Root (chord)

As root is called in music theory, the fundamental reference tone for all tonal relationships within a harmonic chord, a scale, a tonal melody ( up to an enclosed piece of music ) or even within a spectrum of overtones. As a basic reference tone of the root is the basic requirement for the presentation of musical context. More rarely, the mood of an instrument is designated as the root.

Tone in the chord

In the simplest case, the root refers to the lowest note of a chord in its basic position, ie at its terzweisen construction. The unique identifiability of a tonic is therefore only for simple major and minor triads given, as well as in most types of seventh chords and None chords.

When occurring in any inversion chord, the lowest note is not necessarily the tonic key; there are chords in which the root in terms of the number of partials is missing: This is the name eg the chord h- d'- f ' in C major, a shortened dominant seventh chord whose root g, although as the basis functions in terms of the number of partials, but nothing is played. The situation is similar at reduced seventh chords, which may relate to four basic tones (where individual sounds are confused enharmonically ).

Fundamental tone of a melody or scale

The root note of a scale is its central tone and therefore its name to the key, such as C major or A minor. Usually he is also the first note of the scale. However, an exception to this, the plagal church modes (eg Hypodorisch ), in which the root is not at the beginning but in the middle of the scale.

Very often, especially in children's and folk songs as well as in Gregorian chant, the keynote sounds at the same time as the final note of a melody. In this final note of the Gregorian chant is therefore also referred to as " Finalizing ".

Fundamental tone of a sound

In a single sound, in the sense of a harmonious sound, whose root corresponds to the fundamental frequency and thus the perceived actual pitch. In most cases, corresponds to the perceived pitch and the fundamental frequency that is the same as the first partial tone. More rarely, there is the acoustic phenomenon that the fundamental frequency in a sound entirely absent and this is still perceived in the amount of the missing fundamental frequency ( ' Missing fundamentals ').

The Obtertonreihe a tonic generally determined not only the tone but because of their composition has a direct impact on the perceived timbre (eg with regard to the differences in the strength of the individual harmonics ) of the sound.

Are the overtones rather slight, it is called a " grundtönigen " sound. The powers of the fundamental frequency ( these correspond to partials 2, 4, 8 and 16) of a tone always give their octaves.

Tone of musical instruments

The root, which refers to the tuning of the instrument is not identical to the tuning pitch, determines the fine- tuning of the instrument. Especially with transposing instruments is referred to as the root that tone which sounds when the musicians a " sounding C" plays, or accesses.

  • In many wind instruments, it corresponds to the lowest tone in complete, unmodified air column, with all finger holes are closed or if no additional valves or flaps. The actually achievable lowest tone depends additionally on the design of the wind instrument and the skill of the musician. The root of wind instruments is therefore not necessarily including the name or mood of the instruments in unison.
  • In timpani the instrument is tuned to the root note that you wish.
  • In string instruments are used, the tuning of the strings as a reference, and the term is used rather scarcely
  • In keyboard instruments, the reference in the usual tone C. to turn appoints the Transponierfunktionen of those keyboards bass note played when playing the C key.