fauxbourdon

fauxbourdon
/foh"beuhr don'/; Fr. /foh boohrdd dawonn"/, n.
1. Music. a 15th-century compositional technique employing three voices, the upper and lower voices progressing an octave or a sixth apart while the middle voice extemporaneously doubles the upper part at a fourth below.
2. the use of progressions of parallel sixth chords.
[1875-80; < F: lit., false bourdon]

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music
(French), English  false bass , also called  faburden 

      musical texture prevalent during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, produced by three voices proceeding primarily in parallel motion in intervals corresponding to the first inversion of the triad. Only two of the three parts were notated, a plainchant melody together with the lowest voice a sixth below (as e below c′); occasional octaves (as c–c′) occurred as well. The middle part was realized by the singer at the interval of a fourth below the plainchant melody (as g below c′). The result was a particularly “sweet” sound in contrast to the mixture of passing dissonants and open sonorities favoured in earlier music.

      Guillaume Dufay (c. 1400–74) is said to have been the first to introduce fauxbourdon into written music. Other early 15th-century Burgundian and Netherlandish composers, too, embraced this essentially homophonic technique, especially for psalm and hymn settings requiring distinct textual articulation and clear enunciation. In more elaborate compositions the fauxbourdon texture appeared at times greatly varied and ornamented, as in several settings of the Magnificat by Gilles Binchois (died 1460). Fauxbourdon was, therefore, an important element in the transition from the medieval emphasis on perfect consonants to the euphony that characterized the a cappella polyphony of the Humanist era.

      At least one school of musical scholarship holds that fauxbourdon represents a continental adaptation of an English method of extemporaneous singing in which upper and lower voices were added to a chant melody to form 6/3 chords. If so, it would seem that by the mid-15th century the designation fauxbourdon, anglicized to faburden, was being applied to the original practice. At any rate, English composers did favour successions of 6/3 chords in any number of written compositions with the crucial melody in the middle or at the top and the rest often richly enhanced. This style of composition, too, is often called English descant, faburden, or fauxbourdon. In addition, English composers employed fauxbourdon in its continental form as well. It is now generally believed that English descant originally involved singing in two parts with an upper voice extemporaneously added to a plainchant, frequently in contrary motion, as opposed to the parallel motion typical of fauxbourdon.

      In 16th-century Italy and Spain, simple chord settings of psalms, usually in four parts, were frequently labelled falsobordone. But unlike the earlier fauxbourdon, falsobordone was based on chords in root position. Even though inversions do not necessarily alter the harmonic implications of chords, root positions do convey a greater sense of harmonic stability, since the fundamental tone, the chord root, appears in the bass, acoustically its natural habitat.

      Finally, in the 16th century, English keyboard music, too, was sometimes based on a cantus firmus, or underlying melody, called “faburden of the chant,” consisting not of the original plainchant but of its transposition to a lower pitch, as in the second voice of a fauxbourdon. “O Lux on the faburden” by John Redford (died 1547) is a well-known example based on such a derivative melody.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Fauxbourdon — (also Fauxbordon, and also commonly two words: Faux bourdon) ndash; French for false bass ndash; is a technique of musical harmonisation used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, particularly by composers of the Burgundian School.… …   Wikipedia

  • Fauxbourdon — Der Fauxbourdon oder Faburdon (von franz. faux bourdon, ital. falso bordone, „falscher Bass“) ist ein bei Gesangskompositionen des 15. Jahrhunderts angewandter musikalischer Satz. Der Fauxbourdon war ein dreistimmiger Satz über Melodien der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fauxbourdon — Faux|bour|don 〈[foburdɔ̃:] m. 6; Mus.; 15. Jh.〉 einfach kontrapunktische Notation auf der Grundlage zweier Akkorde [frz., „falscher Bordun“] * * * Fauxbourdon   [fobur dɔ̃; französisch eigentlich »falsche Tiefstimme«] der, s/ s, eine… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • fauxbourdon — ˈfōbə(r)ˌdän, | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷|dōⁿ noun ( s) Etymology: French faux bourdon, from Middle French, from faux false (from Latin falsus) + bourdon bass horn more at false, bourdon …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fauxbourdon —    An unwritten melody sung a perfect fourth below the chant melody, which is sung by the top voice in three voiced textures. The third voice, the tenor, is written out, usually homorhythmic with the chant, by the composer. The convention appears …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Fauxbourdon — Faux|bour|don 〈[foburdɔ̃:] m.; Gen.: s, Pl.: s; Musik; 15. Jh.〉 einfache kontrapunktische Notation auf der Grundlage zweier Akkorde [Etym.: frz., »falscher Bordun«] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • Fauxbourdon — Faux|bour|don [fobur dõ:] der; s, s <aus gleichbed. (älter) fr. faux bourdon, zu bourdon »Schnarrwerk (der Orgel)«>: 1. franz. Bezeichnung für ↑Faburden. 2. Tonsatz mit einfachem Kontrapunkt in konsonanten ↑Akkorden (Mus.). 3. Sprechton in… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • fauxbourdon — faux·bour·don …   English syllables

  • fauxbourdon — /ˈfoʊbʊədən/ (say fohboouhduhn) noun 1. a 15th century compositional style employing three voices harmonising in fourths and sixths below the top line. 2. harmony in progressions of parallel sixths. 3. a song or refrain, especially in this style …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Фобурдон — (франц. fauxbourdon букв. «ложный бурдон»; позднелат. faburdon, faulxbourdon, также раздельно faulx bourdon), 1) техники композиции в многоголосной музыке западной Европы, главным образом, XV XVI веков; 2) жанр инструментальной… …   Википедия

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