How to use dissonance?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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Forgotten
KVRAF
8373 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:44 pm

A diminished triad is two stacked minor thirds, which is not the same as a chord with a flat 5th.

The VII in a major scale, and the iI in a minor scale are diminished, but you are suggesting your chord is the I or i, but would be Major based on the Major 7th. It just happens to have a flat 5th.

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KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:50 pm

I'm fully aware I need a 7 to have a flat 5. I never suggested my chord was the I. If I thought it was the I, why would I be having this conversation while I wonder what scale degree the chord fits into.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
8373 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:01 pm

OK, so even if it’s not the first diatonic chord the flat 5th doesn’t give you any indication of the key being major or minor with only one chord.

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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:29 pm

Forgotten wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:32 pm
Stamped Records wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:22 pm
Anyways, I never thought to consider the b a flat 5 in my chord. Oddly enough it would have to be a minor key to have a major flat5 so that's worth exploring a bit tomorrow.
That’s why I said that if it has to have F as the tonic you need to consider the 5th as flat.

Not sure what you mean by being minor if it has a flat 5th. The I chord will be a minor 7th in a minor scale, and a Major 7th in a major scale.
Chord = F A E G B is a perfectly cromulent F^7 9 #11, unless C# is intended.

A jazz performance in F major can end satisfyingly on F ^7 #11. It’s not terribly uncommon.

It’s all context.

If it truly does have an F root then you also need to call out the flat 5th
I see no real necessity for this. Harmonically, B is the third partial per E, 3rd partial of A. CF: Lydian Chromatic Concept, #11 is normal, desirable. It can be lush, pretty...

F A Cb E is technically a more complex ideation than that.*
This ’missing P5’ doesn’t, through itself, demand that name.
Gamma-UT wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:45 am
If you actually had an F9#11, you'd also have the B against C. But, as Forgotten pointed out: that's missing.

But it's not an F7, because you're missing the fifth and in all likelihood, the E would be perceived as part of the upper chord - but a lot depends on voicing.
Not necessarily, jazz guitarists as well as pianists leave off P5 in 7th chords all the time. F A E = F^7, F Ab E = Fm^7 unless some other intent or purpose is happening. F to E is a 7th; if F is root, there’s nothing else it can be but (classical jargon) chord of the seventh if it’s a chord.

In the practice of, where there are a lot of extensions to handle, P5 is the least essential part of the thing, the first thing you lose.

*:
Major7(b5) chord - jazz theory - improvisation - Major seventh flat 5 - diminished 5th.png
This person is relating a Sonny Simmons m.o. which I can verify from experience (a workbook he created for me when he was on the street, for 20 bucks). Funny to find so quickly in a search.
(you don’t be thinking all this stuff, you know this in your mind/hand, and you see/hear these other related-by-thirds chords vis a vis where you already are or somewhere that’s close at hand because of ease/economy. I personally wouldn’t, I tend to reduce everything to *the* meaningful note and super economy, but there’s a genius to it IME. It is the ONLY time I have run across a real argument for ^7b5, tho’.)

So, what’s the actual usage?
Bb there as IV of F, or F as IV of C, E is 7 of key of F, B is 7 of C.
We may want to eschew asserting an Fb in key of F or Cb in key of C, at least as your first inclination. This is outside diatonic thought completely. There is nothing in the question telling us it’s ‘outside’.

That said, in terms of jazz thinking, this is “upper structure” for “substitutions” which extends into desired chromaticism, apart from color. For me, #11, looked at as a sonorous concept obtained via stacking P5s, can be just consonant.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:52 pm

I have not seen b5 called besides in 7th chords.
C E Gb v. Gb Bb Fb, could happen, arpeggiated dominant 7 to F in b5 substitution theory, “C b5/Gb b5”.
in isolation, I don’t know.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:58 pm

Forgotten wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:44 pm
A diminished triad is two stacked minor thirds, which is not the same as a chord with a flat 5th.
Yet the classical term ’half diminished 7th’ is usually called ’min7 b5’ in jazz or dealing in pop styles.

flat fifth, diminished fifth, no difference per se.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:20 am

I personally don’t love “m7b5” unless*

My argument is the P5 is not missing acoustically, unless there are no harmonics. Jazz practice omitting it is fact. It’s not only not missing, it is frequently too thick when present.

For the major/major 7 construction to really contain a flat 5, the contextual difference is function. The b5 of V7b5 naturally voice-leads to 1, b2 - 1. Conversely, the b5 of bII7b5 is 5.
So what’s the reasoning for the simple M/M7 to have a flat 5?
C^7b5 to where? F? M/M7 is a I or IV object tonally.
Cb is 6/7ths of the circle from F and the whole trip from C.
For me, there is no avoiding this constructing the argument.

Sonny’s lesson is a mental device like a mnemonic, it’s not a real thing in itself. As far as I knew, there is so little reason for ^7 b5 it doesn’t happen.

ii7b5, well, there is no alteration per the key in minor; but in major it’s the norm to indicate such. In minor it isn’t flattened, so in this sense there is a difference to talk about.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:28 am

The first compo I presented to a ‘master class’, I remember only one feature of.
The I chord, as it were.

Bb D A C E, with an E bass, 6th string open. It’s stable. I didn’t have to name it, but BbM9#11/E bass is good enough.
Note that here as well as the query in thread, A C E = 7 9 11 or E G B, same. Even the temptation to call the upper part Em appears in the query.

Reality - hear it - rather overwhelms the supposition of the need to explain the missing P5.
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codec_spurt
KVRAF
4029 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:45 pm

Stamped Records wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:15 pm
In melody, harmony and/or both.

Just want to open it up for thoughts to see if it matches anything I have in mind.

You ask an open ended question.

First define 'dissonance'.

You can use it in melody (call it out of tune)/ harmony (call it dissonance proper)/ rhythm (call it syncopation). That's just my personal understanding of it. Others may disagree. Not out to teach anything to anyone here.

You can do stuff that is out of tune but sounds good.
You can do stuff that harmonically 'jars' but still sounds good.
You can do stuff out of time, but don't go calling me funky now!

(YOW, COZ I'M SUPER BAD - TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE!)

You can even do stuff that is bad, and sounds bad, but it's meant to sound bad, so it's all good!

You could spend a long time studying dissonance. Both melodically, harmonically, rhythmically. Theoretically, practically.

I went very deep studying tritones and their mathematical structures. Then I found infinity. Some mathematicians went a bit mad over that. I have trouble with arithmetic. So I just left it there.

First comes infinity, then comes insanity.


I got lost in Pythagoras' theorem and constant (which aren't the same thing - but both apply here) and the square root of two (which is Pythagoras' Constant).

https://www.friesian.com/music.htm


...thus a perfectly pure harmonious system of tones is impossible not only physically but even arithmetically. The numbers themselves, by which the tones can be expressed, have insoluable irrationalities.

Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Volume I, §52 [Dover Publications, 1966, E.F.J. Payne translation, p.266]



Oh never forget the square root of two.

The first irrational number. You want to talk dissonance?

We'll be getting in to pi next, but no need for that.

We already hold infinity in our hands on a guitar fretboard. Need square root of two for that. Pythagoras kind of got there first.

Strange things happen when you divide the fretboard up in certain ways and start to divide octaves. When you try to make sense of it all you realise the inherent insanity that lies within.

See Zeno's paradox and the Hare and the Tortoise.

It's why different types of tunings exist. And why no instrument can ever be in tune with itself, let alone all the other instruments in the band/orchestra.

It's ok! Let it go! Do not concern youreself with things you do not understand!

You have no idea what you are messing with when it comes to 'dissonance'.



Then there is the Sonic Youth School of musical discourse:

Felt so good I did it twice!


Some people do it three times just to show they don't care.

Don't make it wrong.



Dissonance. Microtunings. Colundi Sequences.

Pick any two!

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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:28 am

The question has no answer other than it depends.
Rather than ask it like it’s abstract and some received principle is part of a recipe, again, get experience with music in the world. You’re going to have to take models for all of it. What one is not going to do is invent one’s musical self in a vacuum via received music theory factoids.
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KVRist
297 posts since 20 Sep, 2018 from UK

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:24 am

I just want to run a few simple checks.

Is an extension to a chord (and subsequent alterations to that extension) a dissonance?

is a slash chord a dissonance? So I play a D chord and I move the bass up from A to B. Well, I've probably substituted for a B7 there and there's dissonance in itself, but if I raised the bass from a to C, then the C/D chord would have C in the bass as a dissonance?

When you move from static harmony to dynamic harmony, is that dissonance at a zoomed out level? So, if I play 8 bars on a simple C chord and then switch to a simple F at bar 17, is the F chord a dissonance, an accent or neither?

I thought that good music (at least my taste) was in how many chords you use but it appears to be in how you extend, substitute and slash but two or three chords. I've been reading and hearing for years how 99% of music comes down to 2 or 3 chord progressions and I hear too much variety in music to understand how that's possible. It's bugged me and that bug has fuelled my quest.

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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:50 am

codec_spurt wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:45 pm
...thus a perfectly pure harmonious system of tones is impossible not only physically but even arithmetically. The numbers themselves, by which the tones can be expressed, have insoluable irrationalities. Schopenhauer
Which numbers?

If you want to keep multiplying 3:2, you’ll never get 2:1 obviously.
So, no octave equivalence is possible. But, 3:2, 9:8, 27:16, 81:64 etc are ratios, and the “Pythagorean comma” (531441: 524288) you use to solve the problem is as well. The problem has a rational solution, then.

12 tone equal to the octave is an irrational system, using 12th root of two to figure it. This however is no definition of music or notes, as it’s not law that you have to use it.

These scales cannot be constructed with "simple mathematical ratios." Schopenhauer, one of the surpreme philosophers of music, was aware of this, as we find him saying:/sic

Which scales? If 531441:524288 exceeds a definition of “simple”, then tautology = Pythagorean is obvious Pythagorean obviously.

But:
1:1, 16:15, 9:8, 6:5, 5:4, 4:3, 45:32, 3:2, 8:5, 5:3, 9:5, 15:8 (2:1) seems simple enough, five limit... But the author of that page of course argues this isn’t used. I assure you it is. Of course you cheat to make your conclusion agree with your premise because begging the question is a slam dunk argument.
:roll:

One half expects “but 5 limit isn’t really simple” to answer that.

If you tried that at Wiki you’d be brutalized. All of this is covered, and reviewed/revised there.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:48 am

and not just because of that, there are some hilarious conclusions leapt to, which I shan’t waste further screen space on

“This creates a dilemma for real musicians, which is how the scales are to be constructed at all.”

I don’t think this word dilemma means what you think it means.
(not <you> you)

a difficult choice as it’s between two equally undesirable options

I have yet to see dissonance in melody defined. I could be ignorant, but I keep seeing it and I don’t get it.
You (literally ‘you‘ this time) like “out of tune”. I don’t, because out of tune is sufficient for saying ‘out of tune’ already. Additionally, that is completely relative. Which is out of tune, the simple ratio 5:4 or the tempered acc’ding to 12th root of two ditone? Or 81:64?
By one definition, 12tET is 1/12 in tune, at best. The octave hopefully is (until weather puts the hurts to it), the rest is a kludge.

We can’t form definitions out of ill-defined terms.

So, we get arguments circular to bad premises, like no instrument can be in tune with itself. While in reality some, if not all of it, is by one or another metric in tune. Professional musicians rely on being largely in tune. NB: if you tried to be a piano tuner as a non-hearing person by a mechanical device by the numbers you would never gain employment in it. The piano won’t meet expectations. Because in tune or not is reliant on perception. There is no absolute definition of the term. It is not an arithmetically proven type of problem.
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jancivil
KVRAF
19406 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to use dissonance?

Post Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:44 am

But you’re surely right in that we don’t have a definition of dissonance to work from.

I saw Leonard Bernstein in a famous lecture (on Debussy) state ‘the tritone is the most unstable interval’. I don’t know why. Obviously he meant of the usual 12 tone system.
But I don’t know why a semitone apart sounding simultaneously is more stable, for instance. It struck me as old hat. Tied to CPP function, need for resolution, ie., subjective and cultural.

(Yes I’m arguing with Bernstein now. The Berklee entry no one is supposed to argue with is not perfect. No authority is unassailable.)

Dissonance is relative, contextual, and subjective.
I would not proceed from definitions like that. I doubt Lennie did, finally.

https://youtu.be/Wc2UFjh_xtA
the whole intro here is one vertical construction, planed (all parallels) following the Theme which is explicated in the last section. It contains a tritone (eg., F Bb Eb A D G). There is no resolution. I think it’s lovely (composed in the 1890s, Satie didn’t have the Bernstein lecture to obey, I guess).

James Brown likes to sit there on a M/m7 chord. It needs to resolve? Foxy Lady chord, F# A# E A. Maybe it’s tense, maybe you don’t have to worry if only because you’re accustomed. So there is no theory of dissonance per se.
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