Computer Music - - Make Music Now / Easy Guide -


Gen­er­ally, the more con­so­nant the in­ter­val, the more it sounds to the av­er­age lis­tener like a sin­gle tone, rather than two. Take gui­tar power chords, for ex­am­ple, which are made up of the root and fifth of the chord, with no third present. Since the per­fect fifth is a clear con­tender for the most con­so­nant in­ter­val in all the land, power chords sound like just one note to the un­trained ear. A mi­nor sec­ond, how­ever, prob­a­bly the most dis­so­nant in­ter­val, is very def­i­nitely per­ceiv­able as two notes.


The mi­nor ninth (the in­ter­val one semi­tone higher than the oc­tave) is known as an ‘avoid’ note – it’s con­sid­ered just too dis­so­nant. This can be got around by in­vert­ing the in­ter­val and play­ing a ma­jor sev­enth in­stead. So, the in­ter­val be­tween the E and F in a Cadd11 chord is a mi­nor ninth, but play­ing the F be­low the E, not above it, turns the in­ter­val into a more palat­able ma­jor sev­enth.

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