#1
I'm not sure if this is allowed, but I wanted a thread where I could just dump all of my music theory related questions. I'm basically intensely studying it over winter break and I know I'm going to come up with a lot so instead of making new threads every time I get confused I feel like this would be easier. Mods, lemme know if that's not allowed.

Anyways, first question: what exactly is a tetrachord? My textbook for some reason bolds the word but doesn't really explain it. From what I gather, it's basically a four-note pattern consisting of two whole steps and a half step, usually in WWh fashion. Wikipedia seems to think it's more than that and mentions diatonics and chromatics and enharmonics but I'm not sure what all that means.

Quote by Questions List

1. What is a tetrachord?
Last edited by iforgot120 at Dec 20, 2009,
#2
Quote by iforgot120
I wanted a thread where I could just dump all of my music theory related questions.
Bad plan, I think. A mod will advise, though.
Prolly just keep this thread on the topic of tetrachords and make a new thread about a new topic when it comes up. And title it to reflect the subject matter, for better results.

Meadows
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#3
Agreed. Forums are threaded by topics. Imagine how unfriendly they would be if, instead, each user had their own thread!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#4
A tetrachord is a set of four notes that fill an interval of a perfect fourth.

The most common form they take in western harmony and melody is with two whole steps and one half step. (like the first four tones in the major scale).

I imagine melodic tetrachords (the notes played in a series, instead of a harmonic tetrachord, which is the four notes played together in a chord) are more common, but here's an example of a harmonic tetrachord, from an a capella arrangement of Seven Bridges Road we did in choir this year:

I believe we did it in the key of A. The tetrachord was rooted on the tonic, so the notes were A B C# D.

This was the coolest choir arrangement I've sung, because although most of the song was pretty much the same as the Eagles' version, during the "sometimes there's a part of me" section, the tenors took that as a solo, and the four other sections popped off some pretty out-there harmonies under it.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#5
Mmm, yeah, axemanchris makes a good point. I editted the OP.
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So it's basically the notes between the first and fourth degree, inclusive? Would a minor tetrachord be WhW? In food1010's example, he noted how he rooted the notes on the tonic; does that mean they don't always have to be? Would that still be a tetrachord, then, if you rooted the note on, say, the third?

And what's up with Wikipdia's intense explanation?
#6
Quote by iforgot120
Mmm, yeah, axemanchris makes a good point. I editted the OP.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So it's basically the notes between the first and fourth degree, inclusive? Would a minor tetrachord be WhW? In food1010's example, he noted how he rooted the notes on the tonic; does that mean they don't always have to be? Would that still be a tetrachord, then, if you rooted the note on, say, the third?

And what's up with Wikipdia's intense explanation?
Here are the 3 "rules" to a tetrachord. (to the best of my understanding)

1 - 4 notes.
2 - lowest and highest notes span a perfect fourth.
3 - there are no other rules.


you can have all sorts of intervals internally. whole step. half step. step and a half. quarter step. etc.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
Last edited by SomeoneYouKnew at Dec 20, 2009,
#7
Would that be the same deal with minor pentachords? (ie the notes between the tonic and the dominant in a natural minor scale)

And I just realized I don't know how to change the thread title.