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In tonal music, a preparation is the consonant pitch or chord which precedes a dissonant nonharmonic tone. The move from a dissonance to a consonance constitutes a resolution.

In the following example, the C major chord on the left is a preparation which precedes a nonharmonic tone that serves as an anticipation (center, marked in red) to the G major harmony on the right. This harmony resolves the preceding dissonance:

Anticipation. About this soundPlay