harmony


harmony
/hahr"meuh nee/, n., pl. harmonies.
1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
3. Music.
a. any simultaneous combination of tones.
b. the simultaneous combination of tones, esp. when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
c. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
4. an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relations, and differences.
[1350-1400; ME armonye < MF < L harmonia < Gk harmonía joint, framework, agreement, harmony, akin to hárma chariot, harmós joint, ararískein to join together]
Syn. 1. concord, unity, peace, amity, friendship. 2. consonance, conformity, correspondence, consistency. See symmetry. 3. HARMONY, MELODY in music suggest a combination of sounds from voices or musical instruments. HARMONY is the blending of simultaneous sounds of different pitch or quality, making chords: harmony in part singing; harmony between violins and horns. MELODY is the rhythmical combination of successive sounds of various pitch, making up the tune or air: a tuneful melody to accompany cheerful words.

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In music, the sound of two or more notes heard simultaneously.

In a narrower sense harmony refers to the extensively developed system of chords and the rules that govern relations between them in Western music. Harmony has always existed as the "vertical" (the relationship between simultaneous melodic lines) aspect of older music that is primarily contrapuntal; the rules of counterpoint are intended to control consonance and dissonance, which are fundamental aspects of harmony. However, the sense of harmony as dominating the individual contrapuntal lines followed from the invention of the continuo с 1600; the bass line became the generating force upon which harmonies were built. This approach was formalized in the 18th century in a treatise by Jean-Philippe Rameau, who argued that all harmony is based on the "root" or fundamental note of a chord. Tonality is principally a harmonic concept and is based not only on a seven-note scale of a given key but on a set of harmonic relations and progressions based on triads (three-note chords) drawn from the scale.

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      borough (town), Butler county, western Pennsylvania, U.S., on Connoquenessing Creek, 25 miles (40 km) north of Pittsburgh. It is known as the first settlement in America of the Harmonist Society (Rappites) led by George Rapp (Rapp, George), an immigrant from Württemberg, Germany, who held religious-communistic views and espoused celibacy. The town was laid out in 1805 as a “Community of Equality” and named Harmony for one of the society's principles. The graveyard (just southeast of the borough where more than 100 Harmonists lie buried), a few brick houses, the Harmony Museum, and the Tower Clock (1810–11; now housed in the museum) are reminders of the original settlers who in 1815 migrated to Indiana and founded New Harmony. Rapp's followers returned to Pennsylvania in 1825 and established the village of Economy (now Ambridge).

      Oil, natural gas, coal, and iron deposits are characteristic of the vicinity. Harmony has acquired some light industry, and tourism is important. Pop. (1990) 1,054; (2000) 937.

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Universalium. 2010.

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