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Thread: Tritone use

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    Junior Member Listenerris's Avatar
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    Post Tritone use

    HI! There is question, may be too simple, or not. I have been reading the memoirs someone, who is been compozer in the Bach era. He said: I know how to use tritone in music composition.What is meant?This is any chord ?
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    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    Junior Member Listenerris's Avatar
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    Thank you, for this video.
    We exist in the world, and you and me.

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    Senior Member EddieRUKiddingVarese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Listenerris View Post
    Thank you, for this video.
    No problem, puts a fun slant on it - who would have guessed the AppleMac start up chord was a tritone
    Last edited by EddieRUKiddingVarese; Apr-26-2019 at 23:59.
    "Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes"

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    Technically speaking, the tritone (meaning three tones or whole steps) is an interval, not a chord.

    The Apple start-up chord is a major triad (on F I believe). It does NOT contain a tritone! The medieval church would have been just fine with it. Don't trust people with little or no understanding of music, like those bozos on the game show, to tell you anything about music.

    The primary use of the tritone in tonal music (doesn't have to be classical) is as a part of the major-minor ("dominant") 7th chord built on the fifth scale degree symbolized V7. In the key of C major this chord is G7 = GBDF. The tritone is between the B and F. It helps give V7 dissonance that requires resolution. As G7 resolves to C = CEG in a V7-I progression, the B moves up to C while the F moves down to E. C-E is a consonant interval (major 3rd) so V7-I makes a good ending to a phrase.

    Tritones have other uses in blues and rock, especially metal, that I will not go into here.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Just go to the piano and hit the notes F and B simultaneously. That interval is a tritone, so called because there are three whole steps between the sounded tones.

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    Junior Member Listenerris's Avatar
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    So,but adding to this question in my mind came up some thoughts. May be it repeat but how we in this age make use to this particularly exsample?. This is so great era is the field to harmonize music as choral. He is merely did "enter" that interval as it be an his automatic custom. We as a modern musician did not lost is the any secret?
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    The tritone is used as a point of dissonance that resolves to a point of consonance.
    An example of a tritone being used is the very first chord of Beethoven's first symphony, which then resolves to F major in the next chord. (Note: the first chord of beethoven's symphony is actually a dominant 7 chord, but the most important element of the dominant 7th chord is the tritone.)


    Other than for the sake of traditional harmony the tritone has the interesting property that it is exactly half of the octave, and consists of the two notes that are the farthest away from each other on the cycle of fifths and cycle of fourths.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Tritones should not be considered in isolation. Tritones are "context dependent."
    The tritone is the only interval that remains the same under inversion. This means that if the tritone occupies maj3-b7 in a scale, when inverted it becomes b7-maj3 of a new chord. Thus B-F (when B is 3 and F is 7=G7) can be seen as C#7, when B is b7 and F is maj 3.
    There are tritones in diminished chords, so these can be transformed into dom b9 chords, as Beethoven did in his late String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135 in F, movement IV.
    Diminished seventh chord B-D-F-Ab (tritones on B-F and D-Ab) becomes a dom G7b9 by seeing B-F as 3-b7 and placing a new root under it on G. It could also become a Bb7b9 by seeing D-Ab as 3-b7 of a Bb7b9 chord.

    In this way, tritones can aid in modulations to new key areas.

    Just go to the piano and hit the notes F and B simultaneously, then place a G in the bass under this.
    Then
    hit the notes F and B simultaneously, placing a C# under them in the bass. You will hear 2 different seventh chords. This is the sense in which tritones are "context dependent."
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Apr-27-2019 at 13:21.

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    And the tritone, the Devil's Interval, has been used by many composers when they want to musically conjure up evil, satanic forces. Saint-Saens Dance Macabre. Bernstein used it in West Side Story and Wagner in Tristan und Isolde. Danny Elfman is a master with it.

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    Junior Member Listenerris's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Tritones should not be considered in isolation.
    Of course, he should be surrounded by other notes, otherwise it is getting an empty sound. May be he meant in chord , no is merely intervals. But all this covered with long long time, centuries ago darkness.
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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    As a composer, I have no problem considering the tritone in isolation, it's a valid, useable dyad and it's use beyond traditional thinking can be fruitful. I suppose acceptance of this depends on how adventurous your ears are.

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Tritones should not be considered in isolation. Tritones are "context dependent." [...]
    I see what you are trying to say, in that any interval is "context-dependent", or "gesturally-important", if you will.
    Have a listen to this wonderful, sinister and hair-raising use of the tritone (F-B) in the opening of Giacinto Scelsi's Aion (it occurs right at the beginning, after about 14 seconds):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SiaWXG7iYk
    Last edited by TalkingHead; Apr-29-2019 at 18:06.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Tritones are also found in the diminished scale, and the whole-tone scale, from which augmented and diminished seventh chords are derived, so it can be considered as an element in the "weakening" of a tonal center.
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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Tritones are also found in the diminished scale, and the whole-tone scale, from which augmented and diminished seventh chords are derived, so it can be considered as an element in the "weakening" of a tonal center.
    Well, as you have alluded to before, the tritone is in many ways quite a "multi-purpose" tool, depending on how it functions in the vocabulary (or the grammar) of the piece, if you will.
    In the Scelsi piece I have given above (Aion), the tritone - to my ears - is a very strong structuring element which leads us into all sorts of tonal zones which finds a very satisfying resolution at the end of the movement (A-flat or G# triad). Please do listen to it, it's only about 7 minutes in all; I find this to be an absolutely knock-out piece.

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