Minor second dissonances

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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

Again, it depends who you ask. Robert Fripp would say no.

An idea I liked from Fripp is that there are two worlds -- the world of music, and the world of commerce.

"In the world of music much can be accomplished with little apparent effort. In the world of commerce little can be accomplished with much apparent effort."

As an example Segovia could produce beautiful music while sitting stock still. That's music. A rock guitarist might bang out an open E while twirling the guitar around his head. That's commerce.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by adrian_k »

Arpangel wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 7:58 am They are 'entertainers' very good ones, isn't that what we all are, as musicians, ultimately?

Not in my case! Don’t like performing and haven’t been able write my own material. It’s been a puzzle for me for many years, what use is this thing that won’t let me leave it alone?

Then I started training as a music therapist, and it’s making sense to me now. And relevant to the OP, because I used to spend a lot of time trying to write stuff, and part of that was the intellectual/theoretical side that used to kick in when I got stuck. But now it’s often about expressing something in a specific moment, no time for thinking. It’s very surprising what comes out, sometimes prosaic, sometimes deep but ephemeral, sometimes lyrical, but it can be just right for the person you are working with in that moment.

I find now that I work out afterwards what has been going on harmonically when I have created a piece of music, and I find things I never would have if I had started with scales and a structure.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Arpangel »

merlyn wrote: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:23 pm As an example Segovia could produce beautiful music while sitting stock still. That's music. A rock guitarist might bang out an open E while twirling the guitar around his head. That's commerce.

But neither way, is more "right", or "better" than the other, and I fully understand both approaches.
Segovia wouldn't bet able to spend hours siting on a stool if it wasn't for the money he earned from his guitar, same with Fripp.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

If you want to develop a line in guitar twirling, please feel free.

Anyway ... we've twice de-railed this thread. The train is out in a field somewhere, with long grass growing around it. The nearest track is keys, and if we can get there, we might be able to get back to minor seconds.

I don't think the idea that Bm is "more dissonant" than other keys hangs together. There is one note (C# => C) different between Bm and Em, and one note (G => G#) different between Bm and F#m. Between them F#m and Em contain all the supposedly dissonant seconds or ninths from Bm.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by adrian_k »

I’m so far off track I thought I was in a different thread…. :headbang:
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by OneWorld »

Mr Showbiz wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 6:17 pm Why do some minor second intervals sound more dissonant than others to me?

Also why does this dissonance seem to be affected by the register played; worse in the middle registers? (This would appear to counter the overtone series.)

Is it my imagination?

If it sounded ok it wouldn't be dissonant?

In some cases, say a passing note, the 'dissonance' is acceptable and even desired. And if for example played some distance apart, say C1 + #C2, again it can sound quite acceptable. Depends where and when the notes are played, the closer they are together, seems to be more dissonant I guess because the waveforms are so together, each is fighting against the other for prominence.

I remember an experiment I took part in where a visiting composer, working with a group of 5 of us, asked us to do this

Voice 1 - sing Middle C
Voice 2 - sing F natural(the 4th)
Voice 3 - sing G natural(the 5th)
Voice 4 - sing an octave below middle C but rise to middle C in semitones
Voice 5 - sing an octave below above C but lower to middle C in semitones

The point being made was how the closer you got to a note, the harder it was for the participants to hold a note, especially when getting close and the 'beating' effect became more prominent. The composer said it was because the audio part of the brain desperately sought resolution - if that makes sense. It was quite an interesting experiment and for a person that is a singer but not a vocalist (me) it was very difficult, nigh impossible to hold the note
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Arpangel »

merlyn wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 1:50 pm If you want to develop a line in guitar twirling, please feel free.

Anyway ... we've twice de-railed this thread. The train is out in a field somewhere, with long grass growing around it. The nearest track is keys, and if we can get there, we might be able to get back to minor seconds.

I don't think the idea that Bm is "more dissonant" than other keys hangs together. There is one note (C# => C) different between Bm and Em, and one note (G => G#) different between Bm and F#m. Between them F#m and Em contain all the supposedly dissonant seconds or ninths from Bm.

To get my B minor piece to sound right, the piano has to be freshly tuned, really well, otherwise it definitely sounds strange.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by tea for two »

Sounds of wherever we live, our personal world is microtonal atonal also includes dissonances.

Only in terms of music it depends on which musics we take to, have grown accustomed to listening, as well as how our mind works.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by shufflebeat »

It also depends on the musical and logical progression of the notes. One of my favourite chords to play is an Am which (if memory serves - I do this without thinking too much):

(Bass strings first) - X07500, which is:
XAACBE or X, 1, 1(8), M3, 2(9), 5.

This sounds great, in context, played on a downstroke and horrific on an upstroke, to me.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Arpangel »

tea for two wrote: Sat Dec 17, 2022 8:18 pm Sounds of wherever we live, our personal world is microtonal atonal also includes dissonances.

Only in terms of music it depends on which musics we take to, have grown accustomed to listening, as well as how our mind works.

I read Silence, by John Cage, when I was seventeen, it was like taking LSD, I could never, ever, hear the world in the same way again, a similar thing happened when I entered the free-improv scene, everything can be music, any "sound" I simply can’t think any other way now, it’s impossible.
Since, concepts like keys, scales, etc, are like putting on a musical straight jacket, just like playing a conventional keyboard, that feels the same, emotional responses that are "normally" associated with certain "musical" structures, are there in sound too, any sound, it’s just a matter of hearing them, in the right contexts.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

shufflebeat wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 3:30 am It also depends on the musical and logical progression of the notes. One of my favourite chords to play is an Am which (if memory serves - I do this without thinking too much):

(Bass strings first) - X07500, which is:
XAACBE or X, 1, 1(8), M3, 2(9), 5.

This sounds great, in context, played on a downstroke and horrific on an upstroke, to me.

That's a nice chord. It's Am add9. For a movable version there's

579555

Not sure what you mean about upstrokes and downstrokes. They sound pretty similar to me.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Sam Spoons »

Possibly because any chord played with a plectrum is a fast arpeggio?
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

Could be. Let's say there is a chord that sounds bad on upstrokes. This chord would be un-strummable with the usual up-down sort of strumming. So far, I haven't come across such a chord.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Sam Spoons »

Down and up strokes of the same chord certainly sound different though?
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

It's up to the player how different they want to make them. Slowly dragging the pick through a chord sounds different on an up and downstroke, but to my ears it's the same thing in reverse. It's the same harmonic sound.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Sam Spoons »

This is an example of a song with a guitar part that doesn't work if you strum 'down, up' it absolutely needs to be played all down strokes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS86jipcKzw
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by merlyn »

An Amadd9 isn't going to sound too good with that guitar sound whatever direction it's played in. :D
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by shufflebeat »

merlyn wrote: Tue Dec 20, 2022 2:58 pm It's the same harmonic sound.

Ah, but this is where context is all.

It's better to drive North on the road between London and Manchester because you end up in Manchester.

...melodically speaking.

Sorry, I've been neglectful recently.
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Re: Minor second dissonances

Post by Sam Spoons »

merlyn wrote: Tue Dec 20, 2022 6:13 pm An Amadd9 isn't going to sound too good with that guitar sound whatever direction it's played in. :D

:D:D:D
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