Questions tagged [polyphony]

The term deriving from the greek means "multiple voices".

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Issues with formatting multiple voices in 6/8 time signature

I have been transcribing a piece in 6/8 time which has two voices. I am worried that it is difficult to read the rhythm and was wondering if there is any other way to format this to make it clearer. ...
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13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is the polyphony limit on a Digital piano tied to the sound engine?

I don't want to end up paying more for a digital piano for a higher polyphonic capability if I don't need it. I was wondering if the polyphony limit on digital pianos is tied to the sound engines they ...
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4 answers
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Are voices that have very big pitch difference always independent and less dissonant?

Voices can be "blended" or be independent. Independent voices are very distinct, the listener can hear each voice separately. On the other hand, "blended" voices are those which ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there any methods to improve ability to hear multiple lines in your head?

Over the summer I worked my way through Fux's strict counterpoint and am trying to write fugues without the aid of any instrument or computer. I have some ear training up to the point where I can ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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In counterpoint, is there a name for when a single voice can be understood as multiple different voices?

In French Suite II, Air (mm. 3) it sounds like the upper voice can be separated into two parts: the upper part being Eb up to G, down to F; and the lower part being C down to Bb, down to Ab. In ...
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  • 911
1 vote
1 answer
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Starting temporary second voice in LilyPond

I'm scoring Bach BWV927 in LilyPond. For each hand, at various measures there are two voices. The left-hand second voice starts in the first measure, but the right-hand second voice starts in the ...
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  • 907
4 votes
2 answers
201 views

Note and dotted note on the same line - Lilypond

I have a note here: What do these notes (a quarter note and dotted quarter note on the same line) mean? It's note a, in LilyPond, bottom of the bass clef. How is this coded in LilyPond? Full measure ...
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  • 403
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4 answers
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Why did it take a millennium to use harmony/polyphony (900 AD) when Pythagoras discovered perfect fourth and fifth around 500 BC?

Considering the fact that Pythagoras formulated the properties of Perfect Fifth and Fourth around 500 BC, why did it take so long to include them in Music?. The first instance of using the Fifth in ...
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2 answers
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Trouble listening to polyphonic music

I heard that Mozart heard Gregorio Allegri's Misere Mei Deus once at a concert and copied it down note for note from his head. I can copy down a piece note for note if I have it in my head, but I'm ...
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18 votes
3 answers
903 views

How does one maintain voice integrity when longer and shorter notes of the same pitch occur in two voices

Here is an excerpt from Bach's BWV 796, measures 8–9. (Unfortunately, ABCjs renders the ties in exactly the wrong direction!) X:1 T:Sinfonia No. 10 in G Major, BWV 796 M:3/4 C:J.S. Bach %%staves [(1 ...
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10 votes
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I need a help about polyphony, will 128 be enough

I’m going to buy a digital piano, I’m a classical pianist, so I would like to know will 128 polyphony be enough to play everything like Rachmaninoff or Liszt, because they have a lot of notes?
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Is there another instrument in this piano score? How to tell when it's ambiguous in some parts? [duplicate]

This is the beginning of Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op. 19, No.1. Are the orange-circled parts another instrument or voice? What about the bold red-circled parts---how to tell if they belong to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
318 views

What is cantus firmi?

As I understand cantus firmi means that fixed songs and it is used in counterpoint melodies but I could not understand why is it called cantus firmi and its function. Does anybody know why is it ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are Canons heterophonic? What about Canonic ENTRIES (not strictly a Canon)

Heterophonic texture is when the same melody is played and it overlaps in other voices. I'm pretty sure canons do this to, but the web did not say anything about this.
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  • 485
1 vote
1 answer
202 views

Bach's WTC Edition; Fugues with Separated Voices [closed]

I know that there is an edition of Bach's WTC, in which every voice in the fugues is written in a seperate voice. This edition makes it easier to understand and practice the polyphony in the fugues. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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pieces that stand alone *and* intended to be played together

I just learned that Milhaud wrote two string quartets which can be played separately or can be combined into a single octet performance. Would this count as an example of polyphony, or is music like ...
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2 votes
4 answers
554 views

When was the beginning of polyphony?

I've read a lot about Greek and ancient music. The history books say this music was only monophonic and we know only from iconical research (studying pictures from ancient times) of the practice of ...
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