Beth Deniers is an associate professor in the Composition Department at Berkeley College of Music. Her music has been performed throughout the U. S. And in Canada, Mexico, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, China, and Thailand, and recorded by Justas, Albany, and Interval record labels. Consider music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and multiple melodic lines to create effective music. This is counterpoint. The term counterpoint refers to two or more independent melodic lines working together to create music.
In contrapuntal music-? music created using counterpoint-?each of the oldies works independently as well as together. Together these melodies create a texture called polyphony. Polyphony and counterpoint have been around for about 1,000 years and are at the root of melody and harmony in Western music. You may already be thinking about how good it sounds in contemporary popular music when the bass and lead lines complement each other Just right. This happens when 1) each line stands independently as an effective melodic line and 2) both lines stand together, keeping their independence, but also creating a great sound when heard together.
This is counterpoint. The term texture is used to describe the relative “thickness” or “thinness” of musical sound. Musical textures, like the texture of fabric, can be rough or smooth, simple or complex, dense or sparse. Here are three basic musical textures, only one of which defines counterpoint: Monophonic-?A solo melody, Just one line of music. This is the simplest musical texture. (From the Greek: mono-?one; and phony-?sound or voice. ) Common monophonic performances include a solo singer or performer on a monophonic instrument like a flute or trumpet. 2.
Homophony-?A melody with chords, like a song; a harmonize 3 melody. The chords (harmonies) do not stand on their own as independent melodies but are heard as sound shapes supporting or “harmonize” the single melody, often in the same rhythm as the melody. (From the A portion of the Winchester Trooper Counterpoint has been evolving in Western music for about 1,000 years. One of the earliest examples is found in the Winchester Trooper from the 1 lath century, and contrapuntal continues writing today, as in the music of Estonian Greek: homo-?same; and phony-?sound or voice. Homophony is the dominant by a lead vocalist over a choral background provided by the band. Composer Rave PГart. Today, counterpoint is everywhere, even in popular music. Its influence can be heard in pop music such as the Beetles’ “Paperback Writer,” progressive rock artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, and even in the mosque concrete aspects of hip-hop. Taking a contrapuntal perspective on music means that you are looking at it horizontally-?via melody-?but are also taking into consideration the vertical (harmonic) sounds or implications of this simultaneous melodic motion.
Still, the texture of counterpoint remains: Two or more melodic layers maintain their independence while creating desirable harmonies. Find a piece of music you like and think of at least two of the topics that generally describe the sound of your selection. For example, you might say the music is homophobic and consonant, as in a “pretty’ song with melody and simple chords. Or you may say the heavy metal guitar solo is dissonant and polyphonic with the bass guitar. 3. Polyphony-?More than one melody happening at the same time.
When the late Jazz guitar legend Tall Barlow explained his motivation to randomize standard tunes, he replied with this twist on an old adage: “If it into broke, fix it anyway. ” And so it goes. In the world of artists of all mediums and disciplines, the musician is most audacious when it comes to altering another’s creation. Imagine an artist taking a palette of paints and a brush to the Museum of Fine Arts and painting an extra nose on a Picasso masterpiece? Or someone putting a hat on Roding’s implies bronze and marble sculpture The Thinker?
Scandalous, to say the least … And possibly resulting in some Jail time! However, the history of Jazz performance and arranging, as well as European classical tradition, as exemplified by Rhapsody on There are instances in which the randomized song is considered so superior to the original chord changes that the new version becomes the standard harmonic form-? which, in turn, becomes subjected to further variation. The Victor Young classic “Stella By Starlight” and the Burke/Van Houses standard “Like Someone In Love” are excellent examples of “new’ standards.
Can you imagine what a cocktail pianist, who has been on the same five-night-a-week gig for ten years, would have to endure if some kind of harmonic liberty was not taken with the repertoire? Maybe Romanization contributes to good mental health for the performer. No matter how you frame it, Romanization has a long-standing tradition in the world of Jazz and material from the standard repertoire where Theme of Paginating by Rachmaninoff, is filled with players and writers whose creative intention could be distilled down to Tall’s response. 6 Romanization can place the ordinary into an extraordinary setting.
There may also be situations in which the melody and chords may not be in vertical agreement -?a change in the harmony may be called for. For the improvising player, Romanization is regarded as improvising harmonies to a fixed melody line-?the opposite of melodic improvisation. For the improviser who is soloing melodically within the standard framework of the chord changes of a tune, the various substitution and approach and techniques learned in this course superimposed against the rhythm section accompaniment can be applied to great effect.
For a Romanization to be acceptable to the listener, there are two relatively absolute conditions: 1. 2. The melody must be recognizable. The harmony must be logical and familiar. This means that little or no melodic embellishment is used and the harmony is resourced from common practice chord patterns of standard popular repertoire. There will always be exceptions to these conditions, but until further notice, these will be absolutes. Depending on his or her listening experiences, the average non- musician has a catalog of common, internalized harmonic progressions that may be more limited than those of the professional musician.