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Thread: Dissonance and you?

  1. #1
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    Default Dissonance and you?

    I'm wondering how you, as a choral lover as I am like or dislike dissonance in choral music. Personally I absolutely love it. Some people don't some do- what are your opinions, also I would love to hear which songs (choral) you like that have a large amount of dissonance in it.

    Here is a link to Knut Nystedt's Immortal Bach- a terrific piece.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILFRlHp-9mQ&NR=1
    Your thoughts on this?

    Also if you love dissonance try Eric Whitacre- uses great complex chords, simply a genius if you ask me.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I like it better in choral music than in other instruments, having been exposed to Ligeti's Requiem and Lux Aeterna at an early age. Admitedly that's not terribly dissonant, only in places. Somehow dissonance seems more natural sounding in the human voice than say a brass ensemble.

    This Knut Nystedt piece is has much the same feeling. Very ethereal. Thanks for the link! I should like to obtain a recording of this.

    Edit: It must be incredibly hard to perform this type of music. I would think you'd have a natural tendancy to not be dissonant. How is it done?

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    Fascinating piece! I just hunted down a recording – can be downloaded here for $1.49. There's also a CD available.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I agree about choral dissonance ... something so ethereal about hearing this between voices - something that takes lots of practice and concentration on the singers part.

    I also enjoy dissonance in chords on the organ in particular, ninths. As an organist, I rather enjoy the music of Camille Van Hulse, some of which has lots of dissonant chords that perk the ears of the listener. Messiaen (at least for organ) is another example.
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    Quite a bit of Arvo Part has dissonance and I absolutely love his music, but not his early works

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    Music without tension is abhorrently boring, but dissonance isn't the only tension.

    That said, it is the best.

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    Senior Member Elaryad's Avatar
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    I will use this thread, if you don't mind, to know if is there any difference between atonalism and dissonance. There is? Or it's just semantics?

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    Dissonance is the controlled use of clashing tones that resolve at some point. Dissonance, is actually the prerequisite of tonality, tonality only exists because of chord V(V7), and this is dissonance.

    Atonality is avoiding all the natural rules of harmony, and deliberately avoiding anything that could associate it with tonality.

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    Senior Member Elaryad's Avatar
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    Understood atonality definition and partially understood dissonance's. Chord V(V7)? And why does dissonance is the prerequisite of tonality?

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    Well it's quite complicated, but I'll try:

    Any note has harmonics, and those harmonics are fundamental, 5th, 8ve, 5th 3rd 5th b7th. Starting with the fundamental as G, that gives 'G, D, G, D, B, D, F' this you may recognise as chord V7 in C Major. In this 'chord' you will find the tritone from B to F, it is this that creates tension (dissonance), that naturally resolves to C and E (chord I). It is only because of this Chord V7 that I sounds like the tonic, without it chord I could easily sound like the dominant (as it has the harmonics also). Just repeating a C Major triad on the piano eventually sounds like it wants to fall to F Major, purely because this is where the harmonics point to.

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    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Webern's cantatas are beautiful.

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    Senior Member soundandfury's Avatar
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    Yagan, your list of harmonics confuses me a little. Are you only counting odd harmonics or something? I make it fundamental, 5th, 8ve, 3rd, 5th, b7th. Then again I'm a cornet player and there's something weird about cornet harmonics (there are pedal notes that don't make mathematical sense, like G a 12th below middle C on open).

    By my reckoning, a G gives G, D, G, B, D, F (at least, that's what I get when I start with first and third, G below middle C. That's also the answer I get mathematically).

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    What a bad, bad typo. You are absolutely correct.

    Thankfully, it doesn't ruin my point. :P

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    Senior Member David C Coleman's Avatar
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    Only like dissonance it if it's used sparingly, but the main piece is tonal..

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    Only like dissonance it if it's used sparingly, but the main piece is tonal..
    Dissonance is the requirements of tonality. Unless you mean unprepared, or atonal dissonances. What of the Rite or Messiaen? They are tonal but without context each chord could be considered (or at least heard) as atonal.

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