What does pedal point mean?

Definitions for pedal point

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word pedal point.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pedal point, pedal(noun)

    a sustained bass note


  1. pedal point(Noun)

    A sustained bass pitch.


  1. Pedal point

    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.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pedal point in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pedal point in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Images & Illustrations of pedal point

  1. pedal point


Find a translation for the pedal point definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these pedal point definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"pedal point." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pedal point>.

Are we missing a good definition for pedal point? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for pedal point:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.