When Life is Like a Tritone

The tritone is a fantastic interval and it signals something significant: a change, a resolution, an ending, or it signals more mysterious things are ahead.

Tritones need to be resolved. Music theory says so.

So does your ear.

Nobody would like West Side Story if Maria's name were only sung as Maaa-reeeee... Did you sing it in your head?

It has to be resolved.

The tritone is dissonant to our ears, and we want the consonance of the resolution.

This interval used to be referred to as "the devil's interval." Because it represented the devil (this was, obviously, decided by some churchy person), it wasn't allowed in church music for a long time.

There's the adage "The devil is in the detail."

Then there's the other adage, "God is in the detail."


Without the tritone, there is no need for resolution.

The resolution makes the melody, the phrase feel complete.

Right now we are living through a reeeeeally long tritone.

Lots of things are incomplete.

Mysterious things lie in wait for us.

Lots of change.

Not much resolution.

Constant endings, and yet no ending at all.

The option then, is to learn the tritone really well.

What do the sound waves feel like?

What mystery follows the first mystery? the seventh? the 380th?

What other change will this bring?

What's the next dissonant thing?

There isn't yet a whole lot of resolution. We've got dissonance. Loads of it. So learn it. Learn whatever you can.


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment