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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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5 answers
480 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
246 views

Question about dissonance handling and counterpoint

I'm self-learning 18th-century music theory because I like the music from that era. I'm obscure about the concepts of counterpoint and harmony. I'm aware that rules are not absolute within the 18th-...
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Why does it sound so weird? (Beethoven quartet)

Why does the first A# of the tetrachord of fugal development in op. 131, no. 7, m. 114 cello sound so weird? Is it because of the false relation with B?
2 votes
2 answers
207 views

Brahms Concerto Piano 1 Rondo : Hungarian Gypsy scale?

Piano part, Measures 136-139 (in Breitkopf's) - Pollini playing A/ Can I understand the right hand part as based on an Hungarian Gypsy scale ? B/ Are there any functional ? harmonic ? logical ? ...
-4 votes
1 answer
102 views

Please list every type of interval, (Perfect, Major, minor, Augmented and diminished), from Most Consonant to Most Dissonant [closed]

Please list every type of interval, (Perfect, Major, minor, Augmented and diminished), from Most Consonant to Most Dissonant. I cannot find this information anywhere online.
10 votes
5 answers
19k views

What is the list of intervals in order of dissonance

I understand that some intervals are considered dissonant (minor second) and some intervals are consonant (perfect fourths). However whenever I see intervals listed, they are always listed from ...
7 votes
9 answers
2k views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
451 views

What exactly are Avoid Notes?

Trying to find out about so-called 'avoid notes'. They seem to be notes that are a semitone above notes from a chord, thus produce dissonance. Not even sure what constitutes dissonance! But quite ...
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

Difference between perfect 4th and perfect 5th

I've recently been learning about interval ratios and about why some intervals are more consonant or dissonant than others. I was trying to find out about the order of intervals by consonance/...
86 votes
13 answers
25k views

Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord?

I know that if I played C and B together they would be very dissonant compared to if I played a G or C one octave up. Is there a quantitative way to describe that sort dissonance? Edit: I understand ...
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do the terms "pitch relationships" and "vertical dimension" signify in relation to harmony?

I am trying to learn more about the neurological basis of harmony perception. However, I am having a bit of trouble understanding the musical technical terminology being used by the authors in a ...
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

Why does spelling change the consonance/dissonance of the exact same interval?

The interval of F# to A is a minor third, an imperfect consonance. But if we spell the F# as a Gb, suddenly we have created an augmented 2nd, a dissonance. Sonically, these two situations are the ...
2 votes
0 answers
102 views

What are the acceptable ways to traditionally resolve dissonance?

This is a follow up to my previous question, about a seemingly unresolved "suspension" in Bach's Prelude in C major, bar 21: In the next bar, it resolves to this chord: If we block the ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Tritone or Minor 2nd as the most dissonant interval? [closed]

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 ...
16 votes
4 answers
9k views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
337 views

Tritone as a passing note

Can a tritone be used as a passing note? (say in key of C, going from note C to G).
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
209 views

Are diminished 5ths more dissonant than augmented 4ths?

To me when I play these intervals they sounds the same, yet in my harmony textbooks there seems to be a big difference on how these intervals are treated in voice leading. The principal difference is ...
5 votes
1 answer
876 views

Is the tritone (diminished fifth) used in alarm sirens?

I have read claims that the tritone, due to its dissonant nature, is used for things like police, ambulance, rocket or tornado sirens. I am a beginner music theory learner and would not be able to ...
3 votes
2 answers
191 views

Why is the fourth against the bass considered a dissonance? [duplicate]

The consonance or dissonance of an interval is determined by the simplicity of the ratio between their frequencies. An octave(most consonant interval), has a ratio of 2/1, the perfect fifth has a ...
5 votes
4 answers
310 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
179 views

Distance measurement in chords and harmony

I've been searching and thinking about this a lot since my mind got opened up to this possibility. Is there any musical theory "formalism"/framework that deals with measuring the distance ...
2 votes
3 answers
162 views

Consonance vs Stability [duplicate]

In the video below, the guitar teacher claims that the m6 chord is more resolutive and stable than the m7 chord. What's tricky is that the m6 chord is more dissonant!! More dissonant but more stable, ...
3 votes
3 answers
195 views

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. ...
12 votes
5 answers
4k views

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 ...
2 votes
4 answers
331 views

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.(...
2 votes
2 answers
108 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

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 ...
11 votes
3 answers
363 views

Are all pure tones that are separated by intervals of greater than a minor third equally consonant?

In this Quora answer Why do certain musical notes sound good together? the answerer claims it is important to distinguish between pure tones, that is, simple sine waves, and real tones, such as ...
1 vote
2 answers
410 views

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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

how does the bluegrass major chord built off of the flat 7 "work"?

It's in almost every bluegrass song, but I've never seen an exposition of the theory behind the major chord (minor may also be used, but I don't think I've seen it) built off of the flat 7th of the ...
5 votes
2 answers
283 views

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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
595 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
321 views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
191 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
543 views

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?
8 votes
2 answers
976 views

Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in close position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
1 vote
1 answer
173 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
406 views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
259 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
86 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
196 views

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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
651 views

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 ...
10 votes
4 answers
771 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
1 vote
2 answers
137 views

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,...
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
105 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
223 views

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) ...