Glossary - Q

Quartal & Quintal Harmonies

Quartal & Quintal Harmonies

 

Quartal & Quintal harmonies are used in musical compositions where the composer has a particular preference for fourth & fifth intervals. With quartal harmonies, these can be seen in perfect fourth, augmented fourth and diminished fourth intervals. Likewise, quintal harmonies perfect fifth, augmented fifth and diminished fifth intervals.

Historically used in pieces of dramatic classical music to convey a sense of chaos and dissonance, and later in Jazz as a form of tonal colouring. These principles evolved to lend themselves to those experimenting in progressive rock music in the later half of the 20th century.  Examples can be found in the songs "Tarkus" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and "Zoot Allures" by Frank Zappa. Much of the work by Robert Fripp of King Crimson makes great use of these harmonies which are easily accommodated on the guitar with the use of his New Standard Tuning. 

 

Quaver

Quaver

A quaver or eighth note is a value of note length. When written on a stave in sheet music, this is written as a note with a solid or filled head, with a stem and one flag emanating from the tip of the stem. As indicated by the the American name of eighth note, a quaver note length is one eighth of a whole note. This means that a bar of music in standard 4/4 timing can fit a maximum of 8 quavers.  When more than one quaver is played after another, these are written with flags of each joined together. In 4/4, these can be in up to groups of four. In the time signature 6/8 (6 beats of eighth notes per bar), as well as other similar signatures such as 3/8, 9/8, & 12/8, quavers are instead written in groups of 3. 

As with other stemmed notes on a music stave, if the note is on or above the middle line, the stem will point upwards with the flag at the top. If the note is below the middle line, the stem will point downwards with the flag at the bottom.

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