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Old 04-14-2009, 12:06 AM
TheGroceryman TheGroceryman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Westchester, NY
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Default Re: Homophonic and Polyphonic Harmonies

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
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.
dang, some of you guys are really eloquent in music theory. You basically summed up the first few weeks in my music theory class in high school :P. and i forgot most of it...

props to you.
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