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RE: Chords (was Adrenalinn)

RZ wrote:

>Also, there are times in polyphonic music when it might be more 
>useful to refer to a set of simutaneous notes as a "simultaneity" 
>rather than a "chord."

At 10:09 PM -0500 4/8/02, JIMFOWLER@prodigy.net wrote:

>i agree, but the end result is a chord, wouldn't you say.  so 
>effectively, there's no difference, yes?  i guess it depends on how 
>you look at a given
>composition.  i would think that a composer would focus on the group 
>result (i.e. chords).

At 1:20 PM -0400 4/9/02, Liebig, Steuart A. wrote:
>** i think that what richard is getting at here is the idea of 
>polyphinc music in something like renaissance vocal music (as well 
>as many others) where the *lines* and counterpoint are more 
>important than harmony . . . mostly because (and i could be wrong 
>here) these types of folks aren't/weren't necessarily thinking about 
>harmony  - - functional or otherwise.

Yes.  It's the difference between polyphonic and homophonic music.

I'm not saying that in analyzing polyphonic music that you have to 
deny that a harmonic simultaneity is a "chord." I'm saying that it 
can be misleading to think chordally when the music is primarily 
melodic. Another thing to consider is that in some musical situations 
a "chord" may function more as a "fused ensemble timbre." In this 
case the sound is more than a group of simultaneously sounding 
pitches; the aggregate effect is of a single sound. You have to think 
more in terms of the composite spectrum of all the instruments 
sounding and fusing together. The "notes" of the underlying chord are 
only part of the picture.

This is probably a bit beyond the original discussion, which was more 
about the preferred terminology for multiple notes or musical tones, 
but it leads to some more subtle and advanced areas that might be 
useful to some of us. Notions of polyphony versus homophony versus 
versus timbral fusion are quite useful in analyzing loop music.

Richard Zvonar, PhD
(818) 788-2202