to·​nal·​i·​ty | \ tō-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce tonality (audio) \
plural tonalities

Definition of tonality

1 : tonal quality
b : the organization of all the tones and harmonies of a piece of music in relation to a tonic
3 : the arrangement or interrelation of the tones of a work of visual art

Examples of tonality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although atonality and its variants never drew much support from the general classical music audience, academic departments attempted to teach students that tonality had exhausted its usefulness and become anachronistic. Walter Simmons, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Practice one on one with a friend to work on your tonality. Wasim Hajjiri, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Average tonality gives you insight into how positively your company is perceived in media coverage. Rena Fallstrom, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 Help all of your key stakeholders understand the importance of metrics like message resonance and tonality. Rena Fallstrom, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 This helps add some tonality back into the hair, also condition and seal the cuticle layer. Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, 8 Apr. 2021 But many aficionados think ash wood’s blond finish and open grain make for a prettier-looking instrument—and for nuanced differences in sound tonality that sets it apart from alderwood. Priyanka Runwal, Scientific American, 28 Oct. 2020 Scores often use strings and brass instrumentation, and MIDI 2.0’s higher resolution should better capture the textures, tonality, and range of those instruments, according to Duncan. Dan Kopf, Quartz, 30 Jan. 2020 The underlying harmony is tonal, but a tonality strongly colored by dissonances. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tonality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tonality

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tonality

probably borrowed from French tonalité, from tonal tonal + -ité -ity

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Time Traveler for tonality

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The first known use of tonality was in 1838

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Statistics for tonality

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tonality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tonality

Nglish: Translation of tonality for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about tonality


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