# Resolution

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bcarll, Mar 4, 2002.

1. ### bcarll

Oct 16, 2001
In the course of studying chords and notation a term has come up that I don't understand and that term is Resolve or Resolution. I believe the term is being used like certain notes resolve over chord progressions and as you can see I really don't have even enough grasp of what they are talking about to effectively ask the question. Hopefully some one will understand this enough to answer.

bcarll

2. ### Jason Carota

Mar 1, 2002
Lowell, MA
Well, lets see if I can be of some help....

From what I understand, a resolution is the movement from one tone or chord to another tone or chord of greater stability (i.e, the tonic, or the first note in a scale -- as in C for the C Major scale.)

Using the C Major scale, for example, going from the seventh degree (B) to the tonic (C) would be the resolution.

I think this also works with other notes besides the tonic.....such as moving chromatically from F to G in the C Major scale. The note in between (either F# or Gb) would resolve to G (being more stable than the # or b because it (G) is the 5th of the scale).....I'm not too sure about this part though.

If any of this is incorrect, hopefully some other TB'ers will jump in and help us both out!

-timbre

Nov 2, 2000
off to GI

4. ### Chris AChemo sucks!In Memoriam

Feb 25, 2000
Manchester NH
What timbre said is true. Resolution is when chord of tension resolves to a tonic chord. A V7 chord has a strong tension to the resolution of the I chord because it has the half step below the tonic note and the whole step above it in the same chord, so both of those pitches want to resolve to the tonic note.

Say in the key of C, G7 would be the V7, and the notes of B( the 3rd of the chord), and D(the 5th of the chord), both "want" to resolve to C.

Does that make sense?

Chris A.tabevil.

5. ### cafepurgatory

May 20, 2001
Tulsa, Oklahoma
One thing that helped me to understand the concept of resolution (back when I took music theory in high school) was to play examples on a piano. Take Chris A's example, for instance...

Go to a piano (if you have access to one, if not try it on a guitar) and play a G7 chord (V7 in the key of C) - G B D F

Next, play a C chord (just the triad will work for this) - C E G.

Can you hear all of the tension being released with the movement of B (the third of the G7)up to C and D (fifth of the G7) down to C?

Anyway, this helped me, I hope it can help someone else too.

6. ### bcarll

Oct 16, 2001
Guys I 'm still not quite grasping this concept but I 'm studying on what you have written and maybe it will come to me. Sometimes it works that way. I guess a question that needs to be asked is -- is this something important to learn or do you just do this without really knowing the theory behind it.

bcarll

7. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting MemberIn Memoriam

I do think it's important and it is part of any music course - but it's something you have to hear rather than study in words. There's no substitute for sitting at a keyboard instrument and fixing these sounds in your head.

8. ### Jason Carota

Mar 1, 2002
Lowell, MA
Yeah, what he said ......Once you are able to hear or feel it while playing, the words will make more sense.

9. ### Gunnar ÞórGuest

Sep 23, 2001
Hafnarfjordur, Iceland
I think I have it simplified beyond what is healthy:

When a chord resolves around another chord it means that they sound good when played in succession. This overly simple assumption comes from this played on a piano:

G and C# (played together) resolve around F and Eb (also played together).

G and C# is an interval (Ice. to Eng. translation of the name is Root - enlarged (or sharp) fourth) which was banned in western music because it was thought that it sounded so bad. It can only resolve to one chord and that is if you move a whole note in each direction on a piano or keyboard, that is a Root - flat seventh. The root has to drop a whole note from the original chord. Today this is only featured in Icelandic fifth singing. At least this is how my choir director explained it to me.