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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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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How to argue that it might be a good idea for a composition to follow music theory more closely? [closed]

So I'm a cabaret composer and have been studying music for quite some time. I have a band including myself, an accordionist, and a guitarist. I've been writing progressions and parts for everyone, ...
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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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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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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 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 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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175 views

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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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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474 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 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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594 views

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 ...