info)).[7]. The scale and tonic triad in C major (top) and C minor (bottom). It's this tonic chord which defines the key of our progression. In music of the common practice period, the tonic center was the most important of all the different tone centers which a composer used in a piece of music, with most pieces beginning and ending on the tonic, usually modulating to the dominant (the fifth scale degree above the tonic, or the fourth below it) in between. A song will probably begin and end with the tonic. In this example, Jingle Bells begins and ends with the tonic chord. The tonic is HOME. The tonic diatonic function includes four separate activities or roles as the principal goal tone, initiating event, generator of other tones, and the stable center neutralizing the tension between dominant and subdominant. ", A Tonal Analog: The Tone-Centered Music of George Perle, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tonic_(music)&oldid=978097406, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from September 2010, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from April 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 September 2020, at 21:52. You will often find a song begin with the tonic (or a part of the tonic chord) and end with the tonic. Berger (1963), p. 12. cited in Swift, Richard. For example, if the tonic were C major , our progression would be said to be "in the key of C major", and the root of our major scale would be C (useful to know for soloing). That, in its basic form, is the I - V (or 1 - 5) relationship.