Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Journey Through Counterpoint II

Counterpoint, by contrast, is polyphonic.  That means there is more than one melody playing simultaneously (you can actually have up to six melodies). Each melody can stand alone; that is to say, they are both legitimate melodies in and of themselves, but when you put them together they perform a sort of dance. There are points where the two melodies intersect and cross each other, and points where they move away from each other, creating a tension or dissonance.

Counterpoint is hundreds of years old.  It was established in the Renaissance Period and reached its peak in the Baroque Period of music. In the 20th and 21st centuries, however, counterpoint has largely disappeared from music in the Western world.

 At first glance this looks a bit chaotic. It seems like it might just be a lot of noise. It looks messy.  So... why is counterpoint important? In other words, what’s the point of counterpoint? Why should we care about something that is hundreds of years old and not really used today? 

Second application:  Does the fact that counterpoint has all but disappeared mirror an individualistic, Western society?  Have we lost a sense of community, a sense of interdependence? 

3 comments:

François said...

The discourse of individualism has impregnated most of our meaning making processes, isolating us and luring us into self actualizing positions.

Annie said...

This actually grieves me. How much we miss...

Elisabeth said...

I think the answer is a very loud YES. At least, in my
experience. And it hurts and makes me very sad.