Considering the Fourth, Considering Time

A friend of mine recently posed the question on Facebook, “WHY IS A FOURTH CONSIDERED DISSONANT IN TWO-VOICE COUNTERPOINT. THAT’S INSANE.” The answer depends on the time period and the 4th’s function. Medieval music uses fourths, fifths, and octaves in parallel motion. Stable fourths abound in the music of Thomas Adès. In species counterpoint à la Johann … Continue reading

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