consonance(redirected from consonances)
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the blending of tones sounded simultaneously, as well as the harmonies in which the tones blend with one another. Consonance as a concept is juxtaposed to dissonance.
Consonance is a tranquil, soft sound that has an agreeable effect on the perceiving nerve centers; it is considered to be the expression of stability, repose, and the resolution of tensions. The unison, octave, fifth, fourth, and major and minor thirds and sixths are consonant (the perfect fourth in relation to the lower tone is treated as a dissonant interval), as well as chords composed of these intervals alone, without the inclusion of dissonant intervals—that is, major and minor triads and their inversions.
From the mathematical-acoustical point of view the difference between consonance and dissonance is only quantitative (the ratio of the frequencies of dissonant intervals form more complicated fractions), and the line of demarcation between them is arbitrary. Within the limits of the major-minor system the difference between consonance and dissonance is qualitative; it achieves a level of sharp opposition and contrast and possesses independent aesthetic value.
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IU. N. KHOLOPOV