What do we learn in this chapter?
A non-harmonic tone (non-chord tone) is a note that is not part of the harmony. Music comprises not only the pitches of the assigned harmony, but also all other diatonic and chromatic tones that do not belong to the harmony. In other words, composers have the freedom to put D or D-flat in a C major triad harmony to create whatever sound or feel they want. Without these additional non-chord tones, musical lines would proceed only in a homophonic texture. Non-harmonic tones are broadly used as fillers when accompanying a song or as part of a melody to smooth it out. The table below shows the classification of non-harmonic tones. This chapter will examine the passing, neighboring, and changing tones, and the next chapter will include the exercise for the appoggiatura, suspension, pedal point, and anticipation. Refer to other theory books or websites for more theoretical details.