Suspensions are an essential tool in music theory that adds depth and emotion to a piece of music. In this article, we will explore the basics of how suspensions work in music theory.

What are Suspensions?

A suspension refers to a technique used in music where a note from a previous chord is held over into the next chord, creating tension and release. It is usually a non-chord tone that resolves downwards to a chord tone.

The Basics of Suspensions

The most common type of suspension is known as “four-three” suspension. This means that the suspended note is generally a fourth above the bass note, and it resolves downwards to a third. For example, if the bass note is C, then the suspended note would be F, which would resolve downwards to E.

Types of Suspensions

There are different types of suspensions, depending on the interval between the suspended note and the bass note. The most common types include:

Suspension Timing

Suspensions can occur on any beat of a measure, but they are most commonly found on weak beats such as beat two or beat four. The resolution of suspensions usually occurs on strong beats such as beat one or beat three.

How Do Suspensions Work?

Suspensions work by creating tension and release in music. When a suspended note is introduced into a chord, it creates dissonance with the other notes in that chord. This dissonance creates tension that resolves when the suspended note resolves downwards to its resolution tone.

When used correctly, suspensions can add depth and emotion to music. They can create a sense of anticipation and release, as the listener waits for the suspended note to resolve.

Conclusion

In conclusion, suspensions are an essential tool in music theory that can add depth and emotion to a piece of music. By introducing tension and release, suspensions can create a sense of anticipation and resolution that engages the listener. Understanding the basics of how suspensions work is crucial for any musician or composer looking to create engaging and emotionally impactful music.