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Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art by David Huron

Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art by David Huron R EV I EW S David Huron Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art MIT Press, 2016: vii + 263 pp. ($38.00 cloth) Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis The story of how so many aspiring performers in twentieth- and twenty-first- centur y North America came to learn a set of rules for Bach chorale-style part writing is strange and interesting and also not the subject of David Huron’s fascinating book Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art. But he is aware of the beguiling history of this body of directives, raising key questions in the opening pages. Are voice-leading rules a way of thinking about baroque com- positional choices? A pedagogical tool? Which version of the rules proliferat- ing among textbooks should be considered canonical? Why should contem- porary students learn this particular body of principles, which are primarily relevant to one body of repertoire, instead of principles that might govern other styles? Huron views voice-leading rules through the lens of auditory science. By this account, eighteenth-centur y contrapuntal practice successfully exploits the underlying perceptual tendencies that lead listeners to parse an auditory soundscape into individual voices. His book lays out this argument and assesses its implications. The journey http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art by David Huron

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 63 (1) – Apr 1, 2019

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Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-7320639
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

R EV I EW S David Huron Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art MIT Press, 2016: vii + 263 pp. ($38.00 cloth) Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis The story of how so many aspiring performers in twentieth- and twenty-first- centur y North America came to learn a set of rules for Bach chorale-style part writing is strange and interesting and also not the subject of David Huron’s fascinating book Voice Leading: The Science behind a Musical Art. But he is aware of the beguiling history of this body of directives, raising key questions in the opening pages. Are voice-leading rules a way of thinking about baroque com- positional choices? A pedagogical tool? Which version of the rules proliferat- ing among textbooks should be considered canonical? Why should contem- porary students learn this particular body of principles, which are primarily relevant to one body of repertoire, instead of principles that might govern other styles? Huron views voice-leading rules through the lens of auditory science. By this account, eighteenth-centur y contrapuntal practice successfully exploits the underlying perceptual tendencies that lead listeners to parse an auditory soundscape into individual voices. His book lays out this argument and assesses its implications. The journey

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2019

References