Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Brief History of Music

The irreducible essence of Western Art Music, through the eyes of Hucbald:

In the beginning, there was The Chant, and this chant was a song of devotion to God. It was good. Monophonic chant singing lead to diaphonic organum, but The Chant was still there. It was better. Diaphonic organum lead to modal polyphony, and The Chant was not left behind. This was the best. Modal polyphony lead to tonal counterpoint, and The Chant could still be found, but it wasn't everywhere. It was the best, and yet, it was not the best. Tonal polyphony lead to homophonic chordal music, and the The Chant faded into the background. However, it could still be found in some works by a few composers. It was good, but it was not so good.

Then, something horrifying happened: It was declared that all tones were created equal, and that all tones could be simultaneous co-equals within music, and The Chant was banished. And so, the monophony disappeared, the diaphony disappeared, the polyphony disappeared, and the homophony disappeared: Everything that The Chant helped to create... vanished.

What do you think, Julianne?

"That sucks!"


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