Refers to an interval that is more relaxed and calm, compared to a dissonance that is unstable and tense. In the Renaissance period, intervals were classified by consonance and dissonance. Those considered to be perfect consonances were the octave and the perfect 5th, and Imperfect consonances were major and minor 3rds and 6ths. Those considered to be dissonances were the perfect 4th, along with major and minor 2nds and 7ths. The tritone was recognized as the most unstable dissonance, and was treated very carefully in the music of that time. Degrees of consonance and dissonance are manipulated by composers to achieve tension or relaxation, and a sense of arrival.
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