Definition of harmony in US English:

harmony

nounPlural harmonies

  • 1The combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect.

    ‘four-part harmony in the barbershop style’
    ‘the note played on the fourth beat anticipates the harmony of the following bar’
    • ‘The piano thrives on harmony rather than counterpoint.’
    • ‘And then the trumpets sound, their regal harmony cascading through the afternoon sunlight.’
    • ‘There are so many different elements in music; harmony, rhythm, tone, etc. each of which may be further subdivided and investigated.’
    • ‘The appeal is huge - the story is accessible to all ages and the music ranges through 16-part choral harmony to blues, jazz, country and western and ballads.’
    • ‘Listening to her talk, I thought of the choirs which would be around shortly, groups of young broodlings raising their voices in harmony to produce music.’
    • ‘When Phoebus lived on this earth, he was a lusty bachelor and a fine archer, slaying serpents and singing with great musical harmony.’
    • ‘They did not know that in music there are three basic elements of melody, harmony and rhythm.’
    • ‘One of the weaknesses of much pre-Classic music is the prevalence of bland diatonic harmony.’
    • ‘What unites his music for all media is his individual use of melody and harmony often with a light touch.’
    • ‘To get the quartet to make beautiful music in harmony, signals have to flow freely within the system.’
    • ‘Over the last few years harmony has regained its importance in my music as well as becoming a crucial expressive device.’
    • ‘The bonus recording of the Beethoven Fourth is Arrau and Muti in splendid harmony and it is a wonderful document of sorts.’
    • ‘He also sings in the extraordinary polyphonic style that produces two notes in harmony.’
    • ‘Glass has stripped music down to a few bare parameters: repetition, simple harmony and little melody.’
    • ‘Lowry does a terrific job of breaking down each song by the mood, key, harmony and instrumentation.’
    • ‘When the hero goes back in time the same garage is shown as sparkling clean and attended by a bevy of service attendants who, if I've remembered this right, sing in harmony like a barbershop quartet.’
    • ‘She was always good at repetition, at combining melody and harmony and rolling them over into country drone, but Rawlings is replaced here on half the tracks by a fiddle.’
    • ‘In terms of form, melody, and harmony, these works define the word ‘traditional.’’
    • ‘They forgot about two essential ingredients to psalmody - melody and harmony.’
    • ‘My sense of harmony, abrupt juxtapositions of texture, polyphonic approaches to rhythm, and voicing, probably have a lot to do with this relatively early fascination.’
    euphony, polyphony, consonance
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    1. 1.1 The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.
      ‘delightful cities where old and new blend in harmony’
      • ‘Their studies revealed lyrics that spoke of the restoration of balance in the universe and repairing the harmony between humanity and nature.’
      • ‘You bring harmony in friendships and relationships with a light and playful attitude.’
      • ‘‘For Lewis, the Centaur represents the harmony of nature and spirit,’ Ford writes.’
      • ‘Relations between the two pairs threatened to undermine the harmony of the whole squad in Olympic year.’
      • ‘The self is seen as integrated mind and body as a whole but it's also seen as whole with nature, with society and everything is integrated together and that there should be harmony within that whole.’
      • ‘In obeying God's commandments, we seek to bring a similar harmony and closeness between ourselves and God.’
      • ‘This fine combination works in harmony to produce a character endowed with common sense on the Taurus side, and the famous Libran sense of fair play and justice.’
      • ‘The elegant composition of the park is a skilful harmony between French and English styles.’
      • ‘How did the new harmony between church and state come about?’
      • ‘By the time we reach the new poems, Duhamel's line and rhetoric achieve a powerful harmony.’
      • ‘He is fascinated by other cultures and desires global harmony, seeing the whole world as his home.’
      • ‘It's rare to see a film where the harmony between style and narrative function is always perfect.’
      • ‘Everything fits together and you begin to see the perfection, consistency and harmony of the system.’
      • ‘Any group which promotes unity, harmony and unconditional equality in human rights and relationships can be said to be responding to the Aquarian energies.’
      • ‘Together they form the harmony between the universe and the soul thus making a whole again, the perfect balance.’
      • ‘In fact, the artist has skillfully coordinated his composition and palette, adding a sense of order and harmony to the realistic transcription.’
      • ‘We chose to have the Menu Dégustation Surprise (the surprise tasting menu), which turned out to lack harmony as a whole.’
      • ‘The tension between his attitudes and those of his church provokes more fertile questions than does the assumed harmony.’
      • ‘The inner and outer dimension of a person must be balanced in a pleasing harmony.’
      • ‘Hegel was seeking to describe a community in which individual interests and the interests of the whole are in harmony.’
      balance, symmetry, congruity, consonance, coordination, blending, correspondence, compatibility
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    2. 1.2 Agreement or concord.
      ‘man and machine in perfect harmony’
      • ‘However, I would like to think that the views I have expressed above are very much in harmony with those, perhaps, now held by Mary herself.’
      • ‘Where else do people of such varying ethnic origins, ages and walks of life work side by side in such (on the whole) perfect harmony?’
      • ‘And it's a picture of the harmony that we had right at the beginning of our history.’
      • ‘It's a classical case study in communal harmony and integration.’
      • ‘It has the potential to become a central feature in the promotion and determination of a more aware, inclusive and active community that lives in harmony with itself and its environment.’
      • ‘When the explorers reach the city they meet the Atlanteans, a peaceful people in harmony with nature, living eternal lives under the beauty of crystal energy.’
      • ‘It is, in fact, the economic system that is most in harmony with the biblical understanding of human nature and human destiny.’
      • ‘Christian peace is a fruit of the Spirit, it is the harmony of individuals, not nations.’
      • ‘There will be a time, too, when comfort is provided to those who have suffered and died, when the world will be irrevocably returned to the harmony intended for it.’
      • ‘They are in harmony with the perfect will of God and give rise to changed lives and changed communities.’
      • ‘Saudi society is now composed of people from different tribes who live together in harmony.’
      • ‘Christians have lived on the south-western coast of the Indian subcontinent peacefully and in harmony with the other local people for many centuries.’
      • ‘It may sweep up many who feel their environment is toxic and out of balance, but it is powerless to deliver what it promises - a satisfying and peaceful life lived in harmony with nature.’
      • ‘A few scholars have also carried out research studies on the institution, which emphasises religious harmony and national integration.’
      • ‘I hope people will co-operate and understand the necessity of living in harmony with nature.’
      • ‘We're proud of being Nova Scotian, and all we want to do here is live in harmony with other communities in an atmosphere of mutual respect.’
      • ‘Thank you for showing us all a case study where business and personal life work together in harmony.’
      • ‘It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus.’
      • ‘Many have described a special harmony with the outdoors that they feel when listening to his music.’
      • ‘Siddiqui said Urdu which is spoken not only in India and Pakistan but in the entire world can be utilised for promoting composite culture and communal harmony.’
      concord, accord, agreement, peace, peacefulness, amity, amicability, friendship, fellowship, comradeship, solidarity, cooperation, understanding, consensus, unity, sympathy, rapport, goodwill, like-mindedness
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  • 2An arrangement of the four Gospels, or of any parallel narratives, which presents a single continuous narrative text.

    • ‘The East saw the invention of the very first harmony of all four Gospels: Tatian's Diatessaron.’
    • ‘We know that shortly after AD 150 Tatian composed a harmony of the four gospels.’

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin harmonia ‘joining, concord’, from Greek, from harmos ‘joint’.

Pronunciation

harmony

/ˈhɑrməni//ˈhärmənē/