#1
Just a short random question that is bothering me a bit..

A dimminished triad is usualy considered more dissonant then an augmented one.
I guess this is because there is a lot less interval distance between the notes.

But actually hearing the chords.. I've been doing a lot of aural training the past months, so while dimminished and augmented triads (and 7th chords) sound a lot less, well, harsh to me, augmented chords just sound a lot more dissonant and harsh then dimminished chords to me.

Is it just that I'm not exposed to augmented chords enough? Or maybe because a dimminished chord fits in a vanilla major scale, but there is no augmented chord in the major tonality?

Thoughts?
#2
Well I think dissonance is more of a relative concept, and isn't about hearing the chords alone.

For instance, you could hear a major third and say it's not dissonant...but then a major third can resolve to a perfect fourth in the right context (think medieval music). So I would argue that a diminished chord is more dissonant because it almost begs to be resolved when played in context- whereas an augmented chord can be used more just for the augmented sound.

There's not a huge difference, and they are both dissonant chords, but I would consider diminished more dissonant because it wants to resolve slightly more. In the end though, does it really matter?! If you know how to use each chord in context then it's more important that they are different chords- not which one is "more dissonant".
#4
I avoid augmented most of the time for this reason. To me they sound harsh and are harder to place but I don't really know the 'science' of dissonance so I'm not sure. To me augmented is like a delicacy that doesn't suit my taste, luckily I know how to substitute them with full dims half dims and maj7b5.

But like you said, you won't encounter them in major tonality. However in scales like Harmonic minor, Melodic minor etc they will occur, but even then you aren't forced to use them.
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Last edited by Serpentarius at Aug 16, 2010,
#5
Quote by Serpentarius
you won't encounter them in major tonality,


Augmented chords have actually been used in place of chord V in major keys.
#6
Quote by griffRG7321
Augmented chords have actually been used in place of chord V in major keys.

THAT VIOLATES DIATONIC PURITY!!!
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#7
It has nothing to do with the amount of distance between notes, but rather the intervals in relation to the root.

Neither augmented chords nor diminished chords have a perfect fifth. This is a source of great instability and dissonance.

On top of that, augmented triads and diminished seventh chords both use a singe repeating interval between all the notes (in diminished chords, it's a minor third, and in augmented chords it's a major third). This increases instability as it makes the root ambiguous. Both chords can be written enharmonically with any of their notes as the root. This also makes them both symmetrical, which increases dissonance and instability further.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
Quote by food1010
It has nothing to do with the amount of distance between notes, but rather the intervals in relation to the root.

Neither augmented chords nor diminished chords have a perfect fifth. This is a source of great instability and dissonance.

On top of that, augmented triads and diminished seventh chords both use a singe repeating interval between all the notes (in diminished chords, it's a minor third, and in augmented chords it's a major third). This increases instability as it makes the root ambiguous. Both chords can be written enharmonically with any of their notes as the root. This also makes them both symmetrical, which increases dissonance and instability further.

But honestly which do you like better?
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#9
Quote by Serpentarius
But honestly which do you like better?
What do you mean? I don't prefer either, to be honest. They both have their place.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#10
Quote by food1010
What do you mean? I don't prefer either, to be honest. They both have their place.

Functionality, sound whatever if zombie Beethoven came around and put a gun to your head and proposed such an ultimatum what would you pick?
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#11
^ Augmented.

They are also substituted for the V in minor keys, not just major ones.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#12
Quote by Serpentarius
Functionality, sound whatever if zombie Beethoven came around and put a gun to your head and proposed such an ultimatum what would you pick?
Probably augmented, mainly because they seem a bit less common.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#13
Quote by Eastwinn
^ Augmented.

They are also substituted for the V in minor keys, not just major ones.

This makes more sense to me even though I'd just go minmaj7 on the root instead and dom7 on the V implying Harmonic minor.
I don't understand what this is supposed to achieve with major keys though
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#14
Quote by Serpentarius
I don't understand what this is supposed to achieve with major keys though
It's a simple chromatic alteration of a major dominant. A major dominant normally uses 5 7 2 (in relation to the tonic), whereas an augmented dominant uses 5 7 #2. It basically just strengthens the resolution by allowing the 2 to resolve by a half-step rather than by a whole-step.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#15
Well V+ in a minor key goes back pretty far. If you play it, you'll find the technique to be stereotypically "classical" (probably more common in the baroque era but you'd have to ask demonofthenight about that...). III+ is the same chord of a different root. That is to say, V+ and III+ contain the same notes but a different root. The term of art is tonal ambiguity. The bass decides the root if there is nothing else that is prevailing enough to decide it.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#16
Quote by Eastwinn
Well V+ in a minor key goes back pretty far. If you play it, you'll find the technique to be stereotypically "classical" (probably more common in the baroque era but you'd have to ask demonofthenight about that...). III+ is the same chord of a different root. That is to say, V+ and III+ contain the same notes but a different root. The term of art is tonal ambiguity. The bass decides the root if there is nothing else that is prevailing enough to decide it.

Maybe I'm just afraid of tonal ambiguity haha in A Harmonic minor I'd sub Aminmaj7 over E+ and Cmaj7#5 over C+
Or laziness, whatever.
lol guitar
#17
Depends on the voicing.

I always joke that if you stretch your arms out as far as possible - thus widening the intervals to the max - then pretty much everything sounds good on the piano.

...while not exactly true, I think you'll see my point. Whatever diatonic interval you're talking about, if you take it's octave, or 16th, or 32nd... 64th... Physically speaking it gets less "dissonant" because the beats that occur between the notes are much more complex, and thus their psychoacoustic effect (the YUK factor) on the listener is lower.

If I had to choose a jazz instrument to improvise on that I have no idea how to play it would be the piccolo. Why? It's so damned high!

The most difficult instrument to play, harmonically, is the bass, or anything in the lower register. A sour note on the bass, especially amplified, has the potential of sending out nauseating waves of awfulness, where a sour note 5 octaves up might just be... "creative"



...of course this is Jazz for complete idiots, which of course I am as I have had no actual training, just Physics in college.

Practically speaking, the guitar is what? A 3-octave instrument? It is necessarily (by design) a harmonically tight instrument.

So when you take a beautiful Jazz standard that, on the piano, or ensemble sounds just wonderful, will sound like CRAP transposed to the guitar.

It's the "WTF IS THIS SONG FAMOUS IF IT HAS ALL THESE ASS-SOUNDING CHORDS IN IT?!" Phenomenon.

Guitarists have the joyous opportunity of having to get into all sorts of acrobatic fingerings in order to find pleasing voicings for complex chords. Why is a simple chord often a gymnastic exercise on guitar? The simplest form is harmonically tight and sound like garbage.

Even the fairly harmonious dominant chord sounds funky on guitar... hence funk!
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Last edited by Bubonic Chronic at Aug 16, 2010,
#18
joe pass and ted greene might disagree with you...throw jim hall in there too...
#19
Quote by Serpentarius
Maybe I'm just afraid of tonal ambiguity haha in A Harmonic minor I'd sub Aminmaj7 over E+ and Cmaj7#5 over C+
Or laziness, whatever.


I'd call it style
i don't know why i feel so dry