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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64
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9answers
15k 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 ...
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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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7answers
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Is there a known point in history where dissonance became acceptable?

So, I'm not a scholar of music history, but I have a basic timeline. The evolution of Western music theory had several times in which certain chords and intervals were considered too "jarring" or "...
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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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4answers
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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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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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6answers
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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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4answers
800 views

Dissonance across different octaves

When I play to keys that form a dissonant interval (for example a major second using C and D) in the lower octave, I perceive the dissonance to be very strong. But, when I move up to higher C's and D'...
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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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4answers
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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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3answers
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Dissonant notes extremely panned - what is that I hear?

I was studying the musical theory and an idea came to me - what happens if I play dissonant chords at the same time, but one of them being panned to the extreme left and the other one - to the extreme ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
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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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3answers
460 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: ...
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2answers
356 views

Is there a formal term for a recording's pitch being “in the cracks”?

Lots of recordings were (sometimes intentionally) speed up/slowed down before final mastering, so that, even if the band was tuned to concert pitch, it isn't in the released version. If you have a ...
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4answers
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What is the list of intervals in order of dissonance

I understand that some intervals are considered dissonant (minor second) and some intervals and consonant (perfect fourths). However whenever I see intervals listed, they are always listed from ...
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8answers
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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 ...
6
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3answers
754 views

More dissonant chords/intervals in the bass clef when frequency proportions are the same?

Take for example C augmented. It sounds more consonant in the treble clef above middle C and more dissonant in the bass clef. However the proportions of the frequencies are exactly the same. This ...
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3answers
913 views

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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4answers
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Major Seventh chord with root note as melody : why the dissonance?

In wikipedia page - jazz chords : Major Seventh it is said that "if the melody note is the root of the chord, including a major seventh can frequently cause a harsh dissonance". But since the root ...
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2answers
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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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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
919 views

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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2answers
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Difference between passing note and suspension?

I'm under the impression that a passing note has a dissonance on a "weak" beat. So you may have |3, 4|6 where | is a barline where the 3 4 6 all form a scalic run. e.g. F G| A ontop of a bass of D | C....
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Dissonances and harmony

When I listen to Bach, Handel or Vivaldi (especially Baroque composers) every single note seems to fit there perfectly I mean pretty consonant to their location. As I was trying to learn tonal ...
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1answer
161 views

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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4answers
461 views

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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2answers
312 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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3answers
157 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 ...
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3answers
226 views

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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2answers
395 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
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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 ...
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4answers
612 views

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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2answers
152 views

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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3answers
160 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 ...
3
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2answers
396 views

Which note is consonance and which is dissonance

1) I did some reading saying 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th note are unstable note. where 7th note tends to move towards the tonic and it is the most unstable note. Is it true? When I play through the scale, i ...
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2answers
314 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 ...
3
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4answers
242 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
104 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
108 views

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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5answers
346 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
126 views

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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2answers
100 views

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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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
232 views

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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3answers
92 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
67 views

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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3answers
302 views

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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3answers
536 views

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 ...