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On the word "destiNAtion" there is what looks to be 7-6 suspension except the suspension is not prepared on the strong beat as I believe it must be for it to be a suspension. So what is this then? Can a suspension be prepared in such a way?

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    "as I believe it must be for it to be a suspension": in the 18th century, perhaps. This was written neither in the 18th century nor in an 18th-century style.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2023 at 18:12
  • phoog, when you study music you generally learn THAT style, do you think there must be a reason for that? It is not like most of the most prestigous universities randomly pick a style.We still learn 18th century music not to write in that style but to write all other styles which deviate from it
    – user35708
    Mar 27, 2023 at 19:43
  • But there are dozens of composers who never learned that style, including probably the vast majority of composers writing songs like the one in question. Who wrote this one? How was he or she trained? Even those computers who did learn classical counterpoint (as you note) deviate from that style, which is why compositions by 19th and 20th and 21st century composers don't sound like 17th-century music. Seeking to analyze music with anachronistic theoretical constructs is sometimes fruitful but often leads to problems.
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2023 at 22:03
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    As I understand it, a suspension is a harmony, but an anticipation relates to rhythm. There's no reason not to combine these. Unless, for instance, you're strictly following a set of rules which explicitly forbids it.
    – AJFaraday
    Mar 28, 2023 at 9:59
  • Oops. "Even those computers" should be "even those composers," recent developments in artificial "intelligence" notwithstanding.
    – phoog
    Mar 29, 2023 at 8:34

2 Answers 2

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Yes. It isn't necessary for the note onset to occur exactly on the strong (part of the) beat — only that the note be sounding at that point. So it would be fair to interpret the sixteenth-note "na" as an anticipation, its extension onto beat 3 as the preparation, and the change to E on "tion" as the resolution.

However, the bigger issue is that a suspension is a chord tone in the chord of preparation and a non-chord tone in the chord of resolution. Here, it's a non-chord tone in the the chord of preparation. So the better interpretation is probably as an incomplete upper neighbor.

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  • Non chord tone? If we see that chord as a ii63 or ii65 chord then it is a chord tone right?
    – user35708
    Mar 27, 2023 at 19:16
  • @armani I don't think it holds up to interpret that chord as a ii chord. It's very clearly A major, the IV chord, and the F# is an ornamental pitch.
    – Aaron
    Mar 27, 2023 at 19:32
  • is that because it doesnt progress to V?
    – user35708
    Mar 27, 2023 at 19:46
  • @armani It does progress to V, but either way, the interpretation as ii doesn't pass the ear test. The chord is so strongly establish as A major` on the downbeat, that a brief visit to F# doesn't change the heard nature of the chord. For theory purposes, I suppose one could call it a IV chord up until the arrival of the F# and then call it a ii chord, in which case the first paragraph of my answer applies.
    – Aaron
    Mar 27, 2023 at 19:49
  • Where is there a V chord?
    – phoog
    Mar 27, 2023 at 22:04
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There is such a thing as an 'unprepared suspension'. This one works particularly well because the melodic line echoes that in the previous bar.

The rule that is 'broken' by an unprepared suspension belongs to a musical era way before I think this piece was written! These days we even use suspensions that are both unprepared and unresolved. Thinking in chord symbols, 'Csus4' MIGHT resolve to 'C', but it's by no means required or inevitable.

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  • Laurence, do you mean the rhythm of the melody echoes that of the previous bar?
    – user35708
    Mar 29, 2023 at 15:45
  • Both the rhythm and the actual melody, in the portion (F# -E) where the suspension occurs.
    – Laurence
    Mar 29, 2023 at 15:57
  • Ok I understand. You say that the suspension is unprepared but looking again on this, the suspension happens right after the C# in the bass and this effectively prepares the suspension does it not?
    – user35708
    Mar 29, 2023 at 16:28
  • Er…how does a C# prepare an F# again?
    – Laurence
    Mar 30, 2023 at 18:26
  • Sorry I mean A... F# is consonant against the bass and thus the suspension is prepared
    – user35708
    Mar 31, 2023 at 13:54

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