American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A sequence of six tones with a semitone in the middle, the others being whole tones, that was used in medieval music.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Greek music: A diatonic series of six tones.
- n. The interval of a major sixth.
- n. An instrument with six strings.
- n. In medieval music, a diatonic series of six tones, containing four whole steps and one half-step (between the third and fourth tones). The hexachord was an attempt to improve on the ancient tetrachord as a unit of musical analysis. The entire series of recognized tones, from the second G below middle C to the second E above it, was distributed among seven hexachords, beginning on G„, C‚, F‚, G‚, C, F, and G, respectively. Each hexachord was perfect in itself, and similar to every other; its tones were designated in order by the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. (See
solmization.) Any given tone was designated both by its letter name and by its syllable name in full; middle C, for example, being known as C soi-fa-ut, etc. In actual singing the solmization and the singer's conception of the tones passed from one hexachord to another as far as necessary, the process of changing being called mutation. In contrapuntal writing the most perfect possible imitation was considered to be that which occurred between analogous tones of two hexachords. The hexachord system is doubtfully attributed to Guido d'Arezzo, in the eleventh century. It continued in use until, in the eighteenth century, the octave as a unit of analysis and the modern theory of key-relationship were recognized.
- n. music A series of six tones denoted with the syllables ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la separated by seconds, the only of which that is a minor second being mi-fa.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) A series of six notes, with a semitone between the third and fourth, the other intervals being whole tones.
- Medieval Latin hexachordum, from Latin hexachordos, having six strings or stops : Greek hexa-, hexa- + Greek -khordos, string, note (from khordē; see cord). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“hexachord" on which the present scale was perfected.”
“Of a similar nature is Ut queant laxis, for five voices, in which the tenor sings the isolated notes of the hexachord between snatches of four-voice polyphony.”
“Running longitudinally, there are four channels in it if it is a tetrachord; six, if it is a hexachord; eight, if it is an octachord.”
“It will be observed that this hymn provided syllables only for the six tones of the _hexachord_ then recognized; when the octave scale was adopted (early in the sixteenth century) the initial letters of the last line (s and i) were combined into a syllable for the seventh tone.”
“Just as in mediaeval times each hexachord commenced with _ut_, so now every octave of our tonal system commences with _do_.”
“Following out his system, he applied the newly acquired syllables to each of the hexachords -- for instance, the lowest hexachord, G A B C D E, which was called hard, became _ut re mi fa sol la_; the second, which was called natural, C D E F”
“For the fourth hexachord, which was called hard, this B was again raised a semitone.”
“Commencing with G, which was the lowest note of the system in Hucbald's time, the first hexachord was formed of G A B C D E; the second, following the example of the Greeks, he made to overlap the first, namely,”
“The next three hexachords were treated in the same manner; the last or seventh hexachord was merely a repetition of the first and the fourth.”
“In order to make this hexachord identical in structure with, the first and second, he flatted the B, thus making the succession of notes, F G A B [flat] C D.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘hexachord’.
Looking for tweets for hexachord.