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Topic: Modal Dissonance?

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  1. #1

    Modal Dissonance?

    Or is it? See what you think.

    Woods at Sunsrise (1.4M)

    There was a thread somewhere else about dissonance, and I was (rightly or wrongy) arguing that no diatonic music is really dissonant.
    So I had a go at writing a 7 note piece using as many discordant intervals as I could, to see if the result was dissonant. I've tried to use lots of non-triadic chordal structure and made extensive use of the intervals I reckoned to be most discordant: major and minor 9ths and 7ths, and diminished fifths.
    It's in two parts. The first uses sustained chords to establish the modality of the piece. The second is more melodic, but still trying to keep plenty of discord.
    The melody begins with the notes e,g,b over a held f/c. That should be about as dissonant as you can get right?
    Anyway. I'd really like to see what anyone else thinks. My opinion is that sounds very sweet and not remotely dissonant.
    "A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules,often with the assistence of unsuspecting musicians"

  2. #2

    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    you have to understand that dissonance is relative.


    however, watched through the "classic" definition of consonance and dissonance, that piece is highly dissonant.




    i hope i made it clear

  3. #3

    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by lulu
    you have to understand that dissonance is relative.


    however, watched through the "classic" definition of consonance and dissonance, that piece is highly dissonant.




    i hope i made it clear
    Not really! Some intervals are 'absolutely' more dissonant than others. It's relative, but it's not subjective. It's only relative in the way dynamics are relative. I know it's dissonant if you go by the 'classic' definition as it's full of minor ninths and flattened fifths. But that's the whole point. It doesn't 'sound' dissonant. If I put a c# in there, that would sound dissonant. It doesn't sound dissonant beacuse it's highly tonal in a modal kind of way.
    "A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules,often with the assistence of unsuspecting musicians"

  4. #4

    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat
    Or is it? See what you think.

    Woods at Sunsrise (1.4M)

    There was a thread somewhere else about dissonance, and I was (rightly or wrongy) arguing that no diatonic music is really dissonant.

    The melody begins with the notes e,g,b over a held f/c. That should be about as dissonant as you can get right?
    Anyway. I'd really like to see what anyone else thinks. My opinion is that sounds very sweet and not remotely dissonant.
    I like the exercice. Maybe you should develop it. It could bring an interesting piece with some particular mood. Something between new age and 20th classical music.
    I like a lot modal atmospheres. The emphasis of dissonances depends a lot onm other factors like orchestration, type of chords and added notes. The beginning could be interpreted by the ear as a F chord (11th) without the third and as such, for a trained ear sound quite consonant. Of course the removal of the diminished fith (VII) in the normal course of a piece decreases considerably the tension. In the end, modal works are more focused on melodies and I use deliberately modal scales (gregorian ones except H or Si) for quiet movements because of this. I have recently presented to this forum through Gary a wind instruments trio mainly based on modal scales (and other modern features like 4th & 2nd chords and serial harmony). despite the modern (20th century) approach, it was sounding consonant to me, but that is a matter of taste, I guess.

    Louis

  5. #5
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    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat
    Or is it? See what you think.

    Woods at Sunsrise (1.4M)

    There was a thread somewhere else about dissonance, and I was (rightly or wrongy) arguing that no diatonic music is really dissonant.
    So I had a go at writing a 7 note piece using as many discordant intervals as I could, to see if the result was dissonant. I've tried to use lots of non-triadic chordal structure and made extensive use of the intervals I reckoned to be most discordant: major and minor 9ths and 7ths, and diminished fifths.
    It's in two parts. The first uses sustained chords to establish the modality of the piece. The second is more melodic, but still trying to keep plenty of discord.
    The melody begins with the notes e,g,b over a held f/c. That should be about as dissonant as you can get right?
    Anyway. I'd really like to see what anyone else thinks. My opinion is that sounds very sweet and not remotely dissonant.
    For God's sake don't get bogged down in the theory. All that matters is a) whether your anticipated audience like what you have produced and b) whether you like it.

    I liked this very much indeed! As I say I can cross over.....I'm not totally in one camp or another....I'm not interested and know not about 12 tone, dissonance or atonal...I'm just a listener with a pair of ears. I very much enjoyed this....I don't know why and I don't really care why.

    Let's hear more.

    Frank
    PS Very authentically realised....well done! Isn't GPO amazingly versatile.

  6. #6

    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardy Heern
    For God's sake don't get bogged down in the theory. All that matters is a) whether your anticipated audience like what you have produced and b) whether you like it.

    I liked this very much indeed! As I say I can cross over.....I'm not totally in one camp or another....I'm not interested and know not about 12 tone, dissonance or atonal...I'm just a listener with a pair of ears. I very much enjoyed this....I don't know why and I don't really care why.

    Let's hear more.

    Frank
    PS Very authentically realised....well done! Isn't GPO amazingly versatile.
    Thank you. You're right of course. Whereas if you'd said it sucked you'd have been wrong No, actually I mean you're right about theory not mattering. The original idea was theoretical though and I'm interesting in theoretical analysis. No one forms an opinion about a piece on the basis of theory. But it's quite fun to talk about it! Having said that, no offence, but Louis, your analysis has left me baffled and reaching for the gin....

    edit: By which I mean the first chord is c e f, so if it's f anything it's FM7? The defining feature of F11 would be Bb and there's no Bb's anywhere. You could call it C11, I suppose. And I got lost when you mentioned ommitting flattened 5ths especially when you put (VII) after it. But it's really nice that someones given it a bit of thought though. Even if I don't understand your comments!
    "A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules,often with the assistence of unsuspecting musicians"

  7. #7
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    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Nice piece! I like your originality.

    But I disagree with the idea that this is considered "dissonant" actually. Just write what works and let your audience decide whether its valid or not - but in the end, only you can determine that.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up Re: Modal Dissonance?

    I think the tone-row/12-tone and bi-tonal stuff is just good background for an aspiring composer to have under his/her belt, so to speak. While some "naturals" and "naive" composers of the past have blundered into their own thing without much "formal" training, the more successful of the twentieth century have sprung from solid educational paths. Being exposed to the ins and outs of various musical theory approaches is like knowing the basics about which instruments work well together (all that Rimsky stuff does help in fundamentals) and at the same time “finding your own voice”.

    I enjoyed this little snippet. At 2 minutes, it could use some building outward and I hope that it lands in something of yours bigger soon.

    In the last ten minutes I’ve heard 2 very different original short pieces. This place is heaven!

    KevinKauai

  9. #9
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    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat
    Thank you. You're right of course. Whereas if you'd said it sucked you'd have been wrong

    LOL!

    No, actually I mean you're right about theory not mattering. The original idea was theoretical though and I'm interesting in theoretical analysis. No one forms an opinion about a piece on the basis of theory. But it's quite fun to talk about it!

    Don't worry, I'm just the same; but it's Engineering with me! I certainly can't follow your theoretical discussion wrt music!

    Having said that, no offence, but Louis, your analysis has left me baffled and reaching for the gin....

    edit: By which I mean the first chord is c e f, so if it's f anything it's FM7? The defining feature of F11 would be Bb and there's no Bb's anywhere. You could call it C11, I suppose. And I got lost when you mentioned ommitting flattened 5ths especially when you put (VII) after it. But it's really nice that someones given it a bit of thought though. Even if I don't understand your comments!
    I had the same pleasure listening to your piece as I did with Ravel's Piano concerto in G.... which I'm mad about. The radio was on, on the way to work one morning (I hadn't heard this Ravel work before) and I was listening to the 'conventional' lyrical opening piano part and then there appears to be a wrong note played which caught my attention.......It has great angst and pent up tension in the climax....a fantastic piece (IMHO). I do believe that yours could be developed to compete with that....(if you could be arsed!!! ) However, you are probably like me and on to another idea by now!

    Frank

    PS I think 'sunrise' is much too early...You should rename it 'The Woods...Sometime Before Lunch'.....

  10. #10

    Re: Modal Dissonance?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat
    My opinion is that sounds very sweet and not remotely dissonant.
    agree. Nice one.

    Luca

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