Voice Leading

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Voice Leading


the principles governing the progression (or development) of the various voice parts in multiphonic music. There are three types: polyphonic, harmonic, and heterophonic.

In polyphonic voice leading, each voice has a pronounced melodic invididuality and an importance equal to that of the others. In harmonic voice leading, one voice, usually the upper, is given the lead, with the others subordinated to it and serving as accompaniment; thus the leading voice stands out to the fullest and is provided with a definite harmonic structure. In heterophonic voice leading, the voices represent modified versions of one and the same melody.

In a narrower sense, there is vertical voice leading (movement of the voices in one direction, up or down), opposite (movement of one voice up, the other down), and oblique (some voices move, while the others remain unchanging). Parallel voice leading (vertical movement of the voices at the same interval) is a variant of vertical movement. The term “voice leading” is also employed in vocal pedagogy (for the progression of the vocalist’s line).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Finding your mate at a cocktail party: Frequency separation promotes auditory stream segregation of concurrent voices in multi-species frog choruses.
During sleep, participants were exposed to fast flows of pure sounds, either randomly organized or structured in such a way that the auditory stream could be statistically grouped into sets of 3 elements.
Several explanations are possible and might also depend on individual patient characteristics: (1) top-down attention to the auditory stream might trigger this state (e.g., in patients that routinely "check" if their tinnitus is still there), (2) a mismatch between the auditory phantom perception and the environment without a physical source for it might enhance the excitability in order to dissolve this mismatch, or (3) bottom-up mechanisms might also trigger regularly and/or constantly the excitability state.
Figure-ground discrimination can be related to the perceptual concept of auditory stream segregation.
Oxenham, "Pitch perception and auditory stream segregation: implications for hearing loss and cochlear implants," Trends in Amplification, vol.
Computer simulation of auditory stream segregation in alternating-tone sequences.
If novelty is to be a factor for invoking the OR, then it might be predicted that fewer stimuli in a changing state auditory stream would produce more disruption, simply on the grounds that each stimulus would be relatively more novel.
Sound emitted from a single musical source can be organized perceptually into multiple auditory streams. The perceptual principles may explain why voice-leading rules came about in the case of polyphonic music.
The difference in the perceived locations of auditory streams primarily relies on a number of interaural differences in the acoustic wave, such as differences in sound pressure levels and temporal cues at each ear (Middlebrooks & Green, 1991).
Embedded within the CSH, on the other hand, is the notion tha t if two auditory streams display the same degree of mismatch between successive events, they should produce equal disruption of visually presented lists, irrespective of the fundamental 'token' of each irrelevant stream.
The framework is referred to as polychotic listening or auditory search, and it requires a listener to scan multiple simultaneous auditory streams for the appearance of a target word (the name of a letter such as A or M).