#1
Hi,
Has anyone ever considered why notes belonging in a key fit together and "out of key" notes conflict? Who decided on this in the first place?

Thanks
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#3
Quote by blue_strat
Consonance and dissonance are basic physical principles.

Yeah its all based around, what sounds good to the ear. Though I would assume its relative to where you are from and the music you experience. Middle Eastern music tends to sound strange and almost dissonant to most western listeners.
#5
Quote by jack hate crew
god made it that way



This.

And it's all mathematical. It's all about how the sound waves react with each other. I don't know the specifics, though it would be something cool to study!
#6
it all has to do with the physics of sound. It travels in waves, and waves of consonant intervals are simple ratios such as 2:1 for octaves, 3:2 for perfect fifths(i think, don't quote me).

Check the wikipedia page.
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#7
Dude, I actually studied this for my final physics project this year. I gave a presentation on it. It is kind of complicated and hard to explain, but why we like some notes has some to do with history and some to do with the dissonance or consonance of notes.
#8
Quote by jinjan29
Dude, I actually studied this for my final physics project this year. I gave a presentation on it. It is kind of complicated and hard to explain, but why we like some notes has some to do with history and some to do with the dissonance or consonance of notes.


Sounds like a killer presentation.
#10
Quote by jack hate crew
god made it that way


Lol.

I could explain this to you, as I learnt a fair amount in relation to human perception at uni recently, and did start typing a reply but really I cbf. Go do some research, maybe read a book or two?

Quote by Ribcage
it all has to do with the physics of sound. It travels in waves, and waves of consonant intervals are simple ratios such as 2:1 for octaves, 3:2 for perfect fifths(i think, don't quote me).

Check the wikipedia page.


Yeh, that's why things sound consonant, but the TS is wondering why consonant things sound good to humans. Put it this way, humans have realised that certain things sound good to us and formulae of consonance are the patterns we have found that can let us predict what sounds good to us. This does not tell us why though.
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Last edited by James13v at Aug 24, 2009,
#11
Simultaneous wavelengths interact and deform. Consonant chords consist of simultaneous frequencies that are proportional to one another, like Ribcage said above. The two frequencies combined deform one another less. Dissonant chords consist of frequencies that deform one another more, and so they sound harsh and unnatural.

At least part of the whole thing is how the human mind interprets these sounds. Though they are simply airwaves, our minds can construct meanings for what our ears hear, causing a certain series of sounds to be interpreted as "sad," "happy," "majestic,"
"ominous," or "neutral."

J.
#12
This is part of a much larger discussion.

It is based of consonance and dissonance with some math involved, and later it became what it is through cultural influence.

For example, Indonesian Gamelan music.

They use notes that are by definition not present on the guitar, or in western music, yet it makes them feel something, while to us westerners it sounds like random unless you have studied or listened to it.


You should just accept how it is, because music how it is in the western world is how it is heard by everyone.

Changing things up results in "uninteresting stuff", and the change in music has to go gradually and slowly as in it takes years before a change is accepted in general, or is to be found interesting.

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#13
Quote by xxdarrenxx
This is part of a much larger discussion.

It is based of consonance and dissonance with some math involved, and later it became what it is through cultural influence.

For example, Indonesian Gamelan music.

They use notes that are by definition not present on the guitar, or in western music, yet it makes them feel something, while to us westerners it sounds like random unless you have studied or listened to it.


You should just accept how it is, because music how it is in the western world is how it is heard by everyone.

Changing things up results in "uninteresting stuff", and the change in music has to go gradually and slowly as in it takes years before a change is accepted in general, or is to be found interesting.



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#14
I don't quite understand what you're asking but they sound the way they do together due to the Intervals between each note. With Major/minor it's a perfect 5th.
Diminished is diminished 5th, and augmented is minor 6th. lets say we throw in a 7th or a 9th in a major chord, it makes the chord into a whole different err...... "Emotion".
#15
Quote by turtlewax
Hi,
Has anyone ever considered why notes belonging in a key fit together and "out of key" notes conflict? Who decided on this in the first place?

Thanks

i think it has to do with the frequencies of the notes. i think the ones that devide into a nice even number tend to sound better then one that has the the sound waves clashing with the other waves. some notes may be nicely devided but still tend to create tension. this is part of the whole dissonace and consonance in music. when you play a scale over a root note, you'll notice that although the notes all seem to fit, some feel like they need to resolve. the ones that do that create disonance. the ones that sound like they are resolved give consonance. and its the interplay of building and releasing tension that make music sound good to us. if there was too much of either it would sound boring.

also, its a cultural thing as well. what seems good to us may seem odd to others and so on.
#16
Different societys and cultures think that music sounds good relatively. You go to the Pope and give him Slayer... I doubt he'll like it. And same goes for if you give average joe on the streets in alabama some Arabic music. But you never know... there is all sorts of music out there. Listen carefully and listen!
#17
Quote by turtlewax

Has anyone ever considered why notes belonging in a key fit together and "out of key" notes conflict? Who decided on this in the first place?
Thanks

The way i understand how the semitone seperation evolved in western music is this.

An octave is an exact doubling of frequency, so it is natural to include this as a fundamental relation. (You want an explanation of overtones here or not?) the next natural relation is a tripling of frequency, this is an octave+a perfect 5th. thus the perfect 5th was established as the next fundamental note.
If you take a 5th - find it's 5th and it's 5th and so on. you generate the circle of 5ths, this contains all 12 semitones we know today, no more, no less. thus the 12 notes of the western scale evolved.

This is the mathematical relations though, they weren't known till much later, when they created the semitones they didn't know it'd be like this, they just stacked 5ths because they always sound consonant with each other. (because of the freq. relation they had yet to discover)
#18
Quote by turtlewax
Hi,
Has anyone ever considered why notes belonging in a key fit together and "out of key" notes conflict?

Thanks


Well, I've spent years studying music theory, which does explain things like this. Beyond that though, I just accept it for what it is.


Quote by turtlewax

Who decided on this in the first place?

It's something that's developed over time by many people. If you don't like it, simply do something else with music. If people enjoy what you do, it will become part of the development.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 16, 2009,
#19
The mathematics behind the physics of sound waves merely captures (doesn't define) the relationship between consonance/dissonance to ratios of frequencies, and our concept of musical intervals also does the same thing, albeit in an intuitive and non-mathematical manner that's useable to a musician. Those of you here appealing to physics or intervals to answer, at best, merely restate the original question in another form - which is "Why are these musical intervals consonant?" or "Why are these frequency ratios consonant?"
The answer to the question is that evolution and your environment conditioned your brain and ears to perceive consonance and dissonance, and to convey these sensations to others in written/spoken language, we rely on musical intervals or physics.
It's like asking what is gravity - nobody in the world knows (if you do, you have a Nobel prize waiting for you), but we have physical laws and mathematical equations and constants that allow us to predict its behavior so that its useful to us.
#20
Quote by KingStill
The mathematics behind the physics of sound waves merely captures (doesn't define) the relationship between consonance/dissonance to ratios of frequencies, and our concept of musical intervals also does the same thing, albeit in an intuitive and non-mathematical manner that's useable to a musician. Those of you here appealing to physics or intervals to answer, at best, merely restate the original question in another form - which is "Why are these musical intervals consonant?" or "Why are these frequency ratios consonant?"
The answer to the question is that evolution and your environment conditioned your brain and ears to perceive consonance and dissonance, and to convey these sensations to others in written/spoken language, we rely on musical intervals or physics.
It's like asking what is gravity - nobody in the world knows (if you do, you have a Nobel prize waiting for you), but we have physical laws and mathematical equations and constants that allow us to predict its behavior so that its useful to us.



Which is why the first line of my initial reply is;

This is part of a much larger discussion

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#21
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Which is why the first line of my initial reply is;


I didn't specifically aim at you; however, I felt that my post elaborated on what you deflected as a topic of some larger discussion and tried to set the record straight on the waves/frequencies/intervals stream of conciousness being posted by others.