Chords: Consonance & Dissonance

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Consonance is the state of harmony that sound-feels stable, settled, resolved, and free of tension…

Dissonance is the state of harmony that sound-feels unstable, unsettled, unresolved, and full of tension.

There are many flavors of consonance and dissonance, as you will discover when you continue your study of chords, but here are three examples.

Consonance, an Example…


Dissonance, an Example…


Consonance or Dissonance?

Consonance and dissonance are relative terms. Not only are there degrees of consonance and dissonance, but there are plenty of gray areas where one person’s consonance may be another person’s dissonance.

Here’s a deliciously ambiguous example…


Consonant? Dissonant? Why quibble? Just enjoy it!

learn more… How Music Works: Chord Progressions



  1. dissonance – the boss (my wife that is) is a film fan and she told me the shower scene in Psycho was violins doing your example staccato F-E chord

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