#1
Hey. You know the thing two vocalist can do when singing? One voice sings the lead melody and then the other sings a few steps higher or lower in pitch to create this beautiful thing called something I dont know the name for in english? What is it called? just something like "second voice" or what?
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#3
If they're playing the same thing but at a different pitch: Harmonizing

If they're playing completely different things: Counterpoint
#4
Quote by demonofthenight
If they're playing the same thing but at a different pitch: Harmonizing

If they're playing completely different things: Counterpoint


Isn't counterpoint essentially harmonizing also?

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#5
Umm not really.

Counterpoint is when you have multiple melodic lines/voices that are independent from each other, but harmonically interdependent. They sound entirely different, but do produce harmonies when played together.
#6
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Isn't counterpoint essentially harmonizing also?
Counterpoint is the art of combining two or more melodic lines of complete independence. Both melodies are usually independent rhthymically and melodically.
Two melodies.

Harmonising (in the modern sense) is actually diaphony. Each melodic line is note independent and are essentially playing the same thing, but one of them is playing at a different pitch or starts on a different degree. They have no rhthymic independence nor any real melodic independence.
One melody.
#8
thanks for the great answers(and the fish)!
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#9
Quote by demonofthenight
Counterpoint is the art of combining two or more melodic lines of complete independence. Both melodies are usually independent rhthymically and melodically.
Two melodies.

Harmonising (in the modern sense) is actually diaphony. Each melodic line is note independent and are essentially playing the same thing, but one of them is playing at a different pitch or starts on a different degree. They have no rhthymic independence nor any real melodic independence.
One melody.

Harmonizing doesn't strictly need the same intervals to be used, just for other notes to be used to create harmony, so technically counterpoint is a type of harmonizing.

EDIT: ^thanks for all the fish, hitchhikers' guide reference??
#10
^ No not really by that definition..

When you're harmonizing, you are creating a second voice (or more..) on top of an existing one. When doing this, you are making this second melodic line move the same way as the existing one. You're merely "doubling" the already existing melody, only using a different starting pitch.

Counterpoint is when these 2 melodic lines are independent; they move away from each other, or move towards each other, or share a few common notes and start other patterns. (Rythmically and tonally).

In Counterpoint, harmonizing is not a priority. Of course the 2nd or 3rd or 4th melodic line will have a certain harmony in combination with the previous line(s), but it's written in a completely different context. It was meant to be independent, not dependent (like standard harmonizing).
#12
Quote by Aetius
^ No not really by that definition..

When you're harmonizing, you are creating a second voice (or more..) on top of an existing one. When doing this, you are making this second melodic line move the same way as the existing one. You're merely "doubling" the already existing melody, only using a different starting pitch.

Counterpoint is when these 2 melodic lines are independent; they move away from each other, or move towards each other, or share a few common notes and start other patterns. (Rythmically and tonally).

In Counterpoint, harmonizing is not a priority. Of course the 2nd or 3rd or 4th melodic line will have a certain harmony in combination with the previous line(s), but it's written in a completely different context. It was meant to be independent, not dependent (like standard harmonizing).

Harmonizing doesn't have to have the second voice moving the same way as the first.

Harmonizing is just creating harmony by adding more than one note. The second note can be absolutely anything, therefore counterpoint is a type of harmonizing.
#13
What you are describing is homophony I think. But Counterpoint is nowhere close to being homophony.

Using counterpoint is done from a completely different perspective than harmonising. I find it really hard to describe, because in counterpoint, you are doing your best to make the other melodic lines independent from each other. When you are harmonising, you are trying to form certain harmonies and/or chords by using multiple melodic lines.

Technically you could always say that in counterpoint, the 2nd line is harmonised with the 1st in a certain way. But that doesn't make any sense, since 2 voices are not meant to be harmonised together, they have a completely different purpose. When 2 or more lines are harmonised, then they are dependent from each other and "speak" the same. When 2 or more lines are completely independent from each other, they have a completely different function.
#14
Quote by Aetius

Technically you could always say that in counterpoint, the 2nd line is harmonised with the 1st in a certain way. But that doesn't make any sense, since 2 voices are not meant to be harmonised together, they have a completely different purpose. When 2 or more lines are harmonised, then they are dependent from each other and "speak" the same. When 2 or more lines are completely independent from each other, they have a completely different function.

Which is basically what I was saying. I'm glad we agree.
#16
Quote by backtothe70s
Hey. You know the thing two vocalist can do when singing? One voice sings the lead melody and then the other sings a few steps higher or lower in pitch to create this beautiful thing called something I dont know the name for in english? What is it called? just something like "second voice" or what?
It's called a harmony or "singing in harmony"(despite the arguments above a simple definition of Harmony = playing more than one pitch at the same time.)

From what you describe I think of the Beatles or Simon and Garfunkle.

The Beatles do it on "Twist and Shout" (link) as the vocal harmonies of Paul McCartney and George Harrison repeat the last three words of John Lennon's lead vocal's. Then at around 1:37 to 1:50 they do the infamous Aaaaah Aaaaaah Aaaaaah vocal harmonization that had all the girls in the audience creaming (I mean screaming).

Despite the popularity of the Beatles and their frequent use of vocal harmony perhaps the most striking example of vocal harmony in popular music is the beautiful work of Simon and Garfunkle in "Sound of Silence" (link) <--(this is a live performance which shows them singing it side by side - in my opinion the original is better with the full instrumentation but this is nice to see them in action as well as hear it)
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Dec 15, 2008,