Consonance vs. dissonance: Inborn or cultural?

For many years, I have taken issue with the notion (held by some) that consonance—the absence of musical tension—equates to combinations of pleasant and agreeable musical sounds, while dissonance—the presence of musical tension—equates to combinations of unpleasant and disagreeable musical sounds. It is a distinct...
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Unifying techniques in musical compositions

Any musical composition may be analyzed from the perspective of attempting to reveal its various facets of unity and variety. A work may often prove to be satisfying to the listener when these elements are in judicious balance. Notwithstanding that, however, the predominant features of any given musical masterpiece are unquestionably the work'...
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Understanding bar lines: A brief history

In Western notation, the vertical bar line through the musical staff first came into usage at a point in history when polyphonic textured music (two or more melodies simultaneously) evolved from monophonic textured music (one melody only; no accompaniment). The principal purpose of employing bar lines at that moment in time was to coordinate singer...
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Music notation: A brief look at its historical evolution

In early Medieval times, if one wanted to learn a song, one listened to someone sing it. ​It wasn't until the ninth century that monks began to experiment with various ways of notating music in written form, with the goal of helping people across a wide geographical area remember the many musical accoutrements of Roman Catholic religious servi...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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