Definitions for pedal point
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word pedal point
pedal point, pedal(noun)
a sustained bass note
A sustained bass pitch.
In tonal music, a pedal point is a sustained tone, typically in the bass, during which at least one foreign, i.e., dissonant harmony is sounded in the other parts. A pedal point sometimes functions as a "non-chord tone", placing it in the categories alongside suspensions, retardations, and passing tones. However, the pedal point is unique among non-chord tones, "in that begins on a consonance, sustains through another chord as a dissonance until the harmony," not the non-chord tone, "resolves back to a consonance." Pedal points "have a strong tonal effect, 'pulling' the harmony back to its root." When a pedal point occurs in a voice other than the bass, it is usually referred to as an inverted pedal point. Pedal points are usually on either the tonic or the dominant tones. The pedal tone is considered a chord tone in the original harmony, then a nonchord tone during the intervening dissonant harmonies, and then a chord tone again when the harmony resolves. A dissonant pedal point may go against all harmonies present during its duration, being almost more like an added tone than a nonchord tone, or pedal points may serve as atonal pitch centers.
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