Linearism

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Linearism

 

in polyphonic music, the predominance of the melodic line over the harmony. It represents a hypertrophy of the polyphonic principle, which stipulates the independence and relative equality of all the voices. In works with linear counterpoint, the independence of each voice and the autonomy of their melodic lines assume predominant significance; the clarity of the harmonies formed by the blending of the voices, the logic of harmonic development, and sometimes even the union of the voices by meter and rhythmic accents recede into secondary importance.

Linearism is usually connected with an abstract and one-sided understanding of the melody as a sound-pitch line that is apprehended not so much aurally as visually in musical notation. It appears primarily in the works of musical expressionists, often in combination with dodecaphony.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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