AOS2 – Harmony & Tonality

Diatonic Harmony – Primary Triads

This guy drives me a bit mad BUT he does explain the workings of music theory in the most thorough and complete fashion.

Here we are looking at Primary triads, these are chords I, IV & V. So if you were in C major that would be C MAJOprimary triadsR, F MAJOR & G MAJOR. Take a look at the chart for further explanation..

These chords are very common in all types of music, including our three strands: Western Classical Tradition, World Music and Popular Music. They are the building blocks of The Blues Rock’n’roll and are still commonly used in pop music today.

Note the use of ROMAN NUMERALS to identify chords. This system is used so that we can stop talking about “C, F and G” and discuss harmony without always relating to specific keys. If this system is new to you, have a look at this for explanation of the Roman Numerals in music.


Lots here. Displays, powerpoints and a podcast.

To download click here or right click and download


If you are unsure about cadences, a basic but informative video to help.
PerfectPlagalInterruptedImperfect are the keywords.

Musical Devices

Here is a video that clearly explains the following keywords for melodic ornamentation: ImitationInversionSequenceOstinatoModulation.

Texture and Tonality keywords

Click on the word to link to a definition.

Texture – HomphonicmonophonicpolyphonicMelody and accompaniment.


tonal        major        minor         modal

Texture      harmonic/homophonic             polyphonic/contrapuntal         imitation         unison          octaves         single melody line melody with accompaniment

antiphonal (watch the video and ignore mr annoying…)

common signs terms & symbols

key signatures



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