Voice leading

Voice leading

In music, voice leading is the relationship between the successive pitches of simultaneous moving parts or voices. For example, when moving from a root position C triad or chord played C–E–G to a 6/4 chord over the same bass (C–F–A), one might say that the middle "voice" rises from E to F while the top "voice" rises from G to A, this being a way to "lead" those voices. Instead of considering the two successive chords vertically as separate, one focuses primarily on the "horizontal" (temporal or linear) continuity between notes, though the concept applies to homophonic as well as polyphonic musics. When focusing on horizontal continuity, parallel motion between octaves, fifths, or unison is not allowed. However, popular and jazz music, which focuses more on vertical progression commonly uses parallel octaves. Concern for voice-leading often means a predominance of stepwise motion and may assist or replace diatonic functionality.

In traditional western music, voice leading is generally derived from the rules and typical patterns of counterpoint.

Voice leading may be described as parsimonious if it follows "the law of the shortest way"ref|autonumber moving as few voices as few steps as possible and thus often retaining common tones. Anti-parsimonious or circuitous voice leading is "voice leading between trichords that avoids double common-tone retention, thus requiring at least two instrumental voices to move to different pitches."ref|autonumber

An auditory stream is a perceived melodic line and streaming laws attempt to indicate the psychoacoustic basis of contrapuntal music. It is assumed that "several musical dimensions, such as timbre, attack and decay transients, and tempo are often not specified exactly by the composer and are controlled by the performer." An example of one law is that the faster a melodic sequence plays the smaller the pitch interval needed to split the sequence into two streams. Two alternating tones may produce various streaming effects including coherence (perceived as one unit), a roll (one dominates the other), or masking (one tone is no longer perceived).

ee also

*Chord progression


# Schoenberg, Arnold. "Theory of Harmony", trans. Roy E. Carter. Belmont Music Publishers, 1983, 1978 (original quote 1911). Page 39. ISBN 0-520-04944-6
# Hisama, Ellie M. (2001). "Gendering Musical Modernism: The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon", p.153-154. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64030-X.

Further reading

*McAdams, S. and Bregman, A. (1979). "Hearing musical streams", in "Computer Music Journal" 3(4): 26–44 and in Roads, C. and Strawn, J., eds. (1985). "Foundations of Computer Music", p.658–98. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • voice leading — англ. [войс ли/динг] голосоведение …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • voice leading — noun : the progression of the individual parts or voices in a vocal or instrumental composition …   Useful english dictionary

  • Voice crossing — Kyrie, Cunctipotens genitor from Ravenna 453 f. 14r (14th century) showing one note of voice crossing In music, voice crossing is the intersection of melodic lines in a composition, leaving a lower voice on a higher pitch than a higher voice (and …   Wikipedia

  • Voice of the Faithful — (VOTF) is an organization of lay Catholics, formed in early 2002 in response to the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases. Founding, growth and mission VOTF began when a small group of parishioners met in the basement of St. John the Evangelist church… …   Wikipedia

  • Voice of the Fire — is the first novel from Alan Moore, acclaimed comic book writer. The twelve chapter tome was initially published in the United Kingdom circa 1996. The narratives take place around Moore s hometown of Northampton, England during the month of… …   Wikipedia

  • Voice of Canadians — was a right wing political advocacy group that existed in Canada during the 1990s. Based in Ontario, it opposed official multiculturalism and official bilingualism. Some of its leading members, including chairman Dick Field, later joined the… …   Wikipedia

  • Voice-over — The term voice over refers to a production technique where a non diagetic voice is broadcast live or pre recorded in radio, television, film, theater and/or presentation. [ [http://m w.com/dictionary/voice over Merriam Webster s Online… …   Wikipedia

  • Voice Your Vote Commission — The Voice Your Vote Commission [http://www.mgovote.com] ( VYV ) is a commission of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), the University of Michigan s student government.GoalsVYV exists for voter registration and mobilization purposes, and has… …   Wikipedia

  • Leading Sacred Harp music — The Sacred Harp musical tradition is unusual in choral music in that the task of leading it is not delegated to a single expert, but is rotated among participants. A number of customs related to leading can be traced to this democratic, non… …   Wikipedia

  • Leading-tone — In music theory, a leading tone (called the leading note outside the US) is a note or pitch which resolves or leads to a note one semitone higher or lower, being a lower and upper leading tone, respectively.Generally, the leading tone is the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.