Definition of harmony in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘To get the quartet to make beautiful music in harmony, signals have to flow freely within the system.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They did not know that in music there are three basic elements of melody, harmony and rhythm.’
    • ‘And then the trumpets sound, their regal harmony cascading through the afternoon sunlight.’
    • ‘When Phoebus lived on this earth, he was a lusty bachelor and a fine archer, slaying serpents and singing with great musical harmony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They forgot about two essential ingredients to psalmody - melody and harmony.’
    • ‘In terms of form, melody, and harmony, these works define the word ‘traditional.’’
    • ‘Lowry does a terrific job of breaking down each song by the mood, key, harmony and instrumentation.’
    • ‘Glass has stripped music down to a few bare parameters: repetition, simple harmony and little melody.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The piano thrives on harmony rather than counterpoint.’
    • ‘The bonus recording of the Beethoven Fourth is Arrau and Muti in splendid harmony and it is a wonderful document of sorts.’
    • ‘There are so many different elements in music; harmony, rhythm, tone, etc. each of which may be further subdivided and investigated.’
    • ‘He also sings in the extraordinary polyphonic style that produces two notes in harmony.’
    • ‘Over the last few years harmony has regained its importance in my music as well as becoming a crucial expressive device.’
    euphony, polyphony, consonance
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    1. 1.1The quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.
      ‘delightful cities where old and new blend in harmony’
      • ‘He is fascinated by other cultures and desires global harmony, seeing the whole world as his home.’
      • ‘Relations between the two pairs threatened to undermine the harmony of the whole squad in Olympic year.’
      • ‘‘For Lewis, the Centaur represents the harmony of nature and spirit,’ Ford writes.’
      • ‘We chose to have the Menu Dégustation Surprise (the surprise tasting menu), which turned out to lack harmony as a whole.’
      • ‘Hegel was seeking to describe a community in which individual interests and the interests of the whole are in harmony.’
      • ‘The elegant composition of the park is a skilful harmony between French and English styles.’
      • ‘By the time we reach the new poems, Duhamel's line and rhetoric achieve a powerful harmony.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Any group which promotes unity, harmony and unconditional equality in human rights and relationships can be said to be responding to the Aquarian energies.’
      • ‘Everything fits together and you begin to see the perfection, consistency and harmony of the system.’
      • ‘The inner and outer dimension of a person must be balanced in a pleasing harmony.’
      • ‘It's rare to see a film where the harmony between style and narrative function is always perfect.’
      • ‘You bring harmony in friendships and relationships with a light and playful attitude.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The tension between his attitudes and those of his church provokes more fertile questions than does the assumed harmony.’
      • ‘Together they form the harmony between the universe and the soul thus making a whole again, the perfect balance.’
      • ‘In obeying God's commandments, we seek to bring a similar harmony and closeness between ourselves and God.’
      • ‘How did the new harmony between church and state come about?’
      • ‘Their studies revealed lyrics that spoke of the restoration of balance in the universe and repairing the harmony between humanity and nature.’
      • ‘In fact, the artist has skillfully coordinated his composition and palette, adding a sense of order and harmony to the realistic transcription.’
      balance, symmetry, congruity, consonance, coordination, blending, correspondence, compatibility
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    2. 1.2An arrangement of the four Gospels, or of any parallel narratives, that 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.’
  • 2Agreement or concord.

    ‘man and machine in perfect harmony’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I hope people will co-operate and understand the necessity of living in harmony with nature.’
    • ‘Christian peace is a fruit of the Spirit, it is the harmony of individuals, not nations.’
    • ‘And it's a picture of the harmony that we had right at the beginning of our history.’
    • ‘A few scholars have also carried out research studies on the institution, which emphasises religious harmony and national 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.’
    • ‘It's a classical case study in communal harmony and integration.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Thank you for showing us all a case study where business and personal life work together in harmony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is, in fact, the economic system that is most in harmony with the biblical understanding of human nature and human destiny.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus.’
    • ‘They are in harmony with the perfect will of God and give rise to changed lives and changed communities.’
    • ‘Christians have lived on the south-western coast of the Indian subcontinent peacefully and in harmony with the other local people for many centuries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Saudi society is now composed of people from different tribes who live together in 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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  • harmony of the spheres


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