Courses & Documentary

Gresham College - Musical Consonance and Dissonance: The Good, Bad and Beautifully Ugly

What makes a piece of music challenging, bland, intriguing, beautiful or ugly? This lecture explores the concept of ‘musical flavour’ formed by intervallic, rhythmic and timbral components and how they contribute to a sense of consonance and dissonance. In particular we look at the interval vector, a system by which harmonic objects are analysed as a series of ‘handshakes’ between pitches, providing a measure of harmonic ‘bite’. The ‘Hendrix chord’ is used as a case study of such harmonic flavour. This lecture was recorded by Milton Mermikides on 25th April 2024 at LSO St Luke's Church, London Milton is Gresham Professor of Music He is Associate Professor in Music at the University of Surrey, Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music and Deputy Director of the International Guitar Research Centre.

Prof Milton Mermikides (@miltonline) / X

Gresham College lectures by Milton Mermikides