Dissonances and Parallel Motion

The marking up of dissonances complement information about other musical types such as, for instance, cadences. Handling of dissonance can be relevant for characterising the style of particular composers. Also the incidence particularly of parallel 5ths as a result of the use of passing notes, auxiliary notes, and cambiatas can be revealing of a composer's fingerprint.

Parallel Dissonances

Any instance of parallel dissonances (including the perfect 4th), particularly those arising from the use of accented or unaccented passing notes, auxiliary notes, and cambiatas. See Examples here and here.

Prepared Dissonance

An accented dissonance that occurs as the latter part of a suspension, or is approached by stepwise motion.


The sounding of the note of resolution against the suspension dissonance in a voice-part other than the lowest one. See Examples here and here.

Unprepared Dissonance

An accented dissonance that is approached by leap or not prepared by a suspension.


Dissonance modifiers include:

- Rearticulated. The dissonant note is rearticulated on, or after, the downbeat. This applies to Prepared Dissonances only.

- Unresolved. The accented dissonant note (including the 4th from the bass) is prepared but not properly resolved. This applies to Prepared Dissonances and the Resolution-against-Suspension dissonance.


Parallel Perfect Consonances

This type is self-explanatory. See Examples here and here.

In the analysis of dissonances and parallel perfect consonances the intervening voices are marked from top to bottom, and the interval category is given as a numeral (where 1 is the unison and 10 a compound 3rd).

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