Heaven's Bells by Ken Myers

Column: From Heavenly Harmony

Heaven's Bells

by Ken Myers

The term "tonality" is used to refer to a harmonic system whereby a sense of home is established in a piece of music on a particular note. Melodies and harmonies within a tonal composition are ordered around that home note and the home key (major or minor) that grows out of it. Think of the tune to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The first note, the one on which Judy Garland sang "Some-", is the home note. The second note, "-where," ascends a full octave, to a note that is vibrating exactly twice as fast as the first note, and thus is a . . .