to·nal·i·ty / tōˈnalitē/ •
n. (pl. -ties) 1. the character of a piece of music as determined by the key in which it is played or the relations between the notes of a scale or key. ∎ the harmonic effect of being in a particular key: the first bar would seem set to create a tonality of C major. ∎ the use of conventional keys and harmony as the basis of musical composition.2. the color scheme or range of tones used in a picture.
Harmonic system that underpins most Western music from the 17th century to the 20th century, using the twelve major and minor scales
. The notes of the scale, and their corresponding chords and harmonies, have their own hierarchy around the central key
note. See also atonality
Key, meaning particularly observance of a single tonic key as basis of comp., thus, bitonality
, use of 2 keys at once; polytonality
, use of several keys at once; atonality
, loyalty to no key.