Music in Multiple Voices

Monday, December 17, 2007

So far we have concentrated on reading a single line, comparable to the voice of a single singer. But from about the ninth century onward musicians have been evolving interesting ways to make music with more than one voice. Some experiments became agonizingly monotonous—for instance, when a voice was accompanied by a second voice five notes below it. This was found intolerable and was banned by theorists, and the art of counter- point (note against note) developed, with guidelines to make the combinations work in an interesting way.

Fortunately, we can jump a thousand years by turning a page. This chapter covers reading and playing in more than one part, wiht some interesting solos to practice at the end.