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Written by Cheryl
(5/8/2007 12:51 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, What is the study of thorough bass?, penned by Carolyn
In the Baroque period, music was most often written with just a melody (soprano) line and a bass line with numbers and symbols beneath it - it's called "figured bass" or "thorough bass" (the Wikipeida entry is linked below). The numbers told you what notes the inner (alto and tenor) voices would be, and your job was to work out that voicing out yourself.
It's an interesting intellectual exercise and I can see Mary being very proud of being able to do it - though whether it would sound good would be another question. She'd have the correct notes in there, but would she have placed them so that they made pleasing counter-melody lines? I wouldn't bet on it. ;-)
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