The Forbidden Tritone…



Okay, I’m asking for your honest opinion here.  I’m working on my next CD, and one of the chunks of music I’m considering developing into a full piece is this one.  I’ve always liked playing around with crazy chord progressions, and for many years I have wanted to come up with something that defies all the laws of music theory and has a tritone chord progression.

The tritone is traditionally the worse, most dissonant interval (set of notes) of all.  Basically, if you play a C and then an F#, that’s a tritone.  I think music theory would scream at me for even attempting a piece that actually uses the tritone interval for a chord progression.  Maybe that’s why I was so determined to find a way – and this sample is filled with tritones.


I want to know your HONEST opinion.  Does it work?  Is it pushing things a little too far?

If you do like it, what kinds of emotions does it invoke?  If I do use it, it will need a name.  I never choose a name lightly.

12 Replies to “The Forbidden Tritone…”

  1. I listened to this before I read your explanation. Actually, I quite like it. I think the very first tritone chord took me off guard a bit and I thought you had just missed a note just a bit. Even then it actually works as you hear the rest of what is here. Everything seems to be building to something. It was working well. I can’t wait to hear what the rest will be. I wonder if there may be something you could do to lead into the first tritone slightly differently so that the first time listener doesn’t think what I was thinking at first.

    I have no idea on a name, but I could really see this as a part of a movie sound track.

  2. I quite like this. On the whole it really seems to work. I blinked at the first tritone and then I saw how it worked. I can’t wait to hear the rest.

    I can really see how this could be a great on a movie sound track.

  3. My ears simply love odd chord progressions. Some of my favorite pieces change chords on nearly every note… you could measure them in chord changes per second! 🙂

    The feeling I get from this piece is “try… work… fail!”, repeated several times, each time changing the attack and getting a little stronger and better. It might fit a movie scene where the character is learning how to do something.

  4. I liked it! Have you seen the movie the corpse bride? Have you heard the music from that movie? It’s spectacular. Your music reminded me of it. I think it works quite well. I think you could add a some more notes to the melody line and to the left hand as well as you build up to the middle-end of your piece. But that’s just my personal opinion, it was beautiful. I’d like to hear even more put into it. Keep up the great work!

  5. Yes! Go Chas! You’ve just proven it can be done and done well.

    I made me think of a movie about someone continually trying and trying against all odds. And the hard times keep coming over and over.

    I loved it.

  6. i love the slow climax of the intense part, you can feel the moment getting intense and going somewhere but its not going fast your giving us time to enjoy each part of the as the feelings rise.

  7. Chas,
    I’m blown away by your talent! As far as the piece I just listened to, you may remember that I was the one in the ward choir who sang her little heart our but couldn’t tell you anything about theory. I just learned my part and sang when it was my turn 🙂
    However, I DO know what I like and I like your stuff! I am in complete agreement with your family. It plays like a soundtrack for a dark thriller; Harrison Ford/Michelle Pfeiffer in “What Lies Beneath” came to mind.
    Keep up the great work. Can I have a ticket to the Oscars when you get the “Best Soundtrack” award?
    Much love, Vicki

  8. That website I gave you is under construction. It is for my book Some Secrets Hurt which is being released September 16 by Shadow Mountain.

    I love this piece. I don’t think it sounds dark. I think it sounds like the music of decision. I hear the same inner turmoil I feel when faced with a difficult choice. I would call it Soul Searching.

  9. I’ll have to watch for when the book comes out! Sounds very interesting.

    I like what you said about it being music of decision. I think it does give some feeling of turmoil, and I like your name idea. I think it demonstrates struggle – struggle that is difficult now, but which can lead a person out of the suffering they are in.

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