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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The 7th Note

She was doing a beautiful job playing her song.  Every note was accurate and the timing was perfect - except when she got to measure 22.  She completely dismissed the left hand chord altogether. 

"Audrey, why didn't you play that chord?" I asked.

"I don't like it." she said. "It doesn't sound right and it makes me feel weird."

I looked closer.  It was a combination of the notes G-B-D-F. 

"Oh," I said, "that's a seventh chord.  It's supposed to sound dissonant.  It might feel weird for 2 beats, but look, it resolves at the next chord and then it will feel better."

She wasn't persuaded.  She grabbed her pencil and began scribbling out the F note (the 7th note) -- the part that caused the clashing sound in her ears.

I tried again.  "Audrey, that's part of what makes music beautiful and interesting-- the feeling of suspense and resolution; tension and release.  It's what adds flavor to what otherwise would seem ordinary.  It's part of the journey of the song."

I could hear my words bounce back at me off the wall.


How I hate the 7th note in life. 

Why can't everything just always work the way I want it to? And, why do some 7th notes seem to last so much longer than just 2 beats?  Where is the resolution??  Why can't everything in life be pleasantly harmonic? 

My husband loves the 7th note.
He doesn't mind the challenge.  To him, it becomes an adventure - something to mix life up bit.  Who wants to always be in the same old predictable progression and boring pattern anyway? 

Isn't the 7th note just part of the journey of the song?

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