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  • William Drabkin


In polyphonic music, one of the individual musical lines that contribute to one or more elements of the music, for example two-part counterpoint, four-part harmony, six-part texture; to avoid confusion with the third meaning of ‘part’ given below, the word ‘voice’ is sometimes used instead, e.g. four-voice fugue. Certain forms or genres are often described by the number of parts or voices their polyphonic structure consistently maintains, for instance, two-part invention, three-voice chanson (chanson à 3). One frequently distinguishes the outer (highest and lowest) parts (Ger. ...

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