The concept of tension and release is fundamental to any style of music. Creating moments of musical conflict followed by resolution, either through compositional or performance devices, can be satisfying and interesting both for the listener and the performer. Incorporating syncopated rhythms, dynamic changes, busier subdivisions, or dissonant harmonies are some of the many ways to create musical tension. In this lesson, we’ll explore methods to create tension and release by using five-note phrases.

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