Fauxbourdon


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Fauxbourdon

 

(French, “false bass”), a type of polyphonic singing that developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. In faux-bourdon, the cantus firmus was placed in the highest voice, and the middle voice followed in parallel fourths; the bass moved in parallel sixths or octaves with the highest voice, which was often embellished and filled out with musical ornaments. The term refers to the basic structure of the fauxbourdon, which was conceived and notated as a series of parallel triads in which the lowest voice was to be sung an octave higher than written.

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italic font for fauxbourdon in Haar and Planchart and two possessive forms for Glareanus in the same paragraph.
Fauxbourdon is a method of harmonizing a pre-existent melodic line, usually by adding thirds and sixths above or below the tune; in this period it was a prominent technique in vocal improvisation.
There seems no reason to doubt that the fauxbourdon canon should be strictly applied in the hymns: the postcommunion |Vos qui secuti estis me' from Dufay's Missa Sancti Jacobi, composed apparently in the late 1420s, perhaps only five or so years before the hymns and by common consent the earliest fauxbourdon piece, is far more astringent in its use of dissonance; yet this is the only fauxbourdon to carry an instruction for the addition of the third voice in the form of an explicit canon.
Most dissonances arising from a literal interpretation of the fauxbourdon canon are no more offensive than those in the fully composed hymns, or indeed between the notated voices of the fauxbourdon pieces themselves.
That fauxbourdon is realized in full-sized notation also contributes to an accessible, performance-ready edition.
32) on this subject in the article on Dufay and fauxbourdon, where it does not belong at all.
e] / 30r [#87]: Branles de La musette sur le mesme G2 / G fauxbourdon 109 / [2.
Tiresome, decades-old quarrels about the origins of fauxbourdon no longer engage centrally with our evolving grasp of fifteenth-century music.
For example, his opening essay on "Guillaume Dufay's Concept of Fauxbourdon" starts with familiar references to humanist rhetoric following Quintilian and moves on to an interesting interpretation of fauxbourdon as a symbolic image of unity (of the church, of faith, of the soul with God) expressed through harmonic parallelism.
Further, it is difficult to determine quickly which pieces are actual fauxbourdon works, where the middle voice is derived from the highest one but not written out in the sources (pieces 34, 47, 48, 51), as opposed to works with a middle voice that is fully notated in a style similar to fauxbourdon.