Questions tagged [consonance-and-dissonance]

Dissonance is the cultural perception of two or more pitches sounded harmonically that form intervals not expected within the current musical context. These intervals typically occur higher in the harmonic series than other intervals considered to be "consonant".

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perfect 4th in third(3rd) inversion and more

I know that a perfect 4th is dissonant at above the bass, but some explanation says that: "If the note closest to the bass is not a 4, (like a 42 chord of 3rd inversion) that is not dissonant.(...
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Is this untreated major seventh acceptable because of the tonic pedal? (recapitulation of the 1st mov. of Mozart's Piano Sonata nº 7, K.309)

I am referring to the G-F# in m. 123. We are in G major, as I understand, heading to a PAC (m. 126) that will be reinterpreted as a half-cadence when the subordinate theme starts at m. 127. I am ...
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Computational Technique to Predict Two-Note Dissonance? [duplicate]

Many of us are taught that the "complexity" of the ratio between two frequencies predicts its dissonant qualities. Is there a way to find a numerical value for dissonance? I have created a ...
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Understanding dissonance in Mozart's String Quartet No. 19

I perfectly understand how the dissonance is built as explained by Wikipedia : The first movement opens with ominous quiet Cs in the cello, joined successively by the viola (on A♭ moving to a G), the ...
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Why are tritones not consonant, confusion with the definition of a perfect fifth

A fifth is a ratio of 1.5, and 1.5 is the middle between 1 and 2. A tritone is exactly in the center of my 12 notes. Stacking two tritones leads to an octave. Adding 1 + 0.5 + 0.5 leads me to the next ...
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Regarding Resolution, "downwards" is how a dissonance "wants" to resolve, rather than moving UP.... so help me understand B up to C (G7-C)

During a V-I resolution in C Major, the Leading Tone is B. B is the 3rd of the G7 chord. It wants to resolve to the Tonic note of C in C Major (C-E-G) But, I've often read that dissonances want to ...
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What dissonant chords can I use for C Maj power chord songs?

I find that I am writing a lot of rhythm guitar passages in a C Major progression, with power chords. But, I also find a lot of my songs are starting to sound alike. What dissonant chords can I ...
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What are the Deciding Factors as to Consonance/Dissonance?

Spawned by a previous question/answer. It seems that consonance/dissonance in intervals and harmonies have varied over time. So how would a decision be made to change one interval from one to the ...
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Are A6, A3, D4, and D7 intervals consonant or dissonant?

I am aware of the more common intervals and whether or not they are dissonant, but these confuse me. Are any consonant, or are they all considered dissonant?
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Intentional dissonance and "distortion" in the climax of a piece of music

I've just recently discovered this piece of music by Nils Frahm, "For – Peter – Toilet Brushes – More". The YouTube video is only the parts of "Toilet Brushes – More". The parts ...
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What is wrong about this counterpoint?

I am using a counterpoint rules plugin on MuseScore, and I am having trouble understanding the issues with my music. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong or if I am not interpreting the ...
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Four part writing: How to treat the 7th over static harmony?

My example: The harmony in bar 28 is C sharp half dim 7. On the off beat of beat 2, I have root C sharp (repeated harmony note- tenor part [alto clef]), sounding at the same time as the 7th B (aux ...
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Four part Writing: When must a perfect fourth be resolved?

A bit confused at the moment regarding when a perfect fourth is classed as a consonance, and when it is classed as a dissonance. I have read here on Stack Exchange, that perfect fourth intervals are ...
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Current consensus on consonant frequencies

I just read Physics and Music: The Science of Musical Sound Book by Donald H. White and Harvey Elliott White and the book explains that consonant frequencies — those sounding "good" when ...
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Four part writing: Does quality and amount of dissonances affect use of non harmony notes?

Still writing four part. I have found that, even if dissonances are prepared and resolved by the book, they can still be quite jarring. So, I was wondering if it is normal to take extra factors into ...
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How to use more dissonance in songwriting without going too far

I am not a classical musician but I have learned a bit of counterpoint and from what I remember, dissonance is usually used sparingly like on upbeats and between two passing tones. Nowadays however, I ...
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Is there such a thing as a stable or unstable tone in scales?

I'm writing a song in 4/4 in A major, and my melody ends first on the 7th degree leading tone (G#) and then the second time on the 6th degree (F#). These are supposed to be unstable tones, yet if I ...
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Is dissonance a type of inharmonicity?

I thought inharmonicity was basically when the partials of a complex wave don't belong to integer multiples of a fundamental frequency. I thought when this happens to get a "dissonant" sound,...
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Dissonance from the decay of fast notes is called what?

If an instrument with slow decay plays a fast melody, dissonance from the last note and the decay of the previous note can easily produce dissonance. Is there a technical term for this specific kind ...
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In species counterpoint, is the fourth above a third a consonance or a dissonance?

I am reading Alfred Mann's translation of "Gradus ad Parnassum" and found a footnote that says that Fux considers a fourth that comes from harmonic division the of the octave (fifth-fourth) ...
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Why are there particular "rules" for using triads in second inversion but not for using seventh chords in second inversion?

In the Classical style, there are three correct uses of the six-four triad (or sometimes four; see When, if ever, are arpeggiated six-four chords really "real"?). The logic is that the ...
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Does tonality require consonance?

It seems like tonality and consonance go hand in hand, but I’m still unsure if consonance is necessary to establish a tonal center, or if consonance is just the preferred sound against a tonal center. ...
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Do major seventh chord usually put the major seventh above the root?

It's been noted on this forum that dominant ninth chords normally have the ninth above the root. Is that same true for the major seventh of a major seventh chord? I've tried playing lots of ...
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How important is consonance/dissonance in suspensions?

It’s difficult for me to really hear any (harmonic) consonance or dissonance value when two notes are heard at the same time, but do NOT begin at the same time. As a listener, I find myself more drawn ...
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Is the bottom note of an interval favored?

I was practicing counterpoint (2nd species) and decided to experiment with ending on a perfect 5th except the top line was a C and the bottom an F. I know this isn't technically allowed in 2nd species,...
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How do you approach consonance/dissonance when making music?

I used to think it was absurd to think of consonance/dissonance as anything but an objective measurement, but after doing more research and reading posts like this How does the harmonic series affect ...
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Simple ratios create harmonious frequencies?

I’m trying to wrap my head around consonance and dissonance in terms of the harmonic series. From what I understand, the value of having simple ratios is not because they are ‘simple’, but because the ...
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What is meant by a 'simple' frequency ratio?

For the most part, I understand the application of simple ratios when determining consonance/dissonance, but I still don’t really know what makes one ratio more ‘simple’ than another. What really ...
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If you were to write a song, how would you use dissonance and consonance? [closed]

im still a newbie to this so i kinda need an answer to this
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Does dissonance create movement in counterpoint?

I’m studying first species counterpoint and trying to wrap my head around why we try not to use unisons, octaves and perfect 5ths outside of the beginning and end. I understand that unisons, octaves ...
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Am I understanding counterpoint correctly?

I’m in the midst of trying to grasp counterpoint and I’m at a bit of a stand still in terms of my understanding of it. I want to be able to go beyond memorizing the rules and really understand the ...
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4 votes
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Why is the sixth sometimes considered a dissonance which needs preparation?

I'm currently reading F. A. Gore Ouseley's Treatise on Harmony, which is a nice book from which to learn common-practice harmony (from a mid-19th century perspective). However, I'm a bit baffled by ...
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Ranking Diatonic Chords by Stability [closed]

So in functional harmony there are 3 categories. Tonic, Predominant and Dominant. The following are the chord numbers that belong to each category.. Tonic = 1, 3 and 6 chords. Predominant = 2 and 4 ...
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Why does a sixth sound so harsh below C3? [closed]

I have noticed that a sixth, particularly a harmonic sixth, sounds very harsh when the lowest note is below C3 and especially harsh if the sixth is minor. In fact, a minor sixth below C3 sounds to my ...
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Best guide to consonance?

It is said that lower fractions = greater consonance. 3/2, The Perfect Fifth, being the smallest fraction, has the highest consonance. However it is also said that 12TET has nice fifths, because they ...
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Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound?

We all know that an instrument's timbre is uniquely determined by its harmonic series. Harmonic series are also very effective in describing whether an interval is consonant or not. For example, the ...
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Minor Second Chord (or Microtonal) Dissonance Exploration

I have been fooling around with some minor second dyad chords and am coming up short on what to call the resulting sounds they produce. For instance on a piano/keyboard, a chord made of middle C and ...
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2 answers
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Is the Tritone the most dissonant interval? [duplicate]

I have seen a lot of people say that the minor second is more dissonant than the tritone. I however don't think of it that way. Don't get me wrong, the minor second is quite dissonant but to put it ...
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Do sine waves (pure tones) have overtones?

I was told in my music theory lessons that most sounds we hear in our everyday life contain partials which make up the timbral quality of that sound, whilst the sound musical instruments generate ...
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I have questions revolving around the formula of producing chord ratios? [closed]

Good day guys! Thanks to the gentleman @willross1 and others contributions, i have now discovered the formula behind turning interval ratios into chord ratios, which allows me to determine the level ...
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Are there objective criteria for classifying consonance v. dissonance?

There has been a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing regarding consonance and dissonance lately here. What I cannot understand is that the two terms seem to encompass rather subjective opinions. Looking ...
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Just Intonation > Equal Temperament "Consonance and Dissonance"?

So for months now I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with this Just Intonation versus Equal Temperament, so maybe with this question we can nip it in the bud. If we could refrain from "complex ...
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Why aren't slight imperfections in consonant intervals extremely dissonant?

In theory classes, we're taught that an interval's acoustic consonance is a function of how "simple" it is as a ratio, where "simple" means being a ratio of small integers. So a perfect fifth (3:2) is ...
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6 votes
8 answers
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Why are subdominants unstable?

In music theory, the subdominant is unstable and need to be resolved to the mediant. Similar resolution happens to the leading note and other notes that are not in the tonic triad. (Of course, I am ...
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How to produce tension and resolution

I'm beginning to enter the concept and science of tension and resolution and would like some context entering this section. Thus far what I have gathered is the following.. Tension and Resolution is ...
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2 votes
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How is dissonance created?

I was listening to a fairly obscure piece called "Rats in Spats" by the Combustion Collective and it sounds (I'm not a musician) dissonant somehow. Can the rhythm section play in a different key than ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Chord inversions and consonance

So the way I understand chords is based on the interval of the individual notes present in them. This is what gives the chord a consonant or dissonant quality. However, this doesn't seem to sit well ...
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1 answer
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what pitch(es) present in this trench whistle? [closed]

A friend bought me a replica trench whistle during the recent First World War Centenary. I'm hoping to use it as the basis for a scale or harmonic structure for a piece of music I'm working on. When ...
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A♭ major 9th chord in Bach is unexpectedly dissonant/jazzy

Measures 21-24 in Prelude VII from Bach's Well Tempered Clavier I I was looking at the Prelude VII by Bach and noticed that on the measure 23 Bach ended that phrase with a A♭ maj9 chord. I was ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How can stepwise movement be concordant?

I am learning rules of counterpoint. One of the rules states: Do not make stepwise concordant movements longer than a fifth. As far as I understand stepwise movement is either 2nd minor or second ...
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