Quartal and quintal harmony: Wikis


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(Loudspeaker.svgListen) Four note quartal chord

In music, quartal harmony is the building of harmonic structures with a distinct preference for the intervals of the perfect fourth (Loudspeaker.svg Listen), the augmented fourth and the diminished fourth. Quintal harmony is harmonic structure preferring the perfect fifth, the augmented fifth and the diminished fifth. In modern tuning, the augmented fourth and the diminished fifth are identical and are often called the tritone because the interval between the two notes is three tones.

Use of the terms quartal and quintal arises from a contrast, compositional or perceptual, with traditional tertian harmonic constructions. Listeners familiar with music during and after the Common practice period perceive tonal music as that which uses major and minor chords and scales(Loudspeaker.svg Listen), wherein both the major third and minor third (Loudspeaker.svg Listen) constitute the basic structural elements of the harmony.

Quintal harmony (the harmonic layering of fifths specifically) is a lesser-used term, and since the fifth is the inversion or complement of the fourth, it is usually considered indistinct from quartal harmony. Indeed, a circle of fifths can be arranged in fourths (G -> C -> F -> B etc are fifths when played downwards and fourths when played upwards); this is the reason that modern theoreticians may speak of a "circle of fourths".



Harmony is the part of music theory concerned with the properties of chords (simultaneously sounding notes). An interval is the pitch-difference between notes, whether played successively or simultaneously. The interval of a perfect fourth amounts to five semitones (Loudspeaker.svg Listen). The name fourth arises from the fact that, in most common diatonic scales, this interval is the distance from the first note (the tonic) to the fourth note of that scale. (Loudspeaker.svg Listen: the first four notes of several diatonic scales).



[citation needed]The concept of quartal harmony outlines a formal harmonic structure based on the use of the interval of a perfect fourth to form chords. The fourth, thus, substitutes for the third as used in chords based on major and minor thirds. Although the fourth replaces the third in chords, quartal harmony rarely replaces tertian harmony in full works. Instead, the two types of harmony are found side by side. Since the distance between the lower and the higher notes of a stack of two perfect fourths is a minor seventh and this interval inverts to a major second, quartal harmony necessarily also includes these intervals. Whether one hears these chords and intervals as consonant or dissonant has to remain a matter of personal interpretation.

Corresponding to this vertical structuring of chords is a melodically oriented (horizontal) usage of fourths[citation needed]  ; the parallel theory of quartal melody however has not been put across as of yet. A wider theory is that of quartal coupling. This explains how a fourth may be used to enrich an existing chord, added much as one could add a third, octave, or sixth to a chord.

Theoretical systems and models in which the harmonic interpretation of fourth and fifth chords, and the analysis of larger structures such as movements are described have not yet been developed (as they have been in tertian harmony with functional harmony or diatonic theory and the concept of cadences). In the literature, one finds reference to concepts of quartal stratification, quartal towers, and quartal chords.

Properties of Quartal harmonies

Cadentially-ordered fourths

Quartal chord sounds have a somewhat "erratic" function, in that they have a tendency to forget which key they are in. The integral design of cadential models - G functions as the dominant of C, this extends again to F and so on - explains why fourths have this property, giving quartal harmony a new tonal centre corresponding to the original by a less stable ratio.

Analytical problems

There is a question[citation needed] whether a chord built from fourths should be interpreted as a quartal-harmony structure, or if it is more meaningful to interpret is as part of the traditional functional harmony. Both interpretations may be valid.

(Loudspeaker.svgListen)Different possible interpretations of a quartal chord: Fourth suspension, Dominant Seventh and Tonic 6/4 chord

The C - F - B may be[citation needed] regarded using traditional theory as a C dominant seventh chord (with an omitted fifth) in the midst of a 4-3 suspension, or as C7sus4, where the fourth does not require resolution. Fsus4, a suspended second inversion chord, would also be a plausible label. Extending quartal chords to four or more notes generate still more possibilities of a similar nature. A four-note chord C - F - B - E can be seen[citation needed], for example as a C minor chord with a minor seventh and embellishing fourth (Cm7add4 or Cm11), or as an inversion of an E-flat major chord with a second-suspension and embellishing sixth—Esus2(add6)—or many other things. The possibilities are quite numerous.

(Loudspeaker.svgListen) Traditional resolution of suspensions to a major triad and to a minor triad

As part of a tonally directed listening there are also many interpretations of the fourth chords. The notes C - F - B, for instance, can easily be heard as a fourth-suspension in F major, also C7sus4. In a five-note "quartal tower" having the notes C - F - B - E - A the ear may hear an A major or F minor sound with additional embellishing notes.[citation needed]

The question of which strategy of analysis is advisable is hard to answer since it is refined by the particular details: given one interpretation, and the progression of harmony through the preceding and following chords, and the overall musical development, is there a comprehensible and audibly functional meaning to the interpretation, or is it simply a mental exercise forcing the music into a Procrustean bed? It is important to question whether these suspensions, chromatic chords and altered chords are resolved as part of the functional harmony or whether they remain non-functional and unresolved. Of significance, too, will be the time it takes listeners (with or without a study of the score) to interpret the harmony.


Quartal harmony has had parallel developments in both vocal and instrumental music, but has also occurred in the traditional music of many non-western cultures.[citation needed] Some composers who have featured quartal or quintal harmonies in their work include Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, and Steve Reich.

Bartók's music, such as the String Quartet No. 2, often makes use of a three-note basic cell, a perfect fourth associated with an external (C, F, G) or internal (C, E, F) minor second, as a common intervallic source in place of triadic harmonies.[1]
During Schoenberg's middle period he favoured a chord composed of two fourths, one perfect and one augmented (C, F, B or C, F#, B).[2]

[citation needed]In the Middle Ages, simultaneous notes a fourth apart were heard as a consonance. During the Common practice period (between about 1600 and 1900), this interval came to be heard either as a dissonance (when appearing as a suspension requiring resolution in the voice leading) or as a consonance (when the tonic of the chord appears in parts higher than the fifth of the chord). In the later 19th century, during the breakdown of tonality in Classical music, all intervallic relationships were once again reassessed. Quartal harmony was developed in the early 20th century as a result of this breakdown and reevaluation of tonality. Jazz and rock of the 1960s frequently used quartal harmony.


The Romantic composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt used the special "thinned out" sound of fourth-chords in late works for piano (Nuages gris (Fr: Grey Clouds), La lugubre gondola (Fr: The Mournful Gondola), and other works).[citation needed]

The "Tristan chord" in context

The Tristan chord is made up of the notes F, B, D and G and is the very first chord heard in Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde. The bottom two notes make up an augmented fourth the upper two make up a perfect fourth; this layering of fourths in this context has been seen as highly significant. The chord had been found in earlier works[3][4] (notably Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18) but Wagner's usage was significant, first because it is seen as moving away from traditional tonal harmony and even towards atonality, and second because with this chord Wagner actually provoked the sound or structure of musical harmony to become more predominant than its function, a notion which was soon after to be explored by Debussy and others.[5] Beethoven's usage of the chord is of short duration and it resolves in the accepted manner; Wagner's usage lasts much longer and resolves in a highly unorthodox manner for the time. Despite the layering of fourths, it is rare to find musicologists identifying this chord as "quartal harmony" or even as "proto-quartal harmony", since Wagner's musical language is still essentially built on thirds, and even an ordinary dominant seventh chord can be laid out as augmented fourth plus perfect fourth (F-B-D-G). Wagner's unusual chord is really a device to draw the listener in to the musical-dramatic argument that the composer in presenting us with. However, fourths become important later in the opera, especially in the melodic development.

From 1850 to 1900 the application of tonality began to dissolve as evidenced in the works of composers of the Late Romantic such as Wagner, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler and Claude Debussy, and as the 20th century began with tonality no longer a strong binding force, quartal harmony became one of the new means of expression.[citation needed]

At the beginning of the 20th century, fourth-based chords finally became an important element of harmony. Alexander Scriabin used a self-developed system of transposition using fourth-chords, like his Mystic chord in his 6th Piano Sonata. This was best realized by his work Prometheus: The Poem of Fire. Earlier sketches left by Scriabin indicate that the composer apparently first intended that the work develop from a single non-transposed tonal centre.[citation needed]

Scriabin wrote this chord in his sketches alongside other quartal passages and more traditional tertian passages, often passing between systems, for example widening the six-note quartal sonority (C - F - B - E - A - D) into a seven-note chord (C - F - B - E - A - D - G). There was a growing need for a theory of quartal harmony in the context of the music of Scriabin and Liszt; Leonid Sabaneyev published in 1912 a work on Scriabin's theoretical ideas about Prometheus: The Poem of Fire in the periodical Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider)[citation needed], but his opinions may not have been appropriate, as Hugo Riemann wrote in his Music Lexicon: "Firstly, chords from pure fourths (for example those in Arnold Schoenberg's well cited Chamber Symphony) without extension or mixture are used in the same way as diminished fourths, and secondly, that Scriabin himself looked upon his so-called Mystic Chord not as a quartal structure but as a reflection of the overtone series." („Dabei wurde übersehen, dass erstens Akkorde aus reinen Quarten (wie zum Beispiel in Arnold Schönbergs hierfür mit Recht vielzitierter Kammersinfonie) nicht ohne weiteres mit Mischungen aus übermäßigen, verminderten und reinen Quarten gleichzusetzen ist und zweitens, dass Skrjabin selbst seinen sogenannten mystischen Akkord keineswegs als Quartenakkord sondern vielmehr als eine Wiederspiegelung der Obertöne ansah.“)

Measures 24 to 27 from Mussorgsky's The Hut on Fowl's Legs

[citation needed]Fourth-based harmony became important in the work of Slavic and Scandinavian composers such as Modest Mussorgsky, Leoš Janáček, and Jean Sibelius. These composers used this harmony in a pungent, uncovered, almost archaic way, often incorporating the Folk music of their particular homelands. Sibelius' Piano Sonata in F-Major op. 12 of 1893 used tremolo passages of near-quartal harmony in a way that was relatively hard and modern. Even in the example on the right from Mussorgsky's piano-cycle Pictures at an Exhibition (Избушка на курьих ножках (Баба-Яга) - The Hut on Fowl's Legs) (Loudspeaker.svgListen) the fourth always makes an "unvarnished" entrance. Rudiments of quartal harmony appear in Janáček's Rhapsody Taras Bulba, his Opera Věc Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair) and Z Mrtvého Domu (From the House of the Dead), and descending fourths and sevenths can be found dominating the writing.

The Impressionists would make much more use of chords built from fourths, even allowing them as a places of relaxation, altering our perception of them in the context of harmonic function and winning them their status as autonomous chords.[citation needed]

Quartal harmony in "Laideronnette" from Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye

Fourth-chords became consolidated with Ninth chords, the Whole tone scale, the Pentatonic scale, and polytonality as part of the language of Impressionism, and quartal harmony became an important means of expression in music by Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and others.[citation needed] Examples are found in Debussy's orchestral work La Mer (Fr: The Sea) and in his piano works, in particular La cathédrale engloutie (Fr: The Sunken Cathedral) from his Préludes for piano, Pour les quartes (Fr: For Fourths) and Pour les arpéges composées (Fr: For Composite Arpeggios) from his Etudes. Also of note is the opening of Ravel's ballet Daphnis et Chloé: a pile of fifths is generated in the orchestra above which is added a pair of fourth chords.

In the 1897 work The Sorcerer's Apprentice (L'Apprenti sorcier) by Debussy's colleague composer Paul Dukas, we hear a rising repetition in fourths, as the tireless work of out-of-control walking brooms causes the water level in the house to "rise and rise". Quartal harmony in Ravel's Sonatine and Ma Mère l'Oye (Fr: Mother Goose) would follow a few years later.

The use of fourth-chords is also found in the works of Mahler. His Seventh Symphony, in particular, uses harmony based on fourths alongside those based on thirds.[citation needed]

Quartal and quintal harmony in musical works

Modernism and Postmodernism

Six-note horizontal fourth chord in Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony op. 9

Arnold Schoenberg's influential Chamber Symphony Op. 9 from the year 1906 is a milestone in quartal harmony. The work begins not from tonal harmony, but instead begins with a fictitious tonal-centre: the first measures construct a five-part fourth chord with the notes C - F - B - E - A distributed over several instruments. The composer then picks out this vertical quartal harmony in a horizontal sequence of fourths from the horns, eventually leading to a passage of triadic quartal harmony (i.e., chords of three notes, each layer a fourth apart).

Vertical quartal-harmony in the opening measures of Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony for 15 Instruments Opus 9

Other examples appear in his String Quartet No. 1.

Quartal chord from Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 1 (About this sound Play ).

Schoenberg was also one of the first to write on the theoretical consequences of this harmonic innovation. In his Theory of Harmony („Harmonielehre“) of 1912[6], he wrote: "The quartal construction of chords can lead to a chord containing all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, and with that comes a possibility for the systematic use of those harmonic phenomena that have already been obtained in some recent works having seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve-part chords. (...) The quartal construction allows (...) the accommodation of all possible phenomena of harmony (...)" („Der quartenweise Aufbau der Akkorde kann zu einem Akkord führen, der sämtliche zwölf Töne der chromatischen Skala enthält, und damit immerhin eine Möglichkeit der systematischen Betrachtung jener harmonischen Phänomene erzielen, die in Werken von einigen von uns schon vorkommen: sieben-, acht- neun-, zehn-, elf-, zwölfstimmige Akkorde. (...) Der quartenweise Aufbau ermöglicht (...) die Unterbringung aller Phänomene der Harmonie (...)“)

For Anton Webern the importance of quartal harmony lay in the possibility of building new sounds. He wrote in the year 1912: "With alteration the fourth-chord never need belong to tonal harmony, but can be free of all tonal relationships." („Durch Alteration werden die Quartenakkorde zu noch nie gehörten Harmonien, die frei von jeder tonalen Beziehung sind.“)

Quartal harmony from Schoenberg's String Quartet No. 1. About this sound Play

After hearing Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony he felt: "You must write something like that, too!" („So was mußt du auch machen!“) (Page 48 of his book The Path to the New Music (52 of Der Weg zur Komposition)) Shortly after, he wrote his Four Pieces for Violin and Piano Op. 7, using quartal harmony as a formal principle, which was also used in later works.

Uninfluenced by the theoretical and practical work of the Second Viennese School, the American Charles Ives meanwhile wrote in 1906 a song called The Cage (No. 64 of his collection of 114 songs), in which the piano part contained four-part fourth chords accompanying a vocal line which moves in whole tones.[citation needed]

Fourths in Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos V, No. 131, Fourths (Quartes)

Also other composers, for example Béla Bartók with his piano work Mikrokosmos (Loudspeaker.svgListen) and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Paul Hindemith, Carl Orff and Igor Stravinsky employed quartal harmony. They joined romantic elements with baroque music, folk songs and their peculiar rhythm and harmony with the open harmony of fourths and fifths.[citation needed]

Hindemith constructed, for example, large parts of his symphonic work Symphony: Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Painter) by means of fourth and fifth intervals. These steps are a restructuring of fourth chords (C - D - G becomes the fourth chord D - G - C), or other mixtures of fourths and fifths (D - A - D - G - C in measure 3 of the example).

Fourth and fifth writing in the second movement of Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler
Quartal harmony in Hindemith's Flute Sonata, II with tonal center on B established by descent in left hand in dorian and repeated B's and F's.[7] About this sound Play

Hindemith was, however, not a proponent of an explicit quartal harmony. In his 1937 writing Unterweisung im Tonsatz[8] ("The Craft of Musical Composition") he wrote: "Notes have a family of relationships, that are the bindings of tonality, in which the ranking of intervals is unambiguous," („dass die Töne eine Familienzugehörigkeit besitzen, die sich in der Bindung an tonale Haupttöne äußert, die eine unzweideutige Rangliste der Tonverwandschaften aufstellt.“) so much so, indeed, that in the art of triadic composition "...the musician is bound by this, as the painter to his primary colours, the architect to the three dimensions.". („... der Musiker ist an ihn gebunden, wie der Maler an die primären Farben, der Architekt an die drei Dimensionen.“) He lined up the harmonic and melodic aspects of music in a row in which the octave ranks first, then the fifth and the third, and then the fourth. "The strongest and most unique harmonic interval after the octave is the fifth, the prettiest nevertheless is the third by right of the chordal effects of its Combination tones." („Das stärkste und eindeutige harmonische Intervall ist nächst der alleinstehenden Oktave die Quinte, das schönste jedoch die Terz wegen ihrer in den Kombinationstönen begründeten Akkordwirkung.“)

In his Theory of Harmony[6] Schoenberg remarked on page 407 (pg 487 in the cited German version): "Besides myself my students Dr. Anton Webern and Alban Berg have written these harmonies (fourth chords), but also the Hungarian Béla Bartók or the Viennese Franz Schreker, who both go a similar way to Debussy, Dukas and perhaps also Puccini, are not far off. („Außer mir haben meine Schüler Dr. Anton Webern und Alban Berg solche Klänge [gemeint sind Quartenklänge] geschrieben. Aber auch der Ungar Béla Bartók oder der Wiener Franz Schreker, die beide einen ähnlichen Weg gehen wie Debussy, Dukas und vielleicht auch Puccini, sind wohl nicht weit davon entfernt.“)

British composer Sir Michael Tippett also employed quartal harmonies extensively in works from his middle period. Examples are his Piano Concerto and the opera The Midsummer Marriage. An almost constant quartal harmony is used by Bertold Hummel in his Second Symphony of 1966. A similarly obvious example is the work of Mieczysław Weinberg. Hermann Schroeder alternated in his works using fragments of Gregorian Chant between quintal and quartal harmony. Also the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski devised a usage that allows many harmonic combinations to be applied to a single part, having several combinations that may be tried against it, like fourths with whole tones, tritones with semitones, or other possibilities.[citation needed]

In the first movement of Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony a six-note combination is constructed in pieces from fourths and tritones, much like in the music of Schoenberg and Scriabin. Much of Messiaen's work applies quartal harmony, moderated by his development of "Modes of limited transposition".[citation needed]

A preference for quartal harmony is present in the works of Leo Brouwer (10 Etudes for Guitar), Robert Delanoff (Zwiegespräche für Orgel "Two conversations for Organ" of the year 1942), Ivan Vïshnegradsky, Tōru Takemitsu (Cross Hatch) and Hanns Eisler (Hollywood-Elegy). In the 1960s, the use of tone clusters juxtaposing minor and major seconds pushed aside quartal harmony somewhat. The orchestral work of György Ligeti, Atmosphères of 1961, makes extensive use of such sounds.[citation needed]

As a transition to the history of Jazz, George Gershwin may be mentioned. In the first movement of his Piano Concerto in F altered fourth chords descend chromatically in the right hand with a chromatic scale leading upward in the left hand.


The style of Jazz, having an eclectic harmonic orbit, was in its early days overtaken (until perhaps the Swing of the 1930s) by the vocabulary of 19th century European music. Important influences come thereby from Opera, Operetta, Military bands as well as from the piano music of Classical and Romantic composers, and even that of the Impressionists. Jazz musicians had a clear interest in harmonic richness of colour, for which quartal harmony provided possibilities, as used by Pianists and Arrangers like Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock, and Art Tatum. Nevertheless, the older Jazz usually handled fourths in the customary manner (as a suspension needing resolution).[citation needed]

(Loudspeaker.svgListen) The ii-V-I Cadence (Loudspeaker.svgListen) The Fourth-suspension or "Sus"-Chord

Bebop brought an aesthetic change to modern jazz: the chords which before had a relative identity (as major and minor, Dominant, etc.) gave way to block transpositions, with a fleeting, smooth flowing tonality, having the colours of chords blurred and strongly ambiguous. A prevalent example for this is the beloved ii-V-I cadence of modern jazz.[citation needed]

In the figure shown here, the musician plays the same outer voices as in a traditional cadence, but substitutions have been made in the inner voices; these altered voices still exhibit normal voice leading but within the extended harmony of jazz. The multiplicity of possibilities available can be used as a framework for improvisation. In addition, compositions of this time often had a frantic tempo, allowing more leeway in the harmony of fleeting chords (because they are not sounding for very long). Quartal harmony was employed throughout the jazz of the 1940s.[citation needed]

A typical Hard bop brass part, from Horace Silver's Señor Blues

The hard bop of the 1950s made new applications of quartal harmony accessible to Jazz.[citation needed] Quintet writing in which two brass instruments (commonly trumpet and saxophone) may proceed in fourths, while the piano (as a uniquely harmonic instrument) lays down chords, but sparsely, only hinting at the intended harmony. See Horace Silver's Señor Blues. This style of writing, in contrast with that of the previous decade, preferred a moderate tempo. "Thin" sounding "unison" Bebop horn sections occur frequently, but these are balanced by bouts of very refined polyphony such as is found in Cool Jazz. However, many felt that this music was not "hard" or expressive enough.

Opening measures of Miles Davis's composition "So What" of 1959

On his watershed record Kind of Blue, Miles Davis with his Sextet applied a self-standing, free fourth chord for the composition "So What". This particular voicing is sometimes referred to as a So What chord.[citation needed]

From the outset of the 1960s, the employment of quartal possibilities had become so familiar that the musician now felt the fourth chord existed as a separate entity, self standing and free of any need to resolve. The pioneering of quartal writing in later jazz and rock, like the pianist McCoy Tyner's work with saxophonist John Coltrane's "classic quartet", was influential throughout this epoch. Oliver Nelson was also known for his use of fourth chord voicings.[9]

Quartal harmony was also explored as a possibility under new experimental scale models as they were "discovered" by jazz.[citation needed] Musicians began to work extensively with the so-called church modes of old European music, and they became firmly situated in their compositional process; Jazz was well suited to incorporate the medieval usage of fourths to thicken lines into its improvisation. The pianists Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea are two musicians well known for their modal experimentation. At this time a phenomenon known as free jazz also came into being, in which quartal harmony had extensive usage due to the wandering nature of its harmony.

Fourths in Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage

Between these intensive experiments with quartal harmony, the search for new applications for it in Jazz was quickly exhausted. At about 1970 quartal harmony had become part of the canon of everyday practice.[citation needed] In Jazz, the way chords were built from a scale came to be called voicing, and specifically quartal harmony was referred to as fourth voicing.

ii-V-I turnaround with fourth voicings: all chords are in fourth voicings (About this sound Play ). They are often ambiguous as, for example, the Dm11 and G9sus chords are here voiced identically and will thus be distinguished for the listener by the root movement of the bassist[10].

Thus when the m11 and the dominant 7th sus (9sus above) chords in quartal voicings are used together they tend to, "blend into one overall sound," sometimes referred to as modal voicings, and both may be applied where the m11 chord is called for for extended periods such as the entire chorus[11].

Rock music

Quartal harmony is part of the compositional framework of rock music, especially in riffs and power chords, which often use fifths and fourths instead of triadic harmony.[citation needed] In Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whole songs were often built up from riffs of fourths and fifths on the Electric guitar.[citation needed]

In Funk, there is a stylistic device of interjecting fourths in syncopation by the guitars, keyboards, or brass section, as with the riff in the song "Flash Light" by George Clinton's band Parliament, 1977.

The song "Man on the Silver Mountain" recorded in 1975 by the band Rainbow includes a riff completely composed of fourths. This preference for fourths in rock stems directly from the chosen "high instrument of rock music", the guitar, on which they are very simple to play because the strings are mainly tuned a fourth apart.[citation needed]

The progressive rock bands like King Crimson, Gentle Giant or Emerson, Lake & Palmer show likewise a fondness for melody and harmony combined into a single structure, the Ostinato, often in fourths.

Some classical principles of composition utilized by Gentle Giant in their a cappella vocals for the song "Design". Over two alternating fourth chords (F - B - D - A and D - G - C - E) three voices move one after another in canonic imitation. This imitation allows harsh clashes between the parts to appear as a tension-generating device without disrupting the continuity of the passage.

However, the multitude of examples of quartal harmony must not be used to overlook the facts of the matter: rock and pop cover a wide field with a great deal of variety, but in most music intended to be a commercial success, accessible to the masses, a clear and simple triadic tonality has formed a hegemony (sometimes extended with a seventh or ninth). Fourth-chords most commonly appear as fourth suspensions, for example in Elton John's rock ballad "Burn Down the Mission".[citation needed]

Latin American music

The Popular music of Latin American countries is interrelated with the development of "Latin music" in the USA, due to considerable cultural exchange.

Loudspeaker.svg Listen The brass section of Ray Barretto's version of "Amor Artificial".
Loudspeaker.svg Listen Guitar break from Milton Nascimentos composition "Vera Cruz"

Latin music has a tendency toward a slightly faster tempo than the equivalent music in the USA. Quartal harmony found its way into salsa and Latin jazz via the jazz men (such as the playing of John Coltrane), but the concept of rhythm in the Afro-cuban tradition was also an influence. The guitarist Carlos Santana became world-known by combining these influences.[citation needed]

In the Música Popular Brasileira of Brazil, the guitar has a central role as the harmonic instrument similar to the instrument's role in Rock. As a result, the quartal oriented playing of the guitar was borrowed and the unique rhythmic tradition adapted to fit (as in Tropicalismo). Even earlier, however, the notable Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) wrote pioneering works in the first half of the 20th century combining elements of folk music and the popular music of his homeland with the quartal-harmonic experiments of European and North American classical music.[citation needed]

See also


This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
  1. ^ Morgan, Robert P. (1991). Twentieth-Century Music, p.179-80. ISBN 978-0-393-95272-8.
  2. ^ Morgan (1991), p.71. "no doubt for its 'nontonal' quality"
  3. ^ Vogel, Martin (1962) (in German). Der Tristan-Akkord und die Krise der modernen Harmonielehre. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Nattiez, Jean-Jacques (1987). Carolyn Abbate (translation). ed (in French translated into English). Musicologie générale et sémiologue ("Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music" (1990) ed.). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02714-5. 
  5. ^ Erickson, Robert (1975). Sound Structure in Music. Oakland, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02376-5. 
  6. ^ a b Schoenberg, Arnold (1912). Theory of Harmony (1978 ed.). Los Angeles: Belmont Music Publishers. ISBN 0-520-04944-6. 
  7. ^ Kostka & Payne (1995). Tonal Harmony, p.498. Third Edition. ISBN 0-07-300056-6.
  8. ^ Hindemith, Paul (1937) (in German). Unterweisung im Tonsatz. 
  9. ^ Corozine, Vince (2002). Arranging Music for the Real World: Classical and Commercial Aspects. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay. p. 12. ISBN 0-7866-4961-5. OCLC 50470629. 
  10. ^ Boyd, Bill (1997). Jazz Chord Progressions, p.94. ISBN 0-7935-7038-7.
  11. ^ Boyd (1997), p.95.

Further reading

Jazz and Latin music

  • David N. Baker: Jazz Improvisation. Frangipani, Bloomington (Indiana) 1983, ISBN 0-89917-397-7
  • Rebeca Mauleón: Salsa Guidebook. For piano and ensemble. Sher Music, Petaluma (Kalifornien) 1993, ISBN 0-9614701-9-4
  • David H. Rosenthal: Hard Bop. Jazz and Black music 1955-1965. Oxford University Press (USA), New York 1993, ISBN 0-19-508556-6

External links


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