Originally Posted by aydee
Isn't that a ferment...forrent, ferent, ferret, forment, foray,...fff...?
Bach had these notes... alternating high/low/high/low.. that created these stacks or layers. So if you listened to just the low notes they formed their own melodies and the highs, their own and together they formed a third dimension. Polyphonic harmony.
Right, Juho? Did I do good?
Sorry Abe. 18th century 'polyhony,' that of Handel and Bach, is known as counterpoint. It was just to keep things distinct. :)
In homophonic texture, sounding together, the melodic point is the main line, and the other voices create a harmonic accompaniment. If you are sitting with a guitar, strumming and singing, that is a homophonic texture, or listen to the chorales of Bach, which have the Lutheran hymn in the soprano and the other voices fill out the harmonic texture.
In polyphonic textures, many sounds, all of the lines work individually, moving at different intervals from a main line, which is called the cantus firmus. They can move with imitation, parallel movement, contrary motion, or a florid line. It is more than one melodic line happening at the same time. Josquin's masses are a great example. see Missa de Beata Virgine, the end of the 'Gloria' is stunning.