cadence V-VI. Your ears expect it to go to the tonic as in a perfect cadence, but instead it goes to the VI chord – so it is the surprise cadence!