I've recently learned of a harmonisation technique called fauxbourdon (or faux bourdon, fauxbordon or false drone), used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, e.g. by Giullaume Dufay; you can hear an example here.

I want to use this technique in my music production, but I can't find much information about how Medieval and Renaissance composers used it, whether it was ever used in later periods and styles, and whether it was ever used outside of vocal music.

So how do I use fauxbourdon correctly, and how can I apply it to instruments other than voice?

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    There is a brief passage in Josquin's Ave Maria virgo serena, on the phrase ave cujus conceptio, which is sung first by the top two parts in parallel sixths. When the bottom two parts repeat this, the alto joins in the middle, creating fauxbourdon. Josquin was roughly half a century younger than Du Fay, so the effect is a brief evocation of an earlier style, perhaps to illustrate "conception." – phoog Mar 20 at 20:02
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    Welcome to the site Jodast. Unfortunately finding pieces of music that fit a description is off-topic (including finding examples of any teqchniques). To find out more about the site take the tour and read the FAQ. – Dom Mar 20 at 20:31
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    @Dom Just trying to make it on-topic while still useful to the OP. – Your Uncle Bob Mar 21 at 4:34
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    In and of itself, this seems an interesting question whose answers would be of general interest. Is it really the intent of our rules to block questions like this? – topo morto Mar 21 at 8:10
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    @Dom The point about link rot is a fair one. I don't agree with the idea that finding examples won't work for a q&a site though, as the examples still 'answer' the question. I also don't think that multiple answers being valid is a problem, as genuine examples of the technique will be objectively valid, in contrast to (e.g) "what's the best..." questions where the answers are only subjectively valid. All just IMHO. – topo morto Mar 21 at 12:51

Seems like all you have to do is have an instrument play a single-note line that is a fixed interval below the melody line.

So if you have a synth playing a certain melody, then another synth or guitar or anything else playing the same melody transposed a 3rd, 4th, 6th or some other interval below the main melody would be using fauxbourdon. One exception is the same melody an octave below IMHO would be just "doubling at the octave", and wouldn't have the same effect or sound as fauxbourdon.

Note that I believe the intervals were usually diatonic, meaning the lower voice stays in the key and the interval might change flavor from major to minor to keep the lower voice in key. I'm not sure but I suspect a perfect 4th or 5th would not change to stay in key since doing that would possibly introduce a tritone, which would probably be avoided.

A related technique you might look at is chord planing or parallel harmony. It also is made by having other notes follow a melody line (well, that's one way to look at it at least), but instead of just one or two notes as in fauxbourdon, it's entire chords. Also, in chord planning the lines generally do not stay in key, but rather maintain the exact same chord flavor and voicing while moving diatonically or chromatically.

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