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Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best
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#beginquote# You are right about most people wanting dissonant sounds to resolve, but in contemporary music sometimes the composer may want to leave you hanging (so to speak). Some composers set out to "irritate" the listener with unpleasant sounds to better express certain emotions or to fully express extreme conflict. Another example of "unstable chords" not being resolved is in the Blues. The traditional blues uses only dominant chords. While the roots of these chords are very basic (I7, IV7, and V7) in the standard blues forms the dissonances (in this case the tritones between 3rds and 7ths)only partially resolve. So what you get is a dissonance that resolves to another dissonance. A good example that is used in SoulWhich is based on the Blues) and Blues(often as an ending chord) is a dominant7 with a #9 (C E G Bb Eb (D#)). Try voicing it this way: C G E Bb Eb(D#). This is one of my fovorite sounds. These things would bother the earlier ear, but thanks to TV and Movies especially most listeners now days are not bothered by things that would have proved insanity centuries ago. The first real revolution in dissonance (in Western Music) happened in the mature baroque period when composers were exploring the tension and release that dissonance and consonance provided. Later the Romantic composers pushed the envelope much further seeking to express the full range of human emotions. The Post-Romantics went even further at the same time the French Impressionists were trying to use dissonance in a pleasing way by "blurring" the contrasts instead of accentuating them. Then the 20th century composers removed all limits and rules observed previously. Pop music (by it's nature), needing to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, is less progressive harmonically. Music, like everything else has a constant cycle of innovation and simplification. It is called the romanticism/classicism cycle in the classical world. The "romantics" pushed the envelope and innovated while the classicists refined those innovations which led to boredom and then more innovating. Things things exist simultaneously in each era too (Haydn was an innovator and Mozart was a refiner). I hope this doesn't bore you, but it is how arts progress. I admire your desire to understand how your music works. I would suggest that you not stop writing while you learn more things though. How will you try out the things you learn. I think a writer should write regardless of full understanding. Your understanding will come quicker and be more significant if you work new ideas into your music so you can experience the "feel" of different sounds. You can also keep a notebook of chords you like and progressions you like so you don't forget them. I could go on forever, but I wont. Later, GOOOOOOROOOOOO #endquote#
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