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Hauptstimme and Nebenstimme (Ger. “main voice” and “accompanying voice”) are, in the generic sense, German terms for melody and countermelody respectively. They have been used by Schoenberg, Berg, and some other composers to show in their scores melodic material of primary or secondary importance (H or N), as in the following passage from Berg’s Violin Concerto where the flute and bassoon parts are marked:

Berg uses several other similar symbols in this work, according to the following legend:

In this score, all instruments are notated at actual sounding pitch.

H… indicates the main voice, N… indicates the secondary voice, … indicates that the marked voice is in the same rhythm (chord-forming) with a main or secondary voice…RH…indicates the main rhythm. CH…(in the last movement) indicates the chorale melody.

22 August 2011 ·

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Curtis Lindsay
Pianist, composer,
expert in nonsense.



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