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Thread: The 3rd and 4th in Mixolydian...

  1. #1
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    The 3rd and 4th in Mixolydian...

    Why are these two so attacted to each other in Mixolydian?...when I'm practicing Mixolydian arpeggios, they almost don't sound right if I don't include the 4th...The 4th seems to really want to resolve to the 3rd...These and the b7 just sound so good together...Can anyone explain why this is? Thanks
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    The 4th seems to really want to resolve to the 3rd...These and the b7 just sound so good together...Can anyone explain why this is? Thanks
    It's the tritone between the major third and minor seventh that is the essence of Mixolydian. (Or a dom7 chord IOW). Over a Mixolydian vibe the fourth will actually want to resolve into dissonance being just a half-step away from creating the tritone with the third. It's the effect of an implied dom7 with a non-chord tone resolving a half-step to a chord tone. (Non-chord tone meaning the fourth is dissonant over a dom7).

    Eg

    (EABD)>(EG#BD)

    The fourth is useful for this reason and sounds good in Mixolydian. Eg. as a Mixo pentatonic:

    E G# A B D

  3. #3
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Hmmm, the 4th sounds pretty consonant to my ears...
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    The 4th sounds consonant (relatively) if you don't play the 3rd. You get a 7sus4.: E-A-B-D.
    In a 7sus4 chord, there may still be a slight tendency for the 4 to "pull" down to the 3rd. Try this:

    -0-----0-----
    -0-----0-----
    -2-----1-----
    -0-----0-----
    -2-----2-----
    -0-----0-----

    The first chord (E7sus4) should sound as if it has a slight tension, that is resolved by the move to E7.
    But 7sus4s are commonly used as modal chords in jazz, without resolution, so our ears have come to accept it. (The Beatles opened Hard Days Night with an unresolved G7sus4. Some while ago now... )

    Note that although there is a classical tension in a 7sus4, there is also tension in a plain dom7, between 3rd and 7th.
    So in E7sus4-E7, one tension gives way to another. Classically, it would be resolved by an A major chord.

    -0-----0-----0-
    -0-----0-----2-
    -2-----1-----2-
    -0-----0-----2-
    -2-----2-----0-
    -0-----0-------

    OR (better voice-leading):

    -0-----0-----0-
    -3-----3-----2-
    -2-----1-----2-
    -2-----2-----2-
    -2-----2-----0-
    -0-----0-------

  5. #5
    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    Hmmm, the 4th sounds pretty consonant to my ears...
    This movement is just implied '4th dissonance':

    (EABD)>(EG#BD)

    The first chord is actually more consonant than the second which is why I said it actually wants to resolve into the recognised dissonance of a dom7.

    Now try playing this chord:

    (EG#ABD)

    It sounds quite interesting, musical, recognisable..but the two most dissonant intervals are present from the G#; a tritone and a minor second. Isolating (G#AD) makes it a lot more obvious.

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