American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Agreement in feeling or opinion; accord: live in harmony.
- n. A pleasing combination of elements in a whole: color harmony; the order and harmony of the universe. See Synonyms at proportion.
- n. Music The study of the structure, progression, and relation of chords.
- n. Music Simultaneous combination of notes in a chord.
- n. Music The structure of a work or passage as considered from the point of view of its chordal characteristics and relationships.
- n. Music A combination of sounds considered pleasing to the ear.
- n. A collation of parallel passages, especially from the Gospels, with a commentary demonstrating their consonance and explaining their discrepancies.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A combination of tones that is pleasing to the ear; concord of sounds or tones.
- n. Especially, in music: Music in general, regarded as an agreeable combination of tones.
- n. Any simultaneous combination of consonant or related tones; a concord.
- n. Specifically, a common chord or triad. See triad. It is tonic when based directly on the tonic or key-note, dominant when based on the dominant or fifth tone of the key.
- n. The entire chordal structure of a piece, as distinguished from its melody or its rhythm. Harmony is two-part, three-part, four-part, etc., according to the number of the voice-parts employed. It is strict or false, according to its observance of established rules of chord-formation and voice-progression. It is simple when not more than one of the essential tones of the chords is doubled, compound when two or more of those tones are doubled; compound harmony requires more than four voice-parts. It is close when the voice-parts lie as close together as the structure of the chords will allow; dispersed, extended, open, or spread, when they are so separated that by transposition of an octave any one would fall between two others. It is plain when only essential tones are used and when derived chords are but sparingly introduced; figured, when suspensions, anticipations, passing-notes, etc., are used for melodic and rhythmic variety, or when foreign tones are frequently introduced. It is diatonic when only the tones of a given key are used, chromatic when other tones also appear. It is pure when performed in pure intonation, tempered when performed in tempered intonation.
- n. The science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords: the fundamental branch of the science of musical composition. It regards composition rather vertically than horizontally, noting especially the chords involved, and studying the voice-parts only so far as their nature or relations affect the value and interrelation of the successive chords. It treats of the following topics: intervals, consonant or dissonant, typical or derived, perfect, major, minor, diminished, or augmented; chords, both triads and seventh-chords, typical and derived (with their inversions), major, minor, diminished, and augmented, with their esthetic value both independently and comparatively; voice-progression, from chord to chord, direct, oblique or opposite, pure or false, including the preparation and resolution of discords; suspensions, anticipations, passing-notes, and all other melodic interferences with regular chords, including figuration; tonality or keyship, with special regard to the relations of the tonic and dominant chords, to the use of derived chords, and to the formation of cadences; modulation, or the alteration of tonality by the use of tones foreign to the original key, with the classification of key-relationships; thorough-bass, the science of indicating harmonic facts by figures and signs appended to the notes of a given bass. Harmony is now technically distinguished from
counterpoint, and regarded as the more elementary branch of composition; but historically counterpoint preceded it by some centuries. Harmony in the modern sense did not become possible until between 1550 and 1600, when the esthetic value of chords as such was recognized for the first time in scientific music. Its development since that time has been steady and radically important to musical history. Its rules have been modified more or less so as to admit to usage, under certain conditions, many chord-formations and voice-progressions at first regarded as entirely impermissible. The growth of instrumental music, especially of that for the organ and pianoforte, has considerably influenced the conception of harmonic canons, leading them away from the simplicity originally derived from a purely vocal standard. Acoustical researches have also, from time to time, led to rearrangements of harmonic material. The great body of harmonic principles is now substantially accepted by all theorists, in nearly identical form, as the only sound basis for a thorough science of composition or a just method of criticism. Numerous efforts have been made by the profounder musical theorists to discover more comprehensive principles of composition from which the ordinary rules of harmony may be deduced, but with as yet but uncertain practical result.
- n. Any arrangement or combination of related parts or elements that is consistent or is esthetically pleasing; agreement of particulars according to some standard of consistency or of the esthetic judgment; an accordant, agreeable, or suitable conjunction or assemblage of details; concord; congruity. Harmony is to be distinguished from
symmetry: thus, in a symmetrical building, two opposite wings are exactly identical, though usually with the architectural members in inverse order, while in a harmonious building the two wings need not be identical in a single detail, if they balance each other so as to form, taken together, a pleasing and consistent whole.
- n. Accord, as in action or feeling; agreement, as in sentiment or interests; concurrence; good understanding; peace and friendship.
- n. A collation of parallel passages from different works treating of the same subject, for the purpose of showing their agreement and of explaining their apparent discrepancies. Specifically — A consecutive account of all the facts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, presented in the language of the gospel narratives, so brought together as to present as nearly as possible the true chronological order, with the different accounts of the same transactions placed side by side to supplement one another.
- n. In anatomy, same as harmonia, 1.
- n. The tonic, dominant, and subdominant triads of a major key.
- n. Correspondence, consistency, congruity; amity.
- n. Agreement or accord.
- n. a pleasing combination of elements, or arrangement of sounds
- n. music The academic study of chords.
- n. music Two or more notes played simultaneously to produce a chord.
- n. music The relationship between two distinct musical pitches (musical pitches being frequencies of vibration which produce audible sound) played simultaneously.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The just adaptation of parts to each other, in any system or combination of things, or in things intended to form a connected whole; such an agreement between the different parts of a design or composition as to produce unity of effect.
- n. Concord or agreement in facts, opinions, manners, interests, etc.; good correspondence; peace and friendship.
- n. A literary work which brings together or arranges systematically parallel passages of historians respecting the same events, and shows their agreement or consistency.
- n. A succession of chords according to the rules of progression and modulation.
- n. The science which treats of their construction and progression.
- n. (Anat.) See Harmonic suture, under Harmonic.
- n. compatibility in opinion and action
- n. a harmonious state of things in general and of their properties (as of colors and sounds); congruity of parts with one another and with the whole
- n. agreement of opinions
- n. an agreeable sound property
- n. the structure of music with respect to the composition and progression of chords
- First attested in 1602. From Middle English armonye, from Old French harmonie/armonie, from Latin harmonia, from Ancient Greek ἁρμονία (harmonia, "joint, union, agreement, concord of sounds"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English armonie, from Old French, from Latin harmonia, from Greek harmoniā, articulation, agreement, harmony, from harmos, joint; see ar- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Whether he and Dunleavy could have coexisted in harmony is debatable.”
“Beauty lies in harmony, not in contrast; and harmony is refinement; therefore, there must be a fineness of the [Page 222] senses if we are to appreciate harmony.”
“This harmony is a reason which a Triads can work with a Mafia, a CIA, as good as a Illuminati.”
“The positions of the hands of the executants on the harps and lyres, as well as the use of short and long pipes, make it appear probable that something of what we call harmony was known to the Egyptians.”
“This division of the string made what we call harmony impossible; for by it the major third became a larger interval than our modern one, and the minor third smaller.”
“Age and infirmity seem to be overlooked in what she calls the harmony between us, -- not perfect agreement of opinion (which I should regret, with almost fifty years of difference), but the spirit-union: can you say what it is?”
“Now you want everybody to quit doing it so that they can live in "harmony"?”
“Anna had realized that for most people on Erde, even players, the term harmony had a far more general meaning in Liedwahr " something akin to "not creating dissonance" rather than the earthly technical musical meaning of parallel chords or supporting lines of music distinct from the melody line.”
“Photographs by Pascal Chevallier Sled-riding skeletons, 16th-century portraits and little rice houses live in harmony within Sperone's Swiss retreat.”
“Sled-riding skeletons, 16th-century portraits and little rice houses live in harmony within Sperone's Swiss retreat.”
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