The best way to bother my mother was to start a scale on the piano beginning with, say, middle C and continue upward to B, omitting the final C note.
She would have to leave whatever she was doing, come to the piano and play the final C. Most people wouldn't even notice what, in her, caused great tension.
Good point! But I'm not sure most people wouldn't notice that. The final missing semi-tone is not much, for sure, but it's effect is very 'tension' producing for anyone with an ear for music. In fact, there are some good analogies to be drawn from the music world, regarding tension.
Imagine an 18th century audience of the aristocracy, packed into a large drawing room, listening to the mellifluous, harmonius and soothing tones of a Mozart concerto. Imagine a brief pause, then the orchestra launches into an exciting part of the Rite of Spring, or the final few chords of Ravel's Bolero (I'd include some extreme examples of pop music (AC/DC ?) but that would be stretching credulity to the limit).
The effect, I'm sure, would be devastating. The women would suffer from palpitations and headaches for weeks thereafter, the men would engage in law suits against the orchestra (for emotional damage - but perhaps that only applies to modern America) and/or the members of the orchestra would be banished from polite society for ever more.
The purchase of Jackson Pollack's painting 'Blue Poles' in Australia during the Whitlam government era (1970's), caused an outcry. A million dollars for that pile of c**p, many folks said (or thought but didn't say because they were too polite).
Funny thing, art! But science is a bit bizarre at times. Anyone tried to make sense out the theory of Quantum Mechanics, lately?