Diatonic hexachord

"Major hexachord" redirects here. For the interval, see major sixth.
Diatonic hexachord
Component intervals from root
major sixth
perfect fifth
perfect fourth
major third
major second
Forte no. / Complement
6-32 / 6-32
Interval vector
On C  Play 

The diatonic, Guidonian, or major hexachord (6-32[1][2][3]) is a hexachord consisting of six consecutive pitches from the diatonic scale that are also a consecutive segment of the circle of fifths: F C G D A E = C D E F G A = "do-re-mi-fa-sol-la".

It is the thirty-second hexachord as ordered by Forte number, and its complement is the diatonic hexachord at the tritone. If the circle of fifths transformation is applied to the diatonic hexachord the chromatic hexachord results.[4] It is source set C.

Hugo Riemann points out that the hexachord consists of three overlapping (diatonic) tetrachords: Lydian, Phrygian, and Dorian; as well as two overlapping pentatonic scales.[5] Richard Crocker made the case that, in the words of Stefano Mengozzi, "the Guidonian hexachord was the most important diatonic unit for practical musicians from the Carolingian era to the seventeenth century".[6]

More generally diatonic hexachord may refer to any hexachordal subset of the diatonic septad (7-35): 6-Z25, 6-Z26, 6-32, or 6-33. The minor hexachord is 6-33 (0 2 3 5 7 9 = C D E F G A).

See also


  1. Morris, Robert (2010). The Whistling Blackbird: Essays and Talks on New Music, p.65. University Rochester Press. ISBN 9781580463492.
  2. Chikinda, Michael Wayne (2008). Processes of Redemption and the Aesthetic of the Fragment in the Early Twelve-tone Works of Luigi Dallapiccola, p.66. ISBN 9780549735618.
  3. Forte, Allen (1978). The Harmonic Organization of the Rite of Spring, p.34. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300105377.
  4. Babbitt, Milton (1987). Milton Babbitt: Words about Music, p.93. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 9780299107949.
  5. Riemann, Hugo (1916). Folkloristische Tonalitätsstudien, p.39. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel. Cited in (2011). The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Riemannian Music Theories, p.155-56. ISBN 9780195321333.
  6. Crocker, R.L. (1968 and 1972). "Perchè Zarlino diede una nuova numerazione ai modi?", Rivista italiana di musicologia 3: 48-58 and "Hermann's Major Sixth", JAMS 25: 19-37. Cited in: Mengozzi, Stefano (2010). The Renaissance Reform of Medieval Music Theory: Guido of Arezzo Between Myth and History, p.19 (n.2). ISBN 9780521884150.
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