Notes that sound great together once played at the very same time are referred to as consonant. Chords constructed only of consonances sound pleasant and "stable"; you have the right to listen to one for a lengthy time without feeling that the music requirements to readjust to a different chord. Note that room dissonant have the right to sound harsh or unpleasant when played at the very same time. Or they might simply feeling "unstable"; if friend hear a chord with a dissonance in it, you may feel the the music is pulling you in the direction of the chord the resolves the dissonance. Obviously, what seems pleasant or unpleasant is partially a issue of opinion. This discussion only covers consonance and dissonance in western music.

You are watching: When a dissonance moves to a consonance, it can be called a


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For activities that introduce these principles to young students, please check out Consonance and also Dissonance Activities.


that course, if there are difficulties with tuning, the notes will certainly not sound good together, however this is not what consonance and dissonance room about. (Please note, though, the the selection of tuning system deserve to greatly affect which intervals sound consonant and which sound dissonant! Please view Tuning systems for much more about this.)

Consonance and also dissonance refer to intervals and chords. The interval in between two note is the number of half steps between them, and also all intervals have a name that musicians generally use, like major third (which is 4 fifty percent steps), perfect 5th (7 half steps), or octave. (See Interval come learn just how to determine and name the interval between any kind of two notes.)

one interval is measured in between two notes. Once there are more than 2 notes sounding at the very same time, that"s a chord. (See Triads, specify name Triads, and Beyond Triads for some basics top top chords.) of course, you have the right to still talk around the term between any two that the note in a chord.

The simple intervals the are thought about to it is in consonant room the boy third, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, young sixth, significant sixth, and also the octave.


Figure5.26.Consonant Intervals


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In contemporary Western Music, all of these intervals are taken into consideration to be satisfaction to the ear. Chords that contain just these intervals are thought about to it is in "stable", restful chords that don"t have to be resolved. Once we hear them, we don"t feeling a require for castle to walk to other chords.

The intervals that are thought about to it is in dissonant room the boy second, the major second, the boy seventh, the major seventh, and an especially the tritone, i beg your pardon is the term in between the perfect fourth and also perfect fifth.


Figure5.27.Dissonant Intervals


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these intervals space all thought about to be somewhat unpleasant or tension-producing. In tonal music, chords containing dissonances are considered "unstable"; when we listen them, we intend them to move on to a an ext stable chord. Moving from a dissonance come the consonance that is supposed to follow it is dubbed resolution, or resolving the dissonance. The sample of tension and also release created by solved dissonances is component of what provides a piece of music exciting and also interesting. Music that has no dissonances have the right to tend to seem simplistic or boring. Top top the various other hand, music that consists of a the majority of dissonances that are never resolved (for example, lot of twentieth-century "classical" or "art" music) deserve to be daunting for some people to hear to, because of the unreleased tension.


Figure5.28.Resolving Dissonances


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Why space some keep in mind combinations consonant and also some dissonant? preferences for certain sounds is partly cultural; that"s among the factors why the classic musics of various cultures can sound so various from each other. Even within the heritage of west music, opinions about what is unpleasantly dissonant have changed a an excellent deal end the centuries. However consonance and dissonance do also have a solid physical communication in nature.

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In simplest terms, the sound tide of consonant note "fit" with each other much much better than the sound tide of dissonant notes. Because that example, if two notes are an octave apart, there will be precisely two tide of one keep in mind for every one wave of the various other note. If there are two and a tenth tide or eleven twelfths that a tide of one keep in mind for every tide of one more note, castle don"t fit together as well. Because that much an ext about the physical basis of consonance and also dissonance, see Acoustics for Music Theory, Harmonic Series, and also Tuning Systems.