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:

Anticipation

     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:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/ayf9kojsimwod46/anticipation.mp3?dl=0

Suspension

     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:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/x2r3uy5f249x3n3/suspension.mp3?dl=0

Retardation

     A retardation is essentially a suspension that resolves upward and it frequently appears simultaneously with a suspension:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/110ue1bpybffnfm/retardation.mp3?dl=0
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/cvcdnd6hjr72y3l/retardation%20%2B%20suspension.mp3?dl=0 Retardation with suspension

Do you like what you read?

Subscribe to the newsletter and get a free sample of the Beyond Music Theory eBook!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.