Perception and Dissonance: The Challenge of Overcoming Genre

The unmistakable tinge of a major second was palpable. Harsh, crunching artificial noise emanated from a loosely tuned guitar. Heads bobbed and banged. The sound was note-against-note, a harmonic layout that offers more tension than it does release. Yet the audience didn’t seem to mind at all, screaming along in human articulation to the scream of amplified metal strings. The catharsis of a punk show … Continue reading Perception and Dissonance: The Challenge of Overcoming Genre

Happy Birthday, Arnold Schoenberg!

It’s a sweltering summer day in the mid-2000s. Middle school music geeks flock to the library for their midday music theory lesson at chamber music camp. There’s a kid who knows what retrograde is already while the others are fighting over what second inversion means. The teacher makes a sly remark, this isn’t the music theory of Arnold Schoenberg, we’re learning harmony. The class laughs … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Arnold Schoenberg!