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’
    • ‘He also sings in the extraordinary polyphonic style that produces two notes in harmony.’
    • ‘To get the quartet to make beautiful music in harmony, signals have to flow freely within the system.’
    • ‘When Phoebus lived on this earth, he was a lusty bachelor and a fine archer, slaying serpents and singing with great musical harmony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In terms of form, melody, and harmony, these works define the word ‘traditional.’’
    • ‘What unites his music for all media is his individual use of melody and harmony often with a light touch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lowry does a terrific job of breaking down each song by the mood, key, harmony and instrumentation.’
    • ‘They forgot about two essential ingredients to psalmody - melody and harmony.’
    • ‘One of the weaknesses of much pre-Classic music is the prevalence of bland diatonic harmony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the last few years harmony has regained its importance in my music as well as becoming a crucial expressive device.’
    • ‘Glass has stripped music down to a few bare parameters: repetition, simple harmony and little melody.’
    • ‘They did not know that in music there are three basic elements of melody, harmony and rhythm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And then the trumpets sound, their regal harmony cascading through the afternoon sunlight.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You bring harmony in friendships and relationships with a light and playful attitude.’
      • ‘He is fascinated by other cultures and desires global harmony, seeing the whole world as his home.’
      • ‘Hegel was seeking to describe a community in which individual interests and the interests of the whole are in harmony.’
      • ‘It's rare to see a film where the harmony between style and narrative function is always perfect.’
      • ‘‘For Lewis, the Centaur represents the harmony of nature and spirit,’ Ford writes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Together they form the harmony between the universe and the soul thus making a whole again, the perfect balance.’
      • ‘The elegant composition of the park is a skilful harmony between French and English styles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Relations between the two pairs threatened to undermine the harmony of the whole squad in Olympic year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Everything fits together and you begin to see the perfection, consistency and harmony of the system.’
      • ‘In obeying God's commandments, we seek to bring a similar harmony and closeness between ourselves and God.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The inner and outer dimension of a person must be balanced in a pleasing 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’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Christians have lived on the south-western coast of the Indian subcontinent peacefully and in harmony with the other local people for many centuries.’
      • ‘A few scholars have also carried out research studies on the institution, which emphasises religious harmony and national integration.’
      • ‘It's a classical case study in communal harmony and integration.’
      • ‘It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus.’
      • ‘It is, in fact, the economic system that is most in harmony with the biblical understanding of human nature and human destiny.’
      • ‘They are in harmony with the perfect will of God and give rise to changed lives and changed communities.’
      • ‘Christian peace is a fruit of the Spirit, it is the harmony of individuals, not nations.’
      • ‘Many have described a special harmony with the outdoors that they feel when listening to his music.’
      • ‘I hope people will co-operate and understand the necessity of living 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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Thank you for showing us all a case study where business and personal life work together in harmony.’
      • ‘And it's a picture of the harmony that we had right at the beginning of our history.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Saudi society is now composed of people from different tribes who live together in 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.

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


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