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tonality

Syllabification: to·nal·i·ty
Pronunciation: /tōˈnalədē
 
/

Definition of tonality in English:

noun (plural tonalities)

1The character of a piece of music as determined by the key in which it is played or the relations between the notes of a scale or key.
Example sentences
  • In music, melody and tonality became old-fashioned, and the twelve tone row and atonality reigned supreme in ‘serious’ composition.
  • After all, you have tonality in modal music; you have tonality in folk music that has nothing to do with the triadic system.
  • A similar sensitivity to tonality permeates his music today.
1.1The harmonic effect of being in a particular key: the first bar would seem set to create a tonality of C major
More example sentences
  • The Adagio section has some lush, fluorescent sounds, in which Schoenberg flirts with major tonalities and then destroys them.
  • While some tonalities require the use of black keys, no key signatures are employed.
  • At the very end of the piece, in a very contemporary strategy, the perfect fourth yields to a tritone, C-#, thereby obscuring an unambiguous closure in an enriched tonality of D major.
1.2The use of conventional keys and harmony as the basis of musical composition.
Example sentences
  • Bartok was a radical, even in the early piano music he was experimenting with conventional harmonies and tonality.
  • This 35-minute symphony in one movement could hardly be more serious, and it finds the composer embracing tonality and convention in a manner that would have been unthinkable to him twenty years earlier.
  • This is one of those few works in which Rodrigo chose to set aside conventional tonality; the results are not difficult for the average listener to enjoy, however.
2The color scheme or range of tones used in a picture.
Example sentences
  • Its semi-finished state and near monochrome, cold blue tonality indicate that it is a surviving design for the relief.
  • On the other hand, if large amounts of well-preserved authentic paint are obscured, it is usually worthwhile revealing them and regaining the tonality of the original colours.
  • The larger canvases in the series ‘The Sky is Crying’ are predominantly dark in tonality.

Definition of tonality in:

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