organ point

Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

organ point

in music, a tone sustained through several changes of harmony that may be consonant or dissonant with it; in instrumental music it is typically in the bass. The name originates from the technique of prolonging a tone on the pedal keyboard of the organ; hence the occasional use, chiefly in England, of the synonym organ point. The pedal point is to a certain extent a harmonic focus, but only pedal points on the tonic and dominant notes (i.e., on the first and fifth notes of the scale) actually have harmonic value

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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