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Thread: What did Brahms mean by "true dissonance"?

  1. #91
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    So you don't accept the evidence offered earlier in the thread that Brahms's example of true dissonance was a specific quartet from Idomeneo? If so, on what basis do you dispute this?

    If, on the other hand, one accepts this, then all one need do to understand what Brahms meant is to analyze the quartet. Brahms has provided an open door to his meaning. To quote Confuscious: "The way [in] is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    Okay, if that's what Brahms meant, I'll accept it. I always figured he was an academic anyway.


    MR: Dissonance is something we hear more than it is an idea.

    McLeod: Or, it seems, something we don't.

    Well, in that case, look at the numbers. If you consider 3:4 as a dissonance, then it's not a matter of hearing, or of numbers, but of the desperate need to reinforce C major; because F threatens to weaken it; and because the C major scale is harmonically imperfect, especially in this regard.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

  2. #92
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    I agree with Brahms: I doubt if Beethoven ever wrote dissonances like this. And yet some still question whether Mozart was a genius.
    I'll take the bait. Are you saying that the use of dissonance is a mark of genius?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    Some consider this to be the most dissonant of Beethoven's: the opening of the last movement of his 9th. How it is not "true dissonance" is a matter of opinion (and bias).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeT17YeUj5k
    Well, yes, that seems "dissonant" to me, now you point it out. Whether it's 'true' or not is another matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    I think I understand now what you mean: a dissonance can be viewed as a "technical" aspect or as a subjective reaction (a sort of an "ouch" to one's ears).
    Exactly so.

    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    If you navigate to the thread "Is there a name for this Medieval/Renaissance cadence?" / Post #4, you can see/hear that, in technical terms, the syncopated suspensions that EdwardBast kindly transcribed for us are, in the grammar of that period, considered to be dissonances that require resolving.
    Clearly, to our ears today, there is nothing remotely "dissonant" (ugly?) in that cadential passage, in the sense that there is no "ouch" factor.
    Sorry not to have checked this link out before TH - certainly no ouch factor. If this is dissonance, give me excess of it.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

  3. #93
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    McLeod, as evidenced by his above reply, is not interested in ideas, but in argumentation. He's good at it, if rather tedious.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

  4. #94
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    This might give us more clues as to what Brahms considered as true dissonance:

    "Brahms had a striking predilection for dissonance and often spoke about that. Thus on July 17, 1876, he remarked to Georg Henschel "And don't forget: no heavy dissonances on unstressed parts of the measure, that is weak-kneed! I greatly love dissonances, but on the heavy portions of the measure, and then resolve them lightly and gently!" And twenty years later, he made some fundamental observations about the use of dissonances in Mozart, in Beethoven and in Johan Sebastian Bach, in a conversation with Richard Heuberger, in the course of which he remarked that "true dissonaces" were not nearly as much used by Beethoven as they had been by Mozart."
    https://books.google.ca/books?id=jfhUIP4P_l0C&pg=PA208

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  6. #95
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    McLeod, as evidenced by his above reply, is not interested in ideas, but in argumentation. He's good at it, if rather tedious.
    Oh, I overlooked this while I was away.

    Guess I can continue to overlook it.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

  7. #96
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Telemann didn't have as much dissonance in his music as Bach did, which explains why people of the day considered him better. But Bach was way more progressive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPSCHZnjw2k
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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