Elements of Figuration. Rhythmic Placement
The most important distinction among the various nonharmonic tones is whether the dissonance occurs on the beat (accented) or off the beat (unaccented). Dissonances placed on the beat are much stronger and often create a powerful emotional impact, whereas those placed off the beat generally pass almost unnoticed smoothing out melodic lines. Some nonharmonic tones occur in both accented and unaccented contexts; others appear only as accented or as unaccented dissonances.