consonance

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consonance

, consonancy
1. Prosody similarity between consonants, but not between vowels, as between the s and t sounds in sweet silent thought
2. Music
a. an aesthetically pleasing sensation or perception associated with the interval of the octave, the perfect fourth and fifth, the major and minor third and sixth, and chords based on these intervals
b. an interval or chord producing this sensation

Consonance

 

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.

REFERENCES

Helmholtz, H. Uchenie o slukhovykh oshchushcheniiakh kak fiziologicheskaia osnova dlia teorii muzyki. St. Petersburg, 1875. (Translated from German.)
Chevalier, L. Istoriia uchenii o garmonii. Moscow, 1931. (Translated from French.)
Kleshchov, S. V. “K voprosu o razlichii dissoniruiushchikh i konsoniruiushchikh sozvuchii.” Trudy fiziologicheskikh laboratorii im. akad. I. P. Pavlova, vol. 10. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Tchaikovsky, P. I. “Rukovodstvo k prakticheskomu izucheniiu garmonii.” Sobr. soch., vol. IIIa. Moscow, 1957.
Medushevskii, V. V. “Konsonans i dissonans kak elementy muzykal’noi znakovoi sistemy.” In VI Vsesoiuznaia akusticheskaia konferentsiia. Moscow, 1968. Section K.
Stumpf, K. Konsonanz und Dissonanz. Leipzig, 1898. (Beiträge zur Akustik und Musikwissenschaft, issue 1).

IU. N. KHOLOPOV

consonance

[′kän·sə·nəns]
(acoustics)
The interval between two tones whose frequencies are in a ratio approximately equal to the quotient of two whole numbers, each equal to or less than 6, or to such a quotient multiplied or divided by some power of 2.