Difference in Pitch Causes Dissonance

• Mar 17, 2018 - 20:32

I am relatively new to composing and have a moderate knowledge of music theory. I have been having trouble, especially when composing using string instruments on MuseScore, with anything more than a moderate difference in pitch between two notes sounding dissonant. Any advice on general stylistic choices that can solve this or on something I can do with MuseScore specifically to address the issue?


MuseScore is a tool for notating your composition; it will notate almost anything you can imagine, but it cannot 'address the issue' of the composer specifying dissonant intervals. That is up to the composer.

General rules for composition:

  1. Write your bass line first, then write the melody to fit it
  2. Use contrary or oblique motion between voices wherever possible
  3. Use parallel motion ONLY in thirds, sixths, or tenths, and for limited lengths of time (half a measure or less)
  4. Avoid intervals other than thirds and sevenths (and the inversions thereof) until you know what you're doing
  5. Avoid 6/4 chords except at cadences or those which result from suspensions
  6. Don't modulate to a key other than the dominant or the relative minor until you understand how to get back to your home key
  7. Stick to major keys until you understand them perfectly; writing in minor is much more complex
  8. Don't try to write in more than three voices until you have mastered that species.

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