llch wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:57 am
To ask something that may be on the simpler aspect - could it be what used to be less traditional is now more common, say a dimished 6 chord would be less common in baroque period and after getting our ears used to it, it's now a perfectly accepted consonance?
This is generally what has happened traditionally.
In the earliest polyphonic music, the music was primarily consonant (there are some examples of dissonances being used but given the information from the time, it's not necessarily clear that they were considered bad-sounding or something, but they do seem to be fleeting and thus "less favored").
In some ways, albeit an oversimplification, the history of Western European Art Music contains a gradual acceptance of more and more dissonances.
So while we're not necessarily clear on exactly when or how or why a 3rd became an accepted consonance, it's pretty clear that it gradually became an "accepted' interval such that ultimately by the common practice period, 3rds, 6ths, and 5ths were consonant, and 4ths were consonant in certain contexts.
An interesting aside is that 4ths were previously accepted consonances but in the CPP became dissonant in certain contexts making them actually become less accepted overall. So this one went backwards so to speak.
In Jazz, we see that 7ths aren't always treated as functional dissonances and are essentially not really "tensions" anymore.
Even in Quartal Harmony, 4ths and 7ths produce structures that aren't necessarily "dissonant" or at least, treated as such.
And there's you're key word - it's really about how "dissonances" - if something can be objectively defined as such - are TREATED in music.
As time has marched on, the previous era's intervals (or harmonies, etc.) that had been TREATED as dissonances came to be TREATED as - if not consonances, at least not having the same tension, forward drive, etc. etc. (with the glaring exception of the P4th in some contexts during the CPP).
So we might still say that objectively (or at least, based on lingering CPP trappings) a 7th is "dissonant" but it certainly isn't necessary treated as such in music (at least, functional, in terms of need of resolution, forward drive, and so on).
So yes, we "get used to sounds" we hear, and just over time, accept them.
Many modern theory students are befuddled why they can't just through in a 2nd inversion triad wherever they want (or why Parallel 5ths are to be avoided).
They just "don't sound bad" to us because we've heard those things so much nothing stand out about them.
But, in Mozart's day, anyone writing things like that might be subject to being lampooned in "a musical joke" (musician in joke).
A lot of people on forums ask "why does this chord progression work" and I always delight (but really, am saddened) by all the psuedo-psychoacoustic answers given when really the answer is "because you've heard it enough times it doesn't bother you".
Same for ending a song on a 7th chord.
Palestrina wouldn't do it.
Mozart wouldn't (outside of a segue to another piece immediately following it)
Miles Davis would have no problem with it.
But, Green Day might - because it might sound "too jazzy".
Context, context, context.