Suspensions are a crucial part of music theory. In simple terms, a suspension is when a note from the previous chord is held over into the next chord and then resolved down to the proper note. They add tension and create resolution in music, making them an essential tool for composers and songwriters alike.

There are several different types of suspensions that you should be familiar with:

1. Preparation

Before you can have a suspension, you need to have a preparation. This is the note that will be held over into the next chord. It should be part of the previous chord and should be held over into the next chord until it resolves.

2. Suspension

The suspension itself is the note that is held over into the next chord. It creates tension and adds interest to the music.

3. Resolution

The resolution is when the suspended note finally resolves down to its proper place in the next chord. This creates a sense of release and resolution, bringing closure to the tension created by the suspension.

4. Retardation

A retardation is similar to a suspension, except that instead of holding a note over from one chord to another, it moves up by step before resolving down.

5. Anticipation

An anticipation is when a note from the next chord comes early and resolves up or down to its proper place in the current chord.

Identifying Suspensions in Music Theory:

Now that we’ve covered some basic definitions let’s discuss how to identify suspensions in music theory:

Examples of Suspensions in Music

Let’s take a look at some examples of suspensions in music:

Example 1:

In this example, we have a G major chord followed by a D major chord. The note D is held over from the G major chord into the D major chord, creating a suspension. The suspended note then resolves down to C#, which is part of the D major chord.

Example 2:

In this example, we have an F major chord followed by a C major chord. The note E is held over from the F major chord into the C major chord, creating a suspension. The suspended note then resolves down to D, which is part of the C major chord.

In conclusion, suspensions are an essential tool for adding tension and interest to music. By understanding how to identify them and use them effectively, you can take your compositions and songwriting to new heights.