Principles of Voice Leading

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Voice Leading (part writing)

chords produced by the motion of individual musical lines.

Contour

The shape of the melody.

Focal Point

apex of the melody, usually the highest note.

Conjunct

stepwise motion.

Tendency tone

a note which is aurally pulled towards another note. (ex. 7 to 1)

Close Structure

the distance between the soprano and tenor is less than an octave.

Open Structure

the distance between the soprano and tenor is more than an octave.

Voicing

Distribution of notes within a chord

Static motion

neither part moves. Notes remain the same.

Oblique motion

Only one part moves from chord to chord.

Contrary motion

Both parts move in the opposite direction

Similar motion

Both parts move in the same direction, but by different intervals.

Parallel motion

Both parts move in the same direction maintaining the same interval.

Counterpoint

combining relatively independent musical lines to create harmony.

Spacing

the distance between the notes in the chord.

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