Watch this video with a turkish choir singing an ancient tune from the Black Sea region. Human voice is one of the nicest sounding music instruments and people sing around the whole world. When arranged for various voices, the tunes become much more interesting than the antique medieval choir music sung during the services of the catholic church.
The different voices can simultaneously sing different notes and so build a chord. Then of course, the melodies must follow certain rules in order to stay within the harmonies without sounding dissonant. One of the most illustrative methods for understanding and writing music for up to four voices is Harmonielehre by Arnold Schoenberg who shows the rules for the independent voices as well as the resulting chords and the rules the voices must follow in relation with the other voices in order to build the typical western counterpoint and in relation with the harmonies established by the simultaneously sounding voices. This type of arrangement is called polyphonic music.
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