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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Uqbar: Confessions Part II (of II)

The first Uqbar post was written in an earnest tone. Now, I will confess: Uqbar is a fiction. Literature is one of my main nonmusical influences. The foundation of my approach to musical form is rooted books like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse V (look for a post on Vonnegut and form coming soon). It was Jorge Luis Borges who initiated my fascination with … Continue reading