'TONALITY', in music, principle of organizing musical compositions around a central note, the tonic. Generally, any Western or non-Western music periodically returning to a central, or focal, tone exhibits tonality. More specifically, tonality refers to the particular system of relationships between notes, chords, and keys (sets of notes and chords) that dominated most Western music from c. 1650 to c. 1900 and that continues to regulate much music.

Definitions taken from Britannica.com at https://www.britannica.com/art/tonality (15th October 2019)

Please note that tonality and harmony are always linked together as musical elements...one cannot be described without looking at the other.

To remember tonality and harmony, we remember:

Key Modulations (make) Functional Modes Change Cadences Chromatically
Pedals Circle Dissonance Augmenting Dim Dom Nea

This involves the majority of music analysis points that you will need.









Functional Tonality




Functional Harmony



Other Points

Working Out Keys:

A way to remember the order of # and b's in a key is to learn this phrase:
       1            2             3         4          5       6         7

# = Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle

      to figure out the key with #'s count how many you have in your key and raise the last #        by 1 semitone.
      e.g  3 #'s = F#, C# & G# -> G# + 1 semitone = A major

       1          2        3       4          5        6            7
b = Battle Ends And Down Goes Father Charles
      to figure out the key with b's count how many you have in your key and go back by 1            in your order
      e.g  5 b's = Bb, Eb, Ab, Db & Gb -> second to last note in the phrase is Db = Db Major




A modulation is were we shift from one tonality to another. This is most commonly done by following the Circle of Fifths (see below) moving by the dominant degree within your key. This is known as related modulation.


You can modulate by other means such as:

Tertiary Modulation -> moving by a 3rd

Half Step/Tone - raising or lower your key by a semitone or tone