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Two “Condissonant” Triads. A triad that has both consonant and dissonant elements is called “condissonant.” These two chords are not in the traditional music theory lexicon, but their harmonic ratios are simple enough to merit mention:
Figure 11-11: Condissonant triads
[C – E1 – B1 ] E1 — B1 and… [C — G — B1 ] B1
. | |
. C C — G
On the piano, the C-to-B interval sounds harshly dissonant. In just intonation or 53-eq, to me the sound of C to B1 is more spicy than it is bitter. The ratio, 15/8, is still simple enough for the ear to grasp; the one fifth + one third pathway is easy to follow; and the tones do merge every 120 vibrations of the C to B1 on the oscilloscope. And all the other intervals – C to E1, C to G and E1 to B1, are pure consonances. There may be other “condissonant” collections of three notes which could not be called triads at all, but which can be of great interest to composers. We will cover these more thoroughly in Chapter 15 when we talk about “tone clusters.” In the 20th century, with the breakdown of triadic harmony and tonal centers, some composers organized their music around other intervals like the perfect fourth (C – F – Bb — Eb) or other harmonically related pitches such as A1b – C – B1.
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