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n. Music
A series of four diatonic tones encompassing the interval of a perfect fourth.

[Greek tetrakhordon, from neuter of tetrakhordos, four-stringed : tetra-, tetra- + khordē, string; see gherə- in Indo-European roots.]

tet′ra·chor′dal (-kôr′dl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Music, other) (in musical theory, esp of classical Greece) any of several groups of four notes in descending order, in which the first and last notes form a perfect fourth
[C17: from Greek tetrakhordos four-stringed, from tetra- + khordē a string]
ˌtetraˈchordal adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtɛ trəˌkɔrd)

a diatonic series of four tones, the first and last separated by a perfect fourth.
[1595–1605; < Greek tetráchordos having four strings. See tetra-, chord1]
tet`ra•chor′dal, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, the last two quavers of the Piano 1 phrase which concludes at the beginning of bar 14 reiterate dyads F[sharp], G and C, C[sharp] from the hexatonic tetrachords preceding them in a vertical alignment that produces 4--9: [0,1,6,7], an octatonic tetrachord.
Similarly, it would have been helpful for Simms to clarify his approach to pitch, such as in the presentation of the "triadic tetrachords" (Pp.
If we combine all the notes of both delayed symmetrical pairings ([D.sub.4]-[B.sub.5] and [E[flat].sub.6]-[B[flat].sub.3]) we form [TE23], another instance of (0145)--capable of surrounding the same axis as the [4589] in measure 1 because the tetrachords are [T.sub.6] trans poses of each other.
Since it occurs where the larger intervals of the series begin, it structurally demarcates the intervallic shift and bisects the series, producing two tetrachords linked by a common pitch with a similar but not identical intervallic structure.
Roberto Airoldi's "The Intonation of the Greek Tetrachords according to Aristoxenos" argues that a rigorous mathematical perspective is incommensurate with the empirical Aristoxenian approach to tuning theory.
[12] The sketches make clear what is not readily apparent from the score: the seventeen-tone row is constructed as a string of chromatic tetrachords, each ordered such that its interval-class succession is [less than]2-1-2[greater than].
Unlike Forte, Gilbert does not mention Gershwin's distinctive treatment of Richard Wagner's famous "Tristan" chord, the importance of two ubiquitous overlapping tetrachords (E-F[sharp]-G-A and A-B-C-D), and the anticipation and climactic uses of E[flat], a note virtually ignored by Gilbert as non-Schenkerian, both as a harmonic force and as melodic apex (the latter on the "-brace-" in "embraceable," m.
Because of the adjustments, not only are there foreign pitch classes (an exact mirror around E[flat] would have yielded these also) but the ascending and descending tetrachords 4-2 (0124) and 4-3 (0134) in the tenor are foreign interval collections with respect to the diatonic collection.
Happily, these tetrachords are conjunct rather than disjunct, for original physical form allows for reproduction, while reformatting includes physical reproduction.
For example, to complete his second exercise, "with C and F[sharp] sustaining, score seven different all-interval tetrachords" (p.
Even the simplest, pitch-class against pitch-class ("first species") statement of, for example, inversionally related lines yields, for instance, tetrachords whose constituent dyads refer directly to the series and either to another dyad in the series of to one that is not a member of the series, or to a dyad of another so-derived tetrachord which is, therefore, itself not a dyadic segment of the series.
With the final chapter, we come to the heart of Chalmers's treatise, a 40-page, annotated catalogue of 723 tetrachords, systematically arranged, that the author believes exhausts the practical, musical possibilities of tetrachordal division.