Meaning of hexachord in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhɛksəkɔːd/


  • A musical scale of six notes with a semitone between the third and fourth. An overlapping series of seven such scales starting on G, C, and F formed the basis of medieval music theory.

    ‘Medieval diatonicism, which did not include the principle of octave equivalence, was codified by Guido of Arezzo in the early 11th century: it acknowledged notes from G to e, arranged in seven overlapping hexachords.’
    • ‘In the early years of the seventeenth century, English composers increasingly turned to the hexachord as a cantus firmus for keyboard pieces.’
    • ‘I think one has to admit that in the works where I use the symmetrical hexachord, one probably can't any longer speak of my music as being twelve-tone music, that is, certainly not in the academic sense.’
    • ‘At the end, the same six pitch-classes provide the concluding hexachord of the tranquil violin melody.’
    • ‘Schoenberg never intended the 12-note technique to exclude possible tonal implications, and his use of hexachords is a close analogy to tonal practice.’