Definition of tetrachord in English:



  • 1Music
    A scale of four notes, the interval between the first and last being a perfect fourth.

    ‘It's written in a kind of pastiche nineteenth-century style, complete with faux-Spanish exotic syncopations, melody and harmony (falling tetrachords, augmented seconds).’
    • ‘There are instances, however, where scale-motion rather conspicuously predominates, or where a melody is made largely of scale segments - of half-scales or tetrachords, for example.’
    • ‘The sets are closely connected through numerous common and transpositionally or inversionally related segments, usually dyads, trichords and/or tetrachords.’
    • ‘It is logical, then, that the use of the descending tetrachord leads Weelkes to introduce the phrygian mode in a yet more obvious fashion in the following phrase, ‘Care they for me’.’
    • ‘Lully was famous for his composition of extended passacailles, pieces based on the ostinato repetition of repeating bass line, usually on a four-bar, stepwise descending bass line, the minor mode tetrachord from do to sol.’
    1. 1.1 historical A musical instrument with four strings.
      • ‘A common instrument from those times was the tetrachord, a kind of four-stringed harp.’



/ˈtetrəˌkôrd/ /ˈtɛtrəˌkɔrd/