Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Peace, Love, and HARMONY

In the Middle Ages the concept of harmony referred to two notes, and in the Renaissance to three notes, sounding simultaneously. To sum up pages 379 to 382 in The Harvard Dictionary of Music Fourth Edition edited by Don Randel, harmony is the relationship between two or more pitches that when played simultaneously create chords or chord progressions. Harmonic motion is made up of chords in succession. A chord is a harmonic unit with at least three different tones sounding simultaneously.

Whereas harmonic tones are the chord tones: root, third, or fifth, nonharmonic tones are dissonant and create intervals of a second, fourth, or seventh. Diminished or augmented intervals are also considered dissonant. Passing tones, escape tones, and suspensions are a few examples of nonharmonic tones.