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    Hello everyone,
    I new to this site and new to classical music but it's my new love and I really enjoy it. however, I have a couple of questions about Jean Sibelius. In Jean Sibelius, Violin Concerto in D Minor,Op47(1903; revised 1905) I was wondering what is the melody, Conjunct or Disjunct? Is it duple or triple? is it consonant or dissonant? all I can figure out is that the mood is romantic and what the tempo is. Instead of just listening to music I am really trying to hear it. Sorry for all the questions but I really would like to know. Thanks for you all help in advance.

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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    In the interest of "teaching a man how to fish," I'm going to answer more generally than the particular work you mentioned.

    "Conjunct" and "disjunct" refer to the "leaps" a melody makes -- if a melody goes from a low note to a much higher note (or the other way around) on a regular basis, you could call it "disjunct." A good rule of thumb is to think about if a melody is fairly "singable" by a normal (untrained) person. If so, there's probably not a lot of big leaps between notes, and so the melody can be considered "conjunct."

    The meter question is harder to answer, simply because it just plain takes practice to be able to hear the difference. Try tapping your foot to the music, and tap harder on the beats that seem strongest. After doing that for a bit, look at what your foot is doing. Is it tapping hard-soft-hard-soft (duple), or hard-soft-soft-hard-soft-soft (triple)?

    Consonance and dissonance need some practice too. It's very easy to hear dissonance on something like distorted electric guitar; with very smooth sounding instruments like violins or the human voice, it can be harder to tell. In any case, dissonance is when there are notes being played together that don't sound like they should be played together. (How's that for oversimplification?) We can generally recognize it pretty intuitively just because 99% of popular music is quite consonant-sounding and that is what we've been exposed to for years. By no means does this mean that dissonance is bad, however. Listen to this, one of my favorite pieces, where dissonance is used to express pain/suffering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNt13Vw-K6Q

    Hopefully that helps a bit -- let me know if I'm being too general and I can try and go into more detail.

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