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Common practice tonality

From about 1600 to 1900, Western music embraced a harmonic language that has come to be called “ Common Practice tonality .” Around the turn of the 20th century, progressive composers such as Claude Debussy , Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky moved away from traditional tonality ; the result was a breakdown in Common Practice that continues to this day. In most of “ Sound Reasoning ,” we have studied music as an abstract artform, with generalized principles that apply to any style or era. Harmony, however, is rooted in style: The way harmony behaves in a classical work—what it can say and how it says it-- is different from how it does so in an avant-garde twentieth century work. Because Common Practice tonality underlies the Western classical tradition and has proven to be so influential, our study of harmony begins here.

The major-minor contrast

The contrast between the Major and minor modes is the harmonic foundation of Western classical music.

Major:

minor:

To composers of the Common Practice era, everything about human experience --love and loss, triumph and calamity, private reflection and public proclamations, the material and the spiritual, the civilized and the wild—could be expressed either in Major or minor . In the twentieth century, avant-garde composers went beyond this duality. But, throughout the classical era, the entire musical universe consisted almost exclusively of music in Major or minor . For this reason, recognizing the difference between music in Major and minor is vital to hearing Common Practice harmony .

Musical meaning should always be considered provisional and flexible. That said, through a combination of acoustic and cultural factors, the Major mode is generally associated with positive feelings of joy , hopefulness , calm and celebration , whereas the minor mode has a negative “affect” and is generally associated with sadness , anger , despair and fear . In mainstream Western music, you are unlikely to hear a funeral march in Major or celebrate a marriage in minor.

This excerpt from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G-Major illustrates the drama of the Major-minor contrast . The winds begin in Major . After a pause, the piano shifts abruptly to minor with a striking change of musical character .

The musicologist David Huron has demonstrated that there is nothing inherently “sad” or “angry” about minor . In fact, there are cultures in which the minor scale in the “normative” one and is used for joyous occasions. Even in the Western tradition, the Major-minor contrast evolved over many centuries. However, in the classical repertoire, music in Major is almost invariably more upbeat than music in minor . Such is the strength of cultural exposure, it is almost impossible for a musically literate Westerner to hear otherwise.

The slow movement of J.S. Bach’s Concerto in g-minor begins with a progression in block chords in Major.

Later, the same progression is played in minor.

Does the change in mode register as a change in mood or emotional affect ?

Here are two excerpts from Bedrich Smetana’s Die Moldau : The first time, the melody is presented in minor , the second time in Major . Similarly, do you feel, as well as hear a difference between these two excerpts?

The distinction between Major and minor is a primary foundation of our study of Common Practice harmony .

Questions & Answers

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
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Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
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what does nano mean?
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nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
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s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
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SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
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s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Source:  OpenStax, Sound reasoning. OpenStax CNX. May 31, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10214/1.21
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