Tonality (Fr. tonalité; Ger. Tonalität)
- Brian Hyer
A term first used by Choron in 1810 to describe the arrangement of the dominant and subdominant above and below the tonic and thus to differentiate the harmonic organization of modern music (tonalité moderne) from that of earlier music (tonalité antique). One of the main conceptual categories in Western musical thought, the term most often refers to the orientation of melodies and harmonies towards a referential (or tonic) pitch class. In the broadest possible sense, however, it refers to systematic arrangements of pitch phenomena and relations between them....