One way musicians create tension in a melody or chord progression is through use of a suspension.
Here’s a little music theory for you: the suspension. A suspension is a note that clashes with the harmony and needs to move to another note to resolve the tension. For instance, the fourth note above the root of a chord is dissonant, and likes to move to the third note, which is consonant. Here’s a 4-3 suspension on a piano; the tension in this C chord is resolved when the dissonant F moves to the consonant E:
There’s been a noticeable trend away from using jingles in TV commercials. This really doesn’t bother me too much; jingles are designed to lodge themselves into your brain, and an effective one can have the same effect as a toothache. I’m interested, though, in how jingles have been replaced.
Composer Carl Stalling created some of the most recognizable musical scores of the last century, the sounds that fueled many Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons.
[Music: Carl Stalling: “Coyote and Road Runner”]
You may not know Carl Stalling’s name but you do know his work. He was the composer who scored the music for Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes cartoons, the music that was the perfect accompaniment to sugar-cereal-fueled Saturday mornings, the music we associate with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, and their various escapades.