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The retardations

The melodic retardations


The retardation is a sustained non harmonic note, via a slur or a dot, which creates a dissonance with the chord on which it is placed. It has three phases that we describe in this example. In this case, we have two bars, one on the G Major chord (G B D), and the other on the C major chord (C E G). Note D, which is the fifth of the G Major chord (actual chord), is the first phase, called the "preparation" note. Note D is extended by a link on the second D note placed on the C major chord, creating a dissonance with this chord. This D is the second phase, ie the retardation itself. The next C note is the resolution of the D retardation or root note of the C Major chord. So we have our 3 phases: Preparation, retardation and resolution. Retardations are usually placed on a strong beat or strong part of a beat, here on the first beat of a 4 beat bar. This usually resolves on a weak beat or weak part of a beat, here the second beat this 4/4 bar. A retardation can be "superior", here the D above the C, or inferior as in the second example, B note below the C note. The retardation can also be "diatonic" with a distance of 1 tone between the retardation and its resolution, or cromatic with a distance of half tone as in this second example.

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