~ tritone ~

~ tritones through changes ~ blues ~

'... super sound catalyst for all things Americana ...'

Half a nutshell. One half of our Americana music theory is based on the idea of perfection. We as theorists use this concept to create the basis from which all else evolves. As musicians we are working with musical sounds and the idea of 'perfection of sound' we apply to three intervals. They are termed 'perfect' simply in that they sound most consonant as compared to all others.

three perfect intervals

That nature backs up this perfection when we physically measure these intervals, coupled with their historical endurance in the organization and preeminance in the composition of our music, gives us the starting point to base our theory and consequently untangle and come to understand the theory variables of Americana music.

physically measure
pull of swing

The second half. We can base the second half of our theory on the idea of 'unperfection' of musical sounds. This polar opposite point to aural consonance is the dissonant sounds of the tritone interval. And as most things in life seeks to find an even balance, we most commonly use the tritone interval's dissonance in our musics to energize an artistic 'need' to balance with the consonace of aural perfection. This creates a sense of direction in our music that seeks resolution, which most often is simply back to the pitches we started our song off with. That we feel this need to resolve, and that it travels or 'motors' along in time which we as artists can shape, combine to create the magic we call music.

time

"Blues is the roots, everything else is the fruits." 'Howlin' Wolf.'

Theory names: This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation