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Voice LeadingThe Science Behind a Musical Art$
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David. Huron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034852

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034852.001.0001

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Types of Part-Writing

Types of Part-Writing

(p.97) 8 Types of Part-Writing
Voice Leading

David Huron

The MIT Press

Four additional perceptual principles are described that are occasionally linked to the practice of voice leading: onset synchrony, limited density, timbral differentiation, and source location. Composers appear to treat these additional principles as compositional “options” that shape the music-making in perceptually unique ways. It is suggested that the reason why these four principles are often ignored is that they easily conflict with other goals that composers commonly pursue. Other goals include the goal of ensemble balance, lyric intelligibility, harmonic clarity, and rhythmic uniformity. Depending on which auxiliary principles are followed, different textures arise—such as the distinction between homophonic and polyphonic part-writing. It is proposed that different textures, like close harmony, tune-and-accompaniment, and pseudo-polyphony, represent different combinations of concurrent musical goals.

Keywords:   music, music perception, music cognition, voice leading, part writing, homophony, polyphony, heterophony, goals

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