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Consonance
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Consonance

Consonance is a stylistic device, often used in poetry. It is the repetition of consonant sounds in a short sequence of words, for example, the "r" sound in "her brown curly hair." Alliteration differs from consonance insofar as alliteration requires the repeated consonant sound to be at the beginning of each word. In half rhyme, the terminal consonant sound is repeated.


In music, a consonance is a harmony, chord, or interval which sounds stable, as opposed to a dissonance, which is unstable and at which there is more information. The strictest definition of consonance may be only those sounds which are pleasant, while the most general definition includes any sounds which are used freely.

In what is now called the common practice period consonant intervals include:

This is as would be taught in a beginning music theory class, but intervals such as the perfect fourth and the thirds were once considered forbidden dissonances.

Consonance can be a requirement for a chord in a cadence. A cadence is supposed to be more consonant that the chords which immediately preceded it. Dissonance has a disturbing quality which leads to musical dynamism and a quest for resolution. This resolution is consonance. In this sense, consonance is analogous to a "happy ending": for example, minor thirds are more dissonant than major thirds, and their corresponding minor triads can also be perceived as being "sadder" than major triads.

All further information at dissonance.

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