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Bring PC Game and Vital system stats to your mobile device. Jaybird MySound. What this means is that if the first two notes were the pitch C , the second two notes would be the pitch "G"—four scale notes, or seven chromatic notes a perfect fifth , above it. Therefore, the combination of notes with their specific intervals—a chord—creates harmony. For example, in a C chord, there are three notes: C, E, and G. The note C is the root.
In the musical scale, there are twelve pitches. Each pitch is referred to as a "degree" of the scale. The intervals, however, are not. Here is an example:. As can be seen, no note always corresponds to a certain degree of the scale. The tonic , or 1st-degree note, can be any of the 12 notes pitch classes of the chromatic scale. All the other notes fall into place.
For example, when C is the tonic, the fourth degree or subdominant is F. When D is the tonic, the fourth degree is G.
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While the note names remain constant, they may refer to different scale degrees, implying different intervals with respect to the tonic. The great power of this fact is that any musical work can be played or sung in any key. It is the same piece of music, as long as the intervals are the same—thus transposing the melody into the corresponding key. When the intervals surpass the perfect Octave 12 semitones , these intervals are called compound intervals , which include particularly the 9th, 11th, and 13th Intervals—widely used in jazz and blues Music. The reason the two numbers don't "add" correctly is that one note is counted twice.
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Apart from this categorization, intervals can also be divided into consonant and dissonant. As explained in the following paragraphs, consonant intervals produce a sensation of relaxation and dissonant intervals a sensation of tension. In tonal music, the term consonant also means "brings resolution" to some degree at least, whereas dissonance "requires resolution". The consonant intervals are considered the perfect unison , octave , fifth , fourth and major and minor third and sixth, and their compound forms.
An interval is referred to as "perfect" when the harmonic relationship is found in the natural overtone series namely, the unison , octave , fifth , and fourth The other basic intervals second, third, sixth, and seventh are called "imperfect" because the harmonic relationships are not found mathematically exact in the overtone series. In classical music the perfect fourth above the bass may be considered dissonant when its function is contrapuntal. Other intervals, the second and the seventh and their compound forms are considered Dissonant and require resolution of the produced tension and usually preparation depending on the music style.
Note that the effect of dissonance is perceived relatively within musical context: for example, a major seventh interval alone i. A tritone the interval of the fourth step to the seventh step of the major scale, i. In the Western tradition, in music after the seventeenth century, harmony is manipulated using chords , which are combinations of pitch classes. In tertian harmony, so named after the interval of a third, the members of chords are found and named by stacking intervals of the third, starting with the "root", then the "third" above the root, and the "fifth" above the root which is a third above the third , etc.
Note that chord members are named after their interval above the root. Dyads , the simplest chords, contain only two members see power chords. A chord with three members is called a triad because it has three members, not because it is necessarily built in thirds see Quartal and quintal harmony for chords built with other intervals. Depending on the size of the intervals being stacked, different qualities of chords are formed. In popular and jazz harmony, chords are named by their root plus various terms and characters indicating their qualities.
To keep the nomenclature as simple as possible, some defaults are accepted not tabulated here. In many types of music, notably baroque, romantic, modern and jazz, chords are often augmented with "tensions". Following the tertian practice of building chords by stacking thirds, the simplest first tension is added to a triad by stacking on top of the existing root, third, and fifth, another third above the fifth, giving a new, potentially dissonant member the interval of a seventh away from the root and therefore called the "seventh" of the chord, and producing a four-note chord, called a " seventh chord ".
Depending on the widths of the individual thirds stacked to build the chord, the interval between the root and the seventh of the chord may be major, minor, or diminished. The interval of an augmented seventh reproduces the root, and is therefore left out of the chordal nomenclature. For a more complete exposition of nomenclature see Chord music. Continuing to stack thirds on top of a seventh chord produces extensions, and brings in the "extended tensions" or "upper tensions" those more than an octave above the root when stacked in thirds , the ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths.
This creates the chords named after them.
Extensions beyond the thirteenth reproduce existing chord members and are usually left out of the nomenclature. Complex harmonies based on extended chords are found in abundance in jazz, late-romantic music, modern orchestral works, film music, etc. Typically, in the classical Common practice period a dissonant chord chord with tension resolves to a consonant chord. For this reason, usually tension is 'prepared' and then 'resolved',  where preparing tension means to place a series of consonant chords that lead smoothly to the dissonant chord.
In this way the composer ensures introducing tension smoothly, without disturbing the listener. Once the piece reaches its sub-climax, the listener needs a moment of relaxation to clear up the tension, which is obtained by playing a consonant chord that resolves the tension of the previous chords.
The clearing of this tension usually sounds pleasant to the listener, though this is not always the case in late-nineteenth century music, such as Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner. Harmony is based on consonance, a concept whose definition has changed various times during the history of Western music. In a psychological approach, consonance is a continuous variable. Consonance can vary across a wide range.
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