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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
From the very start it is quite clear that Karp's intention is not to establish a documented historical context that might aid us in comprehending a whole century of polyphony, but is rather to attempt to consolidate an inflexible and mechanical theory for transcription based on certain fixed points; the author summarizes by saying: (1) that the notation was designed primarily to give a graphic account of musical motion; (2) that the local goals of this musical motion were determined by the harmonic values of the perfect consonances; and (3) that these goals were normally located at the ends of ligatures.