from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music: That branch of polyphonic composition which concerns the correct combination with one another of the several voice-parts; counterpoint (in the modern sense).
  • n. The sum of the relations of the voice-parts of a particular piece to each other; the melodies of the several voice-parts taken collectively.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He treated dissonance boldly, even on occasion using the augmented 6th and octave, though always in a context of smooth part-writing.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • The first thing Cope coded into his program was the rules of basic part-writing.

    Archive 2006-09-03

  • The point is that the development of musical knowledge (rise of part-writing, increased interest in instrumental music, etc.), demanded a more exact system of notation than had previously existed, just as the development of science in the nineteenth century necessitated a more accurate scientific nomenclature, and in both cases the need gave rise to the result as we have it to-day.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • The fermata was first used in imitative part-writing to show where each part was to stop, but with the development of harmonic writing the present practice was inaugurated.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • This change was made because the development of writing music in several parts (particularly _harmonic_ part-writing) made necessary a "leading tone," _i. e._, a tone with a strong tendency to move on up to the key-tone as a closing point.

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • Themes, part-writing and harmony are closely bound up in one another, and harmony is not the least important.


  • One can see what Purcell had gained by his study of Italian part-writing for strings, but he could not help penning picturesque phrases.


  • In several of the sonatas the part-writing strikes one as being somewhat poor and meagre; in others there is, to the modern ear,

    Joseph Haydn

  • The form is concise and symmetrical, the part-writing is clear and well-balanced, and a "sunny sweetness" is the prevailing mood.

    Joseph Haydn

  • There is a capital bit of patriotism on page 118, which deserves quoting, first, because at the time it was entirely justifiable; secondly, because it shews us that in 1667, instrumental music had at last decidedly parted company with vocal part-writing, and had an independent existence.

    Shakespeare and Music With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries


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