A tone which has harmonic
relevancy to what is going on in the harmony
at the time of occurance.
If a C major chord is comprised of the notes "C" "E" and "G", any of those notes can be a chord tone. This gets stickier when doing more complex musical
analyses when the lowest note is not necessarily the bass note
of the chord you are dealing with.
Example: You are reading a score
and you see F in the bass voice, with A and C above it amongst the several simultaneous
tones occuring on that beat. You assume it is a F major chord and move on. You would be wrong however, because not only is F major not diatonic in the key signature
the piece you are looking at is in, but C is the seventh degree in the Dmaj7
chord you are actually looking at.
Assuming you are looking at a diatonic
, tonal piece of music.
See? I wasn't kidding. Sticky.