quote by Leon Festinger

When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance.

— Leon Festinger

Memorable Dissonant quotations

When Claude Debussy studied at the Paris Conservatory from age ten to age twenty-two, many considered him a rebel because of his treatment of dissonance and his disdain for the established forms. He reputedly turned to a fellow student during a performance of Beethoven with the words, "Let's go. He's starting to develop.

If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances.

No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.

Of course I have used dissonance in my time, but there has been too much dissonance. Bach used dissonance as good salt for his music. Others applied pepper, seasoned the dishes more and more highly, till all healthy appetites were sick and until the music was nothing but pepper.


In noise can be read the codes of life, the relations among men.

Clamour, Melody, Dissonance, Harmony; when it is fashioned by man with specific tools, when it invades man’s time, when it becomes sound, noise is the source of the purpose and power, of the dream – Music.

Wisdom is tolerance of cognitive dissonance.

Stand up and take your dissonance like a man.

Life is a desert of shifting sand dunes.

Unpredictable. Erratic. Harmony changes into dissonance, the immediate outlives the profound, esoteric becomes cliched. And vice versa.

There is no one part of the brain which recognizes or responds emotionally to music. Instead, there are many different parts responding to different aspects of music: to pitch, to frequency, to timbre, to tonal intervals, to consonance, to dissonance, to rhythm, to melodic contour, to harmony.


Art knows no happier moment than the opportunity to show the symmetry of an extreme, during that moment of spheric harmony when the dissonance dissolves for the blink of an eye, dissolves into a blissful harmony, when the most extreme opposites, coming together from the greatest alienation, fleetingly touch with lips of the word and of love.

When I had my first experiences of choral singing, the dissonance of those close harmonies was so exquisite that I would giggle or I would tear up, and I felt it in a physical way.

If a composer has a nice wife and some nice children, how can he let the children starve on his dissonances?

I have never quite grasped the worry about the power of the press.

After all, it speaks with a thousand voices, in constant dissonance.

I am deeply spiritual; I revel in those things that make for good - the things that we can do to shed a little light, to help place an oft-dissonant universe back in tune with itself... Long live art, long live friendship, long live the joy of life!


Art is lunging forward without certainty about where you are going or how to get there, being open to and dependent on what luck, the paint, the typo, the dissonance, give you. Without art, you're stuck with yourself as you are and life as you think life is.

It's a shame cars don't run on cognitive dissonance.

America has long raised political and cultural cognitive dissonance to an art form. We are capable of living with enormous inequality and injustice while convincing ourselves that we are in fact moving toward what Churchill called the "broad, sun-lit uplands."

We are anxious when there is a dissonance between our "knowledge" and the perceivable facts. Since our "knowledge" is not to be doubted or questioned, it is the facts that have to be altered.

Cherish what is dearest while you have it near you, and wait not till it is far away. Blind and deaf that we are; oh, think, if thou yet love anybody living, wait not till death sweep down the paltry little dust clouds and dissonances of the moment, and all be made at last so mournfully clear and beautiful, when it is too late.


I suspect that a lot of the stress we see around us arises from the cognitive dissonance set up by one side of the brain hearing very plausible spin while the other side knows it just ain't so.

The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism.

A good title holds magic, some cognitive dissonance, a little grit between the teeth, but above all it is the jumping-off place into wonder.

If a person plays dissonance long enough, it will sound like consonance.

It's a language that was alien and then it's less and less alien as it continues to live.

Articulate words are a harsh clamor and dissonance.

When man arrives at his highest perfection, he will again be dumb.


You'll be pleased to hear, Christopher, that I am no longer a Muslim liberal but an atheist [....] I find that it obviates the necessity for any cognitive dissonance.

Dissonance / (if you are interested) / leads to discovery.

How good are the best musical imaginations? Can a trained musician, swiftly reading a score tell just how that voicing of dissonant oboes and flutes over the massed strings will sound?

Music needs the juxtaposition of opposites to achieve its drama, so harshness and dissonance are simply part of the material a musician can use to create a musical work. All one thing is a bore - all dissonance, or all fatuous consonance. George Winston and Guns and Roses are two sides of the same worthless coin in my esthetic world.

True believers are continually shown by reality that their god doesn't exist, but have developed extensive coping mechanisms to deal with this cognitive dissonance.


Ah, what is it we send up thither, where our thoughts are either a dissonance or a sweetness and a grace?

A movie can and should have some real dissonance throughout - rage, heartache, tears, conflict, catharsis and all the other elements Aristotle demanded of a good story - but the chord has to be resolved.

What I do is create a lens through my work that corrects my readers' cognitive dissonance and says: you will see all of it - not what you want or what makes you comfortable, but all of it. And you will not erase what displeases you.

The Gauls derided the hairy and gigantic savages of the North;

their rustic manners, dissonant joy, voracious appetite, and their horrid appearance, equally disgusting to the sight and to the smell.

The Volunteer AT dawn, he said, I bid them all farewell,To go where bugles call and rifles gleam.And with the restless thought asleep he fell,And glided into dream.A great hot plain from sea to mountain spread, -Through it a level river slowly drawn:He moved with a vast crowd, and at its headStreamed banners like the dawn.There came a blinding flash, a deafening roar,And dissonant cries of triumph and dismay;Blood trickled down the river's reedy shore,And with the dead he lay.The morn broke in upon his solemn dream,And still, with steady pulse and deepening eye,Where bugles call, he said, and rifles gleam,I follow, though I die!

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