Consonance and Dissonance
@Future Vision Lab

  • 2021/10/08 – 2021/11/07
  • Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-Lab)
  • External Link

In the tension and relaxation of consonance and dissonance, meaning is created and the world is composed.

When three or more pitch classes of notes with different frequencies are played simultaneously, a chord is created. The sound changes depending on the pitch ratio of the constituent notes. An overlap of notes close to a simple integer ratio is considered to be a “consonance” chord, while a more complex ratio is considered to be a “dissonance” chord. In Western music, consonance and dissonance are considered to be equivalent to tension and relaxation, and when tension is resolved, a coherent musical structure is created (cadence). However, the history of Western music is also a process of incorporating dissonant sounds into consonant sounds. Proportions of sounds that had been considered dissonant were incorporated into harmonic structures, expanding the possibilities of sound, and tonal fluctuations gave rise to a unique sense of exuberance.

Society is also like a chord in which ideas and thoughts of various pitch classes coexist. Sometimes they are in harmony with each other, and sometimes they clash with each other, resulting in a state of dissonance. A state of dissonance creates an uneasy psychology and the power to move toward a consensual solution. A constant state of harmony is a stable, but boring and mundane world. Excessive dissonance, however, causes tension and anxiety. It is in this balance of harmony and dissonance that we sense the swell of emotions and stories, and this is where emotion is born. The concept of harmony expands and encompasses the state of dissonance, dismantling it and leading to harmony.

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