What is Rhythmic Dissonance?


Rhythmic Dissonance is an underrated and understudied compositional device. While some theorists have attempted to codify and explain this phenomenon, the number of these individuals has been few, as have the number of explanations and explorations in this area. The author explores the precedents set by previous theorists in order to gain an understanding of the current state of rhythmic dissonance. Select irregularities and fallacies within these previous theories are exposed and a new theory is presented in order to expand on previous interpretations and provide new avenues of exploration. This is done through a close examination of the current and historical musical literature. For practicality, the author develops methods of theoretical analysis and compositional application. The author seeks not to provide a prescriptive means of application, but rather to present avenues of artistic development paved by the exploration and understanding of new and interesting concepts.

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