The Augmented Fourth

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Musical Ficlyists amongst us may or may not know that the augmented fourth (or diminished fifth) is sometimes known as “The Devil’s Chord”.

For reasons beyond musical knowledge, or at least my researching ability, a gap of three tones produces the most terrifying and dreadful single sound possibly imaginable (rumour has it that it was even banned by the Church for a while). Or so I’m told. Go on, hit an A and an E-flat on a piano and see for yourself. But do be careful.

So anyway, I challenge you to write me something – anything – that has even the most tenuous and debatable link to this evil chord of ours. Points may or may not be awarded for ingenuity, flair and profficient improvisation.

I give you a one-octave chromatic scale of days to complete your task.

Enjoy (at your own risk).

  • Started February 8th, 2010.
  • Ended February 20th, 2010.
  • Created by Tsu D'nehm

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Discussion

  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Okay, I really should make a point of reading challenges before reading the stories attached to them. I don’t how much it would have helped, but it couldn’t have hurt. Honestly, I couldn’t even find A and E-flat on a piano.

  2. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    And now we wait in ecstatic anticipation.
    cue tense tremelo

  3. Avatar Music-Hearted

    Tritone! Shudder. I’ll be interested in what comes of this.

  4. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    I actually quite like this interval… the interval I can’t stand is a minor second.

    And I believe you’re right: I’ve also heard from a number of places that the tritone was banned from liturgical music for a spell.

    Neat challenge, I like it muchly.

  5. Avatar Wednesday [PJ] ((LoA))

    Yay! I love this tone! I have it as my doorbell… hehe
    Children run away in fear!
    it’s also part of a joke by Bill Bailey who is far and away my favourite comedian!

  6. Avatar Charlie K

    Ah yes, the augmented fourth. It’s also known as the tri-tone, just so you know. What am I doing, I need to go write a story for this!

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Participants

  • g²LaPianistaIrlandesa
  • Mostly Harmless
  • Red Mint Valkyrie