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Tuesday 4 August 2009

Consonance and dissonance in balance

As Frank Zappa explained it, "The creation and destruction of harmonic and 'statistical' tensions is essential to the maintenance of compositional drama. Any composition (or improvisation) which remains consistent and 'regular' throughout is, for me, equivalent to watching a movie with only 'good guys' in it, or eating cottage cheese." In other words, a composer cannot ensure a listener's liking by using exclusively consonant sounds. However, an excess of tension may disturb the listener. The balance between the two is essential. Contemporary music has evolved in the way that tensions are less prepared and less structured than in Baroque or Classical periods, thus producing new styles such as Jazz and Blues, where tensions are usually not prepared. New show coming up this weekend folks!

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