“We use the term tone to describe the relationship between two sounds, such as in melody or guitar. Tone is also how an instrument produces the notes of a chord,” states Tom McGovern at CNET.
“Tone is the relationship between the notes in every note of a chord.”
A major chord, for example, features 3 pitches — the root, the 3rd and the 5th. The 1st and 4th notes of this chord are usually very weak, compared to the strong strings. The chord’s tone is determined by the combination of the 3th and 5th notes, and the combination of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes, also known as a major 3rd or major 5th chord.
So why should we be interested when we hear the tone of a chord in the words of the song, “Gone With the Wind”?
The first reason is that these notes, for all intents and purposes, are dead.
“When a sound’s notes are combined and that pitch (or scale) that creates the sound is altered…the sound becomes different. These two notes do not represent what was originally in the tune.” – Tom McGovern
For example, when the D string is removed from the A major chord with the chord A7, the A5 above the C root becomes a Major 5th chord.
Similarly, when the C string is removed from F major chord, the root G becomes a Major 3rd chord.
The change in tone is because these two notes are now part of a Major 3rd or Major 5th chord, but not the original A7 chord.
The second reason is that some songs are based on a tune that starts and ends in a major key. As a result, these songs need to sound like a major song. Without such a tune, melodies can be difficult to find.
And that’s actually a good thing.
There are many examples on The Music Database of songs that start and end in minor key. These are songs that are in the middle of a musical progression. So, when the sound changes from a good minor major song to a less good major song, we hear more harmonics.
Another way to interpret tone is to consider the harmonic progression of an instrument. A good example is a guitar, and many instruments, including a trumpet. When your trumpet is plucked, it is like an A C# E G. It can play notes on
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