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(tonal’nost’), in Russian music terminology, the pitch position of a mode, as well as the modal system at a specific pitch. The term “tonality” is also used to designate the major-minor modal system. The designation of a tonality in the major-minor modal system includes the pitch position according to the letter system, such as C, A, F sharp, or B (H), and the mode, whether major or minor. In 20th-century music, where a clear classification of a mode as major or minor is often doubtful or impossible, the tonality is often designated without indication of the mode, as in Stravinsky’s Serenade in A (that is, with A as the tonic).
The essence of tonality in the conventional major-minor modal system is the creation of a stable and logically differentiated system of modal values for tones and harmonies at a specific pitch, wherein the tones and harmonies give preference to one tone (the tonic) or harmony, from which the given tonality derives its name. The major-minor modal system is marked by a pronounced gravitation of the subordinate tones and harmonies toward the tonic. In an extended musical piece, this gravitation may also be felt in a succession of keys; for example, a succession of G major and D minor creates a gravitation toward a key of a higher order, C major, which unites them both. A change of keys is called modulation. The modulation movement creates the tonality plan that anchors the whole piece. In this case, one key usually dominates, and the entire musical work may be designated by it. Examples are J. S. Bach’s Fantasy and Fugue in G minor for Organ and Mozart’s Symphony in C major.
IU. N. KHOLOPOV