Harmony is based on how the notes sound in relation with other notes.
All this happens within a Tonality of Modality and in Western Music also within a chord progression.
As we will see at the end of this unit, this not only happens with pitches, but also with form and rhythms, with ensembles and intensities.
There are three tonal areas: tonic, Subdominant and Dominant.
The Subdominant Area is so weak that we can practically reduce the number of Areas to Tonic and Dominant. Or what is the same; stability and tension.
Imagine a system where the gravitational center is in the Tonic. All Music will tend to that note-chord.
If in a composition Tonic is maintained all along, the sound of that Music would tired the ears of the listeners, so it is necessary to create tension. This will produce a relief when Music returns to Tonic and the Dominant part would be the interesting part of the piece.
There are kinds of Music such as chamber and symphonic Music and Jazz that make the Dominant Area the Queen of the sonic adventure.
Each major Tonic has a relative minor and each Major scale has a parallel Minor scale.
This first Minor Relative is what in 'Classical' Music is called Major key and Minor key.
If we extend this concept, any major chord can have a relative minor and any tonal area (based on major chords) can have a parallel with the other two (major or minor).
The major scale generates six other major and minor scales. If we extend those scales and chords, we have other modalities that can be associated to Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant.
For every Leading-tone we create to go to an specific chord, we open another modal complex, so this process is an extension of the Tonality, but always within the Dominant Area.
If music is reduced to three harmonic areas (knowing the weak possition fo the Subdominant area), Music can be written by arranging and shuffling them, having the following permutations:
There is not only harmony on pitches. Any other Music element has proportions and therefore can be harmonious. For example, the Musical Form usually have a number of bars that are multiple of each other.
There is harmony in the way of setting the musical ensembles with instruments that together work better.
More examples of harmony applied to other Musical elements we can find in intensity. Like in any painting, proportion and the range of 'colors' is a key element and Music uses this harmonic proportions to create harmonious layers of sound.
Rhythm is also harmonic. The ratios between the rhythmic figures and the rhythmic 'cells' of a melody are consistent with the structure of the phrase.
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