The fundamental of a key, can also be lead tone in a chord.

The main tone an object or space resonates with.

The note which, according to the signature, forms the starting point of the scale. The tonic. The 'do'.

The Keynote
"All matter, living and inanimate, has a keynote. Claude Bragdon the architect, who practiced yoga, invited the opera singer Marie Russak to the New York Central Station which he had designed, before it was opened to the public. 'As she stood in the gallery.' says Bragdon, 'she ran up the notes on the diatonic scale in her rich, powerful voice. At the utterance of a certain note the entire room seemed to become a great resonance chamber, reinforcing the tone with a volume of sound so great as to be almost overpowering. The walls, ceiling and the entire building seemed to shout aloud.

'"There!" cried the singer as the sound died away in overtones. "Now your building has found its keynote - it's alive!" [Harvey Day, "The Hidden Power of Vibration"]

"Music, pure, natural, and harmonical, in the true and evident sense of the term, is the division of any keynote, or starting-point, into it's integral and ultimate parts, and the descending divisions will always answer to the ascending, having reference to the general whole. The essence and mystery in the development of harmonies consists in the fact that every keynote, or unit, is a nucleus including the past, the present, and the future, having in itself an inherent power, with a tendency to expand and contract. In the natural system, as each series rises, its contents expand and fall back to the original limit from any point ascending or descending; we cannot perceive finality in any ultimate; every tone is related to higher and lower tones; and must be part of an organized whole." - [F. J. Hughes, Harmonies of Tones and Colours - Developed by Evolution, page 16. See Overtone Series, fundamental]

See Also

Neutral Center
Overtone Series
Principles of Acoustics
Page last modified on Sunday 03 of July, 2016 04:38:05 MDT

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