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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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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-...
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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?
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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.
Dave Little's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
455 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 ...
Tim's user avatar
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7 answers
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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/...
John Smith's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
157 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 ...
OprenStein's user avatar
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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 ...
OprenStein's user avatar
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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 ...
OprenStein's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
hb20007's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
184 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 ...
plusplusjava's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
212 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 ...
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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 ? ...
MC68020's user avatar
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4 answers
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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.(...
guss2222's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
Felipe Martins's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Jonas Techmanski's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
421 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 ...
MC68020's user avatar
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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 ...
sezanzeb's user avatar
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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 ...
Jason P Sallinger's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
192 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 ...
Tim's user avatar
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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 ...
user80398's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
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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 ...
EdB123's user avatar
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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 ...
Weier's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
EdB123's user avatar
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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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663 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
139 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,...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
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 ...
Invariant's user avatar
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1 answer
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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) ...
Liisi's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Richard's user avatar
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2 votes
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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, ...
021's user avatar
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3 answers
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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. ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
353 views

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 ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
80 views

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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
348 views

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,...
YoungCapone's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
258 views

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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
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5 answers
491 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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
199 views

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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
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2 answers
68 views

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
Valery10's user avatar
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3 answers
196 views

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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
215 views

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 ...
YoungCapone's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
127 views

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 ...
Kim Fierens's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
Caters's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
ItHertz's user avatar
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45 votes
8 answers
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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 ...
Frank WNPM's user avatar
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 ...
user11845919's user avatar