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OT: Tritones (was Non-Human Phonology)

From:James W. <emindahken@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 13:23
On Wed, 17 May 2006 15:03:28 +0200, "Carsten Becker"
<carbeck@...> said:
> From: "Rob Haden" <magwich78@...> > Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 2:16 AM > > > What's a tritone, though? > > Don't know if this is a rhetorical question, but if you > ask for an explanation here: A tritone is a chord > (Zweiklang?)
Interval, more accurately. A chord has 3 or more tones.
> consisting of a base tone and the augmented > fourth (diminished fifth), e.g. C + F#. That is, a > tritone is always the tone that is on the opposite side > of the base tone in the circle of fifths (Quintenzirkel?).
That is the correct English term.
> It once was forbidden by a papal order, at least in church > music, and was called "diabolis in musica" because it sounds > rather horrible. I read it's important in Jazz music, > though. I don't want to say that Jazz music sounds horrible, > but you can't apply all the aesthetics of classical music > to Jazz.
However, without the tritone, Western Music as we know it would not exist. It is an essential part of 'tonality', or the music that most people are familiar with. It is the most important element of establishing a key-center, or tonality of a piece of music. Keys are most strongly establishe by a V-I relationship. That is, a chord built on the fifth scale degree resolving to the chord built on the first scale degree. In a fully-formed V chord, there is a tritone between the 3rd and 7th of the V chord, that resolve to the root and third of the I chord, respectively. That's probably enough music theory for today. :-) -------- James W., resident Doctor of Musical Arts