- the sum of relations, melodic and harmonic, existing between the tones of a scale or musical system.
- a particular scale or system of tones; a key.
- (in painting, graphics, etc.) the system of tones or tints, or the color scheme, of a picture.
- the quality of tones.
Origin of tonality
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tonality
Yet it was in one tonality; there was no harmony, no melody.Melomaniacs
The tonality of the music of the ancients was wholly artificial and unreal.A Popular History of the Art of Music</p>
W. S. B. Mathews
Regarding the tonality of these scales there is not very much to be said.The Modes of Ancient Greek Music
David Binning Monro
The episode you quote moves evidently in the tonality of G minor.Piano Playing</p>
For by this principle of tonality, melody and harmony as we know them became possible.The Galaxy, June 1877
- the actual or implied presence of a musical key in a composition
- the system of major and minor keys prevalent in Western music since the decline of modesCompare atonality
- the overall scheme of colours and tones in a painting
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for tonality
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper