Great Music of the Twentieth Century (2018), by Robert Greenberg B.A. music (magna cum laude) from Princeton, Ph.D. music composition from the U.C. Berkeley. Lecture 11 "Synthesis and Nationalism: Béla Bartók". 19 min 30 s.

This quote doesn't appear in Course Guidebook.

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  1. m2 is more dissonant than M2. This Reddit post altercates the math. Thus I'll focus on m2 henceforward.

  2. To me, m2 is definitely NOT "a perfect consonance". But as Dr. Greenberg teaches, it is to Hungarians. Why?

  3. How can I learn, or habituate myself, to hear m2 as "a perfect consonance"?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tim, Dom Aug 12 at 16:09

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Sorry. It is unclear from your post where this quote is from (you put a lot of unnecessary and partly advertising links above but state that the quote is NOT from there). And also, what makes you think that Hungarians hear it that way? I would actually expect that you misunderstood this quote and that it does not refer to what you understand as ”perfect consonance“ – Jasper Habicht Aug 12 at 5:41
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    @JasperHabicht The quote is shown on Lect 11 from that DVD. – Lai M.Mus. Aug 12 at 6:52
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    @ Dom et all: I'm so disappointed of that always the most interesting questions are put on hold, while all the simple like what means this 2 or 3 above a note or this sign (all questions that could be answered if looking up wiki or any elementary-theory-site could be answered ,,, – Albrecht Hügli Aug 12 at 17:48
  • @AlbrechtHügli thanks for your support! – Lai M.Mus. Aug 12 at 21:49

The way to "habituate yourself" to what music sounds like is to stop reading about it and start listening to it.

BTW there is nothing specifically "Hungarian" about this. Composers in the Renaissance period didn't consider clashes between simultaneous ascending and descending melodic minor scales to be anything extraordinary. There are dozens of examples like this one, by Byrd (first published in 1591):

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You should perhaps be aware what this material by Greenberg actually is. It was commissioned by a for-profit company, whose target audience for selling DVDs of lectures was "older professionals and retirees" looking for infotainment - because that is the audience who have the money to make the company annual profits of around $150m from marketing such products.

Maybe the target audience is impressed by strings of academic qualifications, but don't fool yourself that this material is the direct product of academic research, nor is it intended as educational material for music students. The content is specified by the publishers, not by the authors.

Judging by the authorship of their best-selling music videos, Mr Greenberg seems to be doing pretty well from the deal: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/category/music


As you will see from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consonance_and_dissonance, there are various definitions of consonance and dissonance. It's likely that Lloyd had a different notion of consonance in mind to your friends on Reddit - especially as he was active from the middle of last century. (What's the date for that specific quote?)

How can I learn, or habituate myself, to hear m2 as "a perfect consonance"?

As I mention in my answer to What Music History questions are on- and off-topic?, how to make oneself feel differently about music is probably not something that has been studied enough that we're likely to be able to give a good answer here. But an obvious way to attune yourself to the expectations of Hungarian music would be to listen to more Hungarian music!

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