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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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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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?

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 can some hear the minor second as a perfect consonance? [closed]

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: ...
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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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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 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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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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Why is the minor 7th chord so consonant? [closed]

I find that the most consonant 7th chord in all of music is the minor 7th. But why is this? Well here is how I rank the common 7th chords from most dissonant to least dissonant(theoretically there are ...
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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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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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What can be “two horizontal intervals of equal distance and discordant” on diatonic scale?

I keep reading this set of rules for counterpoint. The rule number G5 states: If there are two horizontal intervals of equal distance and discordant, the next interval must differ. I try to ...
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Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in closed position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
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Is there a correlation between presence of harmonics and dissonance?

If one were to take a chord or scale or other harmonic structure, and amplify the volume of the overtones of each note relative to the fundamental, would the structure be perceived by audiences as ...
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Tritone or Minor 2nd as the most dissonant interval?

I'm trying to establish which interval is more dissonant, the tritone or the minor 2nd. Both are obviously very dissonant intervals. Math seems to prove that a minor 2nd should sound more consonant ...
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Would the melodic leap of the opening phrase of Mozart's K545 be considered dissonant?

The Complete Musician by Steven Laitz states that melodic intervals larger than a fifth are considered dissonant and should be avoided. It also states that two leaps of a third are fine, provided you ...
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What technique was being used in composing this background music for a film?

At around six minutes and 40 seconds of this Youtube video, this gentleman talks about using minor and major thirds and how it was supposed to mimic the sound of a ...
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Is the tritone (A4 / d5 / DA3 / Dd6) still banned in Roman Catholic music?

The tritone is one of the most dissonant intervals in music. It is also known as the "Augmented 4th", "Diminished 5th", "Doubly Augmented 3rd" or "Doubly Diminished 6th", and it is composed of three ...
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How to overcome emotional tension with this Beethoven rondo

I never thought this would happen but it just did. The Beethoven rondo I am referring to is the one in G major, widely known as "Rage over a Lost Penny". There is a 20 measure section starting at ...
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How to properly unresolve melodies to achieve dissonance and darkness in music [closed]

I'm looking to understand music theory behind dissonance, unresolved dark music. What makes a song sound serious and not "rainbows". When writing a bassline or melodies, is it possible to achieve ...
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Classification of 9th, 11th, and 13th intervals by consonance and dissonance

An interval is classified by its consonance or dissonance: as an open consonance (unison, perfect fifth, octave), a soft consonance (major and minor third and sixth), mild dissonance (major second ...
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How to avoid dissonance when moving from Maj7 to Dom7 chord if pedal is needed to be played

I am trying to play the part where Emaj7 is followed by E7-9. The piece is Poverty "Once upon a time in America". The right hand plays the highest G# and the left hand plays E (bass), then the left ...
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What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? [closed]

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? Intervals are dissonant/consonant so why wouldn't there be a way to measure the totality (or average?) of modes ...
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Close transposition but want to avoid dissonance

So I had this idea to have a march in canon. So I would have a rhythmic cell like this: to give a march-like feeling. I have decided on 6 rhythmic cells before a note change and going up 1 note and ...
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Transcribing Nutcracker suite, running into difficulties

Obviously, going from an orchestral score to a piano duet score is hard in general. But I am running into some difficulties with transposition. 2 instruments I am transposing are Bb clarinet and A ...
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Does melody note function change with each chord change in a certain harmonic field?

Lets say the root is G. The chord progression starts with a G minor chord (Tonic) and is in Aeolian mode. Perfect fifth of it is D. etc.. Does a chord change change the function of the original ...
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What makes some intervals consonant while others dissonant?

Why does an authentic cadence sound pleasing to the ear? What makes an interval "Consonant" or "Dissonant" and why are there only two categories for intervals?
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How to define “simple” when considering consonance and interval ratios

My understanding is 'simple' ratios for intervals are considered acoustically consonant and this is often used to explain is considered musically consonant. So, a unison 1:1 (1.000) is simple - it's ...
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619 views

What characteristics make a chord change sound scary/evil? [closed]

I realize that my question is inherently subjective to some degree but I think there might still be some prescriptive techniques to be gleaned from it from experienced composers. I know that ...
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Writing specific intervals

Is my answer the following question is correct: Q: What is the augmented seventh from E? A: D double sharp Method Write down the note (of your choosing) on the bottom line of the treble ...
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Why is a major third considered more consonant than a perfect fourth?

The "perfect" quality implies it should be as consonant as a perfect fifth, but that doesn't seem to be true. Moreover, a perfect fourth has the slightly nicer ratio of 4:3 compared to a major thirds ...
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Writing a melody that forms second harmonies with a chord progression

When i write a melody over a chord progression, i notice that some of the notes from the melody, form second interval harmonies with the chord notes. Am i allowed, at least as a beginner, to do this ...
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What is the “simple frequency ratio” theory? [duplicate]

What is the "simple frequency ratio" theory of consonance and dissonance? Why is it called a theory?
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What's the difference between dissonance and beats?

Are dissonance and beats (at a difference frequency) in music pretty much the same thing?
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What causes consonance in music?

I am trying to understand why certain pitches or notes sound pleasant together and others doesn't. So far my understanding is that simpler ratios between the frequencies of the notes means they are ...
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What is the difference between harmony and consonance in music?

I am new to music theory and I was wondering what the difference is between harmony and consonance/dissonance. What are the reasons behind these terms and how can you apply it in practice if, for ...
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Is there a way to define dissonance such that it can be quantifiable? [duplicate]

We can perceive dissonance between notes, but are is there a mathematical way to measure the relationship between two notes as more or less dissonant? Context: I'm doing an experiment with sets of ...
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Consonance/Dissonance of 5th according to the explanation of 4th

The consonance of the 4th interval depends on the context, as several music theory sources describe. Why isn't that idea generalized to all intervals? Let me illustrate this comparing what I have in ...
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Dissonance: why doesn't the roughness curve have a dip for complex intervals like 7/6?

Roughness is explained well in Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord? In particular the Plomp-Levelt curve is derived, which has various dips showing how simple intervals (...
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harmony - singing F note on D major chord

I am writing a piece of music where the song is in d melodic minor and there is a place where I play a D Major chord on bass F# (D/F#) and I sing for a brief moment an F note and guitar also play f ...
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Why do certain vocal melodies work in context when those same melodies would sound dissonant on instruments?

I've been transcribing more vocal lines lately in songs I like, to go along with the usual instrument transcription I do, and I've noticed something interesting - a lot of my favorite vocal parts ...
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avoiding thirds at lower frequencies

From Plomp & Levelt 1965, Tonal Consonance and Critical Bandwidth: "The critical frequency is lower for more consonant intervals. This behavior reflects the musical practice to avoid thirds at low ...
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Harmony and Simplified Ratios of Frequency

I stumbled on this question while checking a grade 7 mathematics book. It grabbed my eyes having been introduced to some of music's amazing topics. I know that harmony ( or more accurately, ...
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825 views

Why is a Perfect Fourth Considered Consonant? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research into the harmonic series lately. What I've come to understand is that the lower the ratio between the harmonics, the more pleasant/consonant the interval is. So, an ...