Definition of tonal in English:
1Of or relating to the tone of music, color, or writing: his ear for tonal color the poem’s tonal lapses
More example sentences
- The gorgeous tonal colors of this music have rarely glistened so brightly!
- She manages beautifully subtle shifts in tempo without crossing over into the soupy, and she applies a large palette of tonal color tastefully.
- The Schubert was likewise a weaving of wonderful tonal colors and pianistic power.
1.1Of or relating to music written using conventional keys and harmony.
- This makes it difficult for contemporary composers to write interesting new tonal music without evoking a film score of some sort.
- This process could not go on indefinitely, and in 1908 Schoenberg made the break into atonality, abandoning the attempt to fit atonal harmonies into tonal forms.
- Add to that the fact that I love Massenet because his music is tonal and well harmonised, and you have some idea of my style.
1.2 Phonetics (Of a language) expressing semantic differences by varying the intonation given to words or syllables of a similar sound.
- Chinese is a tonal language: words are differentiated not just by sounds but by whether the intonation is rising or falling.
- The point of a talking drum is to make noises which sound like words spoken in a tonal language - like Yoruba.
- Also, Chinese is a tonal language, which means that words change meaning depending on whether they're said with a rising tone, falling tone, falling then rising, or flat.
- Example sentences
- This is an aspect that sometimes I miss in Mahler performances and it matters greatly, because Mahler's music is sometimes tonally anchored and sometimes tonally disorientated.
- The Reeve, the Shipman, and the Merchant's Tales are in a similar vein, although tonally they are all quite different.
- I've always been frustrated by the ending we saw in the cinema, which strikes me as tonally appropriate, but utterly unconvincing.