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Thread: Teach me how to sound dissonance/atonal/weird

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    Default Teach me how to sound dissonance/atonal/weird

    yes, a bit oxymoron title. But here I expect less philosophical talk (well maybe a bit) and more technical. This is just a simple and lazy question from me about tip on playing melody and how to make it sound dissonance. This is also oxymoron because if I randomly play out of tune and recorded it, after 10 times of listening the 'out of tune' will became familiar and I can claim it is new dissonance version... So, what is the theorical (in term of melody counter point) on how to sound dissonance?

    Here the simple version of our very familiar tune as starting point:

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Dissonance is not: 3rd, 4th (maybe depends who you ask, Mozart said it was), 5th, octave. Try other intervals especially closer ones such as seconds or augmented fourths, or chromatic.

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    Easy: Tritone!

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    some of them already claimed by jazzy or bluesy feeling like the 7th, flat 3rd. well, I guess dissonance just another non tonic scale that sounds unexpected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jurianbai View Post
    Well, I guess dissonance just another non tonic scale that sounds unexpected.
    True. Isn't it true that in Western Music, in the Middle Ages, the interval of a third was considered dissonant? Or at least nondesirable. It really depends on the expectations of the audience.

    I remember my theory teacher playing a bunch of cluster chords, then he played a C major chord. In that context, the C chord sounded dissonant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    True. Isn't it true that in Western Music, in the Middle Ages, the interval of a third was considered dissonant? Or at least nondesirable. It really depends on the expectations of the audience.
    Yes, only fifths and octaves were consider true consonances ('perfect' intervals). Even the fourth was only semi-perfect.

    Schnittke relies almost entirely on minor seconds and major sevenths to achieve his effects.

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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Try parallel 2nds (major or minor seconds).

    Also, try changing key really really fast, go into non-modular chords and neapolitan chords and stuff.
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    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    In terms of periodic tones, sound tones with higher number, more complex interval ratios. The 45/32 tritone is a good dissonance, the 8/7 'minor third' is just that bit more edgier than the 6/5 one. Also, ratios with high prime numbers like 7, 11 and 13 sound quite discomforting to the untrained ear. Remember, tones with partials beating around 10-20 beats per second sound the worst.

    Otherwise, simply use actual noise (as in the pitch is indeterminate). Changing between varying degrees/colours of noise in a good rhythmic fashion might give an interesting melody.

    Maybe get a theremin.

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    Using quartal harmony you can come up with some real dissonant chords, dim7 chords are effective, and flat 9ths are good even though they are less dissonant than minor 2nds also using notes out of the established key can create dissonances.Chromatics and accented unresolved dissonances are effective too.Maybe try messing around with tone rows.

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    Junior Member demiangel's Avatar
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    Consonance is created by the fact that every note has many overtones besides the note that's played. When you play a C, other "overtones" are a part of the sound that's going on.
    For instance, the main vibration you'll hear is the C, but there are also lesser notes that are vibrating in a more subtle manner with the C.

    For instance, when you play a C, the overtones are like this:

    C G C E G Bb C D E F ...and so on.

    Notice that octaves of C appear the most often, followed by G. G is the second most consonant note besides the octave. If you play a C and a G together, it will sound consonant. Notice that "E" occurs the next most often, which is the major third. And then we have the chord C-E-G if we only use these notes that appear often, which is a consonant triad. The notes that appear most often as harmonics of the note you play will be the notes that sound consonant together. If you want to sound dissonant, you need to use notes together that do not often occurs as harmonics of a given note.
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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Another suggestion...


    Diminished Fifths
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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    so to sums up, any notes is dissonances and it's respectable on paper!

    hail SCHOENBERG!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    Another suggestion...


    Diminished Fifths
    Already said.

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    yeah, they are right

    Martin

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    Senior Member ricardo_jvc6's Avatar
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    if you want some dissonant chords or intervals just go around the 7th or 2nd which are the best who have dissonance

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