This device can be used as means of creating, releasing and/or prolonging tension while the underlying harmony changes until it resolves to a new chord or harmonic context. It is used as an effect to increase the interest and depth in a particular section of the music composition and it is typically found at the end of phrases:
It is essentially a chord tone(s) that belong to a harmonic context that has yet to be presented but appears earlier. The created dissonance is thus resolved when that same pitch becomes a chord tone of the next chord:
While the anticipation is an early arrival of a tone belonging to the next chord, a suspension is a chord tone(s) that belong to the previous chord but are temporarily held, played against the second chord and then resolving downwards by step motion:
A retardation is essentially a suspension that resolves upward and it frequently appears simultaneously with a suspension:Retardation with suspension
Do you like what you read?
Subscribe to the blog and get a free sample of the Beyond Music Theory eBook, or simply share on social media!