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Harmonic Anticipation and Suspension

     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

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